Saturday, April 27, 2013


The Minnesota State Fair boasts more things on a stick than anywhere in the world. Every year at the Fair you can find an abundance of things on a stick ranging from walleye, to corned beef and cabbage, fried fruit, alligator sausage, frozen key lime pie and many more offerings. But nowhere on the list have I seen Poetry on the Stick. This unique non-edible item certainly is noteworthy.

David Bengtson, a MN poet and his wife Marilyn came up with this creative idea to promote poetry. In fact he has made and given away more than 8,300 Poems-on Sticks. Last year I posted his story on my blog during April Poetry month. I wrote him asking permission to post his story and at that time he sent me a dozen poems-on-sticks in the mail. Several months after that I had an opportunity to meet him at a writer's conference. I am one of his biggest fans. He was quite generous and gave me 2 dozen poems-on-sticks. Now I only have these four left in the photo. 
The following is David's story. 
“Poems-on-Sticks” Story by David Bengtson

In 2003, I was one of the seven poets who read poems on the Mississippi River Stage at the Minnesota State Fair. This event was sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service.

Since so many things at the fair are served on a stick, my wife Marilyn suggested that I glue some postcard-sized poem/photo combinations to sticks, sign them, and bring them along to hand out after the reading. I brought 50 and they went quickly.

I still remember one little guy, maybe around 10, who took a poem, stepped away, read it, turned and looked at me. He then walked back, holding the poem as though he wanted me to take it, and said, “Ya gotta another one?” Not easily discouraged, I have, since then, made and given away more than 8,300 “Poems-on-Sticks” at various presentations, readings, workshops, bookstores, and coffee shops.

To view a collection of David's Bengtson's poems and Mike Hazard's photographs follow this link

This is one of David's poem 
Japanese Garden
In this garden one tree is weeping
while another's bent branch waits for God to sit 
and the lantern rides a frozen wave.
All winter we waited for these few days.
when plum and apple blossom.
Tomorrow we will walk this path again
and stand here with outstretched hands
as petals fall silent as snow. 


Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
Cook's notes: This recipe can be grilled as well as baked. The good news is I can now reach the grill since the temps reached 75 yesterday!!! 
Using red onion in the salsa would have been my first choice but I did not have it on hand so substituted yellow onion.
  • 1LB. salmon fillet 
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Spray a piece of foil with PAM and place in a baking dish with low sides
  • Mix equal parts of cinnamon and chili powder
  • Squeeze lime juice over the fillet and rub on spices
  • Place covered in refrigerator about 45 minutes
  • Bake at 400 for 20 minutes uncovered (baking time depends on the thickness of the fillet)
  • While salmon bakes mix strawberries, cucumbers, red onion in a small bowl
  • Drizzle balsamic vinegar and a little lime juice over this mixture
  • Let salsa sit at room temperature till salmon is done baking 

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