“Night Fire Road” for OneShotPoetry

"Night Fire Road", janekohut-bartels, watercolor, 2010

This is my submission for this week  OneShotPoetry.  I was putting myself to sleep with all the pastoral poems so I thought I would try something a bit…..sharper.

This poem was recently written during a trip to the North Georgia mountains, an escape from the gulag that Atlanta can so become.

“Night Fire Road” will be included in “White Cranes of Heaven”, soon to be published.

The painting was of this year, but not done for the poem.  It just seemed to fit.

Lady Nyo


Sharp right into mystery,

Down cracked macadam

Churning the guts,

Pot-holed surface falling

Either side to waterlogged ditches.

Hurtling towards a tunnel

Of dark, smothering trees,

Deep in the mountain.

This is Night Fire Road

Spiraling down and up

Like the dark flames of its name.

Tires dumped in the tar of night

Maybe a car or two

Stolen, torched,

Liquor bottles christening the

Games of drunken fools.

Maybe it was meant

To be named for foxfire—

Bioluminescence come down from

The borders of Heaven

A gleaming fool’s gold

Only appearing at night

To tease greed and imagination.

Or perhaps it was named

For the illicit meetings

Of furtive lovers

Who shun daylight

And go inflame passion on

Night Fire Road.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010

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21 Responses to ““Night Fire Road” for OneShotPoetry”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    A real song of the South; I’ve been down those roads that churn your guts and leave you wondering what’s hiding out there off in the brush. Some very nice similes tar of night, drunks christening their revelry with liquor bottles. Liked it a lot.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hiya Hedgewitch!

    LOL!…I didn’t think of it as a song of the South, but I guess it could be…

    I didn’t go down that road, but the name…the NAME!!! You could eat on that biscuit all day…

    I left the ‘body’ outta da weeds, but really thought of putting it in. Thought it might be a bit morbid…but I also left out kudzu….that would have identified it as Southern terrain, I suppose. I’m originally from the North, and never saw kudzu up there…but I bet it’s creeping northward.

    Thanks, Joy, for reading and leaving such a lovely comment!

    I am so glad Steve Isaaks pointed me in OneShot’s direction. I’m having such a great time posting, but also reading so many great poets! You included!

    Lady Nyo


  3. Steve Isaak Says:

    The human element lends an, er, natural edge to the road’s hard-luck appearance. Sharp, indeed. 🙂


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Steve!

    LOL!…I was clogging my arteries and others, too…I think, with all the pastoral stuff. Life isn’t PASTORAL!!!


    Thanks for reading and your comment. I thought I owed you at least something with a little teeth.



  5. poemblaze Says:

    A lot of great imagery. Reminds me of some of the backroads near my hometown when I was jn High School.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hiya Sweetie! I don’t know why your comment ended up in spam…but I’m sorry!

    I think somewhere all of us have had a “Night Fire Road” in our early years….probably forbidding or dangerous, or just a place to go and drink underage beer??

    LOL! Thank you, Poemblaze, for reading and leaving a comment!

    Lady Nyo


  7. Whitesnake Says:

    It fits perfectly!


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Thank you, Whitesnake, for reading and being kind enough to leave a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  9. marousia Says:

    I feel like I have seen that road – and driven along it – the rhythm evokes potholes and an unmade road. I really enjoyed the edginess of this poem – it’s a wild ride.


  10. River Says:

    The painting and poem do work very well together. I liked a lot the serious feeling through then ending with a lightness that brought giggles out from me. well written. 🙂


  11. ladynyo Says:

    Hi River!

    This was a rather unusual poem for me, I think. It had a fierceness to it and actually wrote itself. I just steered….LOL!

    One never knows how these things are going to turn out when you do such a thing. I usually am too neurotic to allow that to happen, but this time I was so taken with the name of the road, I just let it fly.

    I might start to ‘write to the paintings’…lol. I have a lot of them around, after 20 years of painting, but not too much poetry. Maybe this will be some sort of hook?

    Thank you so much River, for reading “Night Fire Road” and leaving a comment.

    Much appreciated.

    Lady Nyo


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Marousia,

    I don’t do edginess well….lol! Usually I hide behind the scenery in poetry….but I think I need to step out into the middle of the road and play chicken!

    Rhythm is a problem for me….I am haltingly approaching rhythm, but some times there are some stanzas that ‘sing’.

    Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  13. ladynyo Says:

    Geez, Marousia, I lost my reply to you I think….

    Thank you!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! I don’t do edgy well, but I need to step into the middle of the road sometimes and play chicken!


    Lady Nyo


  14. June_Butterfly Says:

    This road seems familiar ,though I haven’t been to the exact place.I guess I did journey a similarroad when I was younger.Though I can never tell it to my Mom!

    Fierce ,yet playful.Sure brings Fire!


  15. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! June….yes, I think we all were on that road one time or other in our lives….young or old.

    Fierce is good, but for me,…it’s something different.

    Glad you liked the poem….and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


    Lady Nyo


  16. Eric Says:

    What wonderful descriptives! Sounds like a lovely road to take a walk down – I’d like to do so one day. (Oh wait, I just did!) Nice One Shot, sweet Lady Nyo!


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Eric!

    LOL!..I don’t know about “sweet” Lady Nyo with THIS poem…LOL~!

    It was rather a walk on the wild and dangerous side…a side I am well familiar with internally.

    Next week, I’m going to rather shock some readers with a poem (sonnet, actually) that is from erotica.

    At least I think I will shock….LOL!

    Thank you, Eric, for reading and leaving such a comment…Much appreciated!!

    “Sweet” Lady Nyo (some days…)


  18. Shashi Says:

    Dear Lady Nyo

    Its beautiful… loved the images these words created…
    ‘Liquor bottles christening the
    Games of drunken fools.’
    The last lines was perfect and beautiful.

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


  19. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Shashi!

    First, thank you for reading and commenting on “Night Fire Road”.

    This was something different for me….I usually write pastoral/nature poems, only because these come rather easier on the mind. I was putting myself (and Steve Isaak! LOL!) to sleep I think, though.

    This had a little more edge than usual…but I’m very new to any poetical form. I am envious of those of you poets who are well grounded in this literary form. What a wonderful way to feed the soul!!

    Thank you, Shashi, for reading and coming here to comment.

    Lady Nyo


  20. pete marshall Says:

    wonderful and gritty…amazing imagery…fantastic read…cheers pete


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Pete.

    Lady Nyo


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