All The Old Men Are Gone…..a new poem


Dusk, jkohut-bartels, 2006?, watercolor

Dusk, jkohut-bartels, 2006?, watercolor


Thinking of my father who is gone, and the intriguing men of his era.


All The Old Men Are Gone


All the old men with beautiful manners are gone,

All the old men with courtly manners

who brush their lips or moustache over your hand

and look up the white pillar of your arm

and meet your eyes with sweet kindness or desire

Are gone.

The Hungarians, Italians and Russians who murmur into your eyes

with their own twinkling spheres gestures they find

‘deep in their hearts’ or perhaps like a well-oiled

Casanova, who glides across

the room and anchors your vanity to his side,

and you are glad for the flirtation

for it makes the stomach flip,

Life Suddenly Worth Living

If even for the evening

you feel young and desirable once more-

They are all gone, replaced with new manners that

drink down like flat champagne, a dullness behind the eyes

capturing nothing and inspiring less-

These have replaced all the old men with beautiful manners

for they are gone and mostly forgotten

except by those who remember and damn well know

what is  missing.


 Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

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2 Responses to “All The Old Men Are Gone…..a new poem”

  1. TR Says:

    “replaced with new manners that drink down like flat champagne” this line describes the change well.

    This is a beautiful tribute to him. A wonderful way to honour him.

    Hugs, TR


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Oh, TR…he was a simple and also complex man, but with beautiful, European manners. I also remember a courtly Hungarian man who kissed my hand and was so attentive at a luncheon years ago. I was so taken by him: he was a big man, with a lot of presence, grey beautiful hair, that mustache, and I remember him asking me if I spoke Hungarian (it was after all, a Hungarian function) I told him that I only knew one word and it was a bad one. He said: ‘whisper it in my ear” and I did, and he said: “That’s not such a bad word.” LOL! I thought it horrible and I felt horrible for even whispering it. It was part of a horse’s anatomy. LOL! Now? I think I could have spoke better Hungarian.

    But there was something so alluring about this man, years older than I but with not only history behind him (he was a leader of the ’56 Revolution in Hungary) but with such a cultured attitude.

    It’s a tribute to my dear dead father, but to all the older men who impacted me in such ways that I haven’t forgotten their difference from today’s men.

    Hugs, Jane


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