“Winter Into Spring”

Mysterious,  muted season,

where life and reason are suspended

upon a cold metal wire,

wind razored clipper glass

sailing through glassine air

slicing the pallid sun’s rays–

the attempt to warm a frigid earth

to a remembered fertility.

Solemn seasonal palette,

white, gray, black,

cut with a flash of blood-red–

Kamikaze cardinal!

The demon wind bearing its name,

dares the thin, pale air

to brighten for a flashing moment–

A witness to recurring life.

Season of bountiful snow

brings a thirst to the land

where hoar-frost leaches

moisture  with a crystallized withering-

hands to crack, bark to shatter,

and all dries and curls about

in a perverse furnace of freeze.

One unexpected day,

a southern breeze

breaks through the bonds of Winter

brushes up, slides up

upon the ice

a thump is felt in the gut

and a slow drip-drip of water

signals the end of this harsh season,

as icicles emit a hesitant stream,

and then the ice dam down in the brook

cracks like thunder

and the rush to Spring

is heralded with earthy groans.

A blind movement

felt deep in the soil-

a careful stirring,

barely a rumble in the gut of the Earth

as birth beneath replaces death above

pushing through the Great Womb

to a feeble sun above–

The tyranny of Winter finally broken.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011

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30 Responses to ““Winter Into Spring””

  1. Margie Says:

    Very nice, and totally mirrored my feeling for the changing weather. Right down to the kamikaze cardinal, who was in my yard yesterday!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    LOL~! Margie!

    Aren’t cardinals great? That burst of color against the gray of weather and woods.

    I can’t remember cardinals up north, but I do remember the blue birds. The only blue bird we have here is the Jays….saw 6 of them mobbing a redheaded woodpecker yesterday.

    Spring is here
    The grass is riz,
    I wonder where dem flowers is.

    Something like that from our childhoods, neh?

    Thank you for reading and for your comment.

    Love and Hugs,



  3. Steve Isaak Says:

    Sensory-intense and moving, on several levels. The end line is stunning.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Steve!

    Hope you are feeling better. Hopefully Spring has you in her clutches…

    Thank you, Steve. I bought a cd a couple of months ago…during the winter. It was called “Winter into Spring”….a piano piece, and first heard it on the skating in Japan venue? Well, thought that it probably would help compose a poem, and I struggled with this one. I wasn’t sure about that last line, but I’m glad you like it. I trust your taste sometimes better than my own!

    Thank you for reading and your comment, Steve.



  5. moondustwriter Says:

    Love the transition and the movement as life will be contained no longer.
    Your words like Kamakaze, glassine, thump perfect accents

    Nicely done Jane

    thanks as always for your support of One Stop


  6. brian Says:

    ha. i love the textures in this…the sounds, the feels….nicely done…and i will have to through a victory party when it finally comes true…i so want spring…


  7. ladynyo Says:

    Me too. That is why we write spring leaning poetry…..a dance of the seven veils to entice the warmth.

    Lady Nyo


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Moonie.

    It could go through some refining….but right now I don’t have a new idea in my head.



  9. hedgewitch Says:

    Such a vivid catalogue of the birth of spring, all the nuances, sparse and yet every word weighted with meaning. Don’t see how it could be improved. And many congratulations on another birth you must have been anticipating with even more fervor, your book taking a real physical shape. Good job for persevering and slogging through all the humdrum process to make it happen.


  10. dustus Says:

    What I am struck by most is that all of your lines are relatively short yet there are many great images and turns of phrase. the lines “as birth beneath replaces death above / pushing through the Great Womb / to a feeble sun above–” That to me is the essence of spring. So very well articulated.


  11. Laura Hegfield Says:

    “barely a rumble in the gut of the Earth

    as birth beneath replaces death above

    pushing through the Great Womb”

    Oh Jane, your words are guiding me to desire spring, more than I’ve been able too…the great womb will open and I will be required to take my first breath, ready or not.


  12. Dianne Says:

    Loved your picture of winter as a tyrant . . . and spring’s subsequent victory. Not a fan of winter, but it does evoke some of the truest and deepest thoughts and emotions and for that, I am grateful.


  13. dianne Says:

    Loved your picture of winter as a tyrant . . . and spring’s subsequent victory. Not a fan of winter, but it does evoke some of the truest and deepest thoughts and emotions and for that, I am grateful.

    (am reposting my comment b/c the wordpress profile goes to a defunct site – sorry about that!)


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Joy!
    Thank you for your appraisal of this poem. Actually, I wrote it in the state of “Hyperarousal Trance”…which I do infrequently…and when I see what I have written, after the trance, there are a lot of words that seem either right on the mark or far from it. LOL!

    Hyperarousal Trance is something I explained in my second book: “The Zar Tales” from lulu.com. When I first started out in belly dance, I came across it, by accident. It took some Moroccan musicians to explain what it was, and what was happening to me. It’s a process of trance state brought on by music, and in particular, the ayoub beat. I started writing within it, and it is an amazing process, but it takes a while to understand and to get used to it.

    It’s a particular brain state…or wave, and tapping into it helps in many cases. It allows certain barriers or walls to come down. And it’s drug free.

    The book: Well, thank you. We will see how it is embraced. IT’s a bit pricey, but that was the fight with Lulu.com. It’s because of the 11 paintings in there and I can’t fault their printing process….absolutely beautiful and much better resolution than on this computer.

    Thank you, again, Joy.



  15. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Dustus!

    Well, it’s a struggle for most of us to throw out words, phrases that we are attached to when we form a poem. I think the problem for many of us Western writers, poets is that we are too verbose! I did ‘flashers’ for a few years…writing 200 word stories, not scenes, and that was a great discipline in finding out words and phrases that formed, moved and developed a story…every word had to have meaning, and there wasn’t room for extras…lol!

    Reading poems, tanka in Japanese…(the translations, I’m not good enough yet to read them in the original)….has made a definite change in my poetry over the past four years. What seems short in syllables, or content, is so damn rich with psychological descriptions, observations. I would say that this, and Hyperarousal Trance, which seems to strip away a lot of garbage in my verse, has done this.

    I use my blog for relaxing the words…count doesn’t matter, and it’s very different from poetry, neh?
    But poetry I think is best served, or the intention of the communication, with short, sharp thrusts with the knife! LOL~! Or perhaps I can’t expand on things, so I go for the truncated? LOL!

    Thank you, Dustus, for reading and your comments.

    Lady Nyo


  16. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! For all of us, Laura!

    I love the Winter…it is a wonderful time of contemplation, rearranging my space….thinking about the stillness, silence of the season, the stripped to the bones revealing of life and nature.

    But spring brings another rebirth, to the land and to us! We are caught up in this cycle…and everything around us proclaims the rebirth and HOPE of the Earth. How can we not be caught up in this cycle? Age and circumstance doesn’t matter…we are thrust into this great sphere of change and rebirth.

    Thank you, Laura, for reading and your comment. And Happy Spring to Come!



  17. ladynyo Says:

    I agree, Diane. It does thrust us into contemplation, stillness, silence, and from that silence, comes a deepening of ourselves.

    Personally, I love Winter…it’s a season for some reason I look forward to every year. It’s my favorite season, but how can we pick a favorite out of 4? LOL! It has a definite purpose in our own life cycle, and I aim to get the message it has for me.

    Thank you for reading, Dianne, and your lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    No problem, Diane….your words are true!

    Lady Nyo


  19. lizziviggi Says:

    I love that you’ve taken the changing from winter to spring, a subject usually treated gently and reverently by poets, and turned it into a screaming, violent, rapturous poem. Screw winter! Yeah!


  20. pete marshall Says:

    just reading the comments and i like what dustus says…this is very descriptive…great poem..pete


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Pete.

    Needs work….send food.

    Lady Nyo


  22. ladynyo Says:

    LOL!..well, birth is sometimes violent.

    Pre-Spring is screwing with us here right now….Severe weather predicted.

    Thank you for reading and your comment!

    Lady Nyo


  23. Eric Says:

    Delightful encapsulation of a season between seasons. 🙂


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Eric….I think you are right: it’s a season between seasons!

    Thank you for reading and your comments, Eric.

    Lady Nyo


  25. Kavita Says:

    A stunning and hauntingly refreshing dream of a poem, Lady Nyo!
    Goodbye chilling frost (which I oh so love)…and welcome Springy Spring indeed! 🙂

    A beautiful depiction of the change of colors and landscape, my dear… lovely!!


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kavita.

    Spring storms here, but no damage…just pounded down daffs.

    Thanks for reading and your lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  27. kolembo Says:

    Thick, dense words, spring trying to break through, thawing the carpet of phrase thrown, careful, cautious reading, picking each thought…

    …wind razored clipper glass…

    …onward…watch the kamikaze!

    …onward, plodding through…

    …The tyranny of Winter finally broken.

    Ooo, I enjoyed this!


  28. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you!….that’s much of what poetry is, don’t you think…careful picking words?

    Thank you for reading and your comment!

    Lady Nyo


  29. Claudia Says:

    ah yes – spring is close… beautiful poem lady nyo..my fav lines among many beautiful lines were..A blind movement

    felt deep in the soil-

    a careful stirring…


  30. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Claudia!

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting…Right now I am sick with some stomach ailment, and I owe a lot of people a return visit to their blogs. I’ll catch up over the weekend, or when I can sit up straight.

    Thank you, sweetie.

    Lady Nyo…looking very green right now and it isn’t spring greenery.


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