Roger’s Park Dunes Restoration and Piping Plover, endangered species, © 2018, Michelle Kogan, painted in 2012, watercolor and watercolor pencil.
Happy Poetry Friday and Fall! As much as I love the changing seasons and colors of fall, I still have my feet stuck and holding onto lingering moments of our summer until she slips aside.
I’m sharing I Am From poems, one I’ve been working on and just sent to the I Am From Project website, and another by Dr. Judy Branscom Jenks DNP, FNP-BC that I found on the site. I think the I Am From Project offers us a rich lexicon of all different voices and views, that resonate today. The project is a joint exploration of individual voices and where they are from, created by Julie Landsman and George Ella Lyon. In George Ella Lyon’s words, it’s “in response to the rhetoric of xenophobia and isolationism that is becoming rampant in our country. In such an atmosphere, how can we find our voices and make them heard? One avenue is through poetry, that heart-cry that comes to us in times of love and crisis.”
Painting above, Monarch, Milkweed and Bees, WIP, © 2018 Michelle Kogan, Oil.
I Am From
Dr. Judy Branscom Jenks DNP, FNP-BC
One wise man in a white hat,
I am from Discipline.
A secret agent man
wearing briefcases like bracelets.
A calculator, born in woods so tilted
they shed their rock like sweat.
I am from a thinking woman.
A hellfire and brimstone daughter,
her words muted by callused hands.
I’m from that spirited visionary
on paternalistic sod
hollering, I can!
I’m from scratched vinyl records, bell bottoms,
chalk erasures and bomb drills.
copperheads, and raw knees.
Bobwhite, bobwhite, bobwhite,
cattle racks, pressure canners, wood heat.
June Bugs on strings
and wars fought on monochrome TVs.
Read the rest of the poem at the I Am From Project website, scroll down a bit on the page to find Dr. Judy Branscom Jenks’ DNP, FNP-BC poem.
Visit Erin Mauger’s blog The Water’s Edge for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup! Thanks for hosting Erin!
This is a cool project.
I think so too. If you stop by the link I left they also have a FB site that has videos.
Thanks for sharing the links, Michelle. I’d like to try it. I love your poem and reading about all the parts of your life, centering on art of course, but that which put you there, too, like Chicago itself as one heartbeat. I love the “nature within my fingernails wrapped around my heart.” The 2nd poem connected a lot and those final ‘things’. I could have written it, and really did fly June bugs on strings.
I’d love to read yours when you write it Linda! I think I’ll probably write more than one of these… That’s cool you did that with June bugs too–I liked her poem a lot, I was hunting for one with nature and a bit of spit fire–bingo there it was!
Love your poem, Michelle! So warm and spirited, and full of heart/art. (June bugs on strings? I feel like Linda could write a whole novel about her life, don’t you?)
Thanks Tabatha–and yes to Linda and her writing.
I wrote one years ago but I think it would be fun to write a new one. I learned so much about you from this poem. I loved the libraries stanza.
Thanks Jone–I love libraries!
Fabulous post, Michelle, truly a balm for the soul. Your watercolors are stunning and uplifting!! Love both poems, especially yours. So many great details, and the “poppycock political hoo ha” made me laugh.
Thanks Jama, we need some of that political hoo ha in the politics this week to lighten the heavy load…
“bellbottoms, braids, and braces” 🙂 Nice that you’re sharing your Where I’m from poem this week as well. I’m from Milwaukee, so looks like we shared the same Lake.
Ah–your quite far afield from our fair Lake Michigan–but you have many sites to take in there I’m sure.
“Beauty so close you can hear her whispering/ in your ear” Sigh. I so enjoyed getting to know you even better through your poem, Michelle. I simply MUST get to writing one one of these days!
Well–this poem does have a habit of revealing oneself a bit-hope you try one on Michelle.
Love it! especially the “Questioning and questions” stanza.
This is such a brilliant project.
Thanks Sally–yes it’s a wonderfully rich project too!
Your I am From poem is rich with details and images. I love the alliteration throughout and “nature within my fingernails wrapped around my heart.” Your paintings reflect that love of Chicago and of nature.
Michelle, your poem is familiar to me…even though its not where I’m from. The comfort of the library stories and the gardens are parts of where I’m from too. I love how much love you have for where you are from. It’s absolutely beautiful. A love poem.
Thanks Linda, I like your reading it as a love poem!
I love reading all these poems collected through the years and across our country that combine in a lovely chorus. Your poem is a rich contribution. I love the stanza about libraries lined with wonder–YES!
Thanks Kay, it was a fun journey writing it!