“The Children of Aleppo”

May 3, 2016

backyard 4

How many men have left Syria for ‘a better life’?  How many young Syrian men are in Europe ‘looking for economic opportunities’,  while children of Aleppo are killed daily?


The Children of Aleppo


There is no childhood in Aleppo.

There are little martyrs-in-the-making

Where 5 year olds and 8 year olds

Wish for a ‘family death’

Where they can die together

With their parents

Where they live in peace in Heaven

Never tasting the fruits of peace on Earth.


There is no childhood in Aleppo.

The children haunt the abandoned houses

Of friends who have fled the city.

There they find abandoned teddy bears

While looking for guns for the rebels, their fathers.


“Oh, the poor thing!”

A dead canary in his cage

Abandoned by its owners

They flee the rockets, bombs

And mortars.

In the face of daily death

The sight of this bird

Evokes a child’s sorrow.

But the gunfire outside continues

(They are used to the noise)

And huddle in the pockmarked

Halls until safe to scatter.



The children of Aleppo

Have no teachers, doctors.

These have fled the cities, schools

But they still pine for ice cream,

For music in the streets,

For curtains not torn by violence,

For books and toys

And gardens and flowers,

For friends that have not died

Innocent blood splattering

The dirty cobble stones

At their feet.


The children of Aleppo

Are free and children again

Only in their dreams,

And perhaps, if you believe so,

After death.


How do you put back the brains

Of a child in the cup of the shattered skull?

How do you soothe the howls of the mothers

The groans of the fathers in grief?

How do you comfort the left-alive siblings?


The children of Aleppo

Have no future as children.

Suffer the little children here,

They are the sacrifice of parents

And factions,

And politicians

All with the blood of

10,000 children

Who have died

In a country torn

By immeasurable violence.


The beautiful children of Aleppo

Like children everywhere

Still want to chase each other

In the gardens, on playgrounds,

Want to dance in the streets,

Want to pluck flowers for their mothers

And they still pine for ice cream.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014-2016

Some pictures of the roses starting to bloom.

May 1, 2016


This is a “Lady Banks” rose that completely took over a corner of the house.  Thorn less, but only blooms one a year.  However, the blooming is  spectacular and they last a long time.  We cut it down and transplanted it to the new wrought iron fence in the front, where it is greatly diminished.  Next year it should get on it’s feet and spread.


Lady of Shallot rose

(Lady of Shallot Rose, David Austen English Roses)

backyard with geraniums


The backyard has been an issue for years:  4 dogs don’t help, especially the two girls, Daphne and the new Mia.  They compete as to who can dig the biggest holes.

We gave up on grass until we put out potted roses and some blueberries.  Now if they want to destroy the grass, they have to maneuver around big pots.  And since it’s getting really hot out there, they rather spend the hours of extreme sun inside on the cool tiles of the laundry room. ,,,

Our great friend, Nick Nicholson from Canberra, Australia was here in March, and the backyard didn’t look anything like this.  Nick, these photos are for you.

Lady Nyo 


backyard 2.JPG

Most of these roses are potted, patio roses, except for a Coretta King rose, (second from left)  three new apricot David Austin roses ( Lady of Shallot) , and a few other English roses , names escape me.  This is just the second year we have had patio roses, and it is amazing how easy they are to grow.  They are constant bloomers, and will soon outgrow their bots.  No disease, no demands except water and fertilizer.  Since we have 8 hens and a rooster, we are using chicken poop for fertilizer.  If you look at the back of the most expensive rose food, the first ingredients are feathers and poop.  Having this fertilizer daily to distribute, the roses are loving it.

backyard 3.JPG

These  two “New Dawn” roses  are climbers.  They are a lovely rose, with almost no smell unfortunately. A very heavy blooming in the spring, and then repeat (sort of) bloom  later. These are just gathering buds and clusters of flowers that will bloom fully in about a week and a half.  These  two roses form a tunnel that is 12 feet long and 5 feet deep.  It is quite spectacular in full blossom.  I’ll take more pictures when these are in full flower. We will have to put up a real pergola  soon as they need the support.  Quite a show when they are in full bloom.

backyard 4.JPG

“New Dawn” up close.

backyard 6.JPG


With today’s deluge,  a torrent of rain that has caused  a ‘boil water’ warning, we are expecting more rain tomorrow.  With all these roses and a new (and weedy) garden, we need all the rain we can get.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016


“Spring Storm”

April 29, 2016


sunrise to the east


It is  spring here in Atlanta, and nothing is usual about it.  The weather is weird, blowing from hot to cold, and this week they are predicting a big drop in temps. Today it might climb to 90 degrees.. 

Spring  brings unsettled and dramatic weather across our nation. Tornadoes are the usual fare.    The wind chimes relay the power of the wind and I jump with their frenzy.  It is an unsettled time, this spring, but also one of excitement.   Nature is in command, and our petty concerns here down on earth, those things that drive us to distraction, fade in the face of Nature’s power.  The bellows of wind, the monstrous groans of limb on limb of huge oaks and pecans, well, these things capture our attention.  Life is played out in its fullness with spring storms.

Lady Nyo




The wind howls tonight

Races round eaves,

Disturbs the haunts in the attic,

Forces wind chimes

Into a metal hambone frenzy

The clash of harmony grates

On ears, on nerves

no sleep for this night.


There is death to the west

Fear in the vanguard.


It is springtime,

No gentle embrace

Just a blaze of destruction, despair.


Is far down on the ground,

Deep as a cellar

Deep as the grave.


The moon above,

Sickly green sphere

Is in on the game.


The dogs howl

A Greek chorus

Echoing their primal fear

Over the landscape.


Each moan of wind

Heralds the apocalypse,

My eyes squeeze shut

Against grating of branches,

The rattle of panes

As I grasp for sanity

In an insane night.



I ride out the storm,

Dawn breaks,

The silence complete,

The earth placid and calm

As if the night before

Only a nightmare-

And I ridden from sleep

To the usual ground.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014,

from ‘Pitcher of Moon”

My  book, “Pitcher of Moon” , 2014, is available from Amazon.
Buy paperback: http://goo.gl/RzFRj4
Buy Kindle e-book: http://goo.gl/cOh8Ww 

“All The Old Men Are Gone”

April 26, 2016

Gormosy 2


All The Old Men Are Gone


All the old men with beautiful manners are gone.

All the old men with courtly manners

who brush their lips or moustache over your hand

and look up the white pillar of your arm

meet your eyes with sweet kindness or desire-

Are gone.

The Hungarians, Italians and Russians who murmur into faces

with their own twinkling spheres gestures they find

‘deep in their hearts’ or perhaps like a well-oiled

Casanova, who glides across

the room and anchors your vanity to his side.

You are glad for the flirtation,

it makes the stomach flip,

Life Suddenly Worth Living

If even for the evening

you feel young and desirable once more.

They are all gone, replaced with new manners that

drink like flat champagne, a dullness behind the eyes

capturing nothing and inspiring less-

These have replaced all the old men with beautiful manners

for they are gone and mostly forgotten

except by those who remember and damn well know

what is  missing.

Jane-E. Kohut

Copyrighted, 2016

My Father’s Birthday today.

April 25, 2016


(Marsh Geese, Watercolor, 2000, Jane Kohut-Bartels)


My father, Albert Kohut, was born in 1915 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He died too young at 75 in 1989.  Though it is decades ago, I miss him desperately.  My father was my champion, and though I might have doubted it growing up, his love to his first child and only daughter was deep and abiding.  I wish marriage and distance hadn’t gotten in the way of seeing him more, but it did.  Perhaps this is the way of things today.

Daddy didn’t live to see my books or read my poetry but I know he would have been proud.  He  barely lived to see me begin to paint, but any talent of that comes from him.’

He was a patient and quiet man, an extremely talented man in so many issues.  He was beloved by so many people and one particular rabbit.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.  Had you lived, you would have been 101 today.

Your daughter, Jane-Elizabeth.

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








“Chariots of Fire”…..

April 24, 2016

Savannah Birds

(Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, “Nightingale Nest”, 2006)

I saw this 1981 movie for the first time tonight.  My dear husband wanted me to go to a cast party with him (he works in the movies here in Atlanta) to meet Kevin Costner and Pharnell Williams, and probably other interesting folk, but I finally wanted to see the movie I had been avoiding  all these years.

There is a reason for this, and it doesn’t speak to my courage.  It speaks to the trauma of  of a marriage of 13 years, one that ended in 1983. My ex husband Mark was an Emory student, and we were so damn young in 1970 when we married.  He worked the first few years and then never worked again.  It wasn’t that he was crippled, or unemployable, he had a good education and could have easily found a job.   The fundamental problem was this:  he considered himself a ‘revolutionary’. caught up in the same crap that I had been for many years.  However, I didn’t have the privilege of  sitting on my ass. I had to work to support both of us. Mark was a product of  rich, coddling parents, who told me to put aside my own education so their son could finish his.  He didn’t then, but I certainly didn’t either.

This movie came out a few short years before our divorce in 1983.  My reason for my aversion to this movie?  Mark took a woman, unknown to me, to it, (we were still married and  in marriage therapy) to dinner and if I remember this correctly, to a hotel.  Using MY credit card and my car.  This was just one of the things that happened in the final years of our marriage.  He continued to ‘date’ other women, sneak around. Including my nurse when I was in hospital for surgery to restore fertility. Those days are best forgotten.

For some reason, this movie was to become something traumatic, something I didn’t really understand why I avoided it then, but seeing it tonight for the first time, broke the bonds of that particular time and trauma.  In part it has strong messages of anti-Semitism and class snobbery.  Mark’s parents were anti-Semites, especially his mother. Goldwater folk. She was the wife of a doctor and was a stereotype.  She assumed I was Jewish, though I was at one time Catholic, raised Catholic.  She then called me a ‘mackerel snapper’.   I was shocked, never having heard this term before.  She would be forgettable if it wasn’t that she is legion in her bigotry.

For anyone who knows something about the class divisions in British society and especially what was brewing in Europe in the 20’s and 30’s and what was to come, well, this movie brought forth those lessons, though not in great detail.  Set during the Olympics of 1924, one gets a scent of what was to come and what was to happen to European Jewry, amongst the usual ravages of war.  Class society in Britain had  begun to break down, to begin to reform after WWI, but the government and certainly the universities were centers of maintaining those class barriers.

The movie is rather boring, but there are good lessons if you apply attention.  Religious principles of maintaining the Sabbath, unity despite competition, dedicating yourself to something you deeply love and giving it all your devotion were some of these lessons. These issues are still universal and I believe are fundamental to humanity.  Maintaining the Sabbath was a rather abstract and ‘cute’ principle to me, but I understood it in the context of this movie much better.

Finally, I made my peace with this movie.  It was nothing to fear, or to hold in trepidation because one man is remembered for his actions around this period.  We live in the age of anxiety but we don’t have to live in fear.  That is a hard and important lesson.  My anxiety had pushed me into living in fear, even about things that did not touch my present life.

I have been married for almost 32 years to the most marvelous, generous and loving man I could ever image. This marriage has been the opposite of the previous one, and it is based on love, devotion and trust. I  now see that trust is like a seed and grows where the soil is fertile. I resisted this trust for years because of the previous betrayal.  (and not to sound like I was a saint, I wasn’t.  I was hateful, even to myself)  There will be many other cast parties to attend, but tonight I wrestled with an old demon that had blindsided me for decades.  In the end, there was nothing to fear, and many lessons.  Sitting next to my husband, holding his hand, our new English Staffie between us snatching almonds where she could, I felt safe.  I felt that this past could be left behind. There was nothing to fear.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016


“Bhava Yoga”

April 22, 2016

The backyard is the domain of 4 dogs, 8 hens and a rooster.  Potted plants at least slow down the romping dogs, but the hens have developed a taste for potted roses. Lady Nyo ==   Bhava Yoga  …

Source: “Bhava Yoga”

“Bhava Yoga”….for Earth Day, which should be everyday.

April 22, 2016

backyard with geraniums.JPG

The backyard is the domain of 4 dogs, 8 hens and a rooster.  Potted plants at least slow down the romping dogs, but the hens have developed a taste for potted roses.

Lady Nyo



Bhava Yoga


Morning’s roseate sky

Has been blasted away,

Branches now whirligigs

Swirl with a fierce southern wind

As windows rattle in frames.


A tattered umbrella

Shades from a relentless sun.

I listen to Bhava Yoga

The vibration of Love,

Where imagination meets

Memory in the dark.

Yet surrounding these soothing tones

The world outside this music

Conspires to disrupt, sweep away

All thought, reflection.


The fierce wind gets my attention.

I can not deny its primal force.


Still, the pulse of Bhava Yoga

Draws me within,

Feeds imagination with memory,

Calls forth something as enduring as the fury outside,

And I feel the pulse of the infinite.


We are like birds,

Clinging with dulled claws to

The swaying branches of life.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 201backyard with geraniums.JPG

chickens 2.JPG

chickens, rooster, xmas 2015Mimi Cat August

Mimi, who sez that today should be “Mimi Day” in appreciation of her antics…..


“Autumn Dusk”

April 20, 2016

My cousin Jan in Colorado asked for some nature poems.  This is one, along with a painting in oils, done around 2009. (Theme from a Constable painting) Lady Nyo   Autumn Dusk   Stuttering…

Source: “Autumn Dusk”

“Autumn Dusk”

April 20, 2016


My cousin Jan in Colorado asked for some nature poems.  This is one, along with a painting in oils, done around 2009. (Theme from a Constable painting)

Lady Nyo


Autumn Dusk


Stuttering winds blow across

Clouds tinted by the failing sun.

Brittle air softens,

Now a faded blue–

Shade of an old man’s watery eyes.


A late flock of Sandhill cranes lift off,

Pale bodies blending in the

Twilight with legs

Flowing dark streamers,

Their celestial cries fall to


A harsh, chiding rain.


The trees in the valley

Are massed in darkness

As waning light leaches

Color from nature,

Creeps from field to hillock

And all below prepares for the

Rising of the Corn Moon.


Even frogs in the pond

Listen between croaks

For the intention of the night.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010-2015

“Autumn Dusk” was published in “White Cranes of Heaven” (Lulu.com) and “Pitcher of Moon” (Amazon.com) in 2011 and 2014 


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 105 other followers

%d bloggers like this: