Poetry Friday–April National Poetry Month

Lilac Buds, ©2021 Michelle Kogan, Pen & watercolor.

Happy Poetry Friday and Happy National Poetry Month!

I’m sharing all things Spring, with poems and art for the opening of National Poetry Month!


Lilac buds prickle me alive.
Spring hides inside
small buds,
curling inside each
unfurled floweret.
Waiting, waiting, waiting,
for sun’s waves of warmth
soaking up soil into cake-like crumbles.
For green leaves inching out like
instinctual inchworms
methodically coiling in and out
through Spring’s first
velveteen-green forest field.
For pointy apple green leaves
dusted in red-rose-ends and
multiplying each day as
March marches on.

Each day more buds grace branches.
Each day buds bloom into leaves.
Each day more flowerets
appear atop branches tips.
While late afternoon catches these
electrified glowing lights alighting
more and more flowerets,
reaching upward towards sky,
outward toward you and me,
and downward towards
garden’s rich earth. 
All eagerly anticipating,
ever so subtle
essences of lilacs
sensual lingering

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

by Ada Limón

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening to the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave

Read the rest of the poem and listen to Ada Limón recite it here.

I have a new card, Flowers Forevermore, available in my online Etsy Shop, just in time for Spring…

The card is a detail from the original artwork which will be posted soon in my Shop as an Archival Print.

Flowers Forevermore, @2021 Michelle Kogan, Watercolor and Pen. Available soon in my Etsy Shop.

Mary Lee Hahn at her blog A YEAR OF READING, is our host for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Mary Lee! Her post invites us to partake in National Poetry Month with the 2021 Progressive Poem, Poetry Month Project Roundup, and… She was thinking about skipping this month, but quickly decided to go with a haiku a day. Make sure you stop by for all the poetry offerings she’s sharing!

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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17 Responses to Poetry Friday–April National Poetry Month

  1. maryleehahn says:

    Your lilac buds painting is all kinds of perfect! And so is your poem! This is my favorite part:
    “Each day more buds grace branches.
    Each day buds bloom into leaves.
    Each day more flowerets
    appear atop branches tips.”
    I like your repetition, AND you capture perfectly how spring progresses. We have to pay attention every minute because every minute is different from the one before it!

  2. Lovely painting and poem–and I’ve been watching “each day buds bloom into leaves” on our lilacs. No sign of flowers yet, but the leaves are unfurling!

  3. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, your entry into spring is lovely. Both illustration and poem provide a delight and the line that resonated with me is a simple but provocative for me. “Each day more buds grace branches.” I am watching the progression of new life each day from my broad expanse of windows that overlook my patio and soon to be flower beds. Our cherry tree holds wonder as we watch new buds grace branches. I love Limon’s poem and your new card.

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    I love, love, love the lilac buds. I remember waiting for the lilacs to bloom each year in NYS where it was cold a long time into spring. One thing that I had to have in my yard, is a lilac bush. And, have one! If it weren’t for the allergens that plague my family, I’d wish for a longer spring.

  5. janicescully says:

    I’ll never think of lilacs in the same way, Michelle. Such detail in your poem and movement! Thanks for sharing Limon’s poem as well with its special perspective on spring.

  6. Prickle me alive! Beautiful, Michelle, and your new card is so inspiring and hopeful… forevermore! xo

  7. bmagee10 says:

    “Spring hides inside small buds”…I will think this on every spring walk, Michelle. Thank you. 🙂

  8. lindabaie says:

    I am still “waiting” for even buds to appear, Michelle, wondering if our blizzard has put a small hold on our trees? Your poem shows so much excitement, like a shout for Spring! I love “inching out like
    instinctual inchworms”. They won’t quit coming, I know. And Limon’s poem, ah, so nice that ending, “I’ll take it all.” Happy Spring and Poetry Month!

  9. tee+d says:

    Ooh, lovely. I’ve never had lilac bushes, but I feel like I need one now. I love how your poem inches forward – as Spring does – and gives new gifts and daily anticipations.

  10. haitiruth says:

    Such wonderful springtime offerings! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  11. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I love the layer upon layer of spring revealed in you lilac poem–buds, then leave, and blooms and that cake like crumbles of soil. I’m relishing every moment of spring

  12. bjleepoet says:

    Oh, the loveliness that is lilacs. I remember, when I was a northener, Lilac Day at the Arnold Arboretum. Heaven!

  13. Sally Murphy says:

    I love everything about your post, Michelle,. It has left me with “sensual lingering
    scents’ of lilacs and of spring and of art. Thank you!

  14. Janet F. says:

    I feel like spring is truly here when I see those buds and then the fragrance. You brought all alive and I feel so eager for warmer and sunnier days ahead. I love the really dark purple flowers but any ones make me smile. As always your words and your art are lovely to see.

  15. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    We had a huge lilac bush in my back yard growing up that I loved so. Each spring my mother would cut branches to bring into the house. The fragrance was heavenly! Ada Limon’s poem is such a lovely complement to yours, Michelle. Thank you for bringing back many wonderful memories!

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