#Poetry Friday–Trees…

1-River Birch Tree looking up-8-15-2019

River Birch, Michelle Kogan © 2019, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

Happy Poetry Friday! 

We are celebrating Trees this week, from a call for tree themed poetry from fellow poet, lover of nature, and blogger Christie Wyman. Christie is also hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Wondering and Wandering, thanks Christie!

1-TAke in your special Tree-shape poem 8-15-2019

Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.


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Poetry Friday–Heavy Heart

1- Pink Roses Foster Avenue Beach 8-9-2019

Pink Roses Foster Avenue Beach, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, WIP, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

My gosh what a week… My head has been in a whirl from the two mass shootings of last week in Ohio and Texas–My heart heavy, and frustration for change constant.

Then we all heard of the passing of Toni Morrison. 
And today I heard of the passing of Lee Bennett Hopkins–although I never personally met him, he felt like an old friend. I’ve been collecting his poetry books and anthologies  for years. 

So here it is Poetry Friday again…  I’m composing this post late, as I was at the
Plant Medicine: Multi-Species Wellness in a Global City exhibit opening tonight. I posted on this exhibit last week and included my painting  Summer Milkweed that is part of the exhibit– 

First I’m sharing with you a poem that I wrote in 2015 called Toady, for a challenge by Lee Bennett Hopkins, who at that time was the Spotlight on featured interview at Michelle Heidenrich Barnes blog Today’s Little Ditty.

Lee challenged us to write a ME poem, which asks us to recall “one simple moment” in our childhood. I loved the challenge, and my heart sang with his response to my poem. Sending you thanks again Lee,  xo.


sure wish
I left you
where you

But you fit
in my small,

you felt squishy,
and warm,
and wet,
all at

and your breath
inside my

my heart broke
when your
breath drifted

in your

but the
lump in my
felt like
© 2015 Michelle Kogan

I also wrote a poem reflecting on the mass shootings of last week, and the epidemic gun problem we have in the U.S.A. I didn’t know if I wanted to share it after hearing about Lee Bennett Hopkins passing. And then I remembered that Lee had been posting his outrage at political views and mishaps in leadership on FB for quite a while–and I thought he might appreciate it.


We’re riding on the wings of monarchs
teetering on the edge of an irreversible history… 
In a time of abundant knowledge and technological advances– 
In a time of misguided leadership and inhumane violence.

An eye for an eye won’t answer this epidemic gun addiction. 
Middle ground, emerge from the tsunami of waves flooding our U.S.A. 
Demand change for the sea of lives lost from guns–  
Demand change for decrying human dignity.

Keep ever vigilant and keep complaisance at bay– 
Reconnect with nature, reconnect with humanity, 
find an inner place to hear a different voice, 
and begin to mend our blood stained humanity.

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Molly Hogan at her blog Nix the comfort zone is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup. She’s offering us a dreamy and beautiful poem about being Lost in the Milky Way, and a poem that inspired her title by the same name. Thanks for hosting Molly! She also has a poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.


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#Poetry Friday–Exhibit and Milkweed Poem

1- Summer Milkweed 8–1-2019 copy

Summer Milkweed, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, oil on linen, 56 7/8 x 25 1/16 inches

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m happy to share with you my painting and Summer Milkweed poem that will be included in the exhibit:

Plant Medicine: Multi-Speciies Wellness in a Global City 
Opening reception 
Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 5:30 pm
running through November 3, 2019
International Museum of Surgical Science 
1524 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL
Free and open to the public

How do migratory human and non-human beings learn to grow and flourish in a city of steel and glass? Through the lens of plants, this exhibition explores the connections between nature, health and growing roots. Follow the Evenbrite link to read more about the exhibit.

This painting is one of four large oil paintings I am creating, documenting milkweed throughout the seasons, and monarchs when they are there. When completed each painting will have a poem on the reverse side. Here’s the poem that accompanies this painting:


A spring sprout
transforms overnight–
Voila, Milkweed, you’re a full-fledged plant,
standing upright at 5 feet,
beaming before the sun–
Here I am, you seem to say…

Monarchs visit daily,
laying their eggs abundantly.
Nicely nibbled leaves appear up,
down, and around your stalk–
clueing caterpillars cycle has begun.

Mid July your flowers begin blooming,
releasing their irresistible nectar into the air.
Calling– Come pollinators…
Come monarchs, and feast on my flowers–
Come commas and sulphur whites,
rejoice in our pollen.
Come bees of all types–
Fly bees, bumble bees, ground bees, moth bees,  

and come milkweed beetles, 
come one and all– 
Pollinate our milkweed forest,  
spread the word throughout nature–  
We’re here, we’re ready.

Listen to the gentle rush of wind 
jostling our milkweed forest, 
listen to the buzz of bees  
moving amongst our flowers, 
listen for the soundless monarch 
calling for your help. 
Grow a small milkweed forest,  
start with one seed– 
Give it water,  
give it sun, 
give it care, love, and hope, 
it’ll grow and spread,
monarchs will come–  
Keep them coming,  

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Heidi Mordhorst at her blog my juicy little universe is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, and boy does she have a rich line-up on her blog. First, she’s calling for our participation in the next Climate Strike on September 20th. And then she’s featuring a whole slew of wonderful poems that she introduced in 2009 and is reintroducing as “definito,” featuring the SUNDAY POETRY SWAGGERS, including Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core, Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone, Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise, and Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Heidi is also featuring a few Poetry Friday Poets who also participated in her 2009 posts on “definito” poems including, Mary Lee Hahn at A year of Reading, Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Children, and Diane Mayr at Random Noodling. Thanks for your fabulous post and for hosting Heidi!

Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.


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Poetry Friday–Summer Poem Swap


Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m Happy to share my Summer Poem Swap that very recently arrived from Rebecca Herzog. While working on a poem for me, Rebecca researched insects from my area. She came up with the very ancient pondhawk dragonfly. These dragonflies look very much like the dragonfly art that she also sent me. Here’s the  poem:

on a still pond

scintillating wings
wait patiently

swift to the air
the ancient predator
snatches its prey
© 2019 Rebecca Herzog


Many thanks Rebecca,  I am very taken with the entire package–cherita poem, dragonfly letter, and art–they are all summer-filled with loveliness!

Thanks also Tabatha Yeatts for organizing and initiating the Summer Poem Swaps, they bring so much joy and great poetry to all!


1-Dragonfly-detail -7-25-2019

Detail from: Water Goddess with Bullfrogs and Dragonfly, © 2012 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil

Here’s a thank you response poem for you Rebecca:

Dragonfly time traveler
     emerges between 3,000 year-old layered time…
Dragonfly time traveler
     flaps his wings with ancient wisdom,
          scans his surroundings,
               and dives back into

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Margaret Simon, at her blog  Reflections on the Teche, is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week with an incredibly rich post about stolen art, including a poem of hers from a title and art stolen from an artist/author friend. Make sure to stop by and view all the poetry goodness there.

Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.


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Poetry Friday–Perseverance

1a-Summer Sunflowers detail WIP 7-18-2019

Summer Sunflowers, detail WIP, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

Happy Poetry Friday!

When life catches me between too many due dates, I tend to retreat to painting even though another area may need more attention. The result in the long run seems to center and focus my thoughts. These ideas are where my poem and painting emerged from this week.


When you paint in watercolor sometimes you pause…

Which path will you take–
Which road will you choose,
the one well trodden or
the meandering unknown…

Will you sing for the masses
or sing to your heart–
Where lies the reward,
in popularity or perhaps
between those layered sighs
where questions, frustration,
and failures cry
carry on,
carry on,
look deep
look inside.

© 2019 Michelle Kogan


Carol Wilcox at her blog Carol’s Corner is hosting this weeks poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Carol! Carol is sharing a post on her deep, yet objective love of her new service puppy dog that she’s training, and her poem will melt your heart away. Be sure to stop by her blog for her poem, pics, and more Poetry Friday goodness!

Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.




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#Poetry Friday–Poetry and Art Workshop

1- Celeste -haiga- shells Jody Blossom Bloom Brenda waving friends-art poetry workshop 7-11-2019

Top left ekphrastic cherita © 2019 Jody Wilson, top right haiga © 2019 Celeste,                       bottom ekphrastic cherita © 2019 Brenda


Happy Poetry Friday!

Jone Rush MacCulloch is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit. Jone has some wonderful spirits at her blog this week as she’s sharing a Summer Poetry Swap filled with a kind of fortune teller, go take a peek and spend some time with all the other poetry goodness collected there! Thanks for hosting Jone!

I have the great pleasure of sharing art and poetry from students that attended my Poetry and Art Workshop last weekend at the Morton Grove Public Library. They did a fantastic job in creating, haiga, cherita, and ekphrastic poems and art. I’d also like to thank Marlene Mark, the Adult Services Librarian at the Morton Grove Public Library who reached out initially and asked me to do the workshop.


1- Izabela Pujdak watercolor poetry and art workshop 7-6-2019

© 2019  Izabela Pujkak



1- Izabela Pujdak haiku art poetry workshop 7-6-2019

Deep sea elements 
drowned deep as thoughts in your mind.
like sounds, clouds in sky.

© 2019  Izabela Pujkak


1- Celeste cherita poem- poetry and art workshop0 7-6-2019

What a night

Big band
Music played loudly

We dance
We sing
We live in each others arms

© 2019 Celeste


1- Brenda cherita, haiku, Ekphrastic poetry art workshop 7-6-2019

Waving to  friends

Wind helping me
Sky calling me

Grass cooling us
Appreciating our friendship
Rain feeding us

© 2019 Brenda


Waving to all my friends
they wave in return
enjoying our work

Bringing joy to all who pass
they drink in my fragrance
and remember their youthful exuberance

Their heart’s dance
Their toes tap
Life is good

©2019 Brenda


1- Marguerite Mullen-vase stilllife art poetry workshop 7-6-2019

© Marguerite Mullen

1- Marguerite Mullen haiku poem art and poetry workshop-7-6-2019



Shells are lovely and
from the sea, like a stone
placed on a grave

© 2019 Marguerite Mullen

1-Jody Wilson-cherita poem and art workshop-7-6-2019

Blossom bloom

What is god
to a squash?

What is god to me?
to you
I bloom. I ask.

© 2019 Jody Wilson


1- Marlene- Haiku and poem- poetry and art workshop 7-6-2019

It starts out smooth
Slight angles and tinted hues
Spreading forth
Spiraling up into a tower
A cone of points and dots
More complex than anticipated
The point of it all

© 2019 Marlene

Saturday morning
creative thoughts unforeseen
keep trying keep trying now

© 2019 Marlene


And here’s a cherita thank you to my students,

A library listing offers…

A poetry-plentiful workshop  
filled with artistic adventures and 

A satisfying–stretch
into the unknown,
generating jubilant success!

© 2019 Michelle Kogan



Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.







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Poetry Friday–4th of July

4th of july Flag 2019-7-4-2019

4th of July, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, watercolor.

Happy Poetry Friday and Happy 4th of July!

I’m sharing an acrostic poem for the 4th reflecting on American values. And a poem by Emma Lazarus whose poem “The New Colossus” was engraved on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal in 1903.

Patricia Stohr-Hunt is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog    The Miss Rumphius Effect. Stop by her blog for more poetry goodness! Thanks for hosting Patricia!


Fanfares celebrate changes 
Of guard, a reclaiming of justice, 
Ushering out oppressive acts and 
Rekindling care of humanity– 
Time to turn these un-American tides and 
Harvest new tides– Tides that wash 
Out social, political, and environmental injustice, and wash in 
Feelings supporting all individuals on this fourth of 
July. Time to embrace diversity a 
Unique and original American value, 
Longing again to feel the warmth of Lady Liberty’s Light, 
Yearning again for inalienable rights for all!

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
Read the rest of the poem here
Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.


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#Poetry Friday–”I am the sound of…” & Summer Greeting Cards

Yellow and Pinkess flowers in Vase-6-28-2019

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m sharing a poem that I created from a clunker line that Linda Mitchell made available at her blog  A Word Edgewise, on her Poetry Friday Post last week. Many thanks Linda–I’ve had a busy week and have a handful of poems in-progress, but this one lifted up to the top. The line Linda made available was: I am the sound of.


I am the sound of flowers
calling inner beauty…
I am the sound of pinkness
calling inner emotions…
I am the sound of heartstrings
calling inner passions…
I am the sound of wonder
calling always ready, …
I am the sound of sighing
calling come and ponder…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

And here are some new summer Greeting/Birthday Cards in my Etsy Shop



Buffy at her blog and new website Buffy Silverman is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup. Thanks for hosting Buffy! She’s spilling over with summer while offering us a glimpse into a recent book, Hello I’m Here! A story about the hatching of a baby sandhill crane. And she’s also sharing  her poem, ADVICE TO A YOUNG CHICK.


Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.



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#Poetry Friday–New Poet Laureate & “Solstice Amis”

Happy Poetry Friday!
I was happy to hear that Joy Harjo is our new United States Poet Laureate. Her life of being a multitalented artist–poet, musician, and playwright, and her poetry all speak to me resoundingly. I’m sharing one of her poems and a video below of another.

And, as it’s our Summer Solstice weekend I have a poem to share about my thoughts on our climate in relation to the solstice.


By Joy Harjo

I had a beautiful dream I was dancing with a tree.

                                                                   —Sandra Cisneros

Some things on this earth are unspeakable:
Genealogy of the broken—
A shy wind threading leaves after a massacre,
Or the smell of coffee and no one there—

Some humans say trees are not sentient beings,
But they do not understand poetry—

Nor can they hear the singing of trees when they are fed by
Wind, or water music—
Or hear their cries of anguish when they are broken and bereft—

Now I am a woman longing to be a tree, planted in a moist, dark earth
Between sunrise and sunset—

Read the rest of the poem here

Here is Joy Harjo reading her poem REMEMBER.

Read a bio and more on Joy Harjo here


Pics from my garden, above, top, and below…


I consulted the month 
and double checked the date,
I wondered… and pondered… 
Why, season start so late…

I looked up to the sky 
finally full of leaves, 
My eyes wanting hope 
disbelieving disbeliefs.

I returned to nature 
for her guiding knowledge, 
She’s here in disguise, 
open your eyes, acknowledge.

Weather hadn’t foiled flowers 
despite the cold and rains, 
Although, pollinators 
are low with these constrains.

Come now all you humans,
you like flowers, birds–bees… 
Does our climate know it’s 
Summer? Help her out Please.

The talented and creative Linda Mitchell at her blog: A Word Edgewise is our Poetry Friday host this week, thanks for hosting Linda! Linda’s asked all of us to offer up a line of poetry “that has not seen the light of day” and have it available to exchange with a poet friend. Here’s my line:

Looking forward to feeling  
              the warm sun of summer…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

…So hop on over to Linda’s blog for lots more poetry goodness and a new line or too!

© 2019 Michelle Kogan



Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.

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Poetry Friday–Father’s Day


Sleepy Moon, © 2019 Michelle Kogan digital image created in Procreate.

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m reflecting on Father’s for Father’s Day and focusing on Father’s who are no longer with us.


In a wink the light of life is out,
But between that wink lay
a lifetime of memories…
Remembering my father and
the emotions that filled his life,
his unconditional love for
family and humanity
floats to the top and
swelled within his heart,
a love that grew deeper
as he grew older–

His eyes if deep with sorrow,
outwardly mirrored strength of character,
and pools of passionate hope.

His thoughts ever filled with
financial din, were always open
to those oppressed.

His mouth, which marveled to move loquaciously,
carried his loving voice, seeking an ever
constant connection to others.

His heart with which he felt so powerfully
the joy and pain of others, touched us all and spilled over
with a profound pulsing love towards all.  

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

I think I may have shared the poetry of Li-Young Lee before or even this poem, but here it is again… He has such a sensitive way with his thoughts and words. 

By Li-Young Lee

To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he’d removed

the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.

I can’t remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline

he raised above my head.

Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy’s palm,

a silver tear, a tiny flame.

Read the rest of the poem here

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there and all those remembering their Dad’s too!


Be sure to buzz on over to Laura Shovan’s blog Laura Shovan, she is our Queen Bee Poetry host rounding-up all of us worker bees this week for the Poetry Friday Roundup! Thanks for hosting Laura!
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