Poetically Yours - In memory of
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
Across the field, Mr. Timmon’s oafish barn
stares blindly back into the
But the fog and the dark
can be deceptive.
Looks are always
Not a day goes by when we’re
not reminded of that
Through the chalky haze, I watch the
glow of two approaching
in the distance,
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.