Poems from the Belles Lettres Poetry Group

poetry trail

The current Write On Door County installation along the Poetry Trail features work from the Door County Belles Lettres poetry group. The group was started in 2015 by former Poet Laureate of Door County Estella Lauter. Meetings are informal and are held in person at Write On or via Zoom. Poems are written beforehand and read and critiqued at the get-togethers. Several of poets have had award-winning poems come out of the working sessions of this group.

The Poetry Trail at Newport State Park began in 2010 as a joint project of local poetry groups and the Newport Wilderness Society. Since 2016, the trail has become a curated program of Write On Door County. The trail is a ¾-mile level loop and can be accessed via the Visitors Center parking area (Lot 1). The trail wanders through a wooded area and out along an open meadow. Poems featured in the ten stanchions along the trail allow visitors an opportunity to slow down, contemplate, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Time and Place

I am told the fossils I find
beneath my feet
are evidence
that creatures swam
where I now walk.
It was once the Silurian Sea.

Not far away from here
we have found shards
of clay jars
carried by women
five hundred years ago.
I can imagine them
carrying and pouring.

My grandchild plays at this beach
where her father also played.
Both dug in sand, splashed.
Sang to the waves.
Both held my hand.
I was a child here, too
holding my mother’s hand.

I am singed by these thoughts of time.
I am startled by the hot white glory
of the expansive, remarkable