Poetry Friday–Black-eyed Suzies

Black-eyed Susie leaves, Milkweed Emerging, and Bee, © 2022 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

look close
what will you find… susie’s leaves,
milkweed sprouts, and bee

© 2022 Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday!

My poems today come from Margaret Simon’s post yesterday, for This Photo Wants to be a Poem.
Thanks Margaret for taking time to stop on your way to teach, and capture this photo for all of us to ponder! And there’s a bevy of handsome poems on Margaret’s site too. My response poem is below, though I thought I’d include an image of where our Susie’s are in Chicago… They’re not quite as far along, but they’re working hard, hence my image and haiku above.

Country barn with black-eyed Susan wildflowers, photo by Margaret Simon


Feel Black-eyed Suzie’s
lace-feathery edge
dance ‘round
Burnt sienna old barn, and
kiss her dried out edges
as she playfully moves
up and down barns
sun-warming facade
creating her dense golden-crown mass
among field’s tree-lined horizon…

Cross a patch
of sap green grass
for one more grand mass
of Suzie’s golden grandeur,
dotted with deep warm-brown variegated heads
moving our eye this way and that
like a group of chattering school girls
who take our breath away
with their uninhibited
natural beauty.

© 2022  Michelle Kogan

I heard on NPR’s 1A, with host Jenn White, an interview with Jelani Cobb, who was just appointed as the incoming Dean at Columbia School of Journalism, and will begin this endeavor later this summer. And also Kelly McBride, she’s one of NPR’s Public Editors “and Chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at The Poynter Institute.” They were talking about the shootings that just occurred last week in Buffalo NY. Someone brought up, “news coverage has been neutral” and “especially on public radio.” A discussion of “neutral harbingers of situations” began, and I added a couple of words to their discussion, Are we neutral harbingers of racial divisive situations—I think a poem is rolling around in there…The NPR 1A above, is a link to a podcast of the interview. Cobb also mentioned a book I’m going to check out, A Field Guide to White Supremacy, by Kathleen Belew.

Sending thoughts and prayers to all involved last week and hopes for actions of change to come soon.

Carmela Martino at her joint-authored blog Teaching Authors, is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup, thanks Carmela—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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10 Responses to Poetry Friday–Black-eyed Suzies

  1. maryleehahn says:

    My “Suzies” are, like yours, just getting started. But my Common Milkweed has buds already!! Flowers soon, so come and get it, butterflies and pollinators!

  2. lindabaie says:

    I haven’t seen any yet, Michelle, but they’re on their way, I’m sure! Love your “chattering school girls”. I heard the Jelani Cobb interview & FYI – Kathleen Belew was a student at my school. She is doing some amazing work! Thanks for bringing those joyful Suzies to us!

  3. jama says:

    Your Suzies brightened my day. Love how you’ve personified these flowers — your poem is charming and intimate.

  4. My Suzies are up but not budded. I have both common milkweed and rose milkweed germinated in my yard. I’ve seen bees. Our apple trees bloomed last week when it was so hot in the midwest. I lived and worked in Buffalo for ten years. First for three and then for seven when we moved back from Maryland. I worked downtown in an indigent area of the city. The people there are steadfast and loyal to each other and their lovely city. They will get through this with grace. However, it has made me sad for the place I used to call home. I prefer unbiased (or neutral) if you want to use the word reporting. Our media are much too quick to add their two sense, in my humble opinion.

  5. I love “barns/sun-warming facade” – helps me feel the spring heat and the sense of waiting for blooms. And then, there’s the heartbreak of news. 😦

  6. mbhmaine says:

    No Suzies here yet, but I loved your celebration of those “chattering school girls”. They are something that always brings me joy and takes me back to childhood. I suspect they were one of the flowers I could first name…dandelion, daisy, black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace…thank you for taking me back to a childhood meadow of happy memories. Your artwork, as always, is a lovely complement to your words.

  7. I love how you capture the “uninhibited/natural beauty” in this poem, Michelle. And how the shape of the lines move “our eye this way and that.”
    Your art at the top sets a lovely tone for your post, too!

  8. Laura Shovan says:

    I love how you see the world in shapes and colors, Michelle.

  9. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, your post is full of poetic goodness and springtime bliss.Would you consider offering your black-eyed susies artwork and haiku for the Poetryliscious Gallery & Padlet? (such a delightful combination)

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