Poetry Friday–12 Days of Christmas

Garfield Park Conservatory, Fern Room

Happy Poetry Friday

Last week I finished up Julie Hedlund’s 12 days of Christmas Challenge–it started on December 26th and ran through January 6, 2019. It’s a Facebook group that she’s been offering writer’s for the last four years, to get a jump start on their writing for the New Year! She focuses on reflecting over last year–reviewing your successes, achievements, and failures, and then turning them around into learning’s and growth. The 12 days build successively with different writing prompts. I really liked the focus of reflecting back on what we accomplished and bringing that forward, as apposed to setting resolutions.

One day we were given the challenge to write a story or poem from a list of prompts she supplied. As I was out playing with my family that day, I decided to deviate slightly from her prompt and wrote a haibun, on an event that unfolded while we were visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago.

1aa-mexican doll haibun and image 1-5-2019
Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago.


All eyes stopped and gazed as the cameras flashed. A lull fell over the quietly murmuring room. Her form appeared from a bygone time–Chiseled perfection from her gently wrapped curved shoulders, to her pinwheeled stylish sombrero, falling into her chic quinceanera-swing skirt. She stood poised, capturing us all in her trance. Her mirrored reflection transformed the room and nothing was ever the same…

mexican doll,
come-to-life, if only
© 2019 Michelle Kogan

I also continued writing haikus this week tagging them as #haikuforhope–from Mary Lee Hahn, and also #MoPoetry2019–which is a call from Kat Apel, to write Insta-Poetry. Here are two from this last week.

Bottle Tree at the Garfield Park Conservatory, © 2019 michellekogan.com.

As the one blow is a tanka I’ve tagged it, #tankaforhope

paradise moves in midwest
especially on dark,
dank, cold, overcast days…
© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Kat Apel at her blog Kathryn Apel is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup. Thanks for hosting Kat! She’s greeting us from Downunder where the summer sun is shining and a bevy of poetry is flying off her fingertips…

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–12 Days of Christmas

  1. katswhiskers says:

    I like how your reflected photo captures the back view – as opposed to her face, making it more impersonal and dreamlike. (And so very pretty!) Your haibun words and presentation complement the scene beautifully. And your bottle tree is perfect for a Downunder Poetry Friday! 🙂 Thank-you for linking in.

  2. Very odd, When I typed in my comment, it vanished but my like remained. Your Mexican Doll poem and photo remind me of my mother’s vintage dolls with their bouffant skirts. When I read the Bottle Tree, I said to myself, Michelle is a wonderer and that gives her the right to be classifed a wonderologist. I want to share your drawing with the Wonderopolis team. Stay tuned for that tweet. I can agree with your January tanka, especially tonight when it is so cold here.

  3. lindabaie says:

    I remember a Mexican doll from long ago. A restaurant we went to had a variety of them & my grandfather bought one for me. (I’d love to see it now!) I love your capture of that moment, Michelle. I saw the bottle tree on Instagram, very fun, and I especially like that “paradise moves in midwest imaginations” – so true. We have snow coming tomorrow, winter’s back for a little while! Thanks for all!

  4. carwilc says:

    Many of my sixth graders are already planning for their quincinera celebrations. I will show them your haibun today. I love, love, love the bottle tree poem and art. I am trying to teach myself to be a little more artistic and I want to come to Chicago and take a class from you!

  5. Michelle, thank you for sharing this bounty! The bottle tree art and poem is so so lovely and inspiring! Thank you thank you. xo

  6. margaretsmn says:

    Your continued dedication to writing a poem every day inspires me. It’s a 2019 goal that I haven’t really kept up. Love your haibun that matches the dancing image perfectly, so creative and full of imagery.

  7. maryleehahn says:

    What a wonderful gallery of creativity!

  8. Your consistent creative adventures are so fun for me to read about. And I love your writing and art.

  9. Joyce Ray says:

    You are inspiring with your creativity and commitment to challenges! Looks like your new year is off to a great start. I’m with you with the tanks – January is cold right now and all I want to do is bundle.

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