Geese, frogs, spring: Poems from the online Marine on St. Croix Poetry Crawl

Read St. Croix 360 founder Greg Seitz’s words shared at last weekend’s virtual event.




4 minute read

Top row: Marge Barrett, Nancy Cosgriff, Kathy Lews; Middle row: Tom Anderso, Tammy Newcomb, Mary Fernstrum; Bottom: Laurel Anderson, Greg Seitz, Gayle Knutson

Last weekend, I took place in my third Marine on St. Croix Poetry Crawl. The event happens every other year, and usually finds poets and the audience wandering from venue to venue in downtown Marine.

This year, due to health safety guidelines, the poetry crawl went online. Eight poets read their work to an audience of more than 80 people. It was a fun diversion and a nice way to feel a bit of community.

I shared mostly haiku, because they’re short enough for my attention span and I like to use them to capture observations and images. But I also had a new four-stanza poem (with loose rhyming!) and a special haiku that will soon be featured along a popular local trail.

Thank you to organizer Tammy Newcomb, Zoom wizard Jim Mahler, the Marine Community Library, and all the poets. And thank you to my wife and kids for sparing me for a night, and keeping quiet elsewhere in the house.

Because the crawl was held online this year, the whole thing was recorded, and you can watch and hear all the poets at this link. I highly recommend it.

Crows at sunrise

two crows greet the sun
from the top of a tall oak 
stretching for the first warm rays. 

they shake, preen feathers
fly off wherever crows go
and start their dark days

Two-sided spring

geese are honking far away
for reasons only they know
raucous in some backwater bay
life on the line and more

countless fights as seasons change
spring is winning on the prairie
but below the bluffs is winter’s range
where cold and gray still tarry

clouds and rain and sunny skies
squalls of hope and dread
the bluff ridges are hot and dry
ravines are damp and shaded

hiking through this silent year
I can hear my thoughts
then frog songs fill my ears
and all I do is walk

Seasonal series

not much is moving
as rain clouds creep from the south
just me rushing home

floods flow downstream
river back in its banks
not yet showing any beach

the school’s out season
summer to the horizon
stretching space and time

sun at its apex
halfway across the blue sky
solstice approaches

shadows melt at noon
everything seeks the shade
new leaves gladly help

a first quarter moon
through the hazy solstice dusk
stars sparkle below

carried by current
free as dogs on vacation
slow as the river

cicadas buzzing
the birds have stopped singing
late summer’s silence

hickory nuts ripe
squirrels fight over the trees
winter thoughts return

Brown’s Creek Trail

I was recently asked by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to provide a poem and photo for a new sign along the Brown’s Creek State Trail. I wrote a few and they chose the last one listed here. The photo is the one you see above, of a creek flowing into the St. Croix in May, with marsh marigolds growing alongside it.

eagles circle
above a path straight as time 
old rhythms, new days

time spent in nature
offers gifts of many types 
nothing you can keep

the creek sings along 
different water, same stream 
flowing through lifetimes

The sign should be installed soon. Thanks to Linda Radimecky of the DNR and Heather Rutledge of ArtReach St. Croix for the opportunity!


One response to “Geese, frogs, spring: Poems from the online Marine on St. Croix Poetry Crawl”

  1. Mark Hove Avatar
    Mark Hove



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Geese, frogs, spring: Poems from the online Marine on St. Croix Poetry Crawl