Poetry Friday—Hang’n out with Pygmy Sloths & Change…

Hang’n Out with Pygmy Sloth, © 2021, Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.


If we could be slow
as sloths in mangrove trees,
could we start thinking
about you and we, and
bring change for everybody…  

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m all in with this friendly three-toed Pygmy Sloth this week—I’m smitten with them, and their lovely lime algae-green coloring… I have an I Know poem featuring this sloth, unfortunately, the Pygmy Sloths are critically endangered. The I Know poem prompt was posed to us by the Poetry Sisters at the beginning of the month, thanks Laura, Tanita,
Mary Lee, and all. We are writing I Know poems in honor of Jane Yolen and her 400th book, What the Bear Knows. Look for more I know poems tagged with #PoetryPals.


Movement s-l-o-o-o-o-w–––a-n-d  graceful
sleeping almost all daylong.
Munching our meals in rainforest’s canopies
where we feel safe and belong. 
Us three-toed pygmies are critically endangered—
No trees — No life for me…
I wanna hangout on Isla Escudo 
our mangrove habitat for my family!

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Here are some links for more info on Pygmy three-toed sloths:

–Pygmy three-toed sloth conservation

–Pygmy three-toed sloth

–Pygmy three-toed sloth

Well there’s an awful lot of everything going on everywhere, so I wrote another I Know poem trying to address a little bit of it…


Too many storms displacing too many folks,
many many folks cry for helping hands.
Too many ripped-apart-rights squelching too many hearts,
many many hearts cry for airlift from badlands.
Too many pandemic deaths everywhere,
many many doubts still fill our air.
When will we collectively begin to care
and stamp out this feeling of laissez-faire…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan    

Our Poetry Friday Roundup host today, Elisabeth Norton, comes to us from Switzerland at her blog UNEXPECTED INTERSECTIONS thanks for hosting Elisabeth! Elisabeth’s written an “I know” poem on Marmots, which she stops to watch while on hikes in the Swiss Alps… Be sure to stop by for your fill of poetry!

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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18 Responses to Poetry Friday—Hang’n out with Pygmy Sloths & Change…

  1. Elisabeth says:

    I love how your poems about these sloths invite us to slo-o-o-o-w down too – to be contemplative about what’s happening in our world. Thanks for sharing these today!

  2. katswhiskers says:

    I think I’m very sloooow to the sloth-appreciation party. Though your artwork is endearing. I hadn’t realised they lived in mangroves. These we have in Australia. But not sloths.

    The world is for sure in need of care, Michelle.

  3. janicescully says:

    These animals are fascinating! It was interesting to discover that mothers are like jungle gyms for babies and without a mother, a baby becomes afraid of heights. I love this celebration and feel the urgency in your final poem. Thanks, Michelle.

  4. lindabaie says:

    We have sloths at our zoo & during the Pandemic had a special, only our family, showing with the newest one. I have seen them once in the wild in Costa Rica & they fascinate me, too, Michelle. How great that you wrote about them! As for the 2nd poem, “What the World Knows”, too much or not enough? Thanks for your caring!

  5. Janet F. says:

    Your poem about the three-toed pygmy sloths is wonderful, Michelle. We have sloths, the bigger variety, at our zoo so I have seen them in action (a relative term) from time to time, especially if we were there at feeding time). So your poem’s beginning got me right into a sloth-reading mode. I know kids I know will love it. I love all the videos and other links. Wonderful. A teacher’s dream. The rest of your post is powerful…..it is a trying time and so so sad. I count my blessings and try to make a difference in the tiny moments of my time here. Your art and words do that, Michelle.

  6. mgminer says:

    I can always count on a visual treat when visiting your poetry and art, and you always leave me with something important to think about. I’m going to share this with my sloth-loving granddaughter in first grade.

  7. Carol Coven Grannick says:

    Love your art and poetry—today these are both calming and fun!

  8. tee+d says:

    Man, I LOVE sloths, and the pygmies are just — too adorkable. Those claws! Those goofy little faces! Thanks for the cuteness. I’ve been thinking of Wordsworth “The World Is Too Much With Us” all week, and your last poem reminded me of that. Here’s to caring, though it hurts — and to doing. Happy weekend.

  9. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, your “what I know” poems are ones to ponder about bringing change. I fell in love with the baby sloth. Your videos and artwork are bonuses.

  10. The sloths always intrigued me at the zoo – the only place I’ve been able to observe them. So many endangered animals it seems. The world is upset in many ways. Let’s right this as we write our poems! Great work, Michelle.

  11. So much we can learn from sloths… and from YOU, Michelle. Thank you for your poems. xo

  12. mbhmaine says:

    A sloth post! Yay! Your poetry, your art and oh-my-gosh adorable pygmy videos. What a great combo! And then that final powerful poem. You’re so right, “there’s an awful lot of everything going on everywhere.”

  13. Linda Mitchell says:

    This line is the best, “Too many storms displacing too many folks,”
    I love how your poems ask readers to consider an issue…even those cute sloths that we take for granted–always in the rainforest need our consideration too. Thank you!

  14. rosecappelli says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely poems and art, Michelle. I just read Laurence Pringle’s The Secret Life of the Sloth. You might be interested in checking it out.

  15. bmagee10 says:

    I love your poems/picture ‘slow much’, Michelle. I’m glad I came by to ‘hang out’. 🙂

  16. Susan T. says:

    I enjoyed those poems, Michelle. I agree about the need for more “you and we” thinking! Well put.

  17. maryleehahn says:

    Your painting captures the sloth perfectly, and I LOVE your two What They Know poems!!

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