Poetry Friday–Swifts

Happy Poetry Friday!
Happy October, #Birdtober, & #Inktober!

Alas, so many opportunities to fill October with…
Inking and painting and writing poems about birds…
Catching a few glimpses of our migrating feathered friends.
I’m looking forward to fitting in a few on Poetry Fridays.


Chimney swifts
fly in with spring
and out with fall.

First flights lie low
along our lake
collecting insects
as they go.

Summer flights lie
eerily high in upper sky,
erratic paths dip, dive, and climb
brushing heavens nigh by.

Befitting their name
as day unwinds…
Swifts lift quickly upward
to sleep or roost in
rooftop chimneys
or building shafts nearby.

But fear not,
for visits from
these aero-acrobat flocks
won’t dampen your chimney
or fill up your flue.

Alas lend them your
heart and help for
their numbers
dwindled as

Find these always
bathers-nest gatherer birds
in conservation towers
assisting their

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

And… some music to get lost in fall…

Thanks to Catherine Flynn at her blog Reading to the Core for Hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup! Be sure to stop by and fill you palette with many more poems…

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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14 Responses to Poetry Friday–Swifts

  1. Michelle, I learned so much about swifts in your lovely, lyrical verse, especially the phrase, “lend them your heart”—such a gentle, but powerful request…

  2. Sally Murphy says:

    Michelle, thank you for taking me soaring with the swifts. I love your image, the music choice and, of course, your words, especially the phrase ‘aero-acrobat flocks’.

  3. haitiruth says:

    Hooray! I love that you’re doing Birdtober too, I love your local swift (so similar to ours in so many ways), I love your poem, and I love your painting! Amazing! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a delicious post….Birdtober? Yes, please. Your incredible paintings of inktober and birds is a match made in Poetry Friday heaven. Thanks for the additional music too! Your first stanza sets such a stage for the rest of the poem. I really like how the word swifts illustrates flies in…and out.

  5. jama says:

    Lovely poem and painting. Love all the beautiful images and rhythm of the poem — soaring!

  6. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, I am going to learn so much about birding from you and ruth. Thank you for the informative poem and the beautiful illustration. The music you chose pairs nicely with the poem about the aero-acrobat flocks. I m getting lost in fall for sure.

  7. Denise Krebs says:

    Michelle, how fun! I learned a lot about swifts. I like that flying low and then high later in the summer. So interesting! Their shape is fascinating too. Beautiful painting and fun poem too. Did you read Ruth’s birdtober post today too?

  8. maryleehahn says:

    How fun to compare/contrast your poem with Ruth’s! We have a conservation tower near our local wetland, but I don’t think the swifts are using it…yet.

  9. Michelle, I love your tribute to these “aero-acrobat flocks” and the image of them “brushing the heavens.” Habitat loss is so concerning for so many species. I hope the towers are successful!

  10. bmagee10 says:

    A ‘swift’ beginning to what I know will be an amazing Birdtober of creativity. Well done, Michelle! 🙂

  11. mbhmaine says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a chimney swift before and knew next to nothing about them. I loved learning about them from your poem and beautiful drawing. You prompted me to dig a bit deeper and I learned that they are closely related to hummingbirds and share the characteristic of being able to rotate their wings at the base. Fascinating! How fun that you’re planning on participating in #Birdtober (which I also didn’t know about!). You’ve reminded me to check out the #Inktober prompts. Thanks for that as well.

  12. margaretsmn says:

    What is it about October that just makes nature so available for noticing and celebrating. Love the idea of Birdtober and look forward to more art and poems from you. I like how you played with the word swift “Befitting their name
    as day unwinds…
    Swifts lift quickly upward”

  13. katswhiskers says:

    What a wonderful start to to this swift poem, Michelle. Movement and contrasts; fly in… and out… and low… and high. And so beautifully presented with your artwork. Thank-you.

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