First nine poems picked to pave Winona sidewalks

Residents also can have poems stamped on private walks
Winona Poetry Walk

WINONA, Wis. (WKBT) — The Winona Poetry Walk is about ready to be set in stone, after the announcement of the first nine original poems to be stamped into sidewalks.
The Winona Fine Arts Commission announced the selections in the city’s newest arts initiative as part of April as National Poetry Month.
The poems, to be installed beginning downtown in places where sidewalks need repair, include the works of Jerome Christenson, Chris Kendall, Lorraine Kilmartin, Steve Leonhardt and five former Winona poet laureates: James Armstrong, Ken McCullough, Emilio DeGrazia, Nicholle Ramsey and Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Suptern.
The Poetry Walk is intended to celebrate local writers, make residents’ creativity more visible and enrich the city aesthetically and intellectually, according to a commission news release.
Winona residents also will be able to have a contractor borrow a poetry stamp and place a poem in the sidewalk outside their residences. Winona State University art and design majors from Danilo Bojic’s typography class designed the font. It is based on aesthetic inspiration taken from Winona landmarks.
Mockups of the poems are available on the new WINONArts website.

The nine poems are:

By Jerome Christenson
January morning
Blinding blue.
Glittering whiteness.
A black throat chickadee
Frenetic
In pursuit of a seed.

By Chris Kendall
When swans fly at night
Over the river town
City lights bounce back
Off their snowy down
A ghostly vee
Points downstream
Riding the north wind
A traveling team
Night Swans

By Lorraine Kilmartin
Waltz. Stand on daddy’s wingtips.
Bobble in the wheelbarrow he pushes.
Surf hats, perched on his shoulders.
Fly solo: he let go of the bike.
Talk Dylan, protests, luna moths…
Cross at the light: so slow, so slow.
Nudge his wheelchair over the sill.
Kiss him goodnight, same as always

Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen
My father chose his words the way he
plowed a field: straight ahead from
one thought to another, rhyme
falling into rhyme behind the pull
a furrow makes, steady along
the progress of sounds turned over
each other, all the way to
the ending of the line.

By James Armstrong
What’s under you?
Layers of inhuman heartache, the
butterfly strata;
the basement that understands us,
on which the world pours
the unction of its tears
until they become a fragile mirror
moving with the breath of the wind.

By Emilio DeGrazia
PASTTIME
Girl, nine years of wonder
On her face, sits on third,
Running her fingers
Along the wrinkles
Of my old leather mitt.
It’s last of the ninth,
And everywhere
In the world
The bases are loaded.

By Ken McCullough
I love these days of white space,
empty pages waiting. For anything.
For footprints the wind heals over,
for owls, hooting po-popopourri
then sweeping up the place. Sloped
shoulders of the barn are solid white.
The ponies have long white beards.
And the shadows are empty.

By Nicholle Ramsey
we said goodbye like hello.
like kayak concerts floating
in sound and sun.
we said goodbye like thank you.
this is where we learned
to mourn, to bloom
where we learned spring will come

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