It’s been a hard week,… I began with a few sentences on a cardboard scrap sometime before Sunday,


sitting on an apocalyptic-like precipice
time for introspective pause
and inclusive planetary new direction

© 2022 Michelle Kogan

I let it sit, and then Monday the 4th of July happened, the mass shooting in Highland Park, IL, a place I know well, for I lived there and worked there. Why, why, why, won’t go away. War zone assault gun, said our IL US senator Tammy Duckworth,” three ammunition magazines,” 7 lives slain, numerous injured, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, families and friends running for their lives in a small city that banned guns, but here was this gun—it’s time we ban all these war zone automatic assault guns, magazines, and killing machines.

I opened my porch door a few days later–leaves and wind took me in…

Some Eric Satie music from a Netflix series…

The lovely, lyrical word smith Jan Godown Annino at her blog, Bookseedstudio hosts our Poetry Friday Roundup this week, thanks Jan, Jans sharing a new poetry form called a sijo. She has a few she’s written along with a book by Linda Sue Park with more sijos, be sure to stop by!

Wishing you safe passage on your summer journeys…

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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12 Responses to Poetry Friday–NATURE PRAYER

  1. gailaldousmsncom says:

    Michelle, I love your details in your tree trunk and branches. Such beautiful light and dark green leaves and the way you paint letting the sun in, and the leaves dance with your wind. Gorgeous watercolor! It is a watercolor, correct? I love both of your poems, especially Nature Prayer the uniqueness of each leaf, “work together creating shade, comfort, and harmony”. Your second stanza grabs me with your voice, “Guide us leaves” and continues through to the ending “and maybe we’ll move our strife an inkling closer toward earth and harmony…”. I love your voice in this prayer poem; your words and painting “took me in” and uplifted me bringing me peace. Thank you, it was just what I needed after more people and children were gunned down. I think you should try to publish your Nature Prayer poem. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiration.

  2. margaretsmn says:

    “Guide us, leaves.” I too pray to nature for guidance. I love the shape of your poem and how you are so inspired by nature. Nature will heal. I thought of you when I heard about the shooting. Too much sadness and anger in our world. Thanks for offering a kind response.

  3. janicescully says:

    I love the metaphor in your poem Nature Prayer. A community is like a tree full of leaves each blowing its own way. Any one who thinks there is a place for assault rifles in our communities —what could be the motive? What good can ever come of it?

  4. Guide us, leaves… love! And thank you for the beautiful bookmarks (and card!) in my mailbox. YAY! xo

  5. lindabaie says:

    Walking out in nature is what I do, what I did this week, a solace as your poem so beautifully says, Michelle. I am sorry for it all, for your connection that surely makes it even harder. Thanks for the thoughtful response.

  6. Bridget Magee says:

    Oh how the world needs “comfort and harmony”, Michelle. Your prayer poem is a beautifully worded respite and a step toward healing. Thank you.

  7. maryleehahn says:

    I love the fluttering leaf shape of your second poem. It is peaceful and hopeful.

  8. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, your tree art is so inviting that I want to sink into it. It is a peaceful look at nature against the reality of hate crimes and disharmony. Thank you for your poems that urge us to pause and reflect on recent hate crime news. When will kindness lead to peace so all can live in harmony? You leave me with much to ponder and a prayer to lift up.

  9. heidimordhorst says:

    Michelle, your work here–art & writing–give me a refreshed sense of the Tree of Life. Thank you!

  10. It has been a hard week. Several hard weeks coming at us back to back to back. Thank all the gods we can pause for a moment, observe the simple beauty of nature, and remember there is still more good than evil in the world.

  11. Elisabeth says:

    Thank you for your poems. I love how the second one ends – with a plea, an address to nature to guide us to be better versions of ourselves.

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