#Poetry Friday–New Poet Laureate & “Solstice Amis”

Happy Poetry Friday!
I was happy to hear that Joy Harjo is our new United States Poet Laureate. Her life of being a multitalented artist–poet, musician, and playwright, and her poetry all speak to me resoundingly. I’m sharing one of her poems and a video below of another.

And, as it’s our Summer Solstice weekend I have a poem to share about my thoughts on our climate in relation to the solstice.


By Joy Harjo

I had a beautiful dream I was dancing with a tree.

                                                                   —Sandra Cisneros

Some things on this earth are unspeakable:
Genealogy of the broken—
A shy wind threading leaves after a massacre,
Or the smell of coffee and no one there—

Some humans say trees are not sentient beings,
But they do not understand poetry—

Nor can they hear the singing of trees when they are fed by
Wind, or water music—
Or hear their cries of anguish when they are broken and bereft—

Now I am a woman longing to be a tree, planted in a moist, dark earth
Between sunrise and sunset—

Read the rest of the poem here

Here is Joy Harjo reading her poem REMEMBER.

Read a bio and more on Joy Harjo here


Pics from my garden, above, top, and below…


I consulted the month 
and double checked the date,
I wondered… and pondered… 
Why, season start so late…

I looked up to the sky 
finally full of leaves, 
My eyes wanting hope 
disbelieving disbeliefs.

I returned to nature 
for her guiding knowledge, 
She’s here in disguise, 
open your eyes, acknowledge.

Weather hadn’t foiled flowers 
despite the cold and rains, 
Although, pollinators 
are low with these constrains.

Come now all you humans,
you like flowers, birds–bees… 
Does our climate know it’s 
Summer? Help her out Please.

The talented and creative Linda Mitchell at her blog: A Word Edgewise is our Poetry Friday host this week, thanks for hosting Linda! Linda’s asked all of us to offer up a line of poetry “that has not seen the light of day” and have it available to exchange with a poet friend. Here’s my line:

Looking forward to feeling  
              the warm sun of summer…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

…So hop on over to Linda’s blog for lots more poetry goodness and a new line or too!

© 2019 Michelle Kogan



Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.

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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13 Responses to #Poetry Friday–New Poet Laureate & “Solstice Amis”

  1. cweichel says:

    Joy Harjo poetry is blowing my mind today. I followed your link to read the rest of the poem. Then I got sidetracked into reading Deer Dancer. Thanks for sharing her poem.
    Your poem resonated with me today too. It’s so cold that I’ve taken to wearing my down vest during the day!

  2. Tabatha says:

    Nice pics of a lovely garden! Joy Harjo being named Poet Laureate made me go back and look to see when I taught her poems in an online poetry class. 1997! One of the poems I used was “I Give You Back,” in which Joy rejects her fears and ends
    “I take myself back, fear.
    You are not my shadow any longer.
    I won’t hold you in my hands.
    You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice
    my belly, or in my heart my heart
    my heart my heart

    But come here, fear
    I am alive and you are so afraid
    of dying.”

  3. Michelle, thanks for this Joy poem, which is so powerful — as trees are! And thank you for your poem, too, and the pics which make me want to get out my jeweler’s loupe! xo

  4. maryleehahn says:

    I’m so glad you’ve shared some of your favorite Joy Harjo poems! I’m reading and learning…although Tabatha makes me feel like I’m VERY late to the game!! And your teeny caterpillar!! I found one just that small and brought it inside to grow in safety. It’s been doubling in size every day! Puts the three black swallowtail baby caterpillars to shame! They’ve been in longer and are not NEARLY the eaters/growers that the monarch is!

  5. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, thank you for adding to my bank of poetry with Joy Harjo poetry. I am just loving what she wrote. You posed for us a great question at the end of your poem. I am also longing for the sun’s warmth. I only felt a couple of days of warming sunshine recently. The rains are cooling down earth quite a bit.

  6. carwilc says:

    I loved listening to Joy read her poem, “Remember.” Now I want to find a copy of the words. It snowed in the mountains of Colorado today! Happy Solstice!

  7. Appreciations for your heartfelt summer poem “Solstice Amis.” We shouldn’t appreciate summer without helping the Planet to breathe better, become cleaner. Maybe our new Poet Laureate will bring attention to this very thing. I was so thrilled to hear of her appointment from my writer pal Ann Morrow, at our summer Crit. Crew convening just this Wednesday. We all cheered!

    I am compelled by this line of Joy Harjo’s in the poem you share:
    “The deepest-rooted dream of a tree is to walk”
    c. Joy Harjo

    This line just shivers me, looking out at our deep-rooted Grandmother Live Oak, who a tree doctor told us may be 200 to 300 years old… I’m looking at her in a new way, because of the poem you share.

    Also, in Florida, not what J.H. is channeling, but we do say we have trees that walk – the banyan (which is imported & has spread in our humid climate) & the native coastal mangrove, which walks in water…..

    Wonderful post, Michelle.

    • Jan, I’ve always been fascinated with trees, how they stand there and take it all in–How much they give us and how unappreciated they are by us humans. I wrote a poem about trees that speak, and I think in another poem I mention trees walking around–interesting about your nonnative banyan tree and the coastal mangrove–walking in water–I like that!

  8. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Thank you for sharing more of Joy Harjo’s poetry. Her work is new to me, but I falling under its spell. I’m looking forward to learning more about and from Joy. Your response is beautiful.

  9. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Such an amazing bloom to welcome me to this luscious post! I’m read so many wonderful Harjo poems this week, but I think “Speaking Tree” is my favorite. Thanks for sharing, Michelle, and also for posting your own thoughtful poetic response.

  10. haitiruth says:

    Thanks for another lovely post! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  11. I’m enjoying all of the Joy Harjo poetry this week, and I really loved the response poem you wrote as well, Michelle.

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