Poetry Friday– Natures Voice & WIP


I went on another poem hunt and found the poet Karen An-Hwei Lee. My poem today is inspired by a poem of hers that I am sharing, and accompanies my WIP watercolor painting. Karen An-Hwei Lee’s poem follows below mine. You can read her poem in entirety at the Poetry Foundation:


Nature’s voice quiet as a cottontail

calls through her Midwest milkweeds,

her savoir faire sunflowers

dancing in place,

in crevices of earth wherever–

Waiting, waiting, patiently, waiting,

they’ve come–

bees, butterflies, birds

another season–

Is there any doubt

why indigenous

peoples praised

our devoted


© 2017 Michelle Kogan


On the other side of this door
You are an oyamel native to the mountains of Mexico
Rising in a cloud forest of sister evergreens
Shedding pollen cones, shedding winged seeds
Our lost wings 
                    singly and in pairs.
This is why the monarchs vanish    
Raising sienna-hued colonies longer than my arms
Hibernating in Mexico where it’s hotter in January
                than my front yard, where the red bougainvillea raves
Oyamel fir forest, in Mexico, is where the Monarch butterflies spend their winter. Click on Oyamel to  find out more about this forest, the ecosystem their, and the monarchs.
Jama, at Jama’s Alphabet Soup is hosting the Roundup for Poetry Friday. I’m always taken by her delectable posts filled with rich imagery and poems, and would definitely make a stop there.

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 School of the Art Institute of Chicago and 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
This entry was posted in Children's Illustration & Writing, Nature, Painting, Pencil Drawing, Plein Air Art, Poem, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Poetry Friday– Natures Voice & WIP

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Praise for our pollinators indeed! I have bees humming on a flowering tree right outside my back door. They are not as quiet as a cottontail.

  2. Spring has come alive here. I love the sunflower in your painting with its bee. And the brick wall peeping from the leaves. Gorgeous. The contrast along the leaves is beautiful, too, as is the swirl of color.

  3. This is so timely for me as I recently shared on social media about the insecticide laden flowering plants sold at big box stores that contribute to colony collapse. The painting in progress and poem completed, plus the introduction to a poet new to me, are inspiring.

  4. jama says:

    Thanks for introducing me to Karen Lee. Both her poem and yours celebrate this time of year so beautifully. We have a lot going on in our yard right now, and it’s wonderful to see the bee, bugs, butterfly and bird in your painting. Quiet wonders of nature. 🙂

  5. Our devoted pollinators do so much for us, they deserve all the love they can get! 🙂

  6. lindabaie says:

    I’m glad to read both poems and see the beautiful art, too, Michelle. Knowledge of the oyamel forest seems important for us all. Our bees are back, but I wonder how the sudden cold last week affected them? I love “quiet as a cottontail”, and it’s true. I watch those bunnies in my yard-nary a sound!

  7. Yes, patiently waiting I have been for these beauties you speak of! This watercolor is gorgeous as always, Michelle.

  8. We’ve had lots of bees and a few butterflies start making the rounds here, as well as a more than year long effort for people in our community to plant pollinator gardens. Soon flowers and pollinators will be springing up all over!

  9. maryleehahn says:

    Yes, the poem pairs perfectly with your WIP. I have to say, though, that I love your WIP as is!!

  10. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, your poem and illustration are wonderful together. They are filled with the splendor of spring and the second poem makes me dream of traveling during this glorious season.

  11. haitiruth says:

    Such a wonderful post! I have bougainvillea in my yard, and rave is exactly the right word for what it does. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  12. You’ve captured the season so well in text and illustration, Michelle – I especially like your “savoir faire sunflowers!”

  13. Nature flourishes under your watchful eye, Michelle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s