POETCRIT Journal, Silver Jubilee 1988-2012

This weekend I received the above journal, celebrating 25 years of publishing poetry and literary criticism.  I knew it was coming by mail, but holding it finally was a delight.

I have just started to read this edition, and am overwhelmed at the quality and diversity of this volume.  The majority are Indian poets, but there are other international poets represented from the US, Austria, England, etc. Overall, it is a broad and sweeping collection with themes of nature, religion, spiritual growth, cultural issues, peace, science, hope and struggle.

That this journal has existed for 25 years shows the embrace and importance of poetry in India. Also interesting  many of the contributors are  teachers, scientists, with collections of their own published books of poetry and literary criticism.  These are serious poets.  It is published with a July issue and a January issue each year.

Very recently, my  friend Dr. RK Singh, who is guest editor for this edition, asked me to contribute a few poems.  I was  amazed and deeply honored that three of my poems were included in this volume.  I will post two of the poems here.

For those interested in POETCRIT Journal, they can be reached by email: editorpoetcrit@gmail.com.

Lady Nyo



Sharp right into mystery,

Down black macadam churning

The guts and apprehension,

Pot-holed surface falling

Either side into 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 enflame passion on

Night Fire Road.



Yesterday a baby was born,

Placed in a storm drain

To die by a father who wasn’t.

Three days of heavy rain

Washed the Blood of this Lamb

Into the sea.


He was found, expected to live

And died,

His short life measured in scant public



The 19 year old father said as they

Led him away:

“It was a miscarriage gone wrong.”


The rain continues today

Rushing down streets

To storm drains,

Making a gurgling sound.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012






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21 Responses to “POETCRIT Journal, Silver Jubilee 1988-2012”

  1. Yousei Hime Says:

    Congratulations. :)

  2. ladynyo Says:

    thank you!

  3. brian miller Says:

    def congrats on being included….you really capture a sense of a place, the road, in that first one and it sounds like it was aptly named…a bit of mad max and lovers lane all in one…the second was like a punch in the gut right from the start….fug

  4. ladynyo Says:

    thank you brian. i’m still surprised.


  5. Nick Says:

    Congratulations, Jane! Both of these are strong, emotional pieces, well deserving of publication :-)

  6. Gay Says:

    Beautiful poems Jane – they sound so foreign so full of fire and water but I know that land, your South, not so different from the Texas South though quite different from the Texas Panhandle which hinges on those hot, humid nightmares but is higher, dryer and duller — much more land, much fewer people (at least then). Both of these poems held deep mysteries much like the lore in those English broadsides, kept in tact in Appalachia which eventually found their way to Country music…the country…I suppose North, South, East and West…served up to the world on a cinematic screen.

    Yet this is special, it has your deft touch, your special soul.

  7. Steve E Says:

    Unschooled in poetic art, often I misunderstand stuff written by the BEST of you. Thank you for laying out this stoem* in such fashion that I felt that baby’s cries and complete consternation as breath of life was snuffed from its little chest…only to revive somewhat, OMG!

    *stoem: awww, YOU know what it is, Jane–grin!

    As for Night Fire Road, it gave me a momentary shudder, since I leave one week from today, on my nearly annual scooter ride which will take me through some mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, maybe Virginia, and other places*.

    *Other places: “Which ever direction the whim of muses takes me”!

    I enjoyed these THOROUGHLY, and I know why you are a celebrated poet, Ma’am!

  8. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Steve….about the word ‘celebrated’. can’t stop laughing at that. It’s all a crap shoot i think.

    you take care of yourself, brother on those roads….I know the mountain roads of part of NC well, and they are twisty.


  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Gay. But….how much we write…especially poetry has more mystery for us than for readers? i learn more about my poetry through the eyes and imagination of readers than I can ever know myself.

    I think we are layered as poets. I know that the “Lady Nyo” voice is a land for imagination and to hide in….and these poems on the blog today are a very different voice and approach.

    No, the South isn’t so different….regardless the distance. Country music? I know little about it, and am sorry for that. I learn from your words, Gay.


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Ah, thanks, Nick. I still can’t read “Storm Drain Baby” without tears.


  11. Mama Zen Says:


  12. hedgewitch Says:

    I can see why these poems were chosen, Jane–they have not just imagination, but heart, and true verisimilitude…they ring genuine all the way through, difficult and uncompromising as they are. Fine work, and congratulations on the inclusion.

  13. ManicDdaily Says:

    Both just beautiful poems – and the Storm Drain Baby terribly moving. So carefully described, subtle, but of course very pointed too (but in great way.) Agh. So sad.

    The first one stood on its own, but the second is so so sad it rather eclipses the first emotionally.

    The journal looks very cool. Congrats! Have you spent time in India? k.

  14. ladynyo Says:

    Hi K…no, I haven’t. Just a few friends there…and of course, RK Singh. He was the one to introduce my poetry to this journal. I am very grateful.

    Storm Drain Baby happened here in Atlanta, Sept. 2009. It was more than shocking to me, it haunted me. It is still painful to read it.

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


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Hedge. I am deeply honored, but feel I have a long way to go.

    I have noticed lately that only something that physically happens is the only road into poetry right now. Perhaps this is just a difficult bend in the road.

    Imagination is hard to reclaim.


  16. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Mama Zen…

  17. laura hegfield Says:

    congratulations Jane! Wow that second poem took my breath away..and heart too for a few beats.

  18. Charles Elliott Says:

    M’Lady, a pleasure to read these songs of the road. Once Americans believed true freedom was wandering the open roads. “See the USA in your Chevrolet.” Your night fire roads certainly stoke the night fires for many — we had uncompleted housing projects on hillside pads here long ago. Your second piece is quite poignant. Nice touch with the gurgling drains!

  19. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Laura.

  20. Fred Bartels Says:

    I’d just like to congratulate Jane on being included in the Poetcrit’s 25th anniversary issue. I have had the privelege to call her my wife for almost 28 years. Although she may be temporarily incapacitated, no pain can stop such a creative mind. So buck up baby and give the world more of that creative genius. We wait with baited breath for your next composition. I love you and will be by your side “till death do us part”. Fred

  21. ladynyo Says:

    Dear Husband…..that ‘death do us part’ thing may be closer than I thought! Thank you, darling, for the years of support…in every way.

    As for creative mind stuff….pain can stop a train. This summer has been a wasteland of no creativity….blah.

    love you,…jane

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