“Winter Widow”

“Winter Widow” is posted for OneShotPoetryWednesdays.blogspot.com


Dark, naked trees

Lit by a pale, slivered moon,

Cast fractured shadows

On a frigid ground.

From her window she saw

Skeletons in the moonlight,

Dark ghosts-

Brittle like her bones.

She was a fresh widow

Reduced by grief,

Little flesh about her

Resembling those fragile branches

In the  breathless 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,

Indulged her thirst for love.

Speared on her husband,

She moaned,

Screamed with laughter,

Pivoted in sheer joy.

Her life had been full,




A portrait of promise.

He died one day-

Things turned surreal.

So much to do,

The season for living now gone,

The climate of life grown cold.

Outside it was snowing,

A gentle covering of

Branch, bush, ground,

A tender benediction,

A white blanket to her pain.

She knelt in the garden

Suddenly grateful to feel –anything,

Even the searing cold.

She would live,

She knew that now,

But still,

He must be so cold

Under the snow.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011

from “A Seasoning of Lust”, lulu.com

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31 Responses to ““Winter Widow””

  1. Steve Isaak Says:

    Was excellent in its imagery the first time I read it, and it’s still excellent the second time around.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Geez! Someday I’m going to surprise you with something NEW!


    Thanks, Steve….in a slump here right now…have written more “Winter” poems…but they are all running together.



  3. brian Says:

    what a haunting piece…remembering those intimate moments and caring even after he is under the dirt and snow so deep…nice one shot.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian,

    I think she can’t find equilibrium….perhaps this is what happens when your spouse dies?

    She finally accepts his death, but still to her…he’s not really dead. I think it’s again, a stage of grief?

    Thank you, Brian, for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  5. marousia Says:

    Wow – love it – you expressed the numbness of grief beautifully and the shock of feeling again


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Marousia…

    Praise coming from you means a lot. I have little experience with grief, but I think there is something so universal about it. And I can wait.

    Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a kind comment.

    Lady Nyo


  7. Bettie Gonzalez Says:

    The story is beautiful. I love the image attached to. I love when the snow cover’s everything and all you see is the white of snow shaping everything around me.


  8. Margie Says:

    This one hit home, my dear. Sadness left behind, hope ahead?


  9. hedgewitch Says:

    Beautiful opening that builds into a complete narrative of love loss grief and eventually growth. Your poem says it all a lot better than that, and I like it very much.


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Sweetie!
    Thank you Joy, for reading and leaving such a kind comment.

    I don’t have much experience with grief, but I will. I don’t have a clue as to what to expect, but I will find out. I think her final acceptance is mentally/emotionally conditional. She still doesn’t have the full impact that he is gone.

    Perhaps this is the way of things?




  11. dustus Says:

    Your poem runs the gamut of emotions and expressed so much grief—very intense after recounting her pleasurable experience of living happily before his passing. Love when the poem transition to “Outside it was snowing” You’ve a nice tone in your poetic narrative voice. Wonderful writing.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Margie!

    I hope so. Hope ahead? I would hope so.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Margie.




  13. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Bettie,
    I love the shapes that a deep snow gives, makes…it’s so mysterious….alien territory….removed from the known.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Adam.

    This poem went through some changes….it was a bit more erotic in the first writing, and I toned that down…though sex and grief seems not to be alien territory, from what I have read.

    The extremes…on both ends….the great pleasure of her life with her husband, in all it’s natural ways of love and marriage, and then the extreme of loss: well….I guess for balance, it has to be so.

    In looking at it again, it seems (to me…) she’s stunned in the first few stanzas…she is numb. Then the memories flood in….and perhaps this triggers a return to normalcy?

    How do we live with these great things??? I just don’t know yet.

    Thank you, Adam…for reading and leaving such an insightful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  15. bkmackenzie Says:

    So heartfelt for this widow…your writing is like your header a piece of fine Japanese art…delicate and meditative…lovely…bkm


  16. Laura Hegfield Says:

    so tender, life is fragile and sad and hard sometimes…and so full and ripe at others…you have expressed this all so beautifully…I was thinking yesterday as I was looking out at the trees, snow falling upon them, how much they resembled skeletons


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Laura,
    yes, life is fragile and robust, both explain the overall…and we are fortunate that it is.

    I love Winter because it not only transforms the external, it has the ability to transform our internal landscape.

    Thank you so much for reading and leaving your thoughtful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, BK. This is quite a compliment.

    I wish I could write in ways that I have read on OneShot. The robust, freewheeling sentiments, the headlong rush into poetry that is exciting and inventive!

    I admire all that energy. I wish I had it.

    Thank you for reading and leaving such a lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  19. Claudia Says:

    this was beautiful…She lapped at life with full lips… loved this – and i love how you describe all those memories – the winter of losing someone – the loneliness – the longing..great job


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Claudia.

    Well, thank you. I’m at an age where these things happen, sooner or later. I have a friend, in her mid 50’s, who just lost her husband. He was a cop and killed by a man who didn’t want to go back to jail. She’s a widow with 4 children, most of them grown, and a few grandchildren, but this was so unexpected. One day after Valentine’s Day last year.

    Though I wrote this before she lost Mike, I think of her often, when she is alone, in her life without others around her. Perhaps these things are all of a pattern?

    Thank you, Claudia….for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment.



  21. Cosmos Cami Says:

    I’m so impressed with this.
    A great arch for the character in your poem and lovely words.


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Cosmos Cami!

    We can write a lot of dogs, but sometimes there’s a keeper in all this….LOL!

    Thank you for reading and your lovely comment. I struggle with ‘arch’ in characters…something we learn or don’t.

    Still learning….

    Lady Nyo


  23. Kavita Says:

    Whheeww.. excellent, Nyo!! The sad and almost dark imagery was simply mindblowing!! Loved the end THE MOST! It really shows her love for the one she lost..

    Very impressive, this one shot!!!


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kavita!

    This poem was an emotional challenge, mainly because I was trying to express something I hadn’t really experienced.

    The end of the poem is necessary because to me,…it gives ‘hope’ of life for her.

    Thank you, Kavita, for reading and your insightful comment. It helps me understand this short poem more.

    Lady Nyo


  25. Liras Says:

    Very thoughtful and beautiful, Lady N. You nailed it–the flush of youth, the lushness of martial bliss and finally, getting ready to join the oblivion that all living things go into.



  26. Shashi Says:

    Dear Lady Nyo

    From emotions to emotions.. full of swings and moods… Very beautifully put everything together.. and then moving in lines like…
    ‘Speared on her husband,

    She moaned,

    Screamed with laughter,

    Pivoted in sheer joy.’
    … amazingly creative.. I enjoyed reading this one. Thanks for sharing…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay


  27. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Shashi…

    Thank you! for reading and your comment. I wondered at the bit of erotica in that poem, how it would go over with readers, but hell…it’s life and part of the better bits of life.

    Thank you again, Shashi. Learning here.

    Lady Nyo


  28. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Liras,

    Thank you for reading and your comment. I guess the circle of life. But I have little experience with the end result. And hopefully won’t for a long time.

    Thanks, again, Liras.

    Lady Nyo


  29. hpicasso Says:

    good morning…I read and read some more and appreciate the critique and well…in an effort to redeem myself, I tried another…please take a look if you can

    Peace, hp


  30. ladynyo Says:

    I did, hp…and thought it right and brilliant!

    You got it!

    Lady Nyo


  31. hpicasso Says:

    thank you…*faces East and bows*


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