‘Lady Nyo’s Torment’, from “Song of the Nightingale” an episode.

June 19, 2017

Song_of_the_Nightingale_COVER

(This  is a watercolor of mine called “Savannah Birds”.  I gave it to a person who apparently didn’t care for it. I found it under a bed with frame and glazing broken. I brought it home.  A few years later it became the cover of “Song of the Nightingale”.  One can never account for another’s taste.)

 

Two years ago, I published “Song of the Nightingale”, a book containing 13 episodes of poetry describing the life of a 16th century Samurai couple in Japan.  People who had read excerpts of this book loved it, but I didn’t give it enough attention when I published it in 2015. (I went on to publish another book, “Seasoning of Lust” 2sd edition in 2016 and have recently almost finished “Kimono” a long time-warp novel.) Having been a reader of the “Man’yoshu”, a 8th century document of over 4500 poems, I was taken by the beautiful and very modern verse in this great document.  I had the story already in my mind for a few years, but the Man’yoshu gave me a very human element to  understand how people don’t really change over a 1000 years ago.  Human nature, and emotions remain mostly the same. Both of these books, “Song of the Nightingale” and “Seasoning of Lust” can be bought on Amazon.com.

 

“I stay here waiting for him
In the autumn wind, my sash untied,
Wondering, is he coming now,
Is he coming now?
And the moon is low in the sky.
The only company I have tonight,
Now near dawn, is the paling Milky Way,
And Oh, my husband!
There are not stars enough in the heavens
To equal my sorrowful tears.”

—verse of Lady Nyo, 16th century

Hana Nyo threw back the quilted robe from her head.
It was just a dream, just a dream.
Then why does my heart pound so?

Two nights before
Lady Nyo and her nurse
Spent the hours til dawn
Watching the flame rise and fall
Through the shoji of Lord Nyo’s room,
Watched the candle
Consume the poems he was writing–
But to whom?

“Ah, he has another woman!”
Her nurse was loyal but leaned
On the privilege of time.

Lady Nyo’s heart took flight.
Fear and shame dueled
In her blood, pushing reason
From her head.

Did he know?
Did he know?
Did he know about the poems?
Did he know of the vanished lover?

For two days it rained.
November rains poured like
Waterfalls off the eaves,
Broke the stems of the chrysanthemums,
Scattered the flower heads,
Blew great gusts of wet wind into her room,
Blanketing an already sorrowful mind
With a seasonal fury.

Lord Nyo had ridden out
The dawn after
The Night of Burning Poems,
Dressed for hunting,
His falcon on his glove,
Not a word of farewell,
Not a baleful glance in her direction.
She watched him mount his horse,
And gallop away.
She watched from the slits between bamboo blinds,
Like a thief or a beggar,
She didn’t know what she was,
Only felt the sharp sting of shame,
A particular loss of something she probably
Never had.

 

Lady Nyo spent the day journal writing,
Her misery reflected in an unpainted face,
Tangled hair,
Shunning food as a sacrifice:
The pain of her torment
Was not lessened.

“Once I did believe
That no love could still linger
Within my heart
Yet, a love springs from somewhere
And forces itself on me.”

And:

“My eyes have seen you
But I’ve yet to hold you close
You’re like a laurel
That is growing on the moon
And I don’t know what to do.”

Yes, and I don’t know what to do.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2015-2016, (Song of the Nightingale” a tale in 13 episodes can be obtained at Amazon.com)

 

Roses…..

June 18, 2017

My beautiful picture

This is a Madame Alfred Carriere rose that has climbed up the side of the second story and is coming into the bedroom.  Beautiful rose but you can get hurt just rolling around in the bed.

My beautiful picture

A beautiful rose, but very invasive.

My beautiful picture

We will spend Father’s Day cutting back this climber.  I don’t care if it is the wrong time to prune…..you can get hurt just stretching in bed!

We did….cut it back to 4 main canes….no greenery on it at all, but did get some blossoms for the house.  Will clean up tomorrow and try to bend these main canes laterally…so the bud unions can form and we can get new growth.  The Cecille Brunner was  cut back severely this early spring and it is again blooming.  That bush almost tore the chimney down.  It looks cruel to prune so severely, but you do get new blossoms and canes.  The problem is the growth is so fast on these climbers you have to have ladders and someone brave enough to climb and clip…and duck.

I will miss waking up to a face full of blossoms, but it will always try again.  Nature Rules.

Rose Garden April 2017

This is the new Rose Garden.  We had about 20 plants in containers for a year and then put them in the ground.  Then we dug more holes in this Georgia Clay and scant top soil, and put in 15 more a few weeks ago.  They were mostly English roses, David Austin varieties, which have very weak stems….Lady of Shallots, and  others I can’t remember names…and a lot of Knock Out roses that I wouldn’t do again because they really are invasive.  I have to clip, prune them every 5 weeks or so or sooner.  Can’t get down the garden path to that arbor if I don’t.  A few roses came from Walmart, just because they looked promising, and they lived up to the promise.  O.L. Weeks, and Mister Lincoln we planted in containers on stands in the middle of each side of the rose garden, because the Knock Outs just were BIG and swamped these two.  One from Home Depot was “Coretta Scott King”….a white rose tipped with a dark pink.  Lovely. The Lady of Shallots are a beautiful peach/yellow, but have to be staked where they are planted because they are so wimpy stemmed.  There is a really silly rose….a red variegated with white that has only 5 or 6 petals but is so pretty.  I used to be a real snob about where I bought my roses, mostly English and German and a few French roses, online, but now I go for the easier ones to grow and fill up a new rose garden.  These Knock Outs are disease free, constant bloomers and can be pruned into civilized shapes.  The arbor is covered by two “New Dawn” roses…about 15 years there, and they just had no structure beneath them….until we squeezed an iron seated arbor two years ago on Mother’s Day.  Perfect fit with some weaving of canes over it and it has taken off.  Those New Dawns are the mass of pink/white roses over the arbor.  They smell like Ivory soap.

There are two peach roses in planters from Walmart and they are just beautiful and remarkable bloomers.  I didn’t think they would do so well, but they really are impressive.  And cost next to nothing.  Tight budded and incredible fragrance.

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

“Lady Banks” that died when we cut it down and tried to transplant it to the side.  We planted another, but not in that place.  It ate up the corner of the house!

Lady of Shallot

My husband holding a blossom of Lady of Shallot.  Too weak stemmed.  English teas can be that way.  English climbers are much better.

 

Lady Nyo

“High Road”

June 13, 2017

"Eagle" Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2005

“American Eagle”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2001

Open Link Night over at dversepoets pub.  Where you can post one poem of your own-  This is a wonderful slot at dverse where we can read some  original poems.

Although I wrote this poem a couple of years ago, it seemed rather appropriate to today.  We all have choices, and they might not be easy, but we should expect our leadership, our politicians, who say they will represent us in the political arena to exhibit the best of character.  Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the standard in practice.

HIGH ROAD

 

Asking directions to the high road,
I got shrugs and blank stares
yet knew there were two roads-
both led into infinity
both coursed through
all manner of life with pitfalls, trenches
where bones were broken
skulls rattled loose from moorings
like ships in high winds…. dangerous waters.

What was the difference
and why should it matter?
The effort cost
energy regardless the choosing.

An old man sat at the crossroads,
a bum, grizzled gray hair
sprouting porcupine’s quills,
rheumy, pale eyes staring at the world–
little interest in what passed by.

I asked him the way to the High Road
and with a toothless grin
he stared at my feet, my hands,
lifted his eyes to my face.
I thought him mad and cursed myself
(asking questions of a fool!)
And was moving away when I heard his voice:

“Did I know of the eagle and crow,
how they soared upon thermals
higher and higher
became dark, formless specks upon a limitless sky,
lost to human eye, invisible even to gods?”

I thought him crazed and started away-
he cackled and spat on the ground.
Something made me turn, startled,
And saw the wisdom of Solomon in his
now- shining eyes.

 

“The crow harries the eagle, the eagle flies higher.
Vengeful, annoying crow flies round eagle’s wing
turning this way and that, yet the eagle flaps upward
soars upon thinning air until the crow
breathless and spent, drops to the common ground-
falls to his death.”

“The High Road, the path of the eagle.
The low road, the path of the crow,
mingling with dullards

daring nothing, with eyes cast downward
only saving a bit of energy
learning nothing of worth.”

Silently he sat, an old man
eyes glazed with age and fatigue.
With a nod to his wisdom and a toss of a coin
I gathered my strength and pushed onward,
Upwards, the lift of eagles, now under my limbs.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2017

 

Sumo Wrestlers…..Haibun

June 12, 2017

 

images (3)

Sumo Puppies at dinner…..

 

Over at dversepoets pub, Bjorn is challenging poets to write a sport themed haibun.  I’ll bite, as I have a fascination with this ancient Japanese sport.

Lady Nyo

 

Sumo Wrestling

I love Sumo wrestling. Or at least I think I do. Perhaps it is the only sport where I don’t feel like I have to hold in my stomach sitting there. Watching those mountains of flesh-men grapple with each other makes my heart beat hard. There is such history around this sport, and such a deep tradition. The fact that they gorge themselves with a purpose makes my heart sing. How wonderful that you can eat and eat without any concern for weight or fashion!
And, did you know that those belts they wear can cost a million yen? Or so I have read. I have also read that Sumo Wrestlers are some of the most humble and gentle of men. Here, have another bowl of rice.

Mountains of flesh pound

A ring of sandy earth
Cunning and strength vie.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2017

 

“Spring Can’t Wait”….poem.

June 8, 2017

spring garden 4

(Tulips a few seasons ago….tulips don’t do well in the South.)

Soft late-winter night
Where the moon rides the sky
Like a beggar’s cup one-fourth filled.
The skeleton trees are silhouetted
Against the horizon
As light folds into dark velvet.

He remembers her skin,
Tender, warm,
Powdered bo silk,
Breasts full like
The cup of the moon–
The shape, not the level.

She spills over
Like melons of summer.

Warm sake in hand
He salutes the sky,
Moon and now winking stars
And sees that Spring
Has over-taken the land.
Winter’s hand still rough on the
Earth, but Spring, eternal and forever
Bids Winter move its carcass—
Give room for the birth of the earth.

Haunting notes of a Shakuhachi flute
Floats in the chilly wind….

Eternal, whirling dance
From season to season,
Never tiring in effort,
Surprises with earliest snowbells
And the first shy crocus.
The red maple is bursting
With carmine pompoms on bare branches.
Soon plum trees will prove as vital.

The earth’s gestation is in the air,
And life is seducing with promise.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

Some short poems or possibly Tanka….

June 7, 2017

For my poetical friends, but especially Kanzen Sakura…..

Watercolor, Salisbury, janekohut-bartels, 2005

(“The Downs”, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2003)

The rain has finally stopped, and the sun is brilliant in the sky this morning. The mosquitoes are flying and the birds singing.  How can you not love life?  Even the garbage men this am add to the earth song with their clanging cans and motorized groan of the truck.

Lady Nyo

 

Mist drifts in waves
Ribbon-ing maple branches
The rising of moon
Make Egrets shimmer silver-
Gauzy ghosts of nothingness.

How could I forget
The beauty of the pale moon
A face of sorrow
Growing thin upon the tide
No one but she visits me.

The moon floats on wisps
Of clouds extending outward.
Tendrils of white fire
Blanketing the universe
Gauzy ghosts of nothingness.

Presence of Autumn
Burst of color radiates
From Earth-bound anchors
Sun grabs prismatic beauty
And tosses the spectrum wide!


Cranes wheeled in the sky
Their chiding cries fell to hard earth
Warm mid winter day
A pale half moon calls the birds
To stroke her face with soft wings.


Glimpse of a white wrist
Feel the pulse of blood beneath-
This is seduction!
But catch a wry, cunning smile
One learns all is artifice.

Overhead, the cranes,
Sandhills– swirl in broad circles.
Broken GPS?
No matter, their cries fall down
Celestial chiding rain.

The full moon above
Floats on blackened velvet seas
Poet’s perfection!
But who does not yearn for a
Crescent in lavender sky?

In this single branch
Of a wintry holly,
A hundred words hide.
A thousand blushes appear.
Do not overlook the thorns.

So lonely am I
My soul like a floating weed
Severed at the roots
Drifting upon cold waters
No pillow for further dreams.

Like the lithe bowing
Of a red maple sapling
My heart turns to you,
Yearns for those nights long ago
When pale skin challenged the moon.

Shooting star crosses
Upended bowl of deep night
Imagination
Fires with excited gaze.
A moment– and all is gone.


Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008-2017

“A Kapitany”, a novel. Chapter 27

June 6, 2017

0403whe-r01-002

 

WARNING:  SEX SCENE AND OTHER STUFF  YOU DON’T WANT THE KITTIES TO READ.

 

Eight years ago I started to research and write this novel.  It was an encounter between an American woman and a Hungarian man that blossomed more than expected by this writer.   She was innocent of all knowledge about this setting, and he was a Dom.  Not any way innocent of the BDSM scene, world.  In a year and a half I learned more about this ‘scene’ than I wanted to.  Now I can laugh at the presumptuousness of  men who claim to be Doms….the women are more able to evoke sympathy from me. Sometimes. It is hard to watch a women subject herself to  form of slavery.

In any case, I set this story in Hungary and Paris.  Vadas Dohendy is in his early 60’s, tired of life, and an art thief.  He doesn’t break into museums at his stage of life, but it’s basically a well oiled insurance fraud scheme.  Elizabeth is in her 50’s and bound up unexpectedly in the snares and personality of Vadas. In Vadas’ attempt to leave the field of art thievery, Elizabeth is abducted by his arch enemy, Miklos.  A man he has worked with for over 30 years.  Elizabeth is recovering but the ‘insult’ to Elizabeth (almost killing her) is seen as beyond the pale by Vadas.  Hence, warfare breaks out in Eger, Paris and other places in Hungary.

This was a lot of fun to write….and I finally finished it 2 years ago. But I haven’t done a proper editing and will have to  soon.

Soffia is a character from Vadas’ past.  A Domme, but has become friends with Elizabeth.

Lady Nyo

 

A Kapitany, Chapter 27

 

“Soffia, I need a favor, darling. Yes, I know, your Vadas only calls when he needs a favor. Soffia, listen to me. I must come to Budapest.”

Vadas grimaced and pulled at his cigarette. Soffia could be a hard ass and right now she was being just that. He shifted the phone on his shoulder and stretched his legs.

“I have several things to do in Budapest. What I need is you to come here and stay with Elizabeth. No, she is much better, she is walking around. Yes, she is better, but I don’t want to leave her alone right now. I still don’t know where Miklos is, and I don’t want him showing up here when I am gone. No, I have men posted to watch, but I don’t want to alarm her.”
Vadas held the phone from his ear. Soffia was full of grievances this morning. He wasn’t in a mood to listen.

“No, darling, I haven’t told her yet you are coming. I thought I should ask first. Yes, I know, Soffia, I take great advantage of you. I will make it up. What? You pick. You know your Vadas will buy what you desire. I always have, darling.”
Vadas blew smoke towards the ceiling. “Listen, Soffia, Elizabeth has agreed to marry. Yes, I am speaking the truth. No, I didn’t burn her passport. No, I didn’t break her arm, funny lady.”

He rolled his eyes. Soffia was chattering on. “Look, you can help with planning the wedding. What? Yes, it will be a wedding. A big wedding. You will be maid of honor or whatever they call the woman next to the bride. Where? Some church in Eger. You take her around and show things. You can buy the dress, and another one for you. Yes, like last time. I trust you, Soffia. She will be a pretty bride. You both will be pretty brides. What? I’ll marry you off to one of my men, ok? You will like living in the countryside. No, I am teasing, Soffia. I know you are too sophisticated for these men around here.”

A few more minutes and Vadas got what he wanted. Soffia was coming out by car and would stay with Elizabeth for a few days. This would give him the time to go to Paris, see his lawyers and visit the old aunties. They were his only living relatives. It was crucial he at least visit and invite them in person. They held some important purse strings.

At lunch Vadas asked Elizabeth what should be done with the frescos.

“For now? Nothing, Vadas. First secure the roof. Anything done before that would be pointless. Then fix the plaster in the ceilings. It’s rather scary lying under that ceiling in the bed. It could all give in at any moment. But the frescos should not be touched. They are too valuable and historic for any hands besides professional conservators. And that would cost a lot of money.”

Elizabeth pushed around her salad. She still wasn’t eating much.

“Probably the damp in the house doesn’t help. Fix the windows in the rooms where there are frescos. Where there aren’t, board them up properly. They will be costly to fix anyway. Those sashes have to be custom made.”

Vadas smiled over his coffee. “You have been thinking, no? You speak good sense, Elizabeth. Now, I have a plan. You do that stuff on the internet, you know, press those buttons, and find the people who can fix the roof first. You can go into Eger and ask. I would start there first.”

Elizabeth looked doubtful. “Vadas, do you remember I don’t speak Hungarian? They would laugh at me first, and then throw me out.”

“Well, I have a solution. I have asked Soffia to come up for a couple of days. Now, listen to me, Elizabeth. I have to go to Budapest for a couple of days, on business only and no you can’t come. I will be racing all over and you will not be able to keep up. Plus, I have to call upon my old aunties and invite them to the wedding. You and Soffia can plan the wedding, you two girls. This is woman stuff, and it best left in your capable hands. Four capable hands.”

Elizabeth still looked doubtful. In fact, she looked upset. Vadas guessed what was worrying her.

“Listen, Elizabeth. Soffia has promised to be good. She has promised not to get you under her or whatever she does. Ok? No hanky panky from her. Plus, she is Hungarian and can help arrange the workmen. It will be fun. You won’t even miss me and I will be back before you do.”

Elizabeth said nothing. She continued to push her food around the plate.
Vadas sat back and watched. “Do you remember, Elizabeth, when I told you I would feed you? That you would eat from my hand only? Do I have to do that now? You are going to look like a scarecrow at your wedding. What man wants to sleep with a woman who is skin and bones? The winter, Elizabeth, is hard in these hills.”

Vadas had no trouble with his own appetite. He cut up his meat and held out his fork. “You come here, Elizabeth. You eat this. Then you eat another mouthful.”
Elizabeth looked at him, her eyes filling with tears. “Vadas, I’m scared.”

“What? You are scared of meat?”

“You know, you must know. What if Miklos comes back when you are gone? What if he comes here? Soffia is no defense against him. You know that.”

Vadas sat back and patted his knee. “You come here Elizabeth and I will explain something.”

Elizabeth knew his behavior made her look like a child, a ‘good girl’ in his terms. But she was scared and the news he was going away put her on edge.
She sat on his lap and Vadas wrapped his arms around her. He had this habit of humming off key when she was close by, and Elizabeth found it strangely comforting.

“Now look, Elizabeth. You and Soffia will be safe. I have men here you won’t see. But anyone who approaches by foot or car will be known. These men are hunters and they know this particular prey. And you are wrong about Soffia. I would rather go up against two men than Soffia. She is a good shot, too. I will give her a gun. Hell, you can have a gun, too. Ok? Dry your tears and eat this good food.”

“Vadas, I can handle a gun. I have before.”

“What? You know how to shoot? I will sleep with one eye open from now on. Eat another piece of meat.”

Just to see if she was telling the truth, Vadas took her out behind the lodge where there was a meadow. He set up some bottles as targets and loaded a large pistol. Standing behind her with his hands around hers, he told her to gently squeeze the trigger. She missed.

“Ok, we do this again. You hold the gun steady, Elizabeth. You are jerking the gun.”

“Vadas. Let me do this without your hands all over. Let me try, please.”

Vadas backed off and Elizabeth considered the target. She closed one eye and aimed carefully. The bottle exploded.

“Good girl! That was beginner’s luck. You try again.” Elizabeth hit the bottle but the gun was heavy. It wasn’t a light pistol, but a heavy European model. The sound scared her.

“Enough, Vadas. My wrist hurts. I have shot a gun before. I don’t use pistols, so this was hard. I have my own shotgun.”

“What? You have a shotgun? What, a lady’s gun? Maybe a small gauge? Something for mice?”

Elizabeth laughed. “No, Vadas, I have a 12 gauge for bird hunting. I have another, a breech loader, I use with skeet.”

“Oh, skeet don’t taste good, Elizabeth.  Each day I learn something new about you. This is good, Elizabeth. By the time we are married I will know all your secrets.”

Elizabeth smiled. “Don’t bet on it, Vadas. I have lived a long life. I have many secrets.”

Vadas took the gun and put it in one of the larger vest pockets. He put his arm around Elizabeth’s shoulder and they went back to the lodge.

That evening Elizabeth asked him. “So when are you leaving and when is Soffia coming?”

Vadas looked up from his paper. “Are you pushing me out the door? Well, Soffia is coming tomorrow and I thought I would hang around until she got here. Then I can read her the riot act again.” Vadas went back to his paper.
When Soffia arrived, Vadas brought her into his study and closed the door. They were in there for a while and Elizabeth decided to take a walk. She would see if she could spy these men lingering about. Vadas said they would be invisible, but she wanted to see for herself. When she came back in the lodge, Vadas and Soffia were by the fire drinking whisky.

“Ah, Elizabeth darling! You look good! So much better than those first few days in hospital.”

“Hello, Soffia.” Elizabeth went and kissed her on both cheeks. “It’s good to see you again.” She sat down on a small sofa. Vadas held out his whisky to her and she shook her head.

“Vadas has given me a list of things we can do and things we can’t do,” Soffia said brightly. “But we can spend his money and that is the best thing.”
Vadas sighed. “Always you women spend my money. That is constant.”

He took a deep pull on his drink. “Now Elizabeth, I have explained to Soffia something. You two go up to the house, but always take one of my men. Better to take two. One inside and one outside watching. Soffia knows who, so she leads. You go into Eger, Soffia will drive, and you will be safe there. But I have given specific orders to Soffia and you are to obey, ok?”

Elizabeth looked at Soffia. She was met by a big grin. It was clear to Elizabeth Soffia had her own plans.

Vadas must have caught something. He clucked his tongue at her. “You remember Rule Number One, Soffia. You don’t forget it.”

That night Soffia slept in Elizabeth’s bedroom. Vadas was up working on some papers and came upstairs late. Elizabeth had gone to bed and was just falling off to sleep. She tried to stay awake until he came up, but the day’s activities and Soffia coming had worn her out. Vadas undressed by a small lamp and came in bed.

“Elizabeth, I know you are awake. I can tell by your breathing. Now listen. Soffia has her orders. She will be good company for you. I will be gone three, maybe five days, but I will be back before you know it.”

“Ok, Vadas”, she said with a yawn. “Soffia has her orders, I hear you.” Sitting up, she asked. “Vadas, listen to me. You made a promise about Miklos. Are you going after him and this is why you are leaving now?”

“Elizabeth. You don’t worry about what I am doing. I’m seeing lawyers, old aunties and wine clients. You will learn I have business that doesn’t concern you. Now, you be a good girl and behave with Soffia. At least tell me you will behave.” Vadas switched out the little lamp.

Sliding down the bed he pulled Elizabeth towards him. He began kissing her neck and worked his way down to her breast.

“You are warm and soft. You eat more and the bed will be warmer this winter.” He had an erection and pulled one of her legs over his hip.

 

“Now, Elizabeth, we go slow. Just a little and you tell me if I hurt you.”     Elizabeth shifted in his arms. After a few minutes, she was ready enough.
Vadas didn’t lose any time. He gently pushed into her. Not meeting objections, he began to make love with his old vigor. He rolled over on her and sat back, pulling her hips up onto his thighs. Elizabeth moaned and watched him illuminated only from the feeble moonlight that came from the windows. Here was her old Vadas, as strong as a horse.

“Ah, fuck me, Elizabeth.”

It didn’t take long for either of them,  with Vadas rocking into her and Elizabeth lifting her hips to meet him. Panting, Vadas lay over her, drained of energy. Elizabeth smiled. Miklos hadn’t won. She had healed and picked up the important pieces of her life. Vadas tonight proved that. His cock was one of those important pieces. Oh, how she had missed it!

“Elizabeth”, Vadas said quietly. “How come you never ask me for anything? You know I will give it.”

Elizabeth was half asleep, wrapped in his arms under a blanket. The heat from his body almost made it unnecessary. She wondered what she should say.
“I don’t need anything, Vadas. You are generous enough to me. What do I have to want?”

“Soffia always gets something when she asks. You know I have a soft spot for women. I can’t say no. You want a car? I will buy you a nice Mercedes. I will give you a driver so you won’t get lost.

“Vadas, go to sleep. I want nothing. Perhaps when we marry we can bring my Aunt Irene over for the wedding?”

“Of course, that would be nice. But you know you can ask me for anything, Elizabeth. A husband takes care of his wife.”

“I’m not your wife yet, Vadas. I will be expensive enough when we are wed. Think of the cost of all those sheep and a trained sheep dog. You will howl at the price.”

Vadas laughed, a deep rumbling sound in the night. “I am thinking of roast lamb right now, with a good bottle of wine.”

“Vadas, go to sleep. You are always thinking of your stomach.”

Vadas fell asleep, snoring loudly. Elizabeth fell asleep but not before she thought of what he said. She really didn’t have anything to want for, except for her safety from Miklos. She already knew Vadas would not listen to her. She knew he would continue to go after him. She knew as long as she stuck close to his side, she would be safe. If he could do this, Vadas could do anything. She wanted for nothing, really. Vadas always pays.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008-2017

 

 

Beyond, beyond Manchester…and it happens again and again.

June 6, 2017

 

Don’t know what to say anymore.  England is paying a rough and deadly price.  Teresa May says “Enough is Enough”….but what does that really mean?  More police on the streets?  Get the MI6 off their fat duffs and out in the neighborhoods?

Actually, May states that  ‘reinforcing our British values” is part of a four part plan to ‘address’ terrorism.  It seems she is snatching at straws with this as the Muslims who do this terror don’t give a fart for British values.  They are out to destroy the British and their damn ‘values’.   And waving this in front of these zealots won’t mean a tinker’s damn.

Muslims, and these are the parents, grandparents that came here in the 70’s and 80’s from countries like Pakistan/Egypt/etc…settled in towns and villages and most just maintained their traditions (and their isolation) and small businesses but some of their children in their 20’s seemed to gravitate to the radical Islamic extremist ideology.  Are the Imams in the mosques to blame?  Who knows?  but the British are  going to get tired of singing “Kumbuya” sooner or later.  I don’t think that the UK has a surplus of citizens to sacrifice to this terror that they seem to be playing a rear end game with.  First a mass killing and then , “Oh, yeah, let’s go investigate the neighborhood and the neighbors where they seem to be organizing these attacks from.”

Come on.  When they point their attacks at children there is no excuse for anything they do.  There is no ‘but, but….”.  I stopped listening when the roll call of children with their sweet faces were published.

Ramadan a “Holy Month”? Well, a lot of your folk didn’t get the memo.  Your culture and your religion are losing ground fast with your terrorism.

Even with the liberals.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2017

Beyond Manchester: The real issues of surviving terrorism.

May 30, 2017

This is an article sent to me very recently.  I thought it would be rather outlandish, but upon careful reading and consideration, it answered so many of the issues I had around our response to terrorism and our feelings of despair.  It’s like we are siting ducks.  Manchester was the last straw for me.  Targeting children at a pop concert, and the death of so many innocents just can’t be seen as “terror business as usual”.  I’m sure that some will counter with “ISIS et al. were birthed by Western policies on Afghanistan and Syria.”  I’ve heard all that before and again.  I just don’t care anymore about the so called origins of terror.  I can’t do much about the children killed by ISIS, etc. in Aleppo, except write poems about this horrible tragedy, nor can I do much about many things in life.  But I can use this blog and other sources to bring what I feel is right in the face of this continuing terrorism by a bunch of barbarians who hide behind a religion to kill and destroy cultures that they feel they can.  I am only posting a small section of this article, as I have written for permission to post this here.  I believe this is important enough, speaks to so much of our confusion around terrorism to do this.

Jane 

 

“After the terror, the platitudes. And the hashtags. And the candlelit vigils. And they always have the same message: ‘Be unified. Feel love. Don’t give in to hate.’ The banalities roll off the national tongue. Vapidity abounds. A shallow fetishisation of ‘togetherness’ takes the place of any articulation of what we should be together for – and against. And so it has been after the barbarism in Manchester. In response to the deaths of more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande gig, in response to the massacre of children enjoying pop music, people effectively say: ‘All you need is love.’ The disparity between these horrors and our response to them, between what happened and what we say, is vast. This has to change.

It is becoming clear that the top-down promotion of a hollow ‘togetherness’ in response to terrorism is about cultivating passivity. It is about suppressing strong public feeling. It’s about reducing us to a line of mourners whose only job is to weep for our fellow citizens, not ask why they died, or rage against their dying. The great fear of both officialdom and the media class in the wake of terror attacks is that the volatile masses will turn wild and hateful. This is why every attack is followed by warnings of an ‘Islamophobic backlash’ and heightened policing of speech on Twitter and gatherings in public: because what they fundamentally fear is public passion, our passion. They want us passive, empathetic, upset, not angry, active, questioning. They prefer us as a lonely crowd of dutiful, disconnected mourners rather than a real collective of citizens demanding to know why our fellow citizens died and how we might prevent others from dying. We should stop playing the role they’ve allotted us.

As part of the post-terror narrative, our emotions are closely policed. Some emotions are celebrated, others demonised. Empathy – good. Grief – good. Sharing your sadness online – great. But hatred? Anger? Fury? These are bad. They are inferior forms of feeling, apparently, and must be discouraged. Because if we green-light anger about terrorism, then people will launch pogroms against Muslims, they say, or even attack Sikhs or the local Hindu-owned cornershop, because that’s how stupid and hateful we apparently are. But there is a strong justification for hate right now. Certainly for anger. For rage, in fact. Twenty-two of our fellow citizens were killed at a pop concert. I hate that, I hate the person who did it, I hate those who will apologise for it, and I hate the ideology that underpins such barbarism. I want to destroy that ideology. I don’t feel sad, I feel apoplectic. Others will feel likewise, but if they express this verboten post-terror emotion they risk being branded as architects of hate, contributors to future terrorist acts, racist, and so on. Their fury is shushed. ‘Just weep. That’s your role.’ ”

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017, from an article published on “Spiked”.

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend….

May 26, 2017

"Eagle" Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2005

(“American Eagle”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2004, watercolor)

 

Memorial Day Weekend. My father, my cousin Donnie, my mother in law Betty, my father in law Hap, our son Christopher and those who have served our country, I am grateful. We take for granted their sacrifice, and they and so many others, are the backbone of our defense and safety of our Nation. We are one of the few in our neighborhood that fly the flag, and this just isn’t enough.  Our Nation is under stress /attack from many quarters. We salute them and their sacrifices.

Many people feel that patriotism is old fashioned, out of step with multiculturalism, etc.  It is not a situation  of “my country, right or wrong’.  It is a look back at all the struggles and sacrifice that has been given by so many to build this nation and for us to enjoy the freedoms we have today.  If you think these freedoms are just something in our constitution, think again.  I have a very dear friend across the globe who got in a lot of trouble for his posts on the internet.  His employer tried to fire him and he had to obtain an attorney. A four month battle and suspension, and the place of employment is demanding that he never use social media again.  On or off the job.  This is draconian and outrageous, but it makes me understand our freedoms, and especially our freedom of speech better.  We take so much for granted in this country.  We think that things fall from Heaven but they don’t.  They are hard won by the labors and sacrifice of lives.

I live and have for almost 50 years in a part of Atlanta where fully 70% of the young men have destroyed their future of any service by drugs, crime, gangs.  So many just rent their citizenship.  They do nothing but destroy the nation with their behavior.  Then there are others who serve and die in wars and this is a great tragedy that they don’t get to live out their lives that they have done the hard labor to protect our rights in this Nation.  We must honor these last men and women.  The Devil take the others.

Make Memorial Day a celebration of those who have served and sacrificed and not just a three day holiday of food. We are going to find something to attend or do, Fred and I, this weekend that makes Memorial Day become what it is supposed to be. Bless our Nation and our future.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

The Lady Nyo, with glitter

The Lady Nyo, with glitter


%d bloggers like this: