Linden Hills is a delightful urban community in the southwest corner of Minneapolis.  It’s sort of a city within a city, tucked between two lakes, Calhoun and Harriet. In 2004 the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHINC) decided it would be a good idea to have a neighborhood Poet Laureate -- to use poetry as one more way to bring the community together. I’m it.

We put on events -- poetry readings, slams and salons -- throughout the year.   Questions?  get in touch

This collection of 75 poems by 11 poets who live in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis will make you laugh, make you think, break your heart and give you hope.

A great gift for anyone who likes poetry or has ties to the City of Lakes.  Perfect for birthdays, Christmas, hostess gifts, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day... and when the kids leave home... or come back.

Available at Linden Hills merchants or

directly from Trolley Car Press.  $20 includes tax, postage, shipping and handling.

Click here to see selected poems.




The Southwest Journal

is a newspaper published twice a month for the neighborhoods of southwest Minneapolis.  I’m the poetry editor. Four times a year we print a two-page spread of local poetry and also put the poems on line.

To submit poems, send text to or mail them to:

Doug Wilhide, 3019 West 43rd Street

Minneapolis, MN 554410

Next SW Journal deadline is: 

November 15

The next Southwest Journal Poetry Project will come out in December.

To view previous editions, click on the link below and search for “wilhide”.

Fragments on my mind...

(those verses -- usually song lyrics -- that you can’t

seem to get out of your head...)

She holds her head so high

Like a statue in the sky

Her arms are wicked, and her legs are long

When she moves my brain screams out this song

... She’s walking down the street

Blind to every eye she meets

Do you think you’ll be the guy

To make the queen of the angels sigh?

... Do you hope to make her see, you fool?

Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel?

-- from “Hello I Love You,” The Doors

I’m just a little Hawaiian

and a homesick island boy

I want to go back to my fish and poi

I want to go back to my little grass shack

in Kealakekua Hawaii

where the humuhumunukunukuapua’a

go swimming by.

-- from “My Little Grass Shack...”

Bill Cogswell, Tommy Harrison, Johnny Noble

Before you slip into unconsciousness

I’d like to have another kiss

Another flashing chance at bliss

Another kiss, another kiss.

-- from “Crystal Ship,” The Doors

I know you know that I’m not telling the truth

I know you know they just don’t have any proof

Embrace the deception -- learn how to bend

Your worst inhibition’s

Gonna psych you out in the end.

-- from “I Know, You Know,” the Friendly Indians (theme from Psych)

...standing on a corner/In Winslow, Arizona

And such a fine sight to see:

Its a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford

slowin’ down to take a look at me.

Come on, baby, don’t say maybe

I gotta know if your sweet love is

Gonna save me.

We may lose and we may win

Though we will never be here again

So open up, I’m climbin’ in,

So take it easy...

-- from “Take it Easy,” Jackson Browne, Glen Frey

Haze grey and underway

a world away from you...

and miles and miles of blue.

-- theme from PBS show CARRIER.

I don’t want clever conversation

Never want to work that hard

I just want someone that I can talk to

I want you just the way you are

-- from “Just the Way You Are,”  Billy Joel

You can tell at a glance what a swell night this is for romance; you can hear Mother Nature murmuring low, “Let yourself go.”

-- from “It’s De-Lovely,” Cole Porter

Venus de Milo was noted for her charms.

But, just between us,

you’re cuter than Venus,

and, what’s more... you’ve got arms!

-- from “Love Is Just Around the Corner,” lyrics by Leo Robin.

I got the time and the place and the rhythm

All I need is the girl to go with ’em

-- from “All I Need is the Girl,” Stephen Sondheim.

© 2013 Doug Wilhide


Our SECOND book of local poetry.  Over 100 poems representing more than 40 poets, with illustrations by WACSO.  A fascinating (and gorgeous) book!

Here are poems set in Minnesota’s four seasons, love poems for all seasons, poems about children, whimsical notions, unusual characters and the transitions we experience as we travel life’s pathways... with delightful

illustrations throughout.

Available now at retailers listed below.  Or you can order directly from Trolley Car Press.  Cost is $21, including taxes and shipping.

Available at:

bibelot (Linden Hills and NE)

Settergren Hardware -- new

Gallery 360

i like you (Northeast)

Rick Rack (44th & Bryant

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minnesota History Center

Tangletown Gardens -- new!

Wedge Co-Op

Linden Hills Co-Op

Birchbark books (Kenwood)

The Great American Think-Off

Now in its 19th year, this annual amateur philosophy competition has grown way beyond its origins in the small Minnesota town of New York Mills.  This year’s topic was “Does Poetry Matter?”  Hundreds of essays from nearly every state and several countries were submitted.  I was one of four finalists who debated the question in NY Mills on June 11. 

It was an exciting and interesting evening.  I argued that while poetry may not matter to all of us all the time, it matters to a surprising number of us (from kids and song writers to poets and liberal arts majors from the 60s), and it matters at the most important times of our lives (weddings, funerals, when we’re grieving, when we pray, when we’re in love).

Marsh Muirhead, a dentist from Bemidji, also argued the pro side.   He thought poetry mattered because “it is the spiritual language of our one human family.”He cited Poe’s Annabel Lee, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and King’s I Have a Dream speech as examples of how poetry helps us “celebrate the lightness and darkness of our lives.”

Bob Levine, a lawyer and entrepreneur from New York City, argued that poetry is simply a medium, “like whistling” and that it mattered “as much as a stick lying on the side of the road -- an insignificant object of virtually no value.”  Mahmood Tabbaddor, an engineer with Underwriter’s Laboratory from near Detroit argued that poetry used to matter but society has degraded to the point that, while poetry is important, it doesn’t matter to us. 

An audience of about 200 people chose Marsh and Mahmood to compete in the final round, an intense hour of penetrating questions and excellent arguments.  In the end the vote went our way: Yes, poetry DOES matter.  We got our medals and adjourned to the NY Mills Cultural Center for a late evening reception of good wine, good food and stimulating conversation.  

The finalist’s essays are at If you have WAY too much time on your hands, my comments are here: Think-Off wrap.dochttp://www.think-off.orgPoetry_Matters_files/Think-Off%20wrap.docshapeimage_8_link_0shapeimage_8_link_1

One Cylinder Days

Sometimes just to get around

You have to be like one of those old

single cylinder engines

that used to be on snowblowers,

outboards and lawnmowers:

ka chung, ka chung, ka chung...

chunga, chunga, chungachunga, chungachunga.

It’s not like it used to be

when you were a purring machine,

smooth, aligned, agile, unconscious,

and everything worked,

if not like new, at least reliably.

You knew where point B was

and how to cover the distance efficiently

from point A.

But those days are of the past --

now you kick over and keep going,

hoping the parts don’t break down

taking the distance in smaller measures

one step at a time

solid, steady, repairable.

-- Doug Wilhide

The Winter Southwest Journal Poetry Project issue comes out December 9. Get your free copy at area coffee shops and news boxes.