Poetry Friday–One Little Word…

Discover, haiku and art, WIP, © 2022 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m uncovering my OLW (one little word)…
I think I skipped picking a word last year, I had a list but the word and I never came together. This year there were a couple in the corral for consideration, and then one broke lose, poked through and voila… DISCOVER emerged…

Recently we met up in a drawing via the help of my friend Line.


fall in love with line,
let line lead you from scribbles
to fascination…

fall in love with line,
let its goose bumps sensation
waken creations…

fall in love with line
let it rip-roar and lose you
in contemplation…

© 2022 Michelle Kogan

We met up once again…


Discover uncover
wed knowledge
with light

each angle
in darkest of night

marvels unknown

Get ready
get steady
let loose all regret

all hesitation

For no one knows
when sparks
fire and ignite

For no one knows
when that cover’s

percolates, peaks,
poof, uncovering

© 2022 Michele Kogan

Discover has assured me, it’ll poke through again here and there,
and we’ve decided that we’ll take turns leading in this dance.

Wishing you all the best for this New Year with heartfelt Cheers,
from Discover and me to all of you,
till next time,
Adieu, xox

Tabatha Yeatts is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Tabatha. Be sure to stop by her blog The Opposite of Indifference, she has some fun wordplay, puzzle related goings-on there and links to many more poems!

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Poetry Friday—Winter

Wintering Milkweed Sketch, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, pen and ink and watercolor.

Happy Poetry Friday!


In winter
Calm crawls in
between bitter cold
banks of blustery snow
howling fierce winds
and winter blankets all.

In winter
Majesty musters in
ponders profundity
appears uncannily between
sandpaper dry air and stands on ready
while winter blankets all…

In winter
Denied Acceptance enters
through gritted teeth
wisdom of past
longing for future
still, winter’s endurance blankets all…

In winter
Discover plants seeds—
Somehow they migrate
to soils surface
sit and collect dreams
and amicably adjust winter’s blanket around all.

In winter
Play wants in
neglected but persistent
determined to win
and open alternative thought
Winter breathes deeply, happily, and blankets all.

©2022 Michelle Kogan

P.S. my OLW is in my poem, but still not ready to release it…

And here’s a Mary Oliver winter poem…



In winter
    all the singing is in
         the tops of the trees
             where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
    shoves and pushes
         among the branches.
             Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
    but he’s restless—
         he has an idea,
             and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
    as long as he stays awake.
         But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
    In the pine-crown
         he makes his nest,
             he’s done all he can.

Read the rest of her poem here.

Well I hunted far and wide to find Mary Oliver’s bird…The closest I came was the white-eyed vireo which is a pretty cool bird, but isn’t her bird because it doesn’t winter in the Northeast, perhaps she was in a warmer climate…To all the bird enthusiasts out there, if you know this bird fill me in, thanks!

White-eyed Vireo, Flickr, Nate Steiner, public domain.png

Mary Lee Hahn at her blog A(nother) Year of Reading is our Host for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Mary Lee! She’s sharing a poem about a favorite fruit of hers that’s both “sweet and tart,” so mosey on over for her delicious poem and many more ..

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Poetry Friday—one little word…

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’ve been mulling over words for a one little word to select for this year. I’ve selected a word, although on my path I came across this poem thinking about one’s one little word… My word is in this poem and I will share it with you sometime in January, after we become more acquainted with each other.

My poem takes the shape of a golden shovel. I am borrowing a line I found and fell in love with while reading Ruth Bowen Hersey’s blog post last week where she took us on a virtual trip to the nourishing Cheekwood Estate & Garden. The line is from Aristotle, “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous,” Thanks Ruth!

a.k.a. one little word

One little word floats like a feather in
an ocean-filled sea of thousands… Until all
of a sudden, all around it, it senses things
in unique ways. But, it patiently waits of
course for you and your unique nature
to pluck it out, and try it on, here and there,
and everywhere, for just one year… Is
your word-hunt elusive or something
that captures you effortlessly, made of
magic, care, and centering calm—Whatever the
combination it’s surely marvelous!

© 2022 Michelle Kogan

I heard this music on my classical radio station this week and I think it’s marvelous, so I thought I’d share it with you… It’s from the film The Shape of Water, which I saw a while back, and has such an etherial feeling…

My poet friend Carol Varsalona at her blog Beyond Literacy Link is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Carol—be sure to stop by!

Sending out more thoughts and prayers for our small planet…
And catch some stars when you can they are wonderful on dark, cold winter nights…

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Poetry Friday–Bells 🔔 🔔 🔔 & New Years Eve!



Tulle Bells, Coral Bells, Laurel Bells, WIP © 2021 Michelle Kogan, pen and ink.

Let’s ring out the old year and ring in the new with lots of bells, and whistles, noise-makers, and lots of poetry too. I’m piggybacking on the Poetry Sister’s Bell poem challenge for December. For more Bell poems look for them tagged with #PoetryPals. And thanks to all the Poetry Sisters, Tanita, Laura,
Mary Lee, Liz, Kelly, Sara, Tricia, and Andi.

Here’s my list poem to get you started…


Church bells
Search bells
Beautiful bells.
School bells
Tulle bells
Beautiful bells.
Coral bells
Laurel bells
Beautiful bells.
Tinker bells
Pinker bells
Beautiful bells.
Cat and dog bells
Epilogue bells,
Hand bells
Grand bells,
Sleigh bells
Ya-a-a-y bells,
Jingle bells
Tingle bells,
Cow bells
Wow bells,
Door bells
More bells,
Call bells
Hall bells,
Fairy bells
Prairie bells
Beautiful bells.
Sale bells
Whale bells,
New Year bells
Drawing near
Listen sweetly
With your ear,
Chiming bells
Rhyming bells
A-l-l–the-t-i-i-i-i-i-m-e bells!

Draft, © 2021 Michelle Kogan

More info about Japan’s tradition of ringing New Year Bells here.

“The Great Bell of Chion-In Temple, Kyoto, Japan. (4788295650).jpg Image Description from historic lecture booklet: “You are in the eastern outskirts of Kyoto; the city proper lies behind you are the west. The trees you see between the great beams of the bell tower belong to the temple-garden or park–all Japanese temples have gardens, large or small as the case may be, in which their various buildings are grouped. This bell-tower is separate from the other buildings. It was erected almost three hundred years ago (1613) for a Buddhist monastery up here on the eastern hill. The giant bell of bronze is 108 ft. high and weighs nearly 148,000 pounds; the priests ring it by striking it form the outside with a heavy beam of wood. The beam itself hangs from above by a rope and is pulled to one side, its end striking the great metal flower as it swings back.
There is something marvelous and almost indescribable about the sound that rings out through the air. It fills all the space wit hit sonorous vibrations, deep in tone as the bass of a big church organ and mellow as golden sunshine. Even the most indifferent tourist is impressed by it .The sound lingers, and lingers, and lingers in the air–if you stand quite near, say as near as those women by the railing, you can distinguish a low musical hum five minutes after the bell was struck.
The people you see here are Kyoto residents, Buddhist believers of the middle class. The men’s head-gear shows the unpicturesque effect of contact with European customs, but the women are absolutely Japanese from the glossy waves of their soft, dark hair to the clumsy wooden elogs strapped on their little feet. The big, flat loops in which their sashes (obi) are tied are rigidly prescribed by Japanese canons of elegant propriety.”

For our last Poetry Friday Roundup of 2021 be sure to drop in on Carol, at her blog Carol’s Corner, thanks for hosting the Roundup Carol!

Happy New Year!

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Poetry Friday–Winter Poem Swap & Solstice

Happy Poetry Friday!

I received this lovely light filled package of poetry and gifts from my poet friend Carol Varsalona this last week. You wouldn’t know we were both running short on time from the treasures that were exchanged, and the joy that her package gave me. Thanks for this inner warmth you filled me with Carol! And thanks also to Tabatha Yeatts, the Winter Poem Swap originator, and Laura Shovan who this year organized all of us participating! Carol culled her inspiration-filled poems and creations from some of my art and poems, along with her own. The inquisitive silver bird has found a home at the base of my computer and seems quite content.

Inside poem, Inspired, by Carol Varsalona, © 2021, from the Happy Winter Swap card.
Bookmark Cento poem by Carol Varsalona, © 2021.

And…A gratitude poem for you Carol… Inspired by a couple of your lines.


in between the

hustle and bustle

of life

in between the

teetering of

“haste and letting go”


“focus on the good”



in-between sunsets

full of dazzle,

heart-filled joy

and simple gifts

lighting up

each other’s


© 2021 Michelle Kogan

A solstice poem inspired by my night sky.


flickers of light
like my nightlight
shining bright

from blue above
like dove wings
fluttering love

sprinkle afar
solstice dances
stirring each star…

©2021 Michelle Kogan

Be sure to stop by Buffy Silverman’s blog for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup—Thanks for hosting Buffy! She’s sharing a winter poems swap poem about Tress by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, and her own response poem too!

Sending Merriest of Holiday Wishes to All!

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Poetry Friday–Video Poem…

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’ve been thinking about all the folks from the tornado this last week, and storms across the country.
We had some rain last week here in Chicago and it prompted my poem. I’m sending thoughts of hope with these gently falling rains to all the folks, their friends and family.

My Video above will be available to view at 12:00 am on Friday 12-17-21.


The waters on my
windshield washed over me
beading up like little jewels
on my windshield
calming me…
Filling with patterns
splotches of color
softly pitter patting
and dripping

© 2021
Michelle Kogan

Jone Rush MacCulloch is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Jone, visit her bog here! She’s sharing news about all different poem prompts this month, and also Winter Poem Swaps, be sure to stop by!

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Poetry Friday–Tent Parks…

Neighborhood Tent Park, © 2021 Michelle Kogan.

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’ve been thinking about folks living inside these Tents as they’ve been appearing around Chicago…


As cold creeps in
I’ve thought more and more
about folks in my
neighborhood Tent Park.
They popped up this summer,
and when temps were still tolerable
I’d see folks milling around.

As fall moved on
growing numbers of worn-colored
small wind-waving walls
became surrounded by
cold-air emptiness, and
by November’s end
barely a soul traipsed in sight…

I read our cities getting involved—
One cold November night
most residence were van-loaded
and delivered to our local armory,
for what? Form-filling first,
and maybe in 2-4 weeks
pandemic-induced housing…

But it’s cold out there
and these folks are cold…
I wonder would Tent Parks
have crept up if our
Pandemic hadn’t happened.
Regardless, how did we allow
so many folks to become homeless.

My local park is one of thirty-five
“homeless encampments” in Chicago
and there are more across our country.
Funds are earmarked for homeless,
but how can we get them into warm homes
PDQ, aren’t homes another inalienable right?
We all need warm homes…

Draft, © 2021 Michelle Kogan

From poking around in research about Tent Cities I found this report from 2014, it’s quite long but I thought I’d share it: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States. Unfortunately in the U.S. I’m sure you’ll also find articles on local Tent Parks not far from you.

On a slightly lighter note…
Look what surprised me overnight…

showers respite on
december’s bleak day…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Cathy Mere is our host for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Merely Day By Day,
thanks for hosting Cathy!

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Poetry Friday Roundup is Here & Celebrating Holidaze!

Evergreen Moon & Snow Greeting Card, from my watercolor and pen and ink painting
© 2021, Michelle Kogan. Available in my Etsy Shop here, with haiku on back:
moon’s light spread
spilling on evergreen and
snow’s cover calmed all…
© Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday!

Welcome to my Holidaze Poetry Friday Roundup!

Please add your links for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup below with Mister Linky.

Hanukkah began this week and more winter Holidays are quickly approaching. I’m sharing a poem and also a variety of Holiday cards that are available in my online Etsy Shop. And, for any one local to the Chicago area they are also available at the Evanston Art Center’s Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO that is going on now through December 20, 2021.

I’m also sharing some good news… Three of my poems were accepted in the semifinalist category for the poet’s billow 2020 Atlantis Award. The poems are: ODE TO MOONFLOWER BUD DURING COVID-19, PINK AND REMEMBERING… and PASTORAL UNEARTHING.

My poem below is from thoughts about embracing other cultures and traditions as children grow to adulthood and families begin joining other families.


Holidaze approaching fast,
catch your breath, ocean breathe out…
Remember roots, family ties–
Tie us lovingly and unite.

Families grow, children leave
pick another join family tree.
Traditions, cultures intertwine
weave and whirl–wind joy-love-grow.

Holidaze, happy hol-i-day…
Symbols melt into open hearts
ideas catapult hope breathes high—
Mishmash-mix holi-humanize.

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Watch out, here comes the snow…

Snowperson, Trees, & Birdies, Holiday Card, from my pen and ink and digital art, © 2020, Michelle Kogan. Available in my Etsy Shop here.

And more snow…

Straw Ornaments Holiday Card, from my pen and ink and watercolor painting, © 2020, Michelle Kogan.
Available in my Etsy Shop here, with haiku on the back of the card:
catch holiday joy
as magic unfolds
© Michelle Kogan

And Holiday Hope!

Space Friends Hope! Holiday Card, from my pen and ink and digital art, © 2020, Michelle Kogan.
Available in my Etsy Shop here.

Click on Mister Linky to join the Poetry Friday Roundup!


candlelight flows from
window-dark night, spinning
dreidel fills with hope,
and oil-filled recipes
keep freedom marching on…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

wishing all ribbons
of joy, love, and peace for the
holiday season!

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Poetry Friday–ODE TO AUTUMN

Gingko-golden-carpet, © 2021 Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday

On the heels of Thanksgiving I have an ODE TO AUTUMN poem, offered to us as a prompt by the Poetry Sisters’. And what a grand prompt this was in our month of giving thanks, to offer thanks to our autumn season, thank you all, Laura, Tanita, Mary Lee…! To find other Autumn Odes look for them marked as #PoetryPals.

Click on poem to enlarge size.

Pics from walks in my neighborhood:

Ruth Bowen Hersey at her blog There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town is our host for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, many thanks for hosting us all Ruth!

Stop by next week when I’ll be hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup with a Holidayish flavor…

And one more short tricube poem for my Bearded Iris Saga…


here with cuz,
think she should
cut me down

give me a

or leave me
here in the

©2021 Michelle Kogan

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Poetry Friday–ZYGO-WONDER, poem & painting

Zygo-Wonder, WIP, © 2021 Michelle Kogan, Watercolor and watercolor pencil.

Happy Poetry Friday!

My beautiful zygocactus begged me to take a break this week and capture her in color and words… The little elf on my shoulder kept whispering in my ear, you have new holiday cards to post, and I replied yes, they are coming within the next few days to my Etsy shop. So for today, I indulged myself by spending some mindful time with this beauty…


Single bud of beauty
captures ribbons of
iridescent redness
opulent oranges
and precious pinks…
Envelopes me
sending tingles
through my
and leaves me

©2021 Michelle Kogan

…And some entertainment…

Stop by Carol Varsalona’s blog Beyond Literacy Link for the Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Carol! She’s taking us on a gallery walk through Autumn.

P.S. … Bearded Iris update…

bearded iris
growing strong, along with
two side kicks…

temps predicted to
plummet, who knows what
tomorrow may bring…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

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