“Poetry As A Sacred Universe”….


My garden fish pond

My garden fish pond

William Stafford (1914-1993) is a favorite American poet.  His poetry goes deep and settles down and many times haunts.  I think it was Rober Bly, when Stafford said that he was in a habit of writing a poem a day, who asked  “What if the poem was weak?”    “Then I lower my standards”.

I love that!  It’s more than an exercise to write a poem a day.  It’s a way to observe and live in the  moment perhaps.  As for lowering standards?  I will have to think about whether I have any  before I can figure out whether these poems are lowering them.

Lady Nyo


Poetry is a sacred Universe

Where words, memories, emotions

Are jumbled together

And out of this hodgepodge

We regain our souls.


“Do you ever stop?” asked

A disgruntled relative, whose closest connection

To poetry is in her weak verse

Too timid to draw back the skin of mediocrity

And concoct something dangerous

Something that speaks to moving

From the soft places to the hard.


I had no answer for her.

I have learned

Some people just needle with no real interest in why

Poetry would be such a river,

And went outside to lie  in the grass by the fish pond.


The sun coursed over winter-pale limbs and breezes caressed.

I heard the few remaining goldfish gurgle water and then gulp air.

They exist in both universes, and I should learn to do the same.

The wrens and starlings chided me for no food in the feeder-

I was nose deep in a copper azalea, not aiming to move.


This river within is the substance of life.

This river within protects from the gales outside.

A large portion of humanity is mean, hurtful,

And they don’t want any answers.

They would flay you alive if they could catch you.

The trick is avoiding the knives.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014


My new book, “Pitcher of Moon” is available from Amazon!
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2 Responses to ““Poetry As A Sacred Universe”….”

  1. TR Says:

    So true “Some people just needle with no real interest in why” and “And they don’t want any answers”

    This line is so beautiful and true : “They exist in both universes, and I should learn to do the same.” That is what it is like dealing with FOO and living my life without them. xx


  2. ladynyo Says:

    You are so right. We have to create, fabricate another universe to live in, to create, to stay sane….

    Living without the foos is the most important step I think…on a progression to true humanity. To develop our compassion and self. And then when we have restored the self to health, we can put a lot of it aside for other things.

    Love, Jane


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