Poetry Friday–Ranunculus, WIP

1. -Ranunculus,-Beauty,-and-Owl-3-9-2017-WIP

Ranunculus, Beauty, and Owl, WIP, watercolor and watercolor pencil, © 2017 Michelle Kogan


keep on
even after
they are picked.
They’re talking–
I know they are.
In this vase
they flash their
some bold and erudite,
some quiet and polite,
a cackle of
for their
brief life
they’ve packed it
all in–
Eyes focused
action in gear
no time to waste.

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

For Poetry Friday this month I’m featuring different Women poets, in honor of Women’s History Month. Today I’m focusing on Mary Oliver. My poem Ranunculus was inspired by Mary Oliver’s poem The Hummingbirds. You can find the entire poem in her book, Blue Horses. 


In this book
there are many hummingbirds
the blue-throated, the bumblebee, the calliope,
the cinnamon, the lucifer, and of course
the ruby-throated.

Well, that’s all you can do.
For they’re swift as the wind

and they fly, not across the pages but,
like many shy and otherworldly things,
         between them.

I know you’ll keep looking now that I’ve told you.
I’m hungry to see them too, but I can’t
           hold them back even for a moment, they’re
                     busy, as all things are, with their own lives.


Detail from The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2014-2015, Art © Michelle Kogan

Head over to Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ blog, Today’s Little Ditty for the Poetry Roundup and other intriguing treats-She’s featuring Helen Frost this month, who challenged us to write an Ode poem of an object involving the senses. My poem Ode to Spring Soil was included on Michelle’s blog this week.

About Michelle Kogan Art, Illustration, & Writing

Michelle Kogan is an artist, illustrator, instructor, and writer, creating colorful allegorical figure, flora and fauna paintings and children's illustrations, which have a sensitivity to endangered species, and the environment. She is an art instructor at the Evanston Art Center and offers Plein Air Painting Workshops at nature venues in the Chicago area including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Lurie Gardens at Millennium Park. Visit her online Etsy Shop at: http://www.MichelleKoganFineArt.etsy.com and her website: http://www.michellekogan.com
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4 Responses to Poetry Friday–Ranunculus, WIP

  1. Your poem’s opening really grabs me, Michelle. I’m curious about what these fearless, feathered beauties are saying! And then there’s Mary Oliver, who you can always trust to capture “shy and otherworldly things” in poems that fly between the pages. How lucky am I to have had you capture that little hummingbird for the cover of our book?!

  2. lindabaie says:

    I know there is a variety of ranunculus, and you’ve made them come alive with that “cackle of personalities.” Just like women, right? Mary Oliver’s observations help make that parallel between your own thoughts and hers of hummingbirds, “busy with their own lives”. I always love your pictures, too!

  3. Ah Linda, you hit that perception right on the head, yes they are like a cackle of women or dare I say chickens, but we can only conjure up what they may be saying; which makes them even more intriguing.Thanks!

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