Some poems from “The Nightingale’s Song” ……

Samurai Lovers, #2


These are some small poems,(not tanka), written for “The Nightingale’s Song” to be published this spring, 2015.  They are from the section: “Bad Quarrel” which reflects the state of affairs between Lord and Lady Nyo.  These two are a fictional couple from 17th century Japan.  They first appeared in “The Kimono”, which isn’t finished but I thought they deserved their own book.  And that is the fun of being a writer…most times.  Developing characters that come to life on the page.  Though they are from the 17th century, it seems that human nature is much the same regardless time and culture.

The present Lady Nyo

Like a ghost under water

only the moon gives illumination.

Throw a pebble there

and see how fragmented I am.

I can’t look in the mirror

when I wake.

(Eyes swollen with last night’s grief,

my pillow lake-filled…)

If I could turn back time

I would give up those moments of life

to restore lost harmony….

(But I dare not look this morning.)

It is raining outside,

it is raining within.

Do you think I care?

What happened

has disrupted

all the essentials of life.


Who opened the window?

Who let the bees in?

They are the life

I am avoiding.

Their legs have honey on them!

Too sweet for my present mind.

Outside is a tender spring.

Inside it might as well be winter.

There is no warmth

generated by memory.

I am told this is a little death

I will have to bear.

Perhaps I don’t want it to end?

Then the thought of living without you,

or the threat of living With you…

would upset my self-pity.

There is nothing from you today.

But then, it was I who moved afar.

I did this from self-hatred,

but found enough to spread around.

When I get to the anger

you will know I am recovering.

Not nicely, there will always be scars

and jagged edges,

tokens of our time together.

Do you feel any of this pain?

No, perhaps not.

My laughter is as hollow

as that stricken tree by the pond.

I have not laughed for a long time.

It strangles my throat.

This morning  I awoke,

and everything was sharp-edged—

my eyes  hardened steel,

my mouth a grim line of dead embers….

but my hands are steady.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

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2 Responses to “Some poems from “The Nightingale’s Song” ……”

  1. TR Says:

    This is beautiful. I am looking forward to the book. xx


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Me, too! LOL!

    Thanks, TR.



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