“Goddess Nut”

January 18, 2019

via “Goddess Nut”

“Goddess Nut”

January 18, 2019

The Goddess Nut”, choka (long poem)

 (redbubble.com:  The Egyptian Goddess Nut by Amanda Burns El Hassouri.)


Lady Nyo

When I first started writing poetry, I came across choka. This is a very early piece of poetry.  This poem was influenced by a painting by a dear friend, Nick Nicholson, in Canberra, Australia.

For those readers unfamiliar with  choka, it is a very early Japanese form of poetry: choka is called ‘long poem’.  It can get to 100 lines and still be in the form.  I haven’t written choka in years, and  forgot how good a form it is to ‘tell stories’. One basic form of choka is 5-7-5-7-5-7-7…or a variation on this.

Lady Nyo


The Goddess Nut

I am the Temple

of the Universe at night,

I am Goddess Nut

I spread my body over

the dark, silky sky

and the Sun is born from my

open mouth at dawn, each day.



Invisible moon

crawls into my bowels at dawn

as does brother Sun

at night when his glory dimmed

and I cradle both

within me their majestic

glory now dulled down

until the release of them

thrown high up into the sky.



I am the keeper.

All Celestial bodies

I, the nourisher

of life and death that passes

I, Nut, sleep at day,

my stars and I well hidden

by the birth of Sun

but courted by Geb, Earth God

who sucks the night dew

from my two breasts with sweet lips

and makes the Earth fertile with love,

and the universe fruitful.



I am the River

where planets and stars sail through

on their skyward journey,

the celestial travail.

My Houri marks time,

passage of cosmic travel

discarding their veils

til naked at dawn, retire

on the horizon.

They sleep once again under

My belly and gathered near.


I am the passage.

I am the Keeper of Souls.

I am mystery.

My presence lends fear to man

I touch eyes with sleep.

I round out the universe

dark fulsome Night.

I am Nut.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007, 2012-2018

I use ‘fulsome’ in an older meaning: excessive.  There is still an undecided element to this word in usage today.  But language is never static and blows about as it will.  That, to me, is the excitement of it all.

“Darwin’s Worms”

January 11, 2019

Snowfall 2017 dec. 2




The soil has lost its excellence.

Worms hide in the

Deep sullen earth

I imagine curled up,

Embracing worm castings

And each other,

Desiccated former selves

Pale little ghosts

Awaiting the fertility of spring

The watering of a hard rain.


I squandered the bloom months,

Thinking paper and pen

Would bring its own blossoming

Scarcely seeing the vitality outside


Allowing cabbage moths and beetles

To dominate

My nod to farming,

To self-sufficiency,

My tithe to the earth.


Ah, the soil is hardened

By the sins of the season.

Sharp winds make


The cold buries down,

Deep, deep down

Torments, teases any life

That would show a feckless head.


Especially those hopeful worms

Now bundled in worm-sleep.


The words, verse,

I chose to cultivate

Over cabbage, collards

Failed to bloom.

Better I had plied the hoe

And bucket to that

Than a fevered pen

To paper.


It is now winter.

The fallow earth

Plays a waiting game

Knows I have failed

In pulp and soil

And mocks with a barrenness

Inside and out.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

“Winter Widow”…..posted for dversepoets.com

January 8, 2019

via “Winter Widow”…..posted for dversepoets.com

“Winter Widow”…..posted for dversepoets.com

January 7, 2019



Winter Widow

At the window she saw the naked trees of winter lit by a slivered crescent moon, casting thin shadows upon frigid ground. Skeletons in the moonlight, these ghostly trees, as brittle as her own internal landscape. Little flesh about her, a fresh widow, reduced by grief now resembling the fragile branches outside in the sullen night.

There was a time when she was juicy, ripe with swelling tissue, wet with moisture, velvet of skin. She lapped at life with full lips and embracing gestures. Speared on her husband she moaned, screamed with laughter, pivoted in sheer joy. Her life had been full, overflowing, desirable, endless, a portrait of promise.

He died one day. Life turned surreal. Much remained, only the reason for living gone. The temperature grown colder, like him under the soil.

Outside it started to snow. She watched the gentle coverage of branch, bush and ground, a tender benediction offered to a cradled earth. She knelt in the snow, grateful for this arousal to life.

She would live, but he must be so cold under the snow.


Come kiss my warm lips

Cup my breast in your rough hand,

Growl into my mouth.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

mignot skeetch 2

I tried to copy this in wc, but gave up.



Winter Kimono

January 6, 2019

via Winter Kimono

Winter Kimono

January 6, 2019

black kimono


In the white, brittle splendor

of winter’s mid growth,

You came to me,

And I thought  of

a cardinal—a flash of streaking red,

blazing between blackened trees.


It was you in the dark crepe kimono

the red of your obi

a slash of vitality in that white forest.


Your skin rivaled the snow- sodded landscape,

and only the crimson of your mouth

gave evidence you still lived—


So ghost-like were you that morning!



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

“Olsen’s Pond”

January 1, 2019

via “Olsen’s Pond”

“Olsen’s Pond”

January 1, 2019

I wrote the original of “Olsen’s Pond” years ago, but rewrote it last year.  I start out every New Year with this poem.  Some like it, and some are disturbed by it.  That’s fine, as poetry is subjective.


(Mingot, 19th century)




Returning to the old house,

now still, vacant,

staring with unshaded eyes

upon a snowy front garden,

shrubs overgrown with the

lustiness of summer

now split to the ground

taxed with a heavy snow.


I tried to light the parlor stove,

cranky old smoker

clanking and rattling

in the best of times

now given up the ghost,

cold metal unyielding to wadded paper

and an old mouse nest.


Now the silence of the rooms

broken by hissing wind

whipping around eaves

rattling old bones in the attic,

stirring the haunts asleep in corners.


It took time for twigs to catch

water turn to coffee

bacon, eggs brought from the city

cooked in an old iron skillet–

tasting far better in the country air.


I looked down at hands cracked

in the brittle winter light,

moisture gone,

hair static with electricity,

feet numb from the cold

the woodstove not giving

more heat than an ice cube.


Walking down to Olsen’s pond,

Looking through the glassine surface

remembering the boy who had fallen

through while playing hockey

slipping under thin ice,

disappearing without a sound,

only noticed when our puck flew

High in the air
and he, the guard, missing.


We skated to the edge, threw bodies flat

trying to catch him just out of reach,

crying like babies, snot running down chins,

knowing he was floating just under the ice–

silenced like the lamb he was.


Childhood ended that day.

We drifted  to the city,

our skates and sticks put up,

Olsen’s pond deserted like a haunted minefield.


Fifty years ago I still remember

stretched as far as I could

belly freezing on treacherous ice,

grasping to reach a life just out of sight,

his muffler and stick floating to the surface–

The boy, the important part,

gone for good from a chilly winter’s play.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

mignot skeetch 2

My attempt to reproduce the painting in watercolor.  I gave up.




Happy New Year!

January 1, 2019

May this season and the New Year bring comfort, joy and solace.

Xmas backyard 2018

The Arbor in the Rose Garden….

Jane and Fred Bartels


Xmas wreath

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