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Poetically Yours - In memory of

Paul Wheeler
Provided by Paul Wheeler
Paul Wheeler

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week we feature Paul Wheeler.

Wheeler grew up on the southwest side of Chicago, but he now lives in the Illinois Valley. He began taking photographs as a teenager and writing poetry in his 20's. The old Voices and Visions series on PBS was his first inspiration for writing. Robert Lowell was one of his early heroes. Walt Whitman and the Beat poets were also inspirations.

Wheeler began traveling as a teenager and says he’s been lucky enough to visit, explore, and live in some of the distant areas of North America. His love for nature and a reluctant observer of the human condition has helped shape his writing.

He works with the Ottawa Elementary School District.

His poem "Monument" appears in his sixth chapbook of poetry, "Public timber."

There is strange bark growing from the sides

of the trees that stand so stark

against the morning fog.

I’ve never seen anything

quite like it.

The earth must

be round.

Across the field, Mr. Timmon’s oafish barn

stares blindly back into the

wading darkness.

But the fog and the dark

can be deceptive.

Looks are always


Not a day goes by when we’re

not reminded of that

simple gospel.

Through the chalky haze, I watch the

glow of two approaching


They hover

in the distance,


as owls.

Far to the east,

a neighbor’s defiant dog

hollers back to some illusionary moon.

It’s funny, when I take the time to think about it,

how towers have been built in memory

of far less than this.

Maybe “funny” is

the wrong word.

Let’s try…


Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.