- Comptroller: state payroll system antiquated
- Remember, fireworks are dangerous
- Wallace asks citizens to fight cuts
- Dispute over state payroll rolls on
- Why fight over free trade confounds partisan divide
- Still no state budget
- Crime control is not the responsibility of landlords
- Fly over to the Poplar Grove Wings and Wheels Museum benefit
- Local leaders warn of budget deadlock’s impact
- SHUTDOWN: Illinois preps for the worst
Literary Hook: A poem to help welcome spring
By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
Isn’t it good to have spring here at last?
Of course, we all know another snow might yet greet us some unsuspecting day, but for the most part, it’s spring.
March brings snow crocuses and the beginning of daffodils and tulips. By April, many birds have returned, along with other garden creatures.
The following poem was first published in the collection Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity, Wind Publications, 2005.
I love to wake without alarm,
Open the window by the bed,
Find April arriving, the garden
Thriving with crocus and cardinal.
Now a speckled dove traverses
Nubby, sheered prairie grass.
Sparrows nest in blue spruce.
Inside, wind rustling white curtains.
Outside, children with backpacks
Trundling off to school, where
At least one teacher will show kindness
To that little soldier who finds
This thick spring day, well,
Just a bit too much. The tiniest
Black and white bees burrow
Little volcanoes around tree roots.
Good neighbor Tom says they’re harmless.
Good for the garden, he tells me.
Why, they eat pests beneath dark soil—
Ones you didn’t even know were there.
You have known places dark
As Illinois soil, where the ice overstayed
Its welcome. Who hasn’t who walks
Among the trees with charity?
You too have lived largely
Like the old magnolia, its pink saucers
Fragrant as paradise,
The good bees buzzing.
From the April 20-26, 2011 issue