Poetry Friday-Humanity

Hydrangea, from my garden… Michelle Kogan 2022

Happy Poetry Friday!

Thought I’d share some garden beauty this week…


Let me lose myself in
pom-pom pink profusions of

nature’s woven four-floret tapestry,
it’s contagious lopsided perfection

of lavender, purple, and pink values
leave me breathless—

Yet, they all live together
congenially, flop-dusting, and oh

how you move my passion and
fly-my-thoughts away momentarily.

Dear hydrangea…
might you share an elixir

that’ll soften our ever present
trodden-on humanity…

© 2022 Michelle Kogan

I’ve started reading Ada Limón’s new book of poetry THE HURTING KIND. I’ve been enjoying the enjambment in many of her poems and was thinking about that as I wrote my poem shared above. Here’s the beginning of one of her poems from this book.

by Ada Limón

Past the strip malls and the power plants,
out of the holler, past Gun Bottom Road
and Brassfield and before Red Lick Creek,
there’s a stream called Drowning Creek where
I saw the prettiest bird I’d seen all year,
the Belted Kingfisher, crested in its Aegean
blue plumage perched not on a high nag
but on a transmission wire, eyeing the creek
for crayfish, tadpoles, and minnows. We were
driving fast back home and already our minds
were pulled taut like a high black wire latched
to a utility pole. I wanted to stop, stop the car
to take a closer look at the solitary stocky water
bird with its blue crown and its blue chest

Read the rest of the poem here.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is celebrating “5 Ways to Celebrate Plastic Free July, stop by for more info!

Elisabeth Norton at her blog UNEXPECTED INTERSECTIONS is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Elisabeth!

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-Humanity

  1. Hi, Michelle – gorgeous hydrangeas – so many of the colors found in your art! – and YES to these different variations all getting along. Sigh. Thank you for introducing me to this poem, which I hadn’t read before. Perfect for summer, and for wistful travelers.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Your poem is a wonderful celebration of hydrangeas – one of my favorite flowers. I’m lucky enough to walk past some in a neighbor’s garden all the time, and I love their colors and how such giant clusters of blooms come from such compact buds. I love how you described them as “flop-dusting,” – absolutely perfect! Thanks for sharing this with us today.

  3. Linda Mitchell says:

    Yes to “pom pom pink profusions!” What a celebration your poem is. I love it…and the hydrangeas. Thank goodness for the healing effect of flowers…even in photos on the internet. And, Ada Limon! Hooray for her for us for poetry! I’m a fan our our new Poet Laureate and look forward to what her mission will be.

  4. Tim Kulp says:

    Thank you for sharing your Hydrangea poem. The colors and feeling of the poem led to a great emotional build to the end. I appreciate it both in message and how you delivered the message.

  5. maryleehahn says:

    LOVE your poem, and I can detect the influences of Ada. I’m just about to begin her newest book. Can’t wait to see how she’ll change me!

  6. haitiruth says:


  7. Michelle, your alliterative link with hydrangea and humanity is gloriously laid out in your poem. The very sight of hydrangea transports me back to my childhood, where hydrangea were plentiful in various parts of our family garden. Thank you for this beautiful offering.

  8. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, you had me with the title of your poem and the photos of the hydrangeas, one of my favorite summer flowers. If any, this flower would be the one to offer an elixir. The last two lines are wonderful, as is Limon’s poem. Thanks for letting me know that Ada has a new book.

  9. Thank you for sharing the glorious ‘hydrangea humanity’ of your garden, Michelle. I am desperately trying to keep the daisies on my balcony alive amidst our heat wave. Your “contagious lopsided perfection” is exactly what I needed today. 🙂

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