Poetry Friday–Winter Poem Swap & Solstice

Happy Poetry Friday!

I received this lovely light filled package of poetry and gifts from my poet friend Carol Varsalona this last week. You wouldn’t know we were both running short on time from the treasures that were exchanged, and the joy that her package gave me. Thanks for this inner warmth you filled me with Carol! And thanks also to Tabatha Yeatts, the Winter Poem Swap originator, and Laura Shovan who this year organized all of us participating! Carol culled her inspiration-filled poems and creations from some of my art and poems, along with her own. The inquisitive silver bird has found a home at the base of my computer and seems quite content.

Inside poem, Inspired, by Carol Varsalona, © 2021, from the Happy Winter Swap card.
Bookmark Cento poem by Carol Varsalona, © 2021.

And…A gratitude poem for you Carol… Inspired by a couple of your lines.


in between the

hustle and bustle

of life

in between the

teetering of

“haste and letting go”


“focus on the good”



in-between sunsets

full of dazzle,

heart-filled joy

and simple gifts

lighting up

each other’s


© 2021 Michelle Kogan

A solstice poem inspired by my night sky.


flickers of light
like my nightlight
shining bright

from blue above
like dove wings
fluttering love

sprinkle afar
solstice dances
stirring each star…

©2021 Michelle Kogan

Be sure to stop by Buffy Silverman’s blog for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup—Thanks for hosting Buffy! She’s sharing a winter poems swap poem about Tress by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, and her own response poem too!

Sending Merriest of Holiday Wishes to All!

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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7 Responses to Poetry Friday–Winter Poem Swap & Solstice

  1. Linda Mitchell says:

    Wow…”between haste and letting go” is such a perfect line. I feel that one deeply. What a beautiful exchange between poets. Thank you for sharing the light from your package. And, I adore “stirring each star.” I hope you have some time now to rest and let winter be for a bit. You put so much energy into making. I’d love to know your secrets to recharing!

  2. maryleehahn says:

    What a beautiful exchange! The bird is perfect for you, as are the poems! And your response poem is swoon-worthy!

  3. bmagee10 says:

    Thank you for sharing Carol’s gifts for you and your gifts (on multiple levels) for us, Michelle. You both are inspirational. 🙂

  4. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, I read this last night but was too tired to respond. I am so happy that the silver bird has a home. I thought it might bring joy to your computer area as you pen your bird poems and others. Thank you for sharing the gifts that I sent through our joyful exchange. Your gratitude poem is lovely and shares a special link between us. I am still in between the haste and letting go phase of Christmas as I still have gifts to wrap before we go over to my daughter’s house for Christmas Eve. May the silver globe bottle topper bring you sparkles of light this season and especially on New Year’s Eve. Happy Holidays, my friend. Thank you for the gorgeous gifts of art and poetry goodness you sent me.

  5. I love the poem that Carol culled from your lines (and the golden shovel you wrote for her)–what a lovely gift exchange you had! And your solstice dance… Wishing you joyful holidays!

  6. kareneastlund4898 says:

    Lovely all around… thank you for sharing, and happy wishes for the days ahead.

  7. margaretsmn says:

    I am always impressed when someone takes the time to read my poetry and create something new. These poetry gifts are meaningful and connect us at the special time of year.

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