Poetry Friday—Woodpeckers for #NPM & New Mom’s Day Card

Downy Woodpecker, © Michelle Kogan, pen & ink and watercolor. Available as a card in my Etsy Shop

Happy Poetry Friday!

I ‘m continually taken by our fine feathered Downy woodpecker friends. They don’t fly away and come back, but take residence here all winter long. Last week I heard an unfamiliar bird call I was trying to place and eventually discovered it was the Downy woodpecker. I’m still not sure if it was the Dad or the offspring, but I have a hunch it was Dad, and he sure captured my attention…


Persistent call, baby pecker or parent?
Perhaps baby but your
knock, knock, knocking
gives dad downy away.

Where are you?
I search, and search, and search…
April leaves still sparse, aids tracking your location.
Finally—I find you…

There you are,
mottled black and white beauty
splashed with red crescent-ring round your head’s edge.
Compact, fluffy-feathered contrasts of nature’s perfection.

I spy you,
pecking in that uncanny-curve of your tree.
Using your Teflon-tough weathered beak
to break away bark and dig out delectable treats!

Binoculars bring us closer together,
topflight doorstep view for doting on you.
Camera can’t telephoto and capture your grandness
but my mind’s eye keeps you in my imagination.

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Here’s some activity and faint calls from some Downy woodpeckers.

I thought I’d also share Margarita Engle’s poem, DRUM DREAM GIRL. It ‘s drumming and booming, ties in with a woodpecker, and she has a woodpecker in her poem clacking away.

By Margarita Engle

On an island of music
in a city of drumbeats
the drum dream girl

of pounding tall conga drums
tapping small bongó drums
and boom boom booming
with long, loud sticks
on big, round, silvery
moon-bright timbales.

But everyone
on the island of music
in the city of drumbeats
believed that only boys
should play drums

so the drum dream girl
had to keep dreaming

At outdoor cafés that looked like gardens
she heard drums played by men
but when she closed her eyes
she could also hear
her own imaginary

When she walked under
wind-wavy palm trees
in a flower-bright park
she heard the whir of parrot wings
the clack of woodpecker beaks
the dancing tap
of her own footsteps
and the comforting pat
of her own

At carnivals, she listened
to the rattling beat
of towering
on stilts

Read the rest of her poem here

Here’s a haiku poem from the gorgeous blooming peach trees in my neighborhood.

pink peach blossoms
reach towards sky and release
april’s wonder-puffs…
© 2021Michelle Kogan

I have a new Azalea’s Mother’s Day Card in my Etsy Shop…

Jama Rattigan at her blog Jama’s Alphabet Soup is our hostess with the mostest for this week’s Poetry Friday roundup, thanks for hosting Jama! Jama’s laid a festive table for us with mouth watering cake, fruits, and tea! She’s also serving up a poem about poetry from UK’s past Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, be sure to stop by!

Visit Susan Bruck’s Blog Soul Blossom Living for the NPM Kidlitosphere Roundup, and Margaret Simon’s blog Reflections on the Teche for a schedule of poets participating in the 2021 Progressive Poem.

Happy Poem Reading…

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
This entry was posted in Children's Illustration & Writing, Haiku, Holidays, Nature, Painting, pen sketch, Plein Air Art, Poem, poetry, Sketchbooks, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Poetry Friday—Woodpeckers for #NPM & New Mom’s Day Card

  1. Kimberly Hutmacher says:

    Your Downy Woodpecker Poem captured your moments with it perfectly. Such a lovely poem, Michelle.

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a lovely visit here today with woodpeckers hiding for you to find and beautiful Mother’s Day flowers. Margarita Engle is a favorite!

  3. jama says:

    Love your downy poem and painting, Michelle. We have resident downies here too, only they like to peck on our house and sometimes drive us crazy. 😀 And thanks for sharing Margarita’s exquisite poem.

  4. Love April’s Wonder Puffs. Sadly our lovely spring blossoms are being buried in a random snowstorm here in Boston today. I wonder where our resident Downy’s are hiding out? I love their constant presence and chatter in our apple tree. Thank you, Michelle!

  5. tee+d says:

    We have a woodpecker too! And you really caught that lovely dappled feather pattern.

  6. lindabaie says:

    I have those Downy woodpeckers, too, Michelle & only see them at the feeder. They must blend in well in the trees. I love that you have a peach tree blooming & “wonder-puffs”. We are so behind!

  7. Irene Latham says:

    You spring’s wonder-puffs go quite well with my snowfluff !! Thanks for the woodpecker and Margarita as well. Beautiful all! xo

  8. janicescully says:

    Your card is gorgeous, as is your woodpecker. I love them too and often hear them hammering nearby. Your poem captures their sturdy nature and Engle’s captures the sturdy nature of girls with a dream.

  9. haitiruth says:

    I have the same issue with trying to capture birds with my camera and having to be content with them in my imagination! 🙂 So much beauty in this post!
    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  10. Janet F. says:

    Your card is beautiful. Your downy woodpecker poem is compelling and Margarita’s poem is terrific. I am going to head to your Etsy store to see what else is there. I am sure I will find something I just have to have!!
    Janet Clare F.

  11. Love your downy woodpecker card–and teflon-tough beak is a great description for those peckers! We’ve been having fun watching downies in our yard too.

  12. Oooh, splashed with red crescent-ring–love that!

  13. laurashovan222 says:

    Great post, Michelle. Last summer, we had pileated woodpeckers nesting in a hole in one of our trees! Boy, those babies were noisy and hungry. Now some of the birds come to our feeder for seeds. I love their drumming sound — wonderful to pair that with Margarita’s poem.

  14. maryleehahn says:

    Great pairing of poems! I love the last stanza of the first one — I can SO relate! I take many “memory photos” that can’t be captured by a camera!!

  15. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, you tapped my curiosity leading me to find other woodpecker sounds and comparing it to what I hear on nature trails in Virginia. I love the sound and hope that Sierra and I can find more woodpecker sounds. I want to read her your poem before we take our next walk. I am told that a sleepover will be our next treat. Your woodpecker image is just beautiful and so is your card.

  16. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    I’m over the moon when I spy a woodpecker. It’s a rare occurrence, so it feels very special when I do. (Your Downy watercolor is gorgeous!) What a great idea to pair your woodpecker poem with Drum Dream Girl!

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