Spoiler Alert! Following is the full solution.
The lead in to my poem said, "Somewhere in the Midwest, north of Hell but south of Paradise the cache is hidden." A lot of people correctly identified Hell and Paradise as cities in Michigan.
The first thing you had to do is "fix" the poem. I borrowed from The Golden Apple Tale and scrambled the stanzas. You'd have to place them in the correct order before you could start solving the clues. As you're reading the book, you might notice some words that are dropped below the line of text a bit and/or a different font size. Each word corresponds to a word found in the first line of a stanza. The stanzas would then be re-ordered based on the chapter number. The resulting order would look like:
|As it ends it will begin|
|Where dulcet waters may stop cold.|
|Leave your shelter once again|
|Until you are quickly bold.|
|Your sixth sense will have led you|
|If it's the fifth you have found.|
|Your quest will then continue|
|As your journey ventures down.|
|From there with a fox you'll dance.|
|Try to keep up for a round.|
|If you're wise you'll take a chance|
|And tread across sacred ground.|
|As you're marching like a King|
|Your way has been written nigh.|
|Spend some time reflecting,|
|Then go forth toward where they try.|
|Find your balance with the scales|
|And move to the front of the line.|
|What is right is what prevails,|
|Not just what crosses the mind.|
|We all look up towards the end|
|When our time is drawing near.|
|Steady as you go around the bend|
|And know there's nothing left to fear.|
|Some trees are ever white|
|And may point to that of which I speak.|
|If you've lumbered and measured right,|
|There'll be no battle up your creek.|
|So hear me all and listen well.|
|Your effort will lead you to the blaze.|
|If you stop to take, not smell,|
|Upon the "geo-cache" you'll gaze.|
LINE BY LINE SOLUTION:
As it ends it will begin
The Grand River (the first "it") ends as it empties into Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. Your journey (the second "it") begins there.
Where dulcet waters may stop cold.
Dulcet waters refer to the Musical Fountain in Grand Haven. The waters stop cold (stop dancing) when the music stops!
Leave your shelter once again
"Shelter" hints at Haven. You're going to leave Grand Haven and follow the Grand River.
Until you are quickly bold.
Follow the Grand River until you reach Grand Rapids (quickly bold).
Your sixth sense will have led you
As you're following the Grand River through Grand Rapids, you'll come to the Sixth Street bridge (your "sixth" sense).
If it's the fifth you have found.
Sixth Street connects to Monroe Ave (the fifth president of the US).
Your quest will then continue
As your journey ventures down.
Head south on Monroe
From there with a fox you'll dance.
The fox refers to Louis Campau. Campau is popularly called the founder of Grand Rapids, having established a trading post there. The local Native Americans called him "Wagoosh" or "Fox". Heading south on Monroe, you'll come to Campau Promenade (the dance).
Try to keep up for a round.
Follow Campau Promenade north (up) as it turns into Campau Ave.
If you're wise you'll take a chance
Campau Ave. runs into Pearl St... "a pearl of wisdom".
And tread across sacred ground.
"Tread" suggest crossing water, so go across the river. Fortunately, there's a bridge. After you've crossed the river, you'll see Ah-Nab-Awen Park. "Ah-Nab-Awen" means "resting place" and the park has symbolic mounds to recall the Indian Mounds (sacred ground) that once were in the area.
As you're marching like a King
Gerald R. Ford was born "Leslie Lynch King Jr." Ah-Nab-Awen Park will take you past the Ford Museum.
Your way has been written nigh.
Looking left (another meaning of "nigh"), on the other side of the Ford Museum is Scribner Ave. Scribner is a surname with an origin relating to "Scribe"..someone who writes. Head for Scribner Ave.
Spend some time reflecting,
As you continue on Scribner Ave, you'll pass River House Tower...with mirror-style windows.
Then go forth toward where they try.
Scribner Ave will take you to 4th street ("go forth"), where you'll find Fish Ladder Park, where the fish "try" to make it up the ladder.
Find your balance with the scales
"Scales" reinforces the fish ladder.
And move to the front of the line.
4th St connects to Front Ave.
Continue on Front Ave.
What is right is what prevails
Take the first right and you're back at 6th St! You may notice that I just took you in a circle.
Not just what crosses the mind.
Cross the bridge.
We all look up towards the end
You'll be heading north...but at what point?
When our time is drawing near.
In the book, I mentioned the watch on my great grandfather's wrist while he lay in his coffin. It was stopped at 4:45..."drawing near" to 5:00, which eludes back to the 5th president (Monroe).
Steady as you go around the bend
Continue north on Monroe until you come to the first traffic circle. But how would you know to go that far? In my book, I mentioned how my dad gave me a formula for running success. You run a nice even pace for roughly 1.7 miles (steady as you go). And then you'd sprint for roughly 1.3 miles (relevant later). So...travel roughly 1.7 miles north on Monroe and you'll come to a round about.
And know there's nothing left to fear.
Going around the traffic circle, you'd end up making a left hand turn into Riverside Park.
Some trees are ever white
As you're entering Riverside Park, you'll see White Pine Trail just to your right.
And may point to that of which I speak.
The White Pine Trail will lead you to the creek... and the treasure.
If you've lumbered and measured right
This is the second part of the "formula for success". You would "lumber" (run as hard as you can in the book = white pine trail on the map) for roughly 1.3 miles.
There'll be no battle up your creek
Your creek is Lamberton Creek and there'll be no battle because up the creek is the Michigan Home for Veterans and the Veterans Cemetery.
So hear me all and listen well.
Your effort will lead you to the blaze.
The blaze (the rose I mentioned in a previous blog post) was inserted in a crack in the wall in the culvert under Monroe. "Your effort" meant you'd have to walk in the creek to retrieve the rose per the next line. You can see the creek through the trees on this street view from Monroe.
If you stop to take, not smell,
Normally we're told to stop and smell the roses. In this case, you'd have to take the rose.
Upon the "geo-cache" you'll gaze.
The rose was tied to a fishing line which would guide you to the cache which was buried under the rocks on the bank of the creek. In this street view of the cache's location, you can see the creek in the center of the image. The cache was just on the other side of that fence on the left hand side of the creek.
Congratulations Larry! Well done.