Poetry Friday—Calm & Watercolor

Baird’s Sandpiper, Mangoes, Melons, and Kohlrabi, © 2019, Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil. Available in my Etsy Shop as an archival print or bookmark set.

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m happy to have a watercolor painting in the Illinois Watercolor Society: 22nd Annual Members Show, I included my painting above. This year for the first time it’s being held at the Evanston Art Center, where I teach. The show is open now and runs through August 22nd, 2021. There is an Opening Reception this Sunday, July 25th, from 1 – 4 pm., I’ll be dropping in sometime…

My poem below began from a poetry workshop with the poet and polyvocality sound artist Krishan Mistry, via the Poetry Foundation. The workshop was all about borrowing texts in different ways. After giving us the writing prompts, Krishan played a variety of music. For my poem we were reviewing sections of a book by Bhanu Kapil, called The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001). The writings were gathered text that she collected when asking women to respond to different questions. Krishan asked us to choose a question and write from it. The question I wrote from was: Describe a morning you woke without fear.


Breathe with me—

Bring nighttime’s




sleeping through

legs light

calm body

breathe s-l-o-w-l-y

deep, full, breaths

without effort…

Bring me

refreshed to

morning’s rise

ready to carry


into day











© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Kat Apel, a dynamic, Downunder, Australian Children’s writer and poet is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her Blog Kathryn Apel, thanks Kat! She’s sharing lots of pet poems this week, so be sure to drop by to fill your poetry palette!

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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9 Responses to Poetry Friday—Calm & Watercolor

  1. katswhiskers says:

    You have certainly carried rhythm into your poem, Michelle. This was a gentle breath in and out. Lovely detail on your rockmelon – and your mango makes me want to pluck it off the screen and … YUM!

  2. margaretsmn says:

    The way you have placed this poem on the page gives a breath between each word, a calming prayer-like verse.

  3. cvarsalona says:

    Congratulations on having a spot in the Illinois Watercolor Society: 22nd Annual Members Show, Michelle. I can see why your painting was chosen. The colors and details are so vibrant. I am glad I read your poem before bedtime. I hope to have a sweet restful night’s sleep after this.

  4. Your poem is so spare yet lovely. Thanks for the music too and thank you for sharing!

  5. Mitchell Linda says:

    “bring me to morning’s rise” is really beautiful. Someday, I’d love to see one of your shows in person. Your art is beautiful. I love the melon and mangoes in this piece.

  6. maryleehahn says:

    I need to memorize your poem and repeat it on those nights when sleep won’t come, or the early mornings when it won’t come back! Your word choice and the placement of the words on the page are so relaxing.

  7. Denise Krebs says:

    Michelle, your poem and Ella Fitzgerald are reminding me to breathe and dream right now. Louis Armstrong is easy to listen to, as well. I like the line lengths in your poem, which had me going slowly and thinking of each word or phrase. So beautiful. Congratulations on the water color painting being in the art show. Enjoy the open house.

  8. Rebecca Herzog says:

    That is so exciting! I always love seeing your watercolor paintings. And your poem here is great – love how the structure reflects the relaxing nature of the poem.

  9. Oh, lovely! I especially love the sounds in:
    Bring nighttime’s




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