“Poem of the Night”

April 25, 2017

    Night Fog 2 

For the Earth Day Event at Sevandanda I have to pick a number of poems to read.  I have found that the problem for me is not writing the poems, but in reading them aloud. I stink at this.  There is a line in this particular poem I sing, and it means breath control and pacing.  I still stink at this. LOL!  But IF I relax and enjoy the poems I will do better.  Still scaring the cats and dogs with my attempts to get a handle on public reading.  Wish me luck.

 

Poem of the Night

 

The streets are gleaming tonight

as if a million stars were brought to earth,

flattened into urban mirrors

under lamp posts reflecting

an empty nothingness.

 

It is a dull mid-winter night,

straining towards spring

with all intention of leaching

the dying season’s

last insult, unleashing it

upon mankind’s discomfort

one more time.

 

“A foggy day in London town”

Is what I think when I look down

This cotton-wool streetscape,

But that has tune and purpose,

And this muted stillness has none.

 

The rain left a muffling fog,

Mercifully erasing stark bones

of tree limbs reaching to the sky

Black beggars on seasonal parade.

 

Yet,

there is a strange beauty to the night,

Transforming what was common,

Dissolving borders, barriers, dimensions,

Making a mirage, an alien oasis.

 

Heavy mists swirl around the ground,

Lift past the unfocused light

combine with the creeping gloom

And turn a hand to pale mystery.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

February 1st, 2011

 

Earth Day 2017. Where do we go?

April 22, 2017

 

cosmos

Cosmic Couplings

This is also predicated on where we have been.  Over the past few years, I have been cleaning out my life of people who don’t belong there.  Abusive people, users, opportunists, and some that should never have darkened my door. We learn, but usually are left with some sort of wounds. This might be life.  I have ditched family members who are toxic, and of course we come across  other toxic people in our lives.  Very recently I was asked by someone to ‘join’ my online group and I had to scratch my head.  This man we knew for at least a decade.  He floated from household to household, and rarely did anything positive. In fact, he rarely did anything except play on his computer. He was so negative people started to avoid him.  He dissed everyone and word does get back to those he ‘injured’.  Hell no.  The point of life is to center down in those things that stretch you and to avoid to mundane, the stupid and the evil ones out there.  They will suck out the energy of life.

Our world is certainly in a turmoil.  Sabre rattling and warships, terrorism and the uncertainly of life in the best of times throws us off course. And politics don’t help.  I keep getting (as everyone does) these begging emails from politicians I wouldn’t vote for: misogynists, opportunists, the usual run of that breed. Who have way much more money than I do.  Politics make me nauseous.

So….it’s Earth Day today, and  we look around the world at what is happening.  A lot of poets of my acquaintance have also the same issues:  what do we do about a world in turmoil?  I think the greatest ‘weapon’ we have in our arsenal is that we are poets:  We can address these issues through our poetry. We know that many don’t read poetry, but still,  this is our voice.  We must use it where we can.

Further, I believe that we can serve our Earth best by cultivating the soil.  Either a simple procedure or a more extended one:  plant trees, plant gardens, at least grow enough to can, store, freeze and share with neighbors.    I can’t think of something better to do with our time and energies than utilize and improve the soil beneath our feet.

Happy and Productive Earth Day!

 

The Garden at Dawn

Dawn moon appears

Low in the eastern sky.

Like an idiot’s grin

From cheek to cheek,

A glow so intense

It startles the eye.

My hands deep in soil

Planting tender shoots of life

With reverence that feeds the soul

As seedlings feed flesh later to come.

There is God in this black soil,

Earthworms and tiny bits of life

Independent of will or wishes.

Moonbeams spill on this tilled earth

Like a benediction of blessing

And bathes plants and planter alike

With expectation and promise.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“The Fox”

April 19, 2017

Image result for foxes

(Huffington Post.com)

 

I am to be one of the ‘featured’ poets at the Earth Day Celebration April 26, 2017 at Sevananda Foods, here in Atlanta, Ga.   Poetry readings are to be of a Nature theme, which is proper for the event.  The poetry is from 6-9 pm with open mic after.  In trying to select appropriate poems for this event, I had a hard time culling out poems.  I selected 15 poems.  It should be interesting.  I don’t read well in public so I will have to work on this. Already my vocals are scaring the cats and making the dogs howl.  Posting this early for dversepoets pub Open Link Night on Thursday.

Lady Nyo

PS: I LOVE foxes.  I would have one here if it wasn’t so illegal.  No fox was hurt or injured in the writing of this poem.

The Fox

Yanked from sleep

By a scream

Wrapping around the belly,

Fueled by some instinct,

Long buried thread of ancestors.

Bolting upright

Knowing without knowing

A terrible slaughter was tearing

The soft night apart.

I had heard that sound before.

Coming fully awake,

heart pounding through my chest

I listened again, and there!

The vocals of a hen attacked

By something stealing through

The soft night, waiting beyond

The edge of sleep.

 

Three dogs have I

City dogs, though with

The blood of once-fierce hounds.

Not one of them would

Run out to do battle.

Grabbing the collar of the

Biggest, he turned and bit me-

He was no fool.

There was danger

In that dark night-

He was doing his best

To avoid it.

 

Stupid hounds!

I’ll face the monsters

Out there myself!

And switching on the porch light

I saw the dark flight of something

Fly across my yard and vision,

Take a sharp left and disappear

Into the night where porch light met

A dismal darkness.

 

Running to the chicken coop,

Found a young hen, a pile of feathers

Mounded around her, still alive

Clucking mournfully.

 

How do you comfort a tail- less hen

At dawn, with a crescent moon

Throwing feeble light upon the ground of slaughter?

I’ve raised hens for enough years

To know they are merciless to the injured.

But the events of the night

Had stunned their own instincts

And she burrowed amongst them,

They crowding around, covering with feathers and warmth,

Rocked out of their slumber

Clucking out warnings to further attackers:

Let the night and its beasts hear their rage!

 

In the morning I asked my neighbor

Once a south-Georgia farm boy what to do.

His answer was bloodier than

The attack of this young fox,

For young he must be,

Not to kill his prey on first strike.

 

“Spread poison in the kudzu,

Here, I’ll lend you a shotgun-

Fox be vermin and bred for no good.”

 

There is something mystical

In a fox who dares to live in a city.

Or desperate.

 

Birthed in the kudzu growing

From the leveling of a small forest

Sheltered in one-foot wide drainpipes,

Feeding on rats and rabbits

With a taste for chicken from time to time.

 

No.

I’ll lock up my chickens

Let a dog prowl the fence,

And leave off the

Modern methods of slaughter.

 

There must be a balance in nature

As it struggles to right itself

To bypass concrete and the destruction

Of habitat by mankind.

There will be a balance

And I will stand with the foxes.

 

Oh, it is a marvel and a mystery!

For every species is the center of its universe,

If only for him.

 

We are connected by a fine thread to all else,

Our survival depends upon this,

Yet our eyes are blinded to the truth

And something in the proclamation

Of “Inheriting the Earth”

Lies and trips us up,

And we are no more shepherds

Of these species than wolves

In human skin.

 

The world is what it is,

With its own rules of hunger, survival,

We just a cog in this great Mandala,

And most of us attempt to bypass

These laws of nature, still clothed with

Dead dreams of conquerors.

 

And some of us know this deep in our bones.

 

We are blind to the beauty of life

That we are not alone.

The tragedy would be if we were,

And we deny our connection to what we now proclaim “vermin”,

Believing for some bad reason this makes us more human.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Haibun Monday: Fear

April 17, 2017

pleasant-grove-alabama-storm-damage

(A tornado in Alabama last year.)

Kanzen Sakura over at d’versepoets pub is presenting the Haibun Monday challenge.  And it is about Fear.  We all have them, and they are legion for most of us.  Come read what makes the heart flutter and the stomach queasy.  Thank you,  Toni….your prompts always entice!

Lady Nyo

Haibun: Fear

 

Global Warming has brought significant changes to the South, and Atlanta is now nicknamed “Tornado Alley”. In the almost fifty years I have lived here, I have seen disturbing changes. My first acquaintance with a ‘tornado’ was when I heard what I thought was a tornado and I was in the bathtub. My now-ex-husband headed for the basement leaving me in the water. It turned out to be a train. There was a track back in the woods we didn’t know of.

One flattened our local park and was called ‘severe wind shear’. From the looks of it, it seemed like a tornado. Trees, hundred year old oaks flattened to the ground, an indeterminate path through the park, a warzone of defeated greenery.

I fear the heavy winds and rainstorms. I am powerless before them. The only way to save oneself is to head for the basement and cower with whatever lives down there. And of course this adds to the fear.

 

Winds begins to rise

Fear out runs common sense

The worms are safer

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Happy Easter and the Awesomeness of Spring!

April 14, 2017

 

 

Neighbor called …found 4 baby kittens and a momma in a outside vent.  Mother ran when we got her babies…about 4 weeks old, but perhaps we can entice her to our house. Beautiful babies, the essence of Spring rebirth, Easter.  but that is now 13 cats here.  Yikes!  But perhaps I can get them adopted in a few months.  Who can ignore such babies?  Three black babies and one grey stripped. Already slurping formula.  Always room for one more.  For four.

Image result for dogwood blossoms

(williamneill.com)

A Haiku….

Dogwoods are blooming
The crucifixion appears
White moths in the night.

(Dogwoods are a Southern tree here in the South.  White blooms
having the form of the Christian Cross, with nail heads.  They bloom in the spring  right before Easter. They are a symbol of Christianity in Nature.)

A Spring Tanka….

 

Thin, silken breezes

Float upon a green-ribbon

Of spring—pale season.

Scent of lilies, myrtle, plum

Arouse bees from slumber.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

“Metamorphosis VI”

April 13, 2017

 Image result for fruit bats

“Mine, all mine.”

 

When Laura fell of the roof she smashed her ankle. It took all of Bart’s Shibari bindings to stabilize her limb and now Laura was making Bart wait on her, wing and foot. He wasn’t too happy with the ‘fetch’ thing but was puzzled why Laura’s wings hadn’t worked.

“Bart,” Laura whined, “The ice melted in my drink. Make me a fresh one, darlin’.”

Bart came from the kitchen, an apron tied around his middle. He was pissed being a house-bat but what could he do? A dominant fruit bat, this apron went against his nature. But the dishes had to be done, guano shoveled.

Inactivity made Laura horny. She spread her legs, flapped her pinkish wings alluringly. Bart’s eyes gleamed as he climbed between them. He lost his head. Laura had used a new perfume, “Peaches and Cream”.

“Bart! I’m not a cantaloupe. Your teeth are sharp!”

“Sorry, Laura. I’m just following my nature.”

Of all the kinds of bats in the world, I get a fruit bat, thought Laura. Life is unfair.

But he did look cute in a frilled apron. That big bow on his butt suited him.

Nature be damned.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

“Metamorphosis V”

April 12, 2017

 Image result for fruit bats

Mine, mine, mine”.

Thank you to all who have been reading this series and have expressed your ‘liking’ for the piece.  It was a lot of fun to write, even though it has grown whiskers since it was written.  There are a few more episodes to post.

Lady Nyo 

 

“Come on, Laura, pick it up! I can’t stay up here all day.  It’s exhausting!”

Bart was suspended in mid air, about ten feet from the roof apex, twenty feet off the ground.

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. What if they don’t work?”

Laura, mesmerized by the languid flap of Bart’s massive wings, stood on the top of the roof. She remembered the times he trapped her small, delicate wings within his and felt the power of his dominance. Bart had many faults, and a sadistic nature, but his sexual allure could not be denied. Laura was blossoming like a rose, with little Japanese beetles buried deep within her petals. She felt Shibari was helping them bond, though Bart left her too long in the bindings. Parts of her had turned temporarily blue. She was finding this ‘freedom of the ropes’ one knot at a time.

“Come on, Laura, I’ll catch you. Trust me. Now, run fast and leap. Your wings should work fine.”

Laura did as she was told and hit the air running. She dropped like a stone.

“Bart! You Fuckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”

“Hey, Laura! Next time flap your wings, not your gums.”

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

DNA results from MyHeritage.com

April 11, 2017

Insane.  Unbelievable.  Around Xmas last year my husband and I bought two kits to test our DNA.  It was a long time getting results as his came back last week and mine yesterday.  We are taking the results as a Big Cosmic Joke.

My husband’s family are Irish/English.  They at least got that right.  They also are German….and nothing of this showed up on their piechart.  We have lots of information and records that his family came from Pomerania, Germany back in the 1800’s.  Also this testing showed that his family is also part Ashkenazi Jew and Finnish.  Well, that’s a surprise.

Mine was even more hysterical.  My father’s family came from Hungary. Generations of them. This never showed up on MyHeritageDNA. My mother’s side is from Ireland/English with a family tie to Czech.  None of that showed up.  I have records from the New Hampshire Historical Society showing the earliest relative (Glines) having slept with someone’s wife, was convicted in court (on a morals charge) in England and shipped to New Hampshire….which doesn’t sound so bad.  That was in 1680.  I also have the birth records of maternal side that were Irish….McShane.  A great grandmother:  Margaret McShane.  Going back to before 1830.

My piechart  from MyHeritageDNA was very interesting.  Russian (Ukraine) Turkish, Iranian, Greek, Italian, French and German, and biggest surprise of all: Kenyan.  All under the name of Kohut.  Nothing Hungarian.  though I can believe the Ukrainian part because they might have come out of Russia in the 16th century.  And Turkish because the saying goes:  “Behind every Good Hungarian is a Better Turk”.  The Turks invaded what became Hungary many times in the 16th century and beyond.  My Aunt Jean’s ancestor is a famous general way back.  In Hungary. For many generations.  This Greek/Iranian/Italian/German stuff is confusing and unknown.  The French part might be true because of the Huguenots my mother holds so dearly to her breast. But the others??.

This Greek/Italian/Iranian stuff is confusing.  Is this supposed relative in Kenya a Remittance Man?  Well, we are taking all this as the Big Cosmic Joke.

Be careful about these DNA testing companies.  MyHeritage seems to have outsourced their Customer Service to India, nice enough people, but still….and the queue for contacting them by phone is hours spent in line.  Pointless.

Gather thee family records as you may.  Probably better source of relatives than this modern DNA stuff.

PS:  I have been informed that there are many other DNA results companies  on the market.  Ancestry.com, 23 and Me.com, etc.  Some have reported great results and good customer satisfaction.  Our experience with MyHeritage is just wacky.  IF you have documents, birth records, historical society records, carefully review them against the ‘results’ of these DNA hounds.  Our results were incomplete, wrong and swimming in the wrong direction, but certainly the truth is out there.  Just don’t take the word of one company.  review the records you have against these ‘results’.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“The Children of Aleppo”

April 7, 2017

Source: “The Children of Aleppo”

“The Children of Aleppo”

April 7, 2017

Lady of Shallot rose

In light of the very recent chemical attack on Syrian citizens, and especially on the attack on children and babies, I can’t continue to post this frivolous “Metamorphosis” series.  The sight of children and babies choking to death because of Assad’s usage of chemical weapons on his own people is beyond belief.   It is my opinion that Assad has sunk to the very pits of barbarism.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

 

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.

 

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.

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 surviving siblings?

 

The children of Aleppo

Have no future as children.

Suffer the little children.

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.

 

Suffer the  children

For who on this warring Earth

will suffer the most?

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

 


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