“Morning”, a new poem.

(a small watercolor of fruit trees in the back yard)

This spring is so beautiful.  We have torn up the back yard and planted grass seed, trimmed bushes, taken down fences, planted more roses and the grass is lush and green.  In all these years here I haven’t had a rolling swath of green that extends to the far boundaries of the property. Beyond is a woods and we are visited by raccoons, foxes, wild turkey, hawks, rabbits:  this is an urban area, three miles from downtown Atlanta, but the wildlife hasn’t gotten the memo.  The trees are heavy with peaches, apples and pears, though the beans didn’t come up in the garden.  The tomatoes are running amuck and the black berries and blue berries are busting their boundaries.  Even the grapes, usually dormant, have heavy chandeliers of pale green fruit under the leaves.

I go out with my tea in the morning and the birdsong is amazing.  The day may get complicated, but the morning is calm, peaceful and turns my thoughts to a gratitude for these simple blessings.

Lady Nyo





A wedge of sullen moon

Pales above

As life awakes beneath.


Birdsong threads through

Trees, a staccato cacophony

Anointing the air

Like colored ribbons

Weaving back and forth

The timbre ever changing.


Green spring trees, tender, tender

An early nursery of life

Can anything be wrong with the world?


The hammock swings gently of its own accord

Perhaps a haunt, a ghost invisible.


Faint gunshots far in the distance last night

Where some would

Impose their vile humanity

Startling for a moment

Until sleep reclaims.

So it goes, this is the city.


The hoot of a sleepy owl in the morning

Echoes the cry of a distant train

While seed pods from maple trees

Flutter to the ground.


We have survived the dark,

It’s blackened mysteries,

Alien things that rattle us.

We are cradled in Nature’s promise

Of life beginning again each morning

While the moon above yawns, fades and disappears.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

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8 Responses to ““Morning”, a new poem.”

  1. Nick Says:

    I love this poem, Jane, it’s so evocative, peaceful and beautiful. A watercolour with words.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Nick! What a lovely and encouraging comment. Thank you.

    I wondered about this poem, frankly. You know (as a poet yourself) how we are supposed to strive for ‘depth’ and something profound in our work, but I think that a lot of that garbage is ego.
    There is nothing wrong with summing up the world as we see it in microcosm I think. And the issue of the dark, the mysterious, the dangerous, the alien….is always there, whether it’s a question of humanity’s violence, or Nature’s. I know people who have moved to what they consider ‘safe’ villages and hamlets, have moved far out of state because of their involvement with random or pointed violence, and feel very self-satisfied in themselves, but the rot was within. They just transferred it to a different location.

    We make our peace with things that scare us. We avoid as much as we can, but to throw everything out of the window of our present lives because of our fear is stupid. That issue of ‘vile humanity’ exists inside us, too. It’s not just ‘out there’.

    It’s easy to blame others for our own faults and deficiencies, mental and emotional.

    But….life is worth living and finding the peace of it. And that is what I was trying to define or describe with this poem.

    That small watercolor I did years ago, but it seemed to fit the theme as this was where the poem and painting began.

    Glad you liked it, dear friend.

    Hugs, Jane


  3. Caliban's Sister Says:

    What a beautiful and strong poem. “perhaps a haunt,” “impose their vile humanity” “can anything be wrong with the world?”
    You have a way of using syntax that can make any image avoid cliche. I’ve watched this in wonder. That is a true poet. To write a nature poem that is this good? wow. The watercolor is gorgeous, and you’ve got a tea sanctuary out back. Block out the noises of ‘vile humanity.’ Back there, they don’t matter. love CS


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Good Morning, CS! What a lovely comment. (and may I say, undeserved? I am (as always) struggling with what poetry means….)

    I am taking some hints from one of my favorite poets, now dead, William Stafford: he was a poet from the Midwest, wrote just about everything that crossed his line of vision or mind. There was a naturalism to his verse that just grabs me. So much of our poetry, or what I read on different sites, is so bound up in ego, pretentious, etc…and that is exhausting after a while. LOL!
    That hammock in the poem and the backyard started swinging by itself, a bit startling, so imagination takes over.

    It all started with the moon: you know, when the moon is so pale in the morning sky, still there, taking its exit, basically fading like the Cheshire Cat? LOL! Well, faced with that and the raucous bird song, you can’t but write a poem.

    Thank you, CS, for reading and your comment, but most of all, for being on this green Earth.

    Love, Jane


  5. Yousei Hime Says:

    Lots of nice comments. 🙂 I’ll add my penny. I adore that last line. Btw, did you catch the revision on my Tea Garden Path poem? Would love your feedback when you have time.

    NOTE: I received a couple of emails about this reader. People thought she was rude and self-serving, and attempting to use this blog to get readers over to hers. Well, I’ve known this person for a few years, and I did read her poem and did offer a crit. I think the problem is that so many poets, writers haven’t a clue about poetry criticism. They avoid it like the plague, learning anything about it. It is so much easier to hit that ‘like’ button, but that doesn’t mean squat in the real world. I’ve had people defend this behavior, and what is disturbing to me is most of them are head-knockers in online poetry groups.

    This is inexcusable, poetry crit isn’t easy, and like psychology, isn’t an ‘exact’ science. But those who don’t attempt to learn anything about it are lazy. They don’t really grow in their own ventures. This, I believe is 99% of the online poetry groups: they are lazy, or just don’t understand the purpose of poetry criticism and can’t be bothered. Their poetry ends up as hit and miss, and I have done the same. That is why I have left most of the poetry groups. A one word or line crit/comment doesn’t make it with me: tear it apart, help me understand what it is you don’t like about it. That is the road to growth as poets. Otherwise, we can cobble lovely words and beautiful imagery together and it goes nowhere.

    I think this poet/reader understands this, and someday will understand the necessity of learning these things. And, I think she’s a pretty good poet.

    Lady Nyo


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hi! No, I didn’t. New computer….Windows 8.1 and it has been a wrestling match for a month now. So, send it to me, I would like to read it!



  7. TR Says:

    Hi Jane,
    I love the water-colour and the poem! So beautiful. I echo CS’s comment – you write without clichés and that is so real and refreshing.

    As with your other nature poems, I love how the moon plays a role. I can often forget that it is there but even some mornings she reminds us of her ever important place on this Earth.

    As in your comment above “life is worth living and finding the peace of it. And that is what I was trying to define or describe with this poem.” That is so well weaved in the poem. When there is such vile humanity and a sense of loss and nothing to live for, there is always the morning that brings a new hope. It that ever present moon and the next morning that can remind us that life is worth living for and tomorrow can be better.

    Love, TR


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hi TR!, God, you put to words so much better than I could in describing the ‘intent’ of this poem. That is why I have learned over the course of 6 years now with this blog, that readers have such gifts of analysis and connection with the poems. They give me, as do you, new insights into these verses.

    Love, Jane

    Thank you, TR. Since I know you as a friend, I will say that your words above come from deep growth.


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