#PoetryFriday–Justice, Martin Luther King Jr., & Women’s March

My poster for the Young Women’s March Rally 2019 in Chicago

Happy Poetry Friday! I’m going to the Young Women’s March Rally 2019, this Saturday in Chicago. Our temps here are dropping rapidly and it’s going to be quite cold so I’m glad they are doing an hour and a half rally and not actually Marching. Though we were all invited to make and bring signs. There are so many problems today, it’s often difficult to decide what to focus on–Building bridges for the environment and humanitarian rights are both top on my list, hence my sign…

I carried this theme of Justice into a golden shovel poem that I wrote while thinking about Martin Luther King Jr. and all he was trying to achieve for Humanity and Justice.

 TRUE PEACE (for Martin Luther King Jr.)

Truth, show us what’s truly true– 
Come now Truth, emerge, and step into the light of peace. 
Focus us on what is 
truly important–Humanity–not 
on merely 
nimble minded distractions, like the 
many walls that oligarchs construct in the absence 
of better judgement, and lack of 
humility–Cease this destructive tension 
and erase the fissures it 
has caused. Divisiveness is 
unproductive for all humanity. The 
earth’s survival depends on the presence 
of cooperation, of working together, each of 
us, working for freedom and justice.

© 2019 Michelle Kogan 
From Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension it is the presence of justice.”

I sadly heard today that Mary Oliver has died, she was and always will be a favorite poet of mine–I thought of her as a kindred spirit. Here’s a stanza from her poem, WHEN DEATH COMES, that I heard when hearing about her passing on the radio.

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

Read the rest of her poem here. 

 Visit Tricia at her blog The Miss Rumphius Effect for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting!


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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23 Responses to #PoetryFriday–Justice, Martin Luther King Jr., & Women’s March

  1. Tabatha says:

    Love those protesting polar bears, Michelle. Great poster! Yes, “each of/us, working for freedom and justice” — everyone’s contribution is important! Good luck at the march. Stay warm!

  2. jama says:

    Love your poster (the polar bears won me over instantly). Great poem, too.

    “The earth’s survival depends on the presence
    of cooperation, of working together, each of
    us, working for freedom and justice” — YES!

    Stay warm tomorrow!

  3. sue clancy says:

    Thanks for sharing! Good poem!

  4. lindabaie says:

    Beautiful poster, Michelle and I love your poem, so filled with many of our wishes. I especially hope for that ‘presence of cooperation’. Wow, do we need it! Thank you, hope it isn’t too cold!

  5. Your poster is amazing, Michelle! And your poem is exactly right. I love these lines: “The
    earth’s survival depends on the presence
    of cooperation, of working together, each of
    us, working for freedom and justice.”
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. katswhiskers says:

    What is the bird sharing the ice with the polars, Michelle? I think it’s my favourite part. 🙂 Your golden shovel is cleverly crafted. Love that second line, especially. It’s disconcerting reading everyone’s ‘stay warm’ comments, when actually, it has been steamy hot, here! So – I’ll just say, send us your excess chill. 🙂

  7. maryleehahn says:

    It really does feel like the whole shebang is falling apart. I hope we have the tenacity and creativity to patch up all the messes and cobble together a planet and a society that can be sustainable. We must.

  8. Michelle, I love the entrance into this poem. Your words Truth, Focus, and Humanity make a powerful statement right from the start. You carry it through so powerfully.

  9. mbhmaine says:

    Thanks for marching and for sharing your vibrant sign and poem. I love the double whammy of golden shovel poems.

  10. laurashovan222 says:

    Great words to use for inspiration for your Golden Shovel, Michelle. I am printing out this Mary Oliver poem to save in my writing journal.

  11. Joyce Ray says:

    Thank you for the tribute to Mary Oliver with the poem you chose. “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” She surely did more than visit the world. Her poetry shows us that she became one with so many aspects of the world – grasses, flowers, crows, bear, and, of course, dogs. I love your Golden Shovel and you amazing poster, especially the skin colors and touches of pink!

  12. Liz Steinglass says:

    What a beautiful poster and I love the authoritative voice of your poem.

  13. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I hope you stayed warm at the march with that amazing poster. Your poems does a beautiful job of amplifying King’s words.

  14. Your artwork and poem are cries of the righteous trying to make the world a better place. They are timely since #MLKDay is tomorrow, Michelle. I loved seeing you at the March with your son. Good for You! To top everything off, you brought to us readers a beautiful Mary Oliver poem for us to ponder. Favorite Lines: I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
    what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

  15. Eric Alagan says:

    The polar bears are my favourites too 🙂

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