In honor of Blues Month in Aurora (June), the City of Aurora, the Cultural Creatives, Inc., Aurora Downtown, and the Fox Valley Music Foundation hosted a call for poems with blues-related themes.  The call was open to any writer currently residing in the Fox Valley region.   Selected work was chosen by a “blind” jury.  The poems are on display at four locations:  Public Parking Garage (first floor windows) at Downer Place and Stolp Avenue, Aurora; 44 E. Galena Boulevard, Aurora; 51 E. Galena Boulevard, Aurora; and Kiss the Sky, 180 First Street, Batavia.

You can read the poems here.  For more information, contact Karen Christensen at 630-421-2528.

The Blue Song of Brother Walker by Frank Patterson

Blue is the song sung by Brother Walker
He sings his tune from nine until three
He holds that last note a little bit longer
Hoping he’ll look up and there she will be

Walker remembers when she was his baby
When the gold in her hair matched the coin in his hand
She always meant yes, but she would say maybe
They spoke a language they could both understand

Now baby is gone and he hasn’t another
No coin in his hand shines like those of old
He’d mention his pain, but he don’t want to bother
We all got our own, or so he’s been told


Talu by James Cardis

we’ve paid no debt to these sorrowing songs
lashed backs and fatal whistles

pain delights over heat fields on which
hollow bodied slumber left its legacy

and flood plains, a washed memory
a blasted skull, a material good

or broken down comic timing
through wooden teeth
stripped beauty from its suffering


Leonard Leaving by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Do not say the moment was imagined – L. Cohen

After I heard that
Leonard Cohen died,
I walked by the river,
thought how no one
held Sad up to the light
with words and song
the way he had.
I sang ‘Hallelujah’ softly,
threw a dark stone
into the water deep as
his voice,
saw a blue lotus flower
float on a wave,
watched it move
unwaveringly away.


Leland Nights by Susan Schubert

Came out from Chicago
Heard there was a juke joint
On top of the Leland
Blues blowing in low down songs
Get those hips a moving to the jive
Listen to the soul searching
Rhapsody of the common
Black folk from the Delta, the fields, the slave trains
Build on it with repetition,
Cascades of color melt before your eyes
Blues, baby, singing the blues
All music thrives from it
Recorded, made it famous, the sessions in the 30s
Along the river flowing, history is made
Hear it wafting in the windows, round the corners
Come on Aurora, make the blues yours and yours alone
It’s the blues of the Leland
Baby, it’s the blues.