Poetry Friday–Leap Year…

1a-Leap year leaping- poem and art m kogan-2-22-2020

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m not one to sidestep bad news, however there’s so much out there I’m taking a break and offering a light post on our one in every four year occurrence of Leap Year…

My Leap Year poem was inspired by Buffy Silverman’s prompt that she gave all of us earlier this month, appearing on Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ site Today’s Little Ditty, and her post: Spotlight on Buffy Silverman + DMC Challenge. Thanks to both Michelle and Buffy!
BTW Buffy’s challenge comes from her terrific new book, ON A SNOW-MELTING DAY: SEEKING SIGNS OF SPRING. For the prompt we were to write a poem using “combined or invented words,” she also encouraged us to take a nature walk. I love taking nature walks, and I’ve been missing our neighborhood’s mischievous cottontails… 

Though I have to admit I did double duty on this poem, for I was jumping at the opportunity to write a Leap Year poem and include a rabbit in it. Buffy’s prompt provided the perfect marriage for both of these poem ponderings…


Rabbit-stirring started early 
on Valentine-loving day…

Spring-creeping curled up by 
Cottontail-sleepy eyes.
Wake-up-slumbering rabbit

get those whiskers-whisking about.

Leap Year-calling has come 
Leap Year-singing has begun–

Shake those big feet-stompers 
wake those big feet-leapers,
are you ready with your 

feet-parachuting pounce…

© 2020 Michelle Kogan

Here’s an old familiar Leap Year Ditty…

By Mother Goose

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
Read the rest at the Poetry Foundation here

Is it just me, or does anyone else recite that fourth line as:

Except for quite contrary February…

Ever wonder about the REAL Mother Goose, her origins may actually go back to the 8th century, and you can read about this mystery/history here.
1-© Michelle Kogan Bullfrog jumping 2-27-2020
Watch out for those leaping critters…
Karen Edmisten, at her blog Karen Edmisten,  is our Poetry Friday hostess this week, she’s sharing a poem by Jane Hirshfield related to Leap Year–thanks for hosting Karen! Be sure to stop by for lots of poetry goodness!

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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27 Responses to Poetry Friday–Leap Year…

  1. katswhiskers says:

    I couldn’t find the leap year poem on the Poetry Foundation, but I know it as; 30 days has September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, except February, which has 28 days clear and 29 each leap year. Is the bunny a leap year icon in America? I don’t think we have anything especially symbolic of it – but I confess, I almost posted a frog poem today – because of that ‘leap’. So many great word combinations in your poem, Michelle; Cottontail-sleepy eyes – and I love the sound of that parachuting pounce!

  2. cvarsalona says:

    Thanks for sharing your leap frog illustration and word play poem. Love whiskers-whisking.

  3. laurashovan222 says:

    What a fun poem! I never thought of animal whiskers as *whisking* before, but of course they do.

  4. margaretsmn says:

    Happy Leap Year! I love how you capture celebration in your art and poetry.

  5. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Lovely! I haven’t encountered any bunnies yet, but last night when I took the dog out we were greeted by a fat ole’ possum who slowly waddled away.

  6. I love what you did with Buffy Silverman’s prompt. And I enjoyed learning about Mother Goose, who ever she is, whose rhymes I know, but not her history.

  7. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Love your sprightly leap into this month’s challenge, Michelle, and especially that “feet-parachuting pounce”! Your rabbit and frog drawings are fantastic as well. I don’t see nearly enough rabbits around here. Except for squirrels, it’s mostly waddlers, like armadillos and possums, most of whom I discover as road kill. 😦

  8. jama says:

    Hop Hop jump jump! What a fun rabbity poem. This post is a welcome respite from the bad news of the day. Thanks for the smiles and whiskers . . . 🙂

  9. I always watch for leaping critters! Thanks for this post and poem. I especially connected with that frog! What a talent you have! Wow.

  10. lindabaie says:

    Happy Leap Year – Leaping Day, Michelle. I love the rabbity poem and your beautiful painting of one, am assuming it’s from those who say “Rabbit, rabbit” at the beginning of something.Buffy’s challenge this month was so much fun. For those who read her book and the post, I think we’ll be looking for more word-playing poems or phrases for a long time!

  11. “Feet parachuting pounce” is my favorite line. I watch a bunny do just that the other day. Happy leap day!

  12. haitiruth says:

    You’re right – better to look away from the news sometimes. I love your feet-parachuting bunny. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  13. Karen Edmisten says:

    Love the spring-y (in every way!) nature of this poem! 🙂

  14. Love your leaping bunny and those big-feet stompers, big-feet leapers!

  15. Ooh, that feet-parachuting pounce! Love it!

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