Sidewalk Poetry

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Poem submissions being accepted for 2020 (beginning January 1)  
As road improvements have been made along Portland Avenue (2015) and 66th Street (2019), the City of Richfield has been sandblasting original works of poetry into the concrete of the sidewalks along these roads. With work concluding along 66th Street in 2020, the Richfield Arts Commission is putting out a call for more original works of poetry to be considered for the sidewalks along 66th Street.
2020 Poetry Submission Form

For the next phase of poems, up to 25 poems will be selected; the Richfield Arts Commission will solely determine the location of each selected poem.  All artists (young or old, professional or amateur writers) are welcome to submit poetry for consideration.  Poems must be original work.  The Arts Commission encourages poems that explore a “Families Flourishing” theme, creating a sense of pride through vibrant, imaginative, innovative art that engages people in the community and builds a strong city.

Please submit up to two poems. Text and subject matter must be appropriate for the general public.  Note that the concrete stencil characters are limited and may not be able to reproduce some symbols and characters. Poems must be within a maximum of 10 lines (including the title), 40 characters per line (including spaces) and 320 characters overall (including spaces).

All entries will be reviewed by members of the Richfield Arts Commission.  Selected poets will not receive monetary compensation but will be recognized on the City website and sidewalk art directory.  Some selected poems may receive editing suggestions from the Arts Commission. Poems will be selected from a youth category (17 and under) and an adult category (18+).  Age is determined by the poet’s age on the contest deadline date (2/14/20).

The deadline to enter poetry is February 14, 2020, 3:00 pm.  Selected poems will be announced by May 21, 2020.

Original poems, selected by the Richfield Arts Commission, were sandblasted into the sidewalks along 66th Street and Portland Avenue.  See the map below with the poet's name by the quill marker; click on the marker to see the poem. Note: you may need to zoom in to view a poet's name.

Photos below are from the poetry installation (July 2019).


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66th Street Poems




Family, a unit,
not always of blood, but of love.
Caring for each other
not always of duty, but of choice.
Lifestyles change.
We need to feel safe and secure.
Acceptance emerges
keeping our families flourishing.



Doris Arnold

This sidewalk where I lay,
a hidden gem, tucked away.
I have seen many a face,
a different smile, a different race.
One big beautiful melting pot,
this is America, is it not?
Sadly, it's not always this way,
with all the violence we see everyday.
I'm just glad to be here, right now,
'cause it'll all turn out okay, somehow.



Ruby Mathiason

Long ago families came
More arrived & did the same
Making homes on family farms
Welcoming others with open arms
Neighborhoods grow, stretching blocks
A clothesline of t-shirts, aprons, socks
Fresh & bright like crayons in a box
Adding new ideas & thoughts
Colorful flags waving on streets
In faces of families & neighbors we meet

44.883479N, 93.252379W

Sandy Clay

As you walk
Reading wisdom at your feet
Hold your head high
And listen to the beat
Of the roundabouts
Orchestrating streets
To uplift all the magical repeats
Of our City as its beautiful hearts beat
Welcome home


Kim Houle

Limitations do not exist
I, in my wholeness, am limitless
I do not need legs to dance
A voice to sing, ears to hear
Or eyes to see
For the heart does all these things
I am whole
I am perfect
I am limitless
In loving memory of my Lizzie


Emily Gold

Walk With Me
You are my mother
My father
My sister
My brother
United we stand
Together strong
Together free
Step by step
We become a family


Karen Molosky

The day awaits
The sun’s rays glow
It’s time to take that step, you know
It’s time to reach
Inside and see
Who you are and soon will be.
The path ahead is shining bright
From deepest dreams awake to light
So take that step towards something new
The whole wide world awaits for you.


Sandy Clay

Lily, Rose, Daisy and William.
Growing. Budding. Blooming. Fading.
Such is the circle of nature. Nothing so
unique as each miracle of life. Nothing
so beautiful as the garden called family


Cheryl W. Wilke

Fly Us Home
Learning how to ride a bike
Climbing the neighbor's tree
Swimming all day at the Pool
Those childhood days were carefree
Richfield families, born and raised
Each story their own poem
Crystal clear as angel wings
These memories fly us home


Carol Gronner

Mother, you brought me into this world.
You watched me take my first breaths.
You watched me grow.
You helped me find out who I was,
You accepted me for who I am
and did not try to change me.
You encouraged me to be hopeful
when all seemed lost.
You knew I was different yet loved me.
You loved me unconditionally and forever


Justin Thompson

Mom's posture of heart
If help you can give, let it be done.
It was her humble creed.
Find some means to be a gift to someone.
For so many are in need.
Stranger, neighbor, friend or brother.
Such labels matter not.
A final lesson from my dear mother.
The most important one she ever taught.


Robert Mitchell

Welcome to Richfield, 55423
Where strangers become friends
You soon will see
So put down roots
Follow your pursuits
Set your goals
Tackle new roles
Chase your dreams both big and small
In the city with heart
In the heart of it all


Jessica Mathias Coners

Surfing a wave on a breeze
Watch as I climb to the sky
Run catch a gust as I rise with ease
Tight on my string watch me fly
Higher and higher I master the flight
And wiggle my tail in delight
As I lift and dip I pitch and slip
Roll over and flutter and flap
My tail swirls as it waves to the world
And kisses a cloud with a slap


Lorelee Miller

We are
Commuters working
Youngsters playing
Students studying
Seniors relaxing
Neighbors blending
We are
Families Flourishing


Ellen Smith

Family is a word for connected
Not for similar or separated
We are together as one
Not alone and never done
We must love each other
Not hate one another
It's time to make a change
So don't act strange
We must believe in others
Cause we are all sisters and brothers


Amelia Rheinhart

I found a diamond shining bright
beyond the rough black night. See it?
It can be found! For when it is buffed,
polished out of the rough black night,
the diamond resonates with potential,
tenacity, respect, support and trust.
I see that diamond, shining bright,
lighter than a rough black night.
I found a diamond!!!

44.883329N, 93.252699W

Joyce Marrie

Beautiful Richfield, our urban hometown
From 494 up to the Crosstown
Lakes and trees, butterflies and bees
Gardens that nourish
Families that flourish
People of all ages, in all life’s stages
These are the reasons why
It’d be hard to say goodbye
But wherever in this world you roam
Richfield Minnesota will always be home


Jessica Mathias Coners

The Grove
The tallest tree was once a seed
Struggling to plant its roots
fed by rain and sun to thrive
to one day bear its fruits
then after years of endeavor
once the canopy has rose
where it once stood solitary
now it stands among a grove


Alex Dahl

I am a Puerto Rican female
I have light brown eyes and curly hair
I am from a family of 9
I am from rice, beans & tamales
I'm a product of a community that treats
others of different races as less
I'm a driven individual that will not
see myself as others do, I'm a strong
beautiful, artistic Puerto Rican women


Shayla Colon

Dawn Haiku
The gray sky lightened
iced pink and chilled tangerine
winter dawn, so brief



Susan Johnsrud Newman


Portland Avenue Poems




Not finding the truth when looking up
I searched the waters below
From lake to ocean to river's edge
The answer is to grow

Electric sunsets fade to sea and lake
Colors so deep your heart could break
It doesn't matter how far away you are
You're still guided by the North Star


Carol Gronner

The Waterfall

I see the little trickle
as it falls onto the ground,
it sparkles as it falls down
and makes a pretty sound.

I wish that I could own it
but it always flows away,
I wish to keep it with me
but it never wants to stay.


Ethan Fairbairn

In the morning, you are wonder
amidst soft light, your curiosity
evokes new optimism, renewal
In the afternoon, you are courageous
in your joy; peace, your habitat
In the afternoon, you move,
you reach, you stretch; we grow
In the evening, you are serenity,
flush with the day’s light,
warm in dusk and contentment


Jared Shepherd

Rich with growth in our field of dreams
Landmarks anchor amid evolving themes,
Lakes, trails, techs and markets-o-fresh
Where schools, pools and parks all mesh
Under the water tower who speaks a song
Welcome seekers, framers for you belong.


Ann Tonskemper

Sidewalk Life

The sidewalks of the city
Like the heartbeat of a town,
The footsteps of its people
Beat a rhythm of its own.
All of us together
In this city built of stone
Live and work and walk these streets
Together, not alone.


Sandy Clay

By the Wayside

Sitting by the wayside,
Thoughts guide,
Moods glide,
Daylight hours slide
By the wayside
While memories abide.


Anita Sapp


Let us not forget
What it was like
To run
And jump
And play
Sidewalk games
All day…


Karen Molosky

What if we met –
on a different street
at a different angle
in a long since memory

would I be you
and you be I
and me be you
and you be me
and us be us


Claire Plank Gahler


The journey starts here
Wherever you are
Small steps forward, destination afar
Keep eyes on the prize
Don’t ever let go
To hopes and dreams if the going is slow
Just where will you go?
And what will you do?
The endless options are waiting for you


Bethany Schmoll

Like the Monarch

From egg to caterpillar
and caterpillar to butterfly
the monarch transforms just like me.
Two symmetrical wings has the monarch;
Two languages have I.
I will be bilingual; English and Spanish
Both are important for my future.
And like the monarch I will fly far
Adapting to the environment where I am


Melissa Compana

Wisdom Understands Delay

Youth looks to the moment
while wisdom understands delay.
Accept your greatness accept it every day
You have been called into service
as the leader of mankind’s parade.
Speak with confidence
step boldly on your way
Worry not about those not following
wisdom understands delay.


Tim Woldt

Be mindful
Life is a beautiful journey
Full of twists and turns
Observe the details of nature
Breathe Deeply
Smell the air
Listen Carefully
Hug someone you love today


Jerad Hill

Flowers bloom, wind swifts through air
bees sip nectar and land on your nose
the sweet fragrance of plants
Bump of jump rope hitting sidewalk
Looking through the window
at everyone playing outside
Critters come out from winter
rain pitter-patters on the window
as I play games waiting for it to stop
Spring is happy for everyone


Ellen Orzoff