Poetry Friday-Summer Poetry Swap

Summer Poem Swap logo 2018

Happy Poetry Friday!

Today I am sharing a Poetry Swap treasure-trove I received recently. But first I would like to give a big thanks to poet, writer, and friend, Tabatha Yeatts, for organizing the swap, and providing us all with this rich opportunity of giving and receiving poems throughout the summer. The joy is huge in both the writing and the receiving!

These are treasures I received from friend,  poet, and writer Irene Latham for the Summer 2018 Poetry Swap!

1- Irene Latham poem for Michelle MONARCH-8-22-2018

Along with this rich and  gorgeous poem that Irene wrote for me called MONARCH, which literally floats from the air as do monarchs, she also sent this lovely bathtub filled with words to write poems from, a postcard from her new book Love, Agnes POSTCARDS FROM AN OCTOPUS–the title and art have both captured me, and a lovely note written on stationary from THE QUILTS OF GEE’S BEND, which she also wrote a book from called Leaving Gee’s Bend. 



BTW there’s actually a Grimm’s Museum, take a peek here

I decided to dive right into this Bathtub Poetry, and randomly pulled out a handful of words. I combined these with a line from Irene’s poem MONARCH, and wrote a golden shovel poem. These were my words from the bathtub: wrinkly, drenched, grins, prayer(s), forgiveness, and dirty.


Wrinkly father time, drenched in Mother 
Nature’s grins and prayers of 
forgiveness– watched her frocked in summer 
rains, as she sprinkled dirty earth on her dainty petals–and you
dug in deep and knew, here’s where you belong.

©  2018 Michelle Kogan

My poem is partially inspired by the dirt/earth that kicks up on flower petals after a heavy rain.


So I did this quick sketch-painting and I think the muddied susies fits my mood. We are moving my daughter into her college dorm on Saturday, and my son who’s a bit older is moving out of the house in about a week. This little sketch inspired another poem, and my slightly melancholic state of mind …

muddied susies
weeping memories
resisting what’s next …

© 2018 Michelle Kogan

Mosey on over to Margaret Simon’s blog, Reflections on the Teche where she’s offering some lovely Zeno poems, and the Roundup too! Thanks Margaret for hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup!


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
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15 Responses to Poetry Friday-Summer Poetry Swap

  1. Tabatha says:

    Aww, sounds like you have a lot going on, Michelle! Sending you a hug. That bathtub is adorable, and I like your golden shovel — very impressive to do both at once!!

  2. mbhmaine says:

    There’s so much to love in this post. Irene’s poem is swoon-worthy and the bathtub filled with words is an inspired swap item. I love how you lifted a line and combined some bathtub words to create your beautiful golden shovel. I can so relate to those muddied susies and the melancholic state of mind. Thinking of you!!

  3. lindabaie says:

    Love each part, Michelle, the smile in the thought of Monarch turning tipsy, and your wonderful message “here’s where you belong”, finally “resisting what’s next. . .” and your muddied petals. I don’t see those very often here in our dry climate, so love that you hold beauty in them too. Enjoy the journey with your daughter!

  4. margaretsmn says:

    I can relate to your melancholy, Michelle. The house will feel quiet and lonely, but there will be open spaces for poetry and art. I love “Bathtub poetry.” Irene is so clever. Her monarch poem is inspiring and lovely. This world of PF keeps the love of poetry going and going.

  5. I love when poetry begets poetry—yours and Irene’s are both beauties— but oh my, two goodbyes one right after the other, seems like an awful hard thing to do, Michelle. I’m right with you in that patch of muddied susies. Sending hugs!

  6. Michelle, so glad you are finding comfort in poetry and those muddied susies as you say these goodbyes… so many of us are sending children off into the world this week! Sigh. I LOVE what you did with the bathtub poetry and line from the monarch poem. This post is proof that inspiration is everywhere… you just have to grab hold! Thanks for being YOU. xo

  7. Kay Mcgriff says:

    So much poetry goodness–that monarch poem does float. And I loved your response to it using a Golden Shovel and the bathtub words. Best wishes as you face the coming changes. Life is different once our children move on into new stages of life. I’m finding lots to enjoy but also remember the past good times.

  8. I dread the moving out, but fortunately, it’s a few years off for me. And even longer to the empty nest. I took my oldest for his first driving lesson today. EEEEE! Love the inspiration, the bathtub, the sweetdust and the golden shovel.

  9. cvarsalona says:

    As Irene said in her comment, “Inspiration is everywhere.” You certainly found it with your swap, Michelle. Irene’s gift to you was such a beautiful poem backed by yet another treat, bathtub notes in what looks like a 1930’s artifact. Both of you captured the essence of summering with your monarchs, Mother Nature, and petals. If either of you wish to send me additional digital inspirations for the gallery, please do so.

  10. maryleehahn says:

    Lovely gifts and your response poems are just as lovely. Wishing you strength as your family grows up and flies away.

  11. laurashovan222 says:

    Beautiful acrostic, Irene. And Michelle — I love your muddied Susans!

  12. I love the little bathtub full of words! Your post is brimming with so many different emotions. Best wishes to and your family throughout this new journey!

  13. What a joy filled post! I want a bathtub full of words! I love that idea. And, a personalized poem from Irene….so special. You’ve rendered a lovely golden shovel from it too. I just love visiting here each week. This week is especially fun.

  14. First, sending hugs as you all enter a new season in your family! So hard letting them go, but they are beautiful, like butterflies…. and kids are a lot of fun as young adults. ;0) Love all these treasures from Irene, and your muddied susans response. (That wee bathtub is the best!)

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