Long ago, when I was an idealistic college student at Illinois State University, I studied at a coffee shop in downtown (now called uptown) Normal. That coffee shop was the inspiration for Illumination, Joe’s favorite coffee shop in my novel Souls Triumphant. There is a scene in the novel where Joe sits in Illumination and jots down a poem on a scrap of napkin which he later gives to his only love, Alessandra.
The funny thing is, I wrote the very poem used in the novel long before I ever had the notion of writing a novel. Nor do I believe I had anyone specific in mind when I wrote it. However, when inspiration struck, I grabbed a napkin and scribbled it down. It seemed an appropriate poem when I needed Joe to write one himself.
I still have the actual scrap of napkin I wrote the poem on to this day, and, believing someone may find it interesting, I’ve provided a scanned image of it. The poem in the image must have been written sometime between 1995 and 1997.