Poetry Friday –Summer Haikus


Happy Poetry Friday, I’m sharing a bit of summer, with some summer haikus. My painting above is a WIP, waiting to be finished.  

lilies waiting
patiently, while brush captures

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

A bonus haiku while thinking about working creatively

creative work
good for the soul …
slows one down

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

Here is the beginning of a rich haiku by Kobayashi Issa, read the remaining line at the Poetry Foundation


by Kobayashi Issa
Translated by Jane Hirshfield

On a branch
floating downriver

Stop by  Katie’s blog The Logonauts for the Poetry Friday Roundup and many more poems. Thanks for hosting Katie!


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Poetry Friday Macaroni & Chewy Cheese


I’m featuring silly limericks today for Poetry Friday. I heard through the grapevine that July 14th is National Macaroni and Cheese Day. Tabatha Yeatts, at The Opposite of Indifference, our Poetry Friday host extraordinaire put out a call for Mac and Cheese poems, and of course I thought of limericks. Hope you have fun, and do visit Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference for more  Poetry Friday poems (and maybe silly antics).


Uuuh, said Macaroni, where’s Chewy Cheese?
Come out wherrrrrevvver you are, they’re here, pleeeese!
Ants are marching two by two–
They’re coming after me and you!
Oooooh Noooo, don’t sneeze they’ll find us with such ease.

Quick Cheese, let’s slide behind this sun screen spray,
We’ll fool them, deter them, keep’m far away.
They’re marching to the jello,
You lucky, ducky fellow.
I’m lucky you’ll stick with me and not stray.

Ooopsss, they’re circling back, they smell our tracks,
Quick Cheese strew out your marshmallows in stacks!
That’s sure to stop’em right there
Awww Cheesy your just to fair.
Best bid farewell Cheese, for we’re there next snacks . . .

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

Here’s one more short Limerick on Mac and Cheese for pasta lovers. Read the remaining lines at Poetry  Soup


Oh, vermicelli, rigatoni!
Lost on a sea of minestrone.
The sea beneath my feet,

Copyright © William Robinson| Year Posted 2005




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Summer Poetry Swap 2017-Growing Writing for Poetry Friday


1-LInda-Baie-Poem-book-7-2017 I’m participating in the Summer Poetry Swap that was created by Tabatha Yeatts. The end of June, a lovey poetry garden surprise arrived in the mail, from my poetry friend Linda Baie; along with additional swag. I’m sharing her accordion poem, Tending for Poetry Friday. You can find more of Linda’s poems at her blog Teacher Dance



Take each word, plant its seed,
now you need a pen.
Create scents and feelings true;
cross out every weed.
Stir the smooth into the rough,
only truth will do.
Find where whispers rise
In between the lines.
Flowers flourish on the page,
you’ve grown a poetry prize.

Linda Baie ©2017 All Rights Reserved


Thanks for the beautiful poem and art Linda! I’ve written a poem and created some art as a thank you.


Growing a garden
is like writing a story
it takes time and passion.

Planting a seed
is like sketching a character
it takes thought and patience.

Tending your seedlings
is like building arcs
it takes tinkering and persistence.

Weeding between plants
is like revising your draft
it takes tenacity and perseverance

Harvesting your crop
is like completing your book
it takes tenderness and poise.

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by Carol Varsalona, thanks Carol,  at Beyond Literacy Link



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Happy 4th of July–Poem and Art



For this 4th of July
slip-in-a-slice of
strawberry rhubarb pie,
Kick back and watch a firefly,
     Spread a handful of love,
         and a big sprinkle of joy
                 for this 4th of July!

© 2017 Michelle Kogan


Posted in Children's Illustration & Writing, Holidays, Nature, Painting, pen sketch, Picture Book Sketches, Poem, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

American Writers Museum & Sonnet for Poetry Friday


2--Langston-Hughes-Photo-and-about-6-2017  3--quote-Langston-Hughes-cropped-6-2017

4--Margaret-Wise-Brown-Amer-Writers-Museum-6-2017   6--quote-2-Margaret-Wise-Brown-6-2017



About two weeks ago I visited Chicago’s NEW American Writers Museum, with a couple of my Picture Book Illustration Students. They are featured by Paul O. Zelinsky’s tree mural, that’s in the Children’s gallery. In another gallery called American Voices, you’ll find images of all different writer’s and poets with turning kiosks below them having their bio and bits of their  writing. I have two of them featured here, Langston Hughes and Margaret Wise Brown. There’s also a changing exhibit gallery that had Palm: All Awake in the Darkness, An immersive installation inspired by the life and poetry of W.S. Merlin. It was filled with tropical plants, poetry books and an interactive poem. The last two images are from galleries towards the end of the museum. Wonderful museum and one I definitely will revisit.

I’ve written a sonnet to share that reflects on our coming 4th of July holiday and the current times. My poem serendipitously fits well with Langston Hughes’ poem above, Let America Be America Again. 


America show me your colors true
Let me cradle again my care for all,
Relinquish my disdain red, white and blue
In this toiled land of brave and free that bawl.

Cease your fears, your isolation theories,
Liberty–justice this Fourth of July,
Open your heart relieve all your wearies
One rainbow country under one small sky.

But, we have one world to share and repair,
One multi-colored freedom, not false-truths squad
Begin Americans at home–be fair
Sing indivisible truths here and abroad.

Raise high that child that cries and hungers life,
World’s future calls, set aside your petty strife!

© 2017 Michelle Kogan


Diane Mayr is hosting the Poetry Roundup, at Random Noodling, thanks Diane!
Wishing all a celebratory and Happy 4th!

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Poetry Friday and Fireflies


I’m welcoming summer in with a few of my favorite things, summer solstice, milkweeds, and fireflies! As soon as the fireflies were out I knew summer had begun. Hope you had a wonderful Solstice. Here’s another firefly haiku and one more firefly poem by Robert Frost.

catch luminating
light of lovely fireflies 
through each evening night

© 2017 Michelle Kogan



By Robert Frost


Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart) 

Read the rest of Robert Frost’s poem at the Poetry Foundation


The Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe where she’s featuring a beautiful Diamond Acrostic poem by her students, thanks Heidi!
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Thinking about my dad, on Father’s Day

Remembering dad
fondly, sorrowfully,
bravely. “How’s that book,”
he’d always ask–Even
now he’s with me watching . . .
© 2017 Michelle Kogan

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Poetry Friday– Jones AP Art Exhibit 2017

Last Friday I had the pleasure of viewing the Jones College Prep AP Art Class Exhibit, which is taught by Laura Boban. Jones is a Chicago high school in the heart of the loop (downtown). I’m sharing samples of their artwork here, it was created by Juniors and Seniors at Jones. It’s a rich body of work employing all different ideas, mediums, and concepts. 

I composed a Cherita poem as a send off for both the students graduating and those moving into their senior year. Cherita are poems without a title and they tell a story in three stanzas. The first stanza is one line, the second is two lines and the third is three lines. They are similar in brevity to both haiku and tanka. I was inspired to write this form of poem by Kay Mcgriff after reading hers in last weeks Poetry Friday posts. Thanks Kay, follow the link to read her poem. Here’s more on the Cherita.

students exhibit art,

beginning an artist’s career–
traversing peaks and valleys.

life’s artistic desire steered with
passion, perseverance, and persistence,
voice becomes one with creator.

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

Carol at Carol’s Corner is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup, thanks for hosting Carol! Visit her blog for more Poetry Friday sites to visit! And enjoy this rich collection of art!


Jones AP Art Exhibit 2017

Click on the images for a larger view

Posted in Exhibits, Painting, pen sketch, Pencil Drawing, Poem, Quick Sketches, Sketchbooks, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Poetry Friday and Fairies



June Fairies full of Sprite,
never ever full of fright.

Summer solstice very near,
spinning magic that’s sincere.

Heavy skies fade away,
when the fairies come and play.

Catch their view if you can,
fireflies flicker out their plan.

Beeelieeeve in fairy dust,
Plant some dreams–heartfelt trust.

© 2017 Michelle Kogan

It’s June, and I’m lost in my flowers who offer me momentary respite and calm from the world around us. In that light, here’s another Fairy poem, The Best Game the Fairies Play, by Rose Fyleman who I recently discovered via the Poetry Foundation. She wrote plays, poetry and stories for children, studied opera, and also was a teacher. You can read the rest of her poem and more about her at the Poetry Foundation

The best game the fairies play,
    The best game of all,
Is sliding down steeples—
    (You know they’re very tall).
You fly to the weathercock,
    And when you hear it crow,
You fold your wings and clutch your things
    And then let go!

Poetry Friday is being hosted by Mary Lee Hahn and she’s offering up a game of Checkers. Stop by her blog, A Year of Reading,  for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

Posted in Children's Illustration & Writing, Nature, Painting, Pencil Drawing, Plein Air Art, Poem, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Michelle’s Summer Art Classes Begin Next Week


My Summer Art Classes at the Evanston Art Center begin next Monday, June 12th. I’m offering classes in Figure and Nature, Watercolor, Children’s Picture Book Illustration, and workshops in Plein Air Painting, and Creating a Zine. The classes are in 6 week sessions, except Picture Book Illustration, which is 12 weeks. For more info and registration visit: The Evanston Art Center or call 847-475-5300, Evanston Art Center–1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL

Happy Summer Adventures . . .

Posted in Children's Illustration & Writing, Michelle's Art Classes, Nature, Painting, Pencil Drawing, Picture Book, Picture Book Sketches, Plein Air Art, Quick Sketches, Sketchbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment