2-Pane Combined
Full Summaries Sorted

Lansing Sidewalk Poetry

Author: Eight Lansing Poets

“Mi Pueblo,” by Cruz Villarreal

Old town, my town, bound by the Grand River,
the Río Grande,
lined with walkways that welcome strollers, bikers,
and rainbow families.

North town, my town,
El Norte de Lansing

Lot 56 / Cesar Chavez Plaza, Brenke, the ladder for fish,
pools that peacefully gather its dwellers

they link me
to its sidewalks and fiestas
its fishing poles and laughter

Old town, my town, bound by grand people
La Grand gente de mi pueblo.

“A Nod to Robert Busby,” by Therese Wood

Feel the hum of the beat
pulsing up through the street?
The vibrational sound of
the jazz all around?
The verve and the jive makes you feel
so alive.
Take a look around, this is Old Town.

Take a stroll, hear the blues,
see the art, try a brew,
relax and enjoy all the
magic to be found
take a look around–this is Old Town.

“Layers,” by Rebecca Payne

Beneath it all, the river
made its bed and told us where we’d be.
You on this side, you on the other.
Green followed the river,
stopping to uncurl its tendrils.
Then came the critters,
creeping, swimming, flying.
First nation people paddled in
to hunt the deer, the turkeys, the fish,
showing thanks by barely leaving a trace.
Settlers arrived next,
pulling factories behind.
They plotted the grids, laid the laws,
planted schools, groceries and homes.
Now, sounds of hustle and swoosh
overlay the birdsong.
Smokestacks send a daily dusting of soot.
Kids on their way to get a pop
kick a bottle off the bank.
A bag billows up, swirls and dips,
is swallowed by river’s current,
ever moseying along.

“To the Poets Who Gather Here,” by Grace Carras

(with thanks to the Poetry Room
and the Robin Theater)

this is for you,
who overcome the trembling
dance of your own pulse
to blossom in the stage light.
you, who dig your roots in deep
and sprout from rock bottom.
go forth and devour, you
conquerors of concrete,
who put the we in weeds,
you brilliant bouquets of breath;
i’ve seen you carry explosions
in your mouths.
you hungry poets,
i’m in love
with the shrapnel of your bravery,
with the way you become the light
that you need to grow.

“1611 E. Kalamazoo St.,” by Nancy Knox

Lettuce ladies laugh
as basket bauble-ed ballerinas
rehearse with vegetable violinists.

Streetware sirens sing
tomato-ed tamales.

Sidewalk gypsies stir
spring caldrons
Allen Street Market.

“Sidewalk Dreams,” by Alan Harris

this sidewalk admires
the rookie’s stride
and shares with all that pass by
that big league dream
that dream which reminds us all
that this is only the beginning

“Shiawassee Street Bridge,” by Nan Jackson

Who knows the shapes
Of all the bridges over time
Built to cross the river here?

Felt more than seen, inflection points
Where the sidewalk starts to slope
Less steeply upward,
Graceful curve to the summit
High above mid-river,
Past concrete balustrades
That replicate the shape of carved stone.

Years ago I stood on the eastern bank,
Looked up at the underside
Of a bridge that used to stand here,
Wondered why it rose to its high point
Right above my head
Far from the middle of the Grand.

There once were train tracks here.
The trees whispered—
High cargo along the bank,
Low cargo on the river.

“The River,” by Jan Shoemaker

The generations
rise and fall
and resurrection
is in the cards,
though it takes
a wider self
to see it.

The river
is faithful:
the river gives
old bones
new blood.

DMU Timestamp: April 22, 2019 18:22

0 comments, 0 areas
add area
add comment
change display
add comment

Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

Logging in, please wait... Blue_on_grey_spinner