“The Horned Moon”

Great Horned Owl with Horned Moon

The first day of Autumn, but there’s little difference from the long, hot summer here.  The only relief is within the evening, when sound and movement stills and a pale moon rises early.

I live in a mostly urban area, so my poetry is sometimes made up of childhood remembrances, when I was raised in the countryside. Neighbors had milk cows and I remember their voices when evening fell.  Still,  things are shared between the countryside and city in the turn of the seasons and the cycle of the days.  You just have to look and listen closely.

This is a very new poem, and will go through a number of revisions. I haven’t yet seen a Great Horned Owl around here, but I do hear the calls of smaller owls  in the pecans and oaks.  They are otherworldly sounds.

Lady Nyo


The Horned Moon shows her pale face

In a lavender-velvet sky.

Beneath most begin to still,

Find nest, burrow or corner

And settle  for the night,

Though swallows make sickle-sweeps–

Black crescents who

Challenge the moon.

They soon disappear into the gathering gloom.

Crickets still their bows,

Raucous fiddles laid aside

For tomorrow with only a section

Of orchestra still fiddlin’ in the dark.

Cows mournfully call

To the cow herder—

Full udders ,

A day’s labor done,

Now return to the straw

And the peace of the stall.

Bull frogs play bass to crickets

But even they, eyes reflecting

The moon above,

Shift into frog-lullaby

And sing the fish to sleep.

The brook has less babble,

The wind dies  away-

The hoot of a Great Horned Owl

Stands as night’s town crier.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010

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23 Responses to ““The Horned Moon””

  1. weighty Says:

    gonna send this to my mom


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Hope your mother enjoys it.

    Lady Nyo


  3. Jingle Says:

    thanks for linking with poetry potluck!

    here is one of mine:



  4. ladynyo Says:

    Funny! Good play on words.

    Thanks for inviting me to your group.

    Lady Nyo


  5. Thursday Poets Rally Week 30 | Jingle Says:

    […] Ladtnyo: https://ladynyo.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/the-horned-moon/ […]


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Jingle, for the plug!

    Lady Nyo


  7. siubhan Says:

    wow some really great lines in this; i’m drawn to that “lavender-velvet sky” and the swallows making “sickle-sweeps”… and it’s a perfect image for the piece, too. very well done.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Siubhan. This was a ‘fast’ poem….and probably will be revised at some time. I think few poems stand as they come out. LOL!…there usually is lots of pieces that in time can be changed.

    I think most of my poetry comes from observing nature, and I have been struck by the swallows at dusk doing exactly this: sweeping the skies.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  9. woih Says:

    “lavender velvet sky”

    I wish I was looking at this right now.

    great writing


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Dennis. Thank you. I wasn’t too sure of the poem….it’s very new…only about two weeks old, and these things need to simmer awhile. I am a great believer that we can write, then revise…and should. Little I write comes out completely what I want to say in a poem…there are so many choices to make!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  11. Jingle Says:


    welcome to Poets Rally week 30,
    let me know if you have a poem ready,
    do nothing otherwise.
    Thanks for the support.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Jingle…

    I probably will have to sit this one out: am working on a new book, “White Cranes of Heaven” of 50 seasonal poems PLUS paintings to go within the book. Plus the cover.

    So thank you! I’ll have to catch you and the rally another time.


    Lady Nyo


  13. Shashi Says:

    What a beautiful title and the verse.. I enjoyed the visit to the village and I appreciate that you are writing thought from your childhood memories.. kind of impressions that are etched in childhood, are still so vivid.. I relate to that …

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Shashi. I am realizing that these memories, thoughts, visions….etc…are very strong and stay with us in some either powerful or diluted (and revised) form all our lives.

    I was raised in the countryside….and though we weren’t farmers, we certainly were surrounded by farms, cows, horses, chickens, and a few sheep. We had a lamb, (formally named “Monty Woolie”) who grew to be a great, big ewe. We called her Lambie. I think Monty Woolie was an old stage actor…way before our time.

    Perhaps drawing from these memories are the closest we can get to that passed time, to our childhood? And that we can revive them in poetry is good!

    The trick with pastoral poetry…well, I don’t know what it is….lol~ but it can fall into bad sentimentality. I still am struggling with that.

    Glad you enjoyed this new poem. That week had a lot of ‘owl’ encounters, so the poem fit the times…

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  15. dancingfreak Says:

    sweet 🙂

    lovely descriptions.. hail nature lover!!! 😉


  16. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Thank you!

    You must be one, too. I’ve never been poet comfortable with too much introspection; nature seems to be ‘easier’ to write about. Or more interesting to me.
    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  17. dasuntoucha Says:

    Beautiful picture you painted here.


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! Poetry can be painting with words I find….or hope!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  19. Jingle Says:

    this piece is fabulous,
    love the image, breath taking….

    your talent soars here.


  20. Jingle Says:


    welcome to our potluck!
    Thanks for the support,
    Happy Tuesday!


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Jingle….LOL!

    But after 5 days of the flu, little about me soars.

    More like ‘sore’.

    “The Horned Moon” came on the heels of an actual experience with an owl. I believe we take imagery from what happens around us, and not especially from what happens “to” us.

    But sometimes that is legitimate. This afternoon I will post a poem (“Samhain”) that is very much a personal statement.

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Hope to join your potluck soon.

    Lady Nyo


  22. Susan Says:

    I love the picture you’ve paired with your poetry here. Is this your photography? I’d love to know whose it is to request permission to use the image.



  23. ladynyo Says:

    Susan….If this is a photo, it’s not mine and I don’t know where I got it. Sorry, I have a large file of photos and sometimes the ‘where and who’ get lost.

    However, if it is a painting of a owl….It’s mine. If you go to my painting blog…you’ll see an Owl there. With green fir background. Is this the one?

    I don’t know what to tell you. If it is a painting, you can use it if you give me credit (Jane Kohut-Bartels) as the artist.

    Thank you for reading.


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