Poetry Friday—#Birdtober: American Woodcock

American Woodcock, © 2021 poem and WIP art Michelle Kogan, dip pen.

Happy Poetry Friday!

Well I’m down to doing about one or two #Birdtober, #Inktober art/poems per week. Teaching, prepping for a holiday show, and life in general is only allowing me to squeeze in a few—but I’m having so much fun, and plan on completing many more as time goes on! I love the research and learning about all the birds, studying them, learning where they are from, where they fly to for summers, and their idiosyncratic behaviors, which the Woodcock truly has. Then there’s the poem and the art, or art and poem, that flip-flop as I’m working on them. Hope you enjoy this short-necked, long-beaked bird as much as I have! And… I’m looking forward to giving my friend here his lovely color, and then he might just step off the page…


Dee da dee da dee da dee
Dee da dee da dee da dee

Shimmy-rocking as you
strut along forest floors
camouflaged with ground all around.

Every so often fluttering your
fine curvaceous feathers
revealing your burnt-orangey-peach breast.

I wonder if you’re serenading silently
as you sashay on your way.

Does that l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g earthworm-digging beak
also aid your balance, or just make you
more uniquely beautiful…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Jama Rattigan at her blog Jama’s Alphabet Soup is our grand hostess for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup! She’s sure to fill your palette in more delectable ways that you can imagine, be sure to stop by!

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—#Birdtober: American Woodcock

  1. Linda KulpTrout says:

    The language in your poems like your art is always so lovely!

  2. lindabaie says:

    Like always, your art is lovely, Michelle, and then the poem is just right, including those best parts of this woodcock, that ‘shimmy-rocking strut’. However, the real strut rather takes center stage. That is hilarious, also sweet the way the babies mimic mom! Thanks, best wishes with all your ‘stuff”.

  3. Denise Krebs says:

    Oh, my, Michelle. I have learned about this American Woodcock today only from you and Ruth. I never knew. I love this perfect description:
    “Shimmy-rocking as you
    strut along forest floors
    camouflaged with ground all around.”

    Thanks for adding the video, which verified your poem!

  4. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, Your brown and white drawing is quite appealing and I especially like how you paid attention to the undergrowth. The poem is filled with great action: strut, sernade, sashshay. The video is adorable, mother and babies doing the strutting had shashaying around.

  5. Lovely word choices, Michelle… sashay and curvaceous are so evocative and fun to read aloud as well!

  6. jama says:

    Love the musicality in your poem, Michelle — great use of alliteration and assonance. Fun to see the woodcock dancing too!

  7. Janet F. says:

    So nice to be learning more about birds I don’t know. Loved the dancing trio in the video and I love the line with silently serenading as you sashay on your way……a perfect thing to wonder about. Always nice to see your beautiful art, Michelle. That long beak is something!!! I never saw this American Woodcock before that I can recall.

  8. Love your drawing and your poem, Michelle. I especially relate to the line:
    camouflaged with ground all around.
    I’ve only seen a woodcock once, after another hiker pointed one out alongside a trail. I took a photo but when I got home, I had difficulty even seeing the bird in it because of the natural camouflage.
    The video is hysterical! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Thanks for introducing me to the woodcock, Michelle. And I love seeing your drawing before the watercolor. Although I adore watercolor, the ink only is so appealing, too!

  10. Well I just learned a lot about woodcocks! I also like the sepia tones of your WIP drawing with words. I’m sure they’re treading up worms to the surface like we look for clams at the beach…but I’m no ornithologist!

  11. margaretsmn says:

    Your description of this bird is so well done. I love “fluttering your
    fine curvaceous feathers
    revealing your burnt-orangey-peach breast.” If I weren’t so busy this time of year, I’d love to deep dive into bird research. Thanks for the treat of your art and poem!

  12. Elisabeth says:

    What a delightful bird with really fascinating behavior! I love your paired art and poems.

  13. maryleehahn says:

    Thanks for teaching me about woodcocks, and entertaining me with that video! Your paired art and poetry might someday be a book, I think…

  14. rosecappelli says:

    Lovely poem, Michelle! I love learning about birds. And thanks for including the great video.

  15. haitiruth says:

    It’s been so fun this month writing my Birdtober poems and then reading yours – so different every time, but every one has felt as though it was written about a friend of mine! Let’s do this again next year, Michelle! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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