The Geisha

 Geisha picture 2016

The tragedy in Japan continues.

I wrote this short poem listening to Shakuhachi artists. The sound of their intertwining flutes, poignant, heartbreaking, set this poem going. The raw, alien nature of their music was transporting, bringing peace.


 Lady Nyo


The Geisha


Moon sits low

above solemn pines.

The night is cold.

As dawn breaks

the geisha kneels, waiting.


Plum tea kimono wraps

her tightly-

white would be right

color of mourning,

color of death.


Her lover, disgraced

has embraced


blood the sacrifice

to wipe clean a

particular stain.


She to follow

Honor fulfilled,

death follows death

rigid path of decree.


A life mostly of sorrow.


Opening her gown,

she exposes white skin,

her maid, quietly weeps

slides back the shoji

exposing a winter landscape-

white snow on rocks

white snow like her skin

soft, soon to disappear,

one to melt,

one to white ash.


Yes, life mostly of sorrow.



winter is silent,

no wind at all,

snow falling like silken petals

Ah! She will never see spring

or cherry blossom time!


Floating over muted,

glassine air

comes the sound-

two monks

playing flutes

to welcome the day.

Shakuhachi artists,

mournful sound,

sound that brings

peace to an anxious heart.



She bows her head,

picks up the tanto-

and opens the vein.


Blood of her line

answers to that

of another.



So full of sorrow.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “The Geisha”

  1. phoartetry Says:

    This is an epic poem with incredible drama deepening within each verse. Excellent poetry, and the music of the orient is filled with beauty, yet has overtones of mystery to it.



  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Connie. I deeply appreciate your reading and comment. The present situation in Japan is so tragic, and it continues on.
    This is a very early poem, as I learned about Japanese culture and traditions. The Japanese flute certainly adds to the atmosphere, and I found the poem just responded.
    I agree about the beauty and mystery of music from the orient. Strange to our ears, but not to the heart if listened with an open mind.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: