Poetry Friday–Celebrating Mary Lee!

Rose-tipped, Gypsy-stemmed Dancing Onions, © 2021 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

We’re celebrating
Mary Lee Hahn, teacher
with rose-tipped dances and
green gypsy-stemmed applause!

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday!

For Poetry Friday this week, we are celebrating Mary Lee Hahn, Poet, Teacher, Naturalist, and all around Extraordinary Person, as she steps down from her role as teacher after 37 years!

Wishing you all the best on your new journeys Mary Lee…

for Mary Lee Hahn

brings time to
grow and change,

be one with
present time,

emerge like
Monarch with
wings spread wide

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

For Mary Lee Hahn

Egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, monarch, changes—
Children like monarchs don’t
know their classes tell
about how to
eat their own egg shell and grow
and molt and grow up
more, and molt more and
finally push out
into a pupa stage of
informed transformation preparing them, preparing it
for changes
into adulthood—Changes turn
taking many paths and
young adults like monarchs face
these changes prepared by the
wisdom of their early mentors, like you. Now these strange
and frightening changes
are considered carefully. The why and where’s
of their early foundations, of your
guidance to steer them clear of shame
that you’ve 
provided and left,
allow them to stand up for “us”
over an individual. To look up
and outward to
view our
messy world, and stick their necks
out for it and in
You gave them raw life and now time
perhaps will help them, may
help them ponder and bring change
for all, for us, for you, for me—
remember you
began with caterpillars, they can’t
grow until they’re released, spread their wings and trace
a trail themselves through time…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Golden Shovel striking lines from David Bowie’s song Changes.

Thanks to Irene Latham for suggesting the Mary Lee Celebration!

Christie Wyman at her blog Wondering and Wandering is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Christie! She’s leading us in our Surprise Mary Lee Posts!

And Christie,
I hear it’s your Birthday…
Wishing you
Many Happy Returns of the Day
from another Gemini friend!

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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20 Responses to Poetry Friday–Celebrating Mary Lee!

  1. Denise Krebs says:

    Oh, Michelle, this page of tribute to Marvelous Mary Lee is stunning. From the rose-tipped dances and green applause to Transformation and Metamorphosis in your David Bowie golden shovel! Gorgeous, all of it. And happy birthday to you, too, soon!

  2. margaretsmn says:

    Ah, a golden shovel! Don’t you love how that form is a wonderful container for the words you want to say? Following the caterpillar’s journey is what we all feel as we nurture students along. Here’s to Mary Lee. I’m loving this party of poetry!

  3. Linda Mitchell says:

    Gypsy-stemmed applause….wow! informed transformation–yes, please. Michelle, your poems to Mary Lee are lovely and inspiring. They are so perfectly paired with your painting. I’m so glad we get to celebrate Mary Lee together!

  4. kareneastlund4898 says:

    Beautiful, Michelle. A gorgeous post. Thank you for sharing.

  5. lindabaie says:

    I love those “rose-tipped dances”, Michelle, and “they can’t /grow until they’re released”, knowing that leaving from Mary Lee gives them a wonderful send-off! Beautiful poems all!

  6. Irene Latham says:

    So much love in this post, Michelle! I adore the happy rose tipped gypsies. Love! xo

  7. jama says:

    Beautiful from start to finish. “Changes” is the perfect theme for retirement, and a chrysalis the perfect metaphor. Love those dancing onions too — so pretty and whimsical. Thanks for this lovely tribute to Mary Lee!

  8. tee+d says:

    I’m a little envious of your art skill! What a beautiful set of tributes in both image and words. And now I want rose-tipped gypsies!

  9. laurashovan222 says:

    Ha, Michelle! I see what you mean about our poems today complementing each other! I love the way you highlighted Mary Lee’s interest in naturalism through your poems.

  10. katswhiskers says:

    Wow. Your pretty is blooming like your delightful dancing greens. Inspiring words, Michelle.

  11. haitiruth says:

    I love your poems and that painting is gorgeous!
    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  12. mbhmaine says:

    This is such a lush, gorgeous post, Michelle! You had me from ” rose-tipped dances and
    green gypsy-stemmed applause!” Wow!

  13. maryleehahn says:

    I won’t call mine chives anymore! They are now “rose-tipped, gypsy-stemmed dancing onions!!” GORGEOUS painting, and not one, but THREE poems! So many people expect me to have an amazing answer ready when they ask, “What are you going to DO when you retire?” I think I’ll refer them to your second poem. I’ll take some time in chrysalis, thank you! And your golden shovel is fabulous. Thank you for this beautiful post!

  14. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, I just love this post with your beautiful illustrations and such lovely lines in both poems.
    emerge like
    Monarch with
    wings spread wide

  15. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    These poems about change, transformation, metamorphosis… they hit home for me as well. I especially love this wise advice:
    “To look up
    and outward to
    view our
    messy world, and stick their necks
    out for it and in
    Such a beautiful tribute post, Michelle, and bonus points for drawing inspiration from David Bowie. 🙂

    • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

      Gah! And I didn’t even mention the beautiful art! You’re have many talents, my friend.

  16. rosecappelli says:

    Beautiful words and paintings! Thanks so much for lighting up my day.

  17. bmagee10 says:

    Once again so much goodness on display in the post, Michelle! Mary Lee is the epitome of so much goodness, so your inspiration is readily available. And thanks for a little Bowie…one my all time favs. 🙂

  18. I love what you’ve created with your caterpillar to butterly tribute poem in your word art & your recovery/discovery of the loveliness of flowering chives in your watercolor art – you are an endless font of talent that you share so beautifully. Appreciaitons!!

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