“I Feel The Rain Waiting to be Born”

March 17, 2023

I feel the rain waiting to be born,

hear the banshee wind

Racing round eaves,

Scaring the attic haunts,

Making hambone frenzy with

Powdery limbs.

Trees now tilting whirligigs

Ancient pin, water oaks

Dancing St. Germaine’s dance–

Frenzy below amongst quilted colors

Ruffling the feathers of nature

Tossing the spectrum wide.

I smell mossy rain finally born,

Hear the clatter on a tin roof

Smell again the musty fog

Born of a sullen, moaning stream

And head for bed under the eaves,

Shared with a Banshee wind

And a hambone frenzy until dawn.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2023

“I Remember the Scream”

March 16, 2023

I Remember….

I remember the scream

In the middle of the night

Of something dying

Down by the river,

Killed by an owl

Or possibly a fox.

I remember bolting awake

In my parent’s bed,

My heart in my throat

My father just died

The funeral over

Sleeping in

His bed,

Afraid to move from this reality

To the next,

No comfort to be had

Even with the scent of

His tobacco in the sheets.

I wandered the house,

Touched the walls,

Looked through windows

To a landscape not

Changed over years,

Ran my hands down the

Black walnut banister,

Smooth, smooth

As if the days would turn back

Just by this touch

And he would be here.

That scream somewhere on the banks

In the middle of the night,

When I jerked from sleep to

Awake, knowing, he was dead-

The father who loved me

Was gone forever.

I knew then

I was unmoored from life

floating out of reach of love.

A scream that challenged dreams

He would come back,

He wasn’t awaiting the fire

He would wake up,

Much as I did,

In a cold-sweat fear

And slowly, slowly

resume his place in the living.

There are unseen things

That happen in the night,

Down on the river bank,

Where life is challenged by death

Where a rabbit screams his mighty last

Where the heart leaps to the throat,

Where the most we can hope

Is a silent ghost

Who walks out of the river’s fog,

Extends his arms

And embraces the sorrowing.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

from “Pitcher of Moon”

“Stripped Down Winter”

March 14, 2023


I love the bare-ness of Winter, with its stripped down palette of black, duns, greys.  With the scent of evergreens, and the flash of a kamikaze cardinal.

The stark shadows, the sullen blanket of snow, an early call to dusk:  the solitude, the silence, the stillness call me to my books.   I enter a distant world through magic of words and my soul is refreshed.  The silence embraces me. I feel my aging bones lengthen in the solitude.  I am at peace.

I wander the fields

Snow covers the barren soil

Sharp wind plays pan pipes

A murder of crows huddle

Black laughing fruit hang from limbs

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

“A Weird Chapter of “Devil’s Revenge”

March 8, 2023

As Garrett and Abigor meet and talk, so do Bucon and his son, Obadiah, with the same purpose in mind.

Lady Nyo



Obadiah and Bucon sat before a smoky fire, two pairs of legs stretched out towards the low burning logs.  Boot leather was drying and cracking from the heat like fried pork skins.  Bucon was packing a white clay pipe with tobacco and leaned to the hearth to pick up a red coal with his fingers.  The smell of burning flesh did not seem to alarm him.

An Arch Duke of Hell, Chief Demon of Hatred, Bucon looked through the haze of pipe smoke at his youngest son.  Secretly Bucon was proud of Obadiah.  He exhibited the important issues of venality and depravity that dovetailed with his own.  He definitely was a chip off the old block.

Ah, humanity had gone flat, become flabby, uninteresting.  Since the French Revolution the ground had gone fallow.  Hatred was hard to sow right now,  these early years of the 19th century.  A kind of prosperity with this Industrial Revolution had begun to spread amongst citizens.  Perhaps it was too early to tell, but there was  hope  in future conflict and overwork in these new mills and factories.  Father’s daughters  leaving their homes and spinning wheels had promise.   Money was certainly the root of all evil, but this new evil would have to fester a while.  Hope for a better life did not leave much consideration for the growth of hatred.  It would take time.

Bucon sighed, sending a black, tarry smoke from his lungs.  The crusades were long over but what a wonderful time that was!  Such invigorating events…all steeped in violence and contention. Religion certainly kept those fires burning amongst mankind.

It was a Devil’s Delight, those years.

Bucon had five invisible eyes and with the two glittering black ones on his face he could see all activity of humanity on the seven continents. Spreading hatred and contention was  fine, but what really got the bile going was interfering with the natural sentiment between men and women.  He could spend all day and night sowing discord and disgruntlement, jealousy and malice between a man and his wife, but he had to be careful.  Jealously was the domain of some particularly nasty Jewish demons and although they were all in this world (and others) together, there was still a question of overstepping territories.  When done, well, they tended to act as their natures dictated.  In heated spades.


Bucon looked over at Obadiah and thought:  “What a fop”. 

Dressed in a black wool suit with spit polished boots, a shirt and cravat whiter than virgin snow, Bucon sneered at him.  Bucon’s own linen was always limp and dingy, his boots regardless of polish dull and the pores of his face pitted with the black leavings of sin.  Bucon wondered if Obadiah really was of his seed.

“Father, what do you counsel here?”

If Obadiah’s clothes were a better cut, his heart certainly belonged to Daddy.

“Well, son, tell me again.  Exactly what is it you are seeking?  Is it this mortal woman you are clamoring about?  I already told you could have a million of them with the snap of your clean fingers.”

Bucon looked at his own hands.  He had bitten them to the quick and dried blood encrusted the nails. Sowing hatred was hard work.  A thought occurred to Bucon.

“Have you fallen in love, Obadiah?”

His son’s eyes flashed and an elegant sneer appeared on his countenance.

“Love?  Do you think that possible, Father?  Am I not your own son?”

Bucon spat into the fire, his stream of spit becoming a little snake screaming as the flames consumed it.

I wish those little devils wouldn’t do that.  It always startles me.

Bucon was old as sin, older than original sin. But he wondered. He had seen a lot in his endless time. Not only mankind was changing.  Even demons could be affected by outside forces.   Obadiah was certainly his son, but influences surrounding him could have made some inroads into his thinking.  This would do the trick.  Or better, could undercut the natural ‘trickery’ embedded so deeply in the brotherhood.

Bucon sat and thought over the options.  He spit again but slammed down his foot on the snake, crushing it.  No scream came from beneath his boot.

Influences such as the Enlightenment, the Romantics in literature, music, could give pause to a waffling demon’s natural tendencies.  This ‘turn the other cheek’ of this Christian God was only a tremor in the bedrock of their natural existence. Better the ‘eye for an eye’ of the Old Testament.  At least that would keep the wars flowing.

Ah, Evil might be banal but it’s still hard work.

Bucon had a thought.  “Gettin’s is keepin’s, son?”

Obadiah’s tight smile showed he understood the reference.  Bullfinch’s words interpreting a scene between Agamemnon and Achilles.

”Perhaps, Father.  This other is the target.  The women only stands between us.”

Ah, thought Bucon.  That Obadiah didn’t blast her away said reams.  Yes, his son was smitten, was softening. Some Demon.  Any further weakening would lead to defeat.

“Well, son, what is it you want from me?”

Obadiah stared into the fire.  “I have to figure out whom to trust, who to gather in for this fight.”

Bucon thought his choice of words was interesting.  “Trust” wasn’t exactly a word to use when referring to demons. 

“Well, you know who your opponent is gathering in?”

Obadiah didn’t immediately answer, and Bucon thought perhaps his son didn’t.

“I do know he’s consulted with Abigor already.  Heard some word about Andras..  and he’s researching possibilities in Celtic mythology.”

“That would be natural, son.  Your opponent has his roots there.  But if he’s dealing with Druids, he won’t get much help from them.  Those folk see Demons as offshoots of Christianity. Rather a narrow bunch, I’d say.”

“Any suggestions for me to ponder, Father?”

“Ah…let me think.  Perhaps you need demons of greater and lesser abilities. One level to keep watch over your opponent….couldn’t hurt….and another level of jabbing monkeys.”

Obadiah, being of a more fastidious sort of devil, was surprised at his father’s choice of terms. But it did sound like an all-around plan.  Perhaps some of the lesser demons to be-devil his opponent and then he would make some well-placed visits to more important ones.

“Perhaps you can also consider the Nephilim, son. They could be part of a battle plan. Think on this.”

Yes, thought Obadiah.  The Nephilim.  That could tip the balance in his favor fast.  With those giants on his side,  a victory would be more than possible.

“Remember, son what is most important here. Can you recall what was lesson Number One?”

 “Yes, Father. ‘Only the darkest of hearts in Hell thrive.’

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2023

“Johny Muttner”

March 6, 2023

Johnny Muttner

He would come down the school bus aisle,

An early morning scowl on his face

His right leg dragging

And we would advert our eyes or giggle.

No one knew for sure

What was wrong with Johnny

But an adult said

“Maybe a club foot”

And we went through our poor knowledge

Of the word club to figure this out.

Country club, caveman’s club, club soda

That was about the full of it.

Johnny was a farm boy,

And wore the rough overalls to school.

That, paired with the strange, heavy shoes

Was sure to isolate him from our mainstream.

And our ‘mainstream’ were other farm kids,

But without the limp.

Every so often, a boy would get caught in a bailer

And die or be maimed

So perhaps this was the fate of Johnny

But no one really knew

And no one had the courage to ask.

This was the time of polio

Of Iron Lungs

Of cripples and crutches

And non-motorized wheelchairs

So why did Johnny get treated

By us this way?

Because he was amongst us,

Our age, a farm boy like the rest of us.

Our fathers came home not long before

From War, with the embellishments of combat

Physical and psychological

But this was too close to home, our generation

And not our father’s.

The scowl on his face

And the fact that

No one on the school bus would make room

Meant he suffered the full blows

Of childhood brutality.

Who knows what he suffered at home.

There is a time, in childhood

When children are compassionate

When they surround with concern

A child thrown off a swing, or with skinned knees

Or a cast on an arm that we all clamber to sign,

But at a set stage, all this changes; we become brutes

Like many of the rural parents we saw and knew

Our own parents who would shoot a stray dog

Or cut the throat of a lamb

And don’t ask what they did to cats.

So we became imitation adults

The worse of us

And Johnny suffered our transformations

From childhood to an early mean adulthood.

It wasn’t until high school

That Johnny changed and we girls

Noticed the change.

He became handsome, talkative

Almost a different boy, winsome

And he stood tall and no one

Noticed the limp anymore.

Perhaps he had learned to hide it.

60 years later I remember him,

He floats before my eyes

Of a time faded into nothingness

Mostly I remember the cruelties

That this lamb suffered

At the hands of children

Growing into life

And a mean, unavoidable destiny.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2023


March 2, 2023


March 2, 2023

This glowing orb,

this speckled beacon

of a late spring night,

hiding behind fresh greenery

rises gracefully,


inching closer

to the apex of the universe-

like a pickpocket who

moves with oiled gears

towards a destination–

the usual pocket of gleaming coins.

Or like Casanova,

lighting up the room

with Venetian charm,

throat and wrists

tarnished golden lace,

a tall gondola gliding

over midnight waters seeking a woman.

A smooth, well-acted routine

but nonetheless–

Enchanting, predictable,

Great expectations never ending.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2022

“Plum Snow”

February 27, 2023

“Plum Snow”

The soft white petals

Of plum trees are blowing around,

A winter-spring snow storm.

The brook is still choking on ice

With a promise of babble to come.

I raise my arms to

Heaven, and yell:

“Give over this rawness of Nature!”

Then in more pleading tones:

“Bring warmth to the marrow,

Comfort with gentler winds.”

Today I hug life

And buy its promise.

Tomorrow I don’t know

But today I do.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2023

May be an image of flower

1 comment





Jane Kohut-Bartels

wc painting of a few years back. These flowers are on a vine and zi call them fire blossoms…have forgottent their true name.

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“To the New Lover”.,,,,

February 25, 2023

It is almost Spring

and out thoughts are gentled by the warm winds and the smells of fertile soil. Sex is in the air and though it is a bit too cold to coddle, it warms the blood and desires.

“You are Leila.”

These first words

whispered in

the exotic tones of

a dark man, no question


just his breath

sighing in her ear.

“It is said,

though I was

not there,

Prophet Mohammed’s

birth caused the moon to split.

Then Moon-God Allah showed us

his crescent,

his fingernail in the night sky.”

He gave her a choice that night

in what to believe

and turning her towards the slender moon,

he split her with his cock,

not giving her much choice at all,

except to ride a magic carpet

blood red with the drippings of a

lust that turned her inside out.

That was the beginning.

Who knows where the heart will land?

It bounces from pillar to post,

and glides to a halt

only to take off again

in a frenzy of elation and lust.

But mostly,

love is set in the night time sky,

where the Moon-God Allah

hangs his crescent

like a blade over our necks

and the celestial music

calls us to attend to each other.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2023

Pink eared Tsuki and Lily

February 24, 2023

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