A Poem, “Winter Into Spring”


"Winter Into Spring", watercolor, janekohutbartels, 2006

“Early Spring Irish Landscape”, watercolor, janekohutbartels, 2006


Winter Into Spring 


Mysterious, silent season,

Where life and reason are suspended

Upon a cold metal wire.

The wind– a razoring of clipper glass

Sailing through glassine air

Slicing the pallid sun’s surface–

An attempt to warm a frigid earth

To remembered fertility.

Solemn seasonal palette,

White, gray, black,

Cut with a flash of blood-red-

A Kamikaze cardinal!

Like the demon wind bearing its name,

Dares the thin and paling air

To brighten only a moment–

A witness to recurring life.

Season of bountiful snow,

Brings a thirsting 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 pale day southern breezes

Break  through the bonds of Winter–

They brush, sidle up

To  impervious ice

And a crack like a thump is felt in the gut,

A slow drip-drip of water

Signals the end of this harsh season,

As icicles emit a hesitant stream,

Then the ice- dam down in the brook

Explodes with a thunderous sound

And the rush to Spring

Is heralded all about.

A slight movement underground

Felt deep in the soil-

A careful stirring,

A rumble in the gut of the surface

As birth replaces death

Pushing through Earth’s womb

To a weak sun above–

The tyranny of Winter now broken.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, 2012

From “White Cranes of Heaven”, 2011, Lulu.com

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13 Responses to “A Poem, “Winter Into Spring””

  1. Steve E Says:

    All the world is blessed in its Springtime(s)…which could not happen were it not for winter’s sleep!

    Love your ‘stuff’, Jane. And the watercolor looks easy, but when I’ve tried it, I just had colored ice cycles running where they were NOT planned. Yours looks like it was easy!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Steve! Yes, the world is blessed with springtime. The last day of Winter today, but it feels for quite a while up here: spring.
    That pollen is flying around without the wind….

    Watercolor: well, I started ‘learning’ wc in 1995, after 20 years of painting in oils…and now I can’t begin to paint in oils agaion. WC was easy IF you know the proper tints….You can’t go wrong with earth tints…as they can wash out. Others stain dramatically, and this is good, as long as you aren’t trying to remove them.

    Watercolor makes you stop and plan and gives a lot of room for thinking…That painting doesn’t translate well on the screen…it’s a coast (late winter, early spring) off Ireland.

    Thank you, Steve…always…for reading and your lovely comments.




  3. David Caruso Says:

    a beautiful poem & painting. quite the battle between the seasons. the color in the painting reflects that well.


  4. hedgewitch Says:

    I don’t know what you could find to be displeased with in this poem, Jane–it reads beautifully to me–full of deft images and clean sweeping lines. I esp liked the opening stanzas with their distinct colors, and “a perverse furnace of freeze…’ seemed like the perfect way to put it. Anyway, I liked it a lot, and your watercolor set just the right mood, as well.


  5. Steve E Says:

    Got in here late at dverse, but noticed I been here already. Anyway, could not resist saying “hello” today, as well…


  6. Pat Hatt Says:

    Yes I agree winter is a tirate and must stay far away, you really took the season and transformed it from start to end, if only such words winter would heed and go away faster. But alas it is gone and no more snow on the lawn.


  7. marousia Says:

    The opening lines had me transfixed:

    “Mysterious, silent season,

    Where life and reason are suspended

    Upon a cold metal wire.”

    I love the watercolour too – the words swirl so well together, each one complementing the one before – just like water colour tints…


  8. Yousei Hime Says:

    Lovely wandering through all these rich images, almost as much fun as watching it happen outside. Aren’t we all ready for spring? I’ve written a longer piece you might like. Give it a read when you have time and inclination.


  9. brian miller Says:

    nice…i had trouble getting to your site earlier jane…does not seem to be a problem now though…nice verse for the first day of srping you know…it feels so good to transition that season…i have felt that rumbling for a while…and even though it was a very mild winter there is something inside that seems to turn the page when the season does as well….


  10. Chazinator Says:

    The birth pangs of Spring, breaking thru that hard winter speaks so clearly and with passion in your words. Your depiction of the way winter slowly gives way to new birth with its own death is so visceral and told from the inside. I could feel the new gathering strength and finding the power to push thru to the day.


  11. Geraldine (Gerry) Snape Says:

    Jane…I shall read this one out to my poetry group…for you have nailed the elements of Ireland absolutely on the knuckle!
    I’m back in Killybegs or down by Annalong and feeling the weather like you never do quite here in the NW of england!


  12. Gay Reiser Cannon Says:

    Wonderful imagery, Jane. Loved this transition although we, like you, didn’t have much winter. Spring came with a vengeance and poured for 24 hours straight hard. It dug up the trench dug for the root barriers. I think they’re coming back with more dirt hopefully. I thought I could fill it in, but the rain dug and then packed things down. There isn’t anything extra. Which is about the way I feel these days. Still in Arlington and dreading the return to the coast. I must go soon though. It’s been pleasant being home. Did get a car. I know I owe you an email and shouldn’t write all this on your blog. Suffice to say, I always love your work. Can’t get enough of it. Still feeling guilty about not having read your long piece awhile back, but I’m struggling to get much more than the house work done. We’ll talk later. Hope you’re well. I’m ok. Just wishing I could stay.


  13. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, everyone who has read this poem, “Winter Into Spring”.

    I am dizzy with the pollen here….almost 10,000 by count…(how do they do this???) and can barely keep my eyes open.

    Never had problems with allergies before, but this spring it has slammed me.

    I’m in the middle of finishing up “Tin Hinan” (got to Book II< chapter 6, but am stalled until I do more research on the Arab caravans across the Sahara. I know some things, but the inner reactions of the Arabs and Berbers still are problematic to me.

    I will keep this Chapter II up for a while….mainly because I don't have a poem in my head to post right now…WEll, I do, but they need revision.

    Thank you again, to everyone who has read this poem.

    Lady Nyo


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