Happy Poetry Friday and Welcome SPRING!
Trying to welcome Spring, though Spring has decided to temporarily take leave, I hear she may return next week. Anyway, here’s a poem for Spring Crocus’ and a WIP watercolor with bits of white to help as it’s on Japanese Sekishu paper, and although I’ve painted with watercolor for years, painting on this paper is a new journey for me.
Crocus cups stretched toward sun
and flung their petals outward—
They couldn’t resist mid March’s
teasing 60 degree temps.
One, two, three days, and then
they shut–tight as a drum.
They’re holding steady, holding tight
through blizzardy snow,
and cold driving rain,
waiting, waiting, and
But I’ll remember—
Your brilliant hues of
crimsons and lavenders,
your sun-like central
fanning up towards sun,
as if part of an Egyptian
ceremony for sun god Ra,
while your attending stamen
stand at attention beside you.
Your gently scalloped petals,
reminding me of sandbar banks.
Your outlined lacey edges
extending tenderness to all.
Your etched needle-eye-thin curving lines
perhaps mother nature’s signature.
Your sister shadows playfully
mingling between each other.
Your terra verte pin-stripped white stems
flying this way and that, as uninhibited as a child.
Your strong, yet elegant stalks
occasionally leaning into another
as if to say, come closer–
it’s been such a long, long year
since we last embraced…
Your paper-like, lemon-yellow-white wrapper
each holding its own unique shape,
sloughing ever so slightly as
now its completed protecting
it’s flourishing flower.
If only one or two more breaths
could breathe your natural beauty,
perhaps one or two could
sleep more soundly or
breathe more fully or
even consider another
other than oneself…
© 2021 Michelle Kogan
I have also been thinking about the recent attack and hate crimes in Atlanta Georgia, and wrote this golden shovel poem from an article I read about it in the New York Times.
ACTIONS AGAINST HATE CRIMES
As Covid continues up and down, this
scourge of slaying Asian Americans is
another call for Americans to reflect and not
just carry on, to take action and not just
retreat within ourselves. Efforts for an
all world recovery become thwarted when Asian
Americans are attacked with biased hate crimes by American
citizens. This problem needs action now, “this is” our “American Problem.”
© 2021 Michelle Kogan
The striking line for this golden shovel poem comes from The New York Times article:
The Growing Power of Asian-Americans in Georgia Now Comes With Fear.
Here’s the line: This is not just an Asian American Problem.
Linda Baie, friend, and wielding wordsmith poet, is our generous host for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Teacher Dance, thanks for hosting Linda! Linda is sharing a dress rehearsal for Spring, and also a poem on time. Be sure to drop by her blog for many more poetry offerings.
Visit Renée LaTulippe at No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.
Oh, those pretty, pretty crocus. They really are tellers of season change, aren’t they? I love how you fell spellbound for a bit with them. I agree, America has a problem with “othering” many groups. It’s time for that to be done. I join you in that sentiment.
Thanks Linda, I’m hoping they haven’t blown to smithereens after our 50mph winds today. And yes much work is ahead of our country.
I love your crocus art and poem, Michelle, especially the line, “Your outlined lacey edges
extending tenderness to all”. Your “Actions…” poem is one of the many ways to extend tenderness to all – “this problem needs action now”. Yes!
Michelle, your “Spring’s Crocus” is beautiful (the poem, as well as the watercolor, now that I think of it). As I read it, it was clear it was written by someone who has taken the time to actually look–really look–at the flowers. For all that, though, your words describing their posture, “it’s been such a long, long year / since we last embraced…” caused my eyes to water just a bit; I’m apparently allergic to crocus…that must be it.”
Thank you for that poem, and for your golden shovel as well. The beauty and delicacy of a spring flower, and the ugly side of humanity. We live with them both.
The painting seems to have a mellow feel with that paper, Michelle. It’s beautiful! Your poem of praise shows the artist’s detail I might never have noticed: “as if to say, come closer–
it’s been such a long, long year/since we last embraced…”. Yes, the heartbreak this week, another, is one we must not forget & simply carry on. We must remember & demand action. Thanks for the heartfelt poem.
Your crocus poem is definitely the work of a painter, it seems to me. Your painting of them is so amazing, the colors so completely right. I agree, action needs to be taken and our leaders have to lead on this white supremacy problem.
Love your crocus painting!! I’m sure crocuses of the world are sighing with contentment to receive such praise and appreciation in your lovely poem. Spring is the fickle season; flowers are patient, though, waiting for their turn to wow us with their beauty. And thanks for the golden shovel. Some elected officials are pitiful in their denial of white supremacy hate crimes.
Beautiful, Michelle – and I echo the thought that reading your poem, I could tell you had drawn/painted these lovely flowers – truly LOOKED at them, unhurried. Thanks for sharing that as much as anything. And thank you for standing up FOR all Americans and AGAINST hate.
What a wonderful crocus poem – I think it might be my favorite of everything I’ve read of yours. And the painting goes perfectly with it. Your golden shovel is timely, too. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
I love your crocus watercolors. I think the Golden Shovel deserves a wider audience.
“Efforts for an
all world recovery become thwarted when Asian
Americans are attacked.”
Oh, your crocuses! I will save you poem for the long time between bloomings so I can remember every detail of these gorgeous harbingers.
And oh, your heart rending golden shovel. You have captured my mindset in this post — joy and escape into nature and despair over the direction our country seems to be sliding.
I’m sharing your celebration of crocuses this week. I love the exuberance of your poem for these tiny flowers. And yes, it is long past time for us to face up to our American problem of violence and racism.
So much heart and compassion in your golden shovel, Michelle. And “Your gently scalloped petals,
reminding me of sandbar banks.” So wonderful…
Michelle, I love your powerful poem about the wave of violence we are living through. I have yet to try a golden shovel poem– you are inspiring me!
Hi Mary, Lines of poems often jump out to me offering themselves as golden shovel poems—thanks!
Michelle! So much goodness among the grief. Your crocus poem is one of your best ever, to my mind. I love
“Your outlined lacey edges
extending tenderness to all”
Onward to spring and action!
What gorgeous crocuses. Love the lacey edges of your poem. 🙂