Poetry Friday—Winter

Wintering Milkweed Sketch, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, pen and ink and watercolor.

Happy Poetry Friday!


In winter
Calm crawls in
between bitter cold
banks of blustery snow
howling fierce winds
and winter blankets all.

In winter
Majesty musters in
ponders profundity
appears uncannily between
sandpaper dry air and stands on ready
while winter blankets all…

In winter
Denied Acceptance enters
through gritted teeth
wisdom of past
longing for future
still, winter’s endurance blankets all…

In winter
Discover plants seeds—
Somehow they migrate
to soils surface
sit and collect dreams
and amicably adjust winter’s blanket around all.

In winter
Play wants in
neglected but persistent
determined to win
and open alternative thought
Winter breathes deeply, happily, and blankets all.

©2022 Michelle Kogan

P.S. my OLW is in my poem, but still not ready to release it…

And here’s a Mary Oliver winter poem…



In winter
    all the singing is in
         the tops of the trees
             where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
    shoves and pushes
         among the branches.
             Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
    but he’s restless—
         he has an idea,
             and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
    as long as he stays awake.
         But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
    In the pine-crown
         he makes his nest,
             he’s done all he can.

Read the rest of her poem here.

Well I hunted far and wide to find Mary Oliver’s bird…The closest I came was the white-eyed vireo which is a pretty cool bird, but isn’t her bird because it doesn’t winter in the Northeast, perhaps she was in a warmer climate…To all the bird enthusiasts out there, if you know this bird fill me in, thanks!

White-eyed Vireo, Flickr, Nate Steiner, public domain.png

Mary Lee Hahn at her blog A(nother) Year of Reading is our Host for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Mary Lee! She’s sharing a poem about a favorite fruit of hers that’s both “sweet and tart,” so mosey on over for her delicious poem and many more ..

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—Winter

  1. Sally Murphy says:

    I love your wintry feast. I love your personification of winter. For me it’s funny to read of the cold while we are in the midst of summer. It’s been a hot one so far.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Such visceral descriptions in this poem! The “sandpaper dry air” transported me back to the winters of my childhood. Thanks for sharing these poems today!

  3. bmagee10 says:

    Thanks for the poetic reminder that in winter, the ‘snuggle is real’, Michelle. Looking forward to when you release your OLW… 🙂

  4. lindabaie says:

    I love the singing to start my day, Michelle, and your winter blanketing, taking the space in our lives. Yesterday we were 62; today a little snow. Yes, blanketing my feelings in this season! Sorry, I don’t know that bird, perhaps in warmer places? I went through your poem & had a few guesses about your word. There are many good ones in it!

  5. Pingback: Poetry Friday: The Roundup Is HERE! – A(nother) Year of Reading

  6. maryleehahn says:

    What a rich poem! I love your repetition and alliteration! Hooray for Winter!

  7. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, I am comforted by your poem that blankets my heart right now as I read. I captured the first stanza to showcase in my Winter’s Embrace Gallery with a winter sketch of yours, if you would like to send one. Love your work.

  8. macrush53 says:

    Mary Oliver is such a great mentor. The repetition of ‘In Winter’ is soothing.

  9. Linda Mitchell says:

    What an effective use of repetition: “In winter.” I love it from crawling into blanketing all. Such great sensory images. And, I spy with my little eye…the word “star” in Mary Oliver’s poem. Thank you for that gift. She’s possibly the best mentor for poems ever.

  10. heidimordhorst says:

    Michelle, I like the Majesty stanza best and the way your second lines were all “coming in” lines. As to the bird: may I venture that there is no white-eyed actual bird that Mary is writing about, but that the white eyes belong to the metaphorical wind-bird?

  11. haitiruth says:

    I wonder if her bird is metaphorical? (As I was typing that, I saw Heidi already said it. 🙂 )

    Now that I am in the southern hemisphere, where it is a hot hot summer, I appreciate the winter poems even more than before!

    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  12. Love both the repetition and variety of your last lines in each stanza, Michelle!

  13. katswhiskers says:

    Oh, your winter is so different to the steamy hot still day we’ve just experienced. On repeat. It’s so hard to find energy and motivation. I needed some winter! (And some wise old birds.)

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