Last Minute Holiday Gifts and Cards…

                                                          1-solstice bkmk front back left 12-2019
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Happy Holidays!

 

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These bookmarks along with cards, archival prints and more, are available in my Etsy Shop and also at the Evanston Art Center’s 2019 Winter Arts and Crafts EXPO, which has one week left. 

Wishing all much Cheer and star gazing!

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Poetry Friday–Winter Poem Swap & #natember December Nature

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Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m very happy this week to share Joyce Ray’s treasure-filled Winter Poem Swap. In our poems and gifts to each other, ours thoughts both seemed to draw from historical spiritual, and social justice callings.

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The little poem books, Joyce mentioned, where “lying around for the taking” at the Edinburgh Poetry Library–which sounds like a place I’d like to visit… 
The Heartbeat of Takami, has quotes by Toshihiro Takami about reflections of ourselves, along with lovely watercolor art by Hisako Nojima. The beautiful dove ornament is called the “LI BIEN” Ornament, “Li Bien” in Chinese means “inside.” This ornament was painted by an artist via a small opening and painted on the inside with a miniature brush over two days. The happy little mouse–which you can bend into any position– comes from New Hampshire, I think she may prove to be a great little model…

and Joyce’s  poem inside…
HAPPY IS THE MOMENT,  calls out an answer to the present political turmoil I’ve been voicing in many of my poems, and specifically my poem, AMERICA EMERGE,  which she included in this beautiful poetry book.

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Happy is the moment
When Love
     wrapped in a cloud of divine grace
     rains pearl upon the desert

                                      ~Rumi
When Peace
disguised as a dove
     flies through the cracks in hearts
     that would build walls

When Truth
     veiled by self-serving lies
     floods over parched and thirsty minds
     like rivers enriching their deltas

When Justice
     cloaked in liberty for all
     pours out freedom
     for LGBTQ persons and all of us to be who we are

When Mercy
     woven into reformed justice systems
     breaks the bonds of captives
     deserving of second chances

When Compassion
     knit into shawls of comfort
     welcomes immigrants and asylum seekers
     like monarchs bearing beauty across the desert

 Joyce Ray © 2019 all rights reserved.

Joyce’s poem couldn’t have come at a more apropos time with the debate over the impeachment hearing in the U.S. taking place. I loved both the sting and joy she brought into her poem–I won’t pick out a favorite stanza for I liked them all and read these dual feelings that she’s woven into each stanza.  I also like how the poem looks on the page and the rhythm of it without any punctuation. She closes with our/my dear monarchs. Thanks for this heartfelt lovely package Joy, and thanks also to Tabatha Yeatts for organizing the Winter Poem Swap!

 

Here are the haiku poems I’ve written this last week for Nature in December and that I’m tagging #natember:

12-12-2019
imagine
planetary justice
full-moon gazing

imagine
sky-seas lapis lazuli
full-moon gazing

imagine
solace world-wide
full-moon gazing

12-11-2019 
dusted december’s cold cuts through down into your bones

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12-10-2019
birthday greetings
dear emily, through time and
snowflakes of love
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12-9-2019 
starlight realigns antlers into magical possibilities…

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Holiday Card at: Michelle Kogan Fine Art.

12-8-2019
being tree waiting through winter working for change!

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

 

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Liz Steinglass at her blog Elizabeth Steinglass Poetry for Children and their Grownups is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Liz! She’s written a poem about her favorite word.

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

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Poetry Friday–Nature and December #natember

Raindrop baby leaves 21-1-2019

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m writing nature haikus for December and am tagging them #natember. Linda Baie and Jean LaTourette are also writing them this month, join us. A few other haiku hashtags for December by Jone MacCulloch and Mary Lee Hahn are #haikuforhope #haikuforjustice haiku for kindness. 

   Here are my #natember haiku for this last week:

moss 12-5-2019

12-5-2019
moss shines her
regal welcome for winter,
earth plies for balance…

12-4-2019
blow feathery pine
like birds taking flight—
wayfind wisdom… 

 

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12-3-2019
yellow suzies dance
a few more dances… dally
on December

12-2-2019
silent crinkling
leaves sit, speaking through wind—
lessons to ponder…

lime green raindrop leaves
blanket baby trees as they
wait through winter…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Here’s some uplifting music to balance out the political imbalance…

 

Tanita S. Davis is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, Thanks Tanita! Stop by her blog fiction, instead of lies  for more poetry goodness, and…a December poetry challenge.

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

 

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Poetry Friday–Giving Thanks

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Happy Poetry Friday!

I was very happy this week when I received my very own copy of the best of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, compiled lovingly by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. The spot-on cover and inside art were created by Michelle’s daughter Miranda Barnes. Make sure to turn the book over where the art gorgeously continues onto the back. I love the celadon-mint green that the art bleeds into. Snippets of art from the cover and additional drawings continue into the book. The book is a poetry anthology, and the poems were created by prompts from well known poets and editors who were interviewed via Michelle’s Spotlight ON… interviews on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty.  Thank you Michelle for this 2017-2018 treasured filled, the best of Today’s Little Ditty anthology!

As today is Thanksgiving I’m focusing my post on giving thanks. I’ve read just about all the poems once through and am sharing  a couple poems of hope and thanks from the anthology. Thanks to Diane Mayr and Kat Apel for sharing your poems on a short request!

ADVICE TO A GARDENER

When in the garden 
you have dug
and come across 
a creature smug
remember this:

It captures bugs! 
It slurps up slugs!

Just thank the toad––
no need for hugs.

 © 2018 Diane Mayr.  All rights reserved.

 

SEEDS OF HOPE

Words dig deep––
then germinate inside
the very pores of skin; flourish in the 
softest tissue of the heart.

© 2018 Kathryn Apel. All rights reserved.

from “Truth” by Nikki Grimes

Here are a couple of #thanku haikus and art from this last week,

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time looks close 
time holds all parts 
thanku point of view

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

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inside garden 
meanders in air
thankful moments…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

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thanku thanksgiving
for whittling away walls–
and families joined

© 2019 MichelleKogan

Wishing all celebrating a Happy Thanksgiving and weekend!

Thanks to Bridget Magee who is hosting our Poetry Friday roundup this week, from her blog Wee Words from Wee Ones. Bridget’s focusing this week on being “Thankful From Afar” and her afar is from Switzerland!

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

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Poetry Friday–Holiday EXPO 2019 & Ginger Spice

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Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m sharing some sweetness and spice in poetry and images this week for my post. My images are from The 2019 Winter Art & Crafts EXPO at the Evanston Art Center open now through December 21, 2019 at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. My Greeting Cards, Gift Cards, Bookmarks, and Archival prints featured here are also available in my online Etsy Shop Michelle Kogan Fine Art.

This week Rebecca Herzog at her blog Sloth Reads is our host for the Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Rebecca! And thank you also for your prompt to write a poem about a food that is worthy of having its “own National Day.” I did a little research following Rebecca’s link to the National Day Calendar and wrote a poem about Ginger spice inspired from National Gingerbread Cookie Day. Here’s my poem:

GINGER SPICE

We all need something sweet and nice
tingly, pungent, like ginger spice.

Especially when clouds are cold and gray
A dollop, a sprinkle, some flakes so gay.

It’ll chase away those bumbling blues
and might become your favorite muse…

Go on indulge that epicurean call
sweet or savory it’ll satisfy all.

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

I’m also adding a bit of pungency to my post and sharing a few of my #thanku haikus that I’ve been writing but haven’t had a chance this week to post. One is purely a reaction haiku to this weeks hearings.

where lies respect 
fellow states persons– 
in sphinx’s ashes… 
© 11-20-2019

freedom–value, and 
honor her, hold her dear, 
thanku brave voices 
© 11-19-2019

hold liberty dear 
while under attack… thanku 
freedom stay steadfast. 
© 11-21-2019 Michelle Kogan

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

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#PoetryFriday–Voices for Climate & Justice

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Happy Poetry Friday!

This has been quite a week between the frigid cold we’ve had here in Chicago, and the beginning of the Impeachment hearings… I found a post by artist/Illustrator Emma Reynolds, whose from across the pond, calling for illustrators to add a virtual poster to their their burgeoning collection of #ClimateStike signs promoting #Kidlit4Climate. I decided to repurpose my polar bear and his friend from an earlier March poster I created this year. Find out more about Emma and how you can be a part of this at her blog Emma Reynolds

My poem this week comes from all the brouhaha of the Impeachment hearings and my response to it.

AMERICA EMERGE

When will seas of truth 
come together on banks of 
American soil

When will balance of justice 
outweigh hypocrisy 
across our land

When will political leaders 
regardless of their party 
lead for betterment of all

When will America’s betterment
for all again be held high and 
wash away advances for few

        When 
              will 
                   America 
                        become 
                           America 
                             again…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Here’s a poem by our US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo also on America and Justice.

AN AMERICAN SUNRISE
by Joy Harjo

We were running out of breath, as we ran out to meet ourselves. We
were surfacing the edge of our ancestors’ fights, and ready to strike.
It was difficult to lose days in the Indian bar if you were straight.
Easy if you played pool and drank to remember to forget. We
made plans to be professional — and did. And some of us could sing
so we drummed a fire-lit pathway up to those starry stars. Sin
was invented by the Christians, as was the Devil, we sang. We
were the heathens, but needed to be saved from them — thin
Read the rest of the poem here

 

I’m also sharing some art from my current Picture Book, 1968 Tale of School Turmoil, that I’m seeking a home for, and that also has a strong political voice.
In my picture book 1968 Tale of School Turmoil, nine-year-old Toni is excited about going to a brand new school. But her bubble bursts as she steps off the school bus and sees angry, marching signs yelling, “BLACKS GO HOME!” Join Toni on this turbulent day as she confronts racial prejudice and figures out what tolerance means. My story is a historical, fictionalized account of an event that occurred in my own childhood, on Chicago’s far South Side. It’s written in tanka verse, as I wanted a fast paced feeling unfolding the events.

 

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Our poetry connoisseur Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at her wonderful blog Today’s Little Ditty is our hostess this week for the Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks for hosting Michelle.  And…she has something very special to share with all this week…

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

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Poetry Friday–is it still fall?

1a-Leaf Collage Card front

Leaf Collage Card and Print, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, print with brush pen and watercolor, available in my Etsy Shop.

Happy Poetry Friday

I think it’s still fall, but I’m starting to wonder… We’ve been having some very cold snowy days here in Chicago, our windy city. But I’m holding on to fall till December and bringing you some fallish poems and art. I’m sharing this new leaf collage print/painting. It has a haiku on the back which reads:

autumn leaves
inspire
imagination

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Somewhere below the snow are our autumn leaves–in great abundance, as we haven’t had a chance to rake yet…

The card is available in my Etsy Shop, Michelle Kogan Fine Art, a print will be available there soon. This card and additional cards, prints, and bookmarks will also be at the 2019 Winter Arts and Crafts EXPO at the Evanston Art Center that opens November 16, 2019.

In between the snow, teaching and prepping for this Holiday Fair I’ve been writing #thanku haikus. Here are a few from this week:

thanku morning light
that drives my desires and 
inspires ideas…
11-3-2019

quiet november
night, blankets calm–thanku
mother nature
11-4-2019

looking for fall’s
patience–thankful for its
inward reflection
11-5-2019

gray-day window,
leaves fade away sidewalks speak,
thanks for nature’s eyes
11-6-2019

hurry–walk– only
one hour of sunlight left…

thanku sunshine
11-7-2019
© 2019 Michelle Kogan

My heads still in summer, and I’ve been listening to Lana Del Rays’ Doin’ Time, so I thought I ‘d share it with you. Maybe it’ll scare away some of the cold…

 

Irene Latham at he blog, Live Your Poem, is our roundup hostess extraordinaire this week. Be sure to stop by her blog for lots of poetry goodness! Thanks for hosting Irene!

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

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# PoetryFriday– Halloween & Inktober

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Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m bidding farewell to #Inktober with this last October 31st post. And I guess temporarily to fall as today in Chicago we had winter–snow covered everything. I’m hoping ye old pumpkin came down and has put in some good thoughts for all our dwindling plants…

Here’s my itty bitty poem to carry Inktober out for this year… Prompt: ripe

 

PUMPKIN

Pumpkin’s ripe and ready to go
Ghosts are swaying to and fro
Cat let out a curdling yelp
Baby bats flew off for help
Spider’s crawling all which ways
Witch’s watch covered in haze
Halloween’s here, all ghouls beware
Pumpkins rule at this affair,
They’ll rise
They’ll haunt
They’ll fill your ghoulishness
with ghastly scare…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Thinking about all those in California and hoping they find a safe place–and that these horrific fires die down.

Tabatha Yeatts at her blog Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup. She’s offering up a cornucopia of poetry goodness by Samantha Reynolds, plus even more… So stop by her blog and take it all in–Thanks for hosting Tabatha!

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

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#PoetryFriday–Dad and #Inktober2019

Dreidel butterfly card -10-24-2019

 Dreidel Treasures, WIP, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, pen and ink and watercolor, Holiday card  coming to my Etsy Shop: MichelleKoganFineArt soon.

Happy Poetry Friday!

I have a few poems today, the first couple are for #Inktober2019, from this weeks prompts. In my first one I’m continuing our approaching holiday theme with the prompt word from Monday: treasure.

TREASURE

Find treasure…
spinning through air
whirling through time
celebrating with light
on winter’s
darkest night,
find treasure…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Tuesdays ‘s prompt word was: ghost. (and I have some ghosts sitting on my drawing table waiting for me to complete them…)

ghosts wear many
colors beguiling their true
character…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Yesterday’s prompt word gave us: ancient.

ancient wisdom lies 
waiting in gingko tree’s 
messengers…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Here’s the inktober prompt schedule from the originator Jake Parker:

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October 24th marks the third anniversary of my Fathers passing–he was and continues to be a very unique and dear person for me. I’ve been writing poems for him–about him–about us over these last few years. This one I just wrote:

DAD

You left us in season’s roundness–
After your autumn birthday and
Before Halloween’s harvest moon…

My shining light
my steady beacon,
believing in my constancy
unfailing in support.
I could sail into
unchartered chapters
with your trust in my judgment–
I could build inner
character strength and wipe away
doubt with your trust…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

 

I’m hoping to make a brief appearance for next week’s Poetry Friday–If  I don’t surface I’m probably somewhere in between stacks of cards and pages of my latest picture book dummy preparing for a holiday show and a SCBWI conference, both approaching very soon…

Many Thanks to Karen Edmisten for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, at her blog Karen Edmisten!

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

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#PoetryFriday–#Inktober, ornaments & new card

 

ornaments Card-10-17-2019

Ornaments, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, pen and watercolor.  

Happy Poetry Friday! 

I’m sharing a few poems and quick sketches from the past week for #Inktober2019. The one above has turned into a holiday card (and will be posted soon in my Etsy Shop) with this haiku on the back– prompt word ornaments.

ornaments 
float in air 
like sky’s stardust…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Although the haiku above morphed out of this haiku:

are we like ornaments
floating in air…
or sky’s stardust…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

and another on ornaments that I had misplaced:

ornaments of our
imagination collide 
with politics

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

On 10-15-2019 the prompt word was legend. No sketch for this one but I do have a haiku–perhaps draft… 

legend, come you’ve been
away too many winters–
dormant wisdom waits…

2019 Michelle Kogan

 

And a quick sketch and haiku for 10-14-2019, the prompt was overgrowth:

Overgrowth-leaves-inktober day-14-10-17-2019

an overgrowth of
foliage fills falls
meandering…

© 2019 Michelle Kogan

Here’s the inktober prompt schedule from the originator Jake Parker:

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Thanks to our poet, writer, friend, and blogger extraordinaire Jama Rattigan at her blog Jama’s Alphabet Soup for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Round Up! Can’t wait to see what’s on the menu at her site…    BTW Jama, I love Rommy Kuperus’ ramen purse featured in your Tuesday post!            

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

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