Poetry Friday—Folktale Week Poem

Fall Leaves card, © 2015, Michelle Kogan, pen and ink and watercolor, available in my online
Etsy Shop: Michelle Kogan Fine Art

Happy Poetry Friday!

I decided to pick up the prompt that was created by Linda Mitchell, on her blog A Word Edgewise for her poetry group the Inklings this month, to “Find or write a poem in any form of any length for Folktale Week November 14-20, 2022.” Thanks Linda, and the additional Inklings that posted! Additional poems written for Folktale Week are tagged with #folktaleweek and #folktaleweek2022.

I thought I was writing a haibun, part prose part haiku, but when I went back to edit my paragraph it seemed to want to break out into lines. Though on rereading about haibun’s I decided to try it again as a paragraph, with a couple of words changes here and there. So… I’m still deciding…


We all gathered, 
We were coming near closing of tree season. 
All through the season, we were wrapped in colors we had never fathomed before… 
Splashes of analogous hues fanned out between sister and brother trees,
Complementary colors kissed cousin trees. 
Gazing in awe, I couldn’t help but wonder 
Were trees exhausted from this extraordinary display? 
Lost in gratitude, and bundled in my winter coat, 
I thought I felt something gently wrapping around me… 
Leaves fluttered and fell by my face. 
Could tree feel my feelings?
Could trees feel our feelings?
I’d read they communicated through their roots. 
Perhaps they coordinated their color display for a purpose.
To stir our sense of connective humanity
To touch deep within our compassion
To remind us to kindle and care-take Mother Earth
Our breathing, life-giving provider
Supporting each one of us collectively.

gather and agree
to sustain mother earth 

© 2022 Michelle Kogan draft

The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted today by the gracious Jama Rattigan at her delicious blog Jama’s Alphabet Soup, where she is serving up a feast of Holidayish delectables in images and lyrical words–Do stop by, and thanks so much Jama!!!

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—Folktale Week Poem

  1. Sally Murphy says:

    This is lovely Michelle. I love the thought of the trees wanting to connect with humanity.

  2. lindabaie says:

    I like the 2nd one, the perhaps expected haibun, Michelle. It seems to have a stronger voice. I love the idea of trees dressing up to make the connection with us, reminding us humans to take care of our earth. The thought of trees being exhausted in their plight to help is a somber one, considering how much we all exclaim about their beauty. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a beautiful celebration! I’ve been so disappointed in how my November schedule has cut into my time to give Folktale Week the attention I wanted to give it–but look at you! Three wonderful creative pieces….and from our friends, the trees! Your poem and prayer wrap up so much of what I feel. Thank you for that…sucha gift, this post.

  4. jama says:

    Yes to the interconectedness of all living things! I like the reflective tone of your poem – a chance to pause and wonder, and marvel at the beauty of trees and their changing colors. Wonderful!

  5. Sarah Tuttle says:

    Thank you for sharing this poem Michelle– it was so neat to see both versions. 🙂 I really enjoyed the multiple meanings to the word “kindle”… lovely. Happy Poetry Friday

  6. maryleehahn says:

    I love this SO much. I pick the haibun version. And your painting! I’m swooning!!

  7. “Were trees exhausted from this extraordinary display?
    Lost in gratitude, and bundled in my winter coat,”
    it is the least we can do to keep at it. If the exhausted trees
    can do it, so can we.

  8. Karen Edmisten says:

    I love both structures here, Michelle! The haibun also reads to me as a reflective journal entry. So lovely.

  9. I can imagine the leaves wrapping you in a “coat of many colors” – more so because of your beautiful painted card. I love the haibun form and your reflection distills perfectly into haiku.

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