Poetry Friday–May: THESE BRAVE HANDS



07. daughters and Mothers suitcase-4-30-2020

Daughter and Mother, © 2013 Michelle Kogan, Illustration, watercolor and watercolor pencil.


Happy Poetry Friday and Happy May!

I’m sharing a poem that’s very new, and that I worked on over the last day or two. It’s  a prompt that Michelle Heidenrich Barnes gave us at her blog, Today’s Little Ditty, at the beginning of National Poetry Month. The prompt is from Patrice Vecchione’s Book, My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice, that Michelle generously shared with us over the month. We were to write a poem of gratitude related to the topic of These are the hands. I think I could fill pages about all these brave hands…



May brings more quarantine hands working for us each day…
Thank you brave faming hands planting seeds and growing food to feed us
Thank you brave warehouse hands stocking items and filling our orders
Thank you brave postal worker hands sorting our mail and delivering it every day
Thank you brave delivery worker hands making all our deliveries
Thank you brave volunteer hands packaging and distributing food for our hungry
Thank you brave journalist hands keeping us informed in our small world
Thank you brave media and arts hands fueling our Internets and bringing us art
Thank you brave teacher hands teaching our children online while sharing hope
Thank you brave first responder hands for rescuing and caring for those in need
Thank you brave civic worker hands that keep our municipalities running daily
Thank you brave grocery worker hands filling our orders in stores and online
Thank you brave essential worker hands for taking care of all of us everyday
Thank you brave medical worker hands caring for our sick and trying to heal them
            And there are many more brave hands to thank,
                         let’s add to this list,
                                    for all these brave hands
                                                  help us through each
                                                                 precious new day…

                                                                  © 2020 Michelle Kogan


A little haiku and sketch to welcome in May–
And the petals are a lovely deep purplish-red, waiting patiently to be painted…

1-Primrose ink drawing and haiku-M Kogan- 4-26-2020


P.S. I offered the last line to the 2020 Progressive Poem on Thursday, and a WIP banjo rendition to accompany the poem. Thanks to all who visited!


Liz at her blog Elizabeth Steinglass is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Liz! I’m looking forward to what you’ll be sharing… Be sure to stop by for lots more poetry!


And a little uplifting music to take you out…


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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16 Responses to Poetry Friday–May: THESE BRAVE HANDS

  1. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    I sighed a happy sigh when I read this on the padlet, Michelle! A wonderful unifying poem that speaks for all of us. Paired with your Mother/Daughter illustration it’s especially heartwarming. Thank you to the brave hands that wrote/drew it.

  2. Liz Steinglass says:

    I love love love your brave hands poem.

  3. lindabaie says:

    You’ve shown what I hope everyone feels in your poem, Michelle, all those brave people who are keeping our country living, despite the heartache of others sick and so in need because of job loss. I am very grateful. I loved how you ended the Progressive Poem so beautifully and your tiny primrose welcome to May! Wishing that May brings some goodness to you!

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    I agree with Michelle HB. This is a lovely and happy unifying poem. We have so many people doing what they can to make sure life goes on. So much love out there! Thank you for recognizing the hands, Michelle.

  5. janicescully says:

    I think you can add another line to your lovely poem, Michelle. That is: Thank you to the Supremes bringing joy to the Covid 19 pandemic. I loved hearing their voices and watching these gorgeous women. Thank you !

  6. Your Brave Hands poem is just lovely, and I really like the specificity of your haiku:>)

  7. maryleehahn says:

    Here are more accolades for your Brave Hands poem!

  8. Sally Murphy says:

    Oh wow Michelle. I just clicked through to your progressive poem post and am listening to you sing and play as I type this. Who could have known at the start of the month the direction the poem would take, to end in the hands of someone who could actually put it to music and perform it with a banjo! Bravo!

  9. Thank you for recognizing all the brave souls who are keeping us going. They deserve all these thanks and so much more. I love your “proper primrose” too!

  10. Thank you for YOUR brave artistic hands that create goodness in the world. 🙂

  11. cvarsalona says:

    Your brave hands poem touches my heart this morning. One day, I saw my postal worker when walking and I thanked him for his service during the quarantine Landon another day, I thanked my sanitation worker. There are so many unseen hands taking care of their section of the work. Your poem is a tribute to them, Michelle. Many thanks for this, your primrose, and your beautiful ending contribution to the PP>

  12. jama says:

    Thank you for your brave hands poem — it’s perfect!! Love your mother-daughter watercolor too. Made me think of my mom, whom I miss a lot.

  13. Tabatha says:

    I appreciate how you refer to each new day as “precious.” People are so impatient for things to be back to normal that they are overlooking the preciousness of each day, strange though they may be. Thanks for putting love at the center of your post and your work!

  14. Kay Mcgriff says:

    There are so many hands to thank during these days. Thank you for putting words to some of them. And I loved your banjo rendition of our poem that grew through the month,

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