“Dreams”…and a comment about Life in These Times. And Muslims.

Cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon"

was to be the cover painting for “Pitcher of Moon” but didn’t work out.


It is a beautiful, HOT (we are back into a drought) Spring.  Tender, new growth has found its feet and it looks like  an early Summer.  Our apple tree has small green apples, always a sigh of fortune to us. Some years it’s fire blight, and other years no apples at all.  So this year’s ‘crop’ is especially welcome.  Heavy pruning two years ago probably re-energized this old tree.  Not so old, as I planted it as a sapling 20 years ago at least.

The garden is doing well, mostly.  Some of the more ‘exotic’ tomato plants have given up the ghost, but the hot Hungarian peppers (which we give away to those who can stomach their fire) are doing too well.  The French Breakfast radishes are long gone, replaced with arugula.  Those tiny seedlings have been trampled by our attempts to pick ripe tomatoes and the dogs romping through this small garden. The backyard has a new rose arbor, one with two seats. Unfortunately, the heat and mosquitos make it impossible to enjoy right now.  Over it we have spread two “New Dawn” roses, and they are between blooms right now.  Our backyard is struggling to grow grass, and the drought hasn’t helped.  One side has no grass at all, so we have potted up 20 roses and placed them there with geraniums on hangers.  Geraniums are the plow horses of any attempt to beautify a yard.  They don’t mind a drought.

This is a very troubling time.  Not only for our country, but the world. These terrorist attacks are horrendous.  They speak to a philosophy, call it what you want, that has no regard for any humanity. To call for  such destruction and death in the proclaimed holy month of Ramadan  is an aberration of any religion. And these acts are cowardly, demented.  These acts demean Muslims first of all.

It confuses us, those who have Muslim friends, who could not  picture our friends with murder in their hearts.  My first belly dancer teacher was (is) a Muslim from Turkey.  She is one of the finest women I have ever had the privilege to know.  Her father (now deceased) and her mother, both whom I met, were wonderful.  Rarely have I met more loving and compassionate people. And it also confuses me when I see a woman in a burka, in the grocery store, or on the street.  I am uneasy, the first step of being afraid of these unknown strangers.  Over and over, what I hear and what I had begun to believe, is that there are no “moderate Muslims”.  That if they are ‘true’ Muslims they  will, if not openly agree with the more ‘extreme’ Muslims.  However, I think of the fundamentalist Christians in my own family, and know the extent of their own violent hearts.  Is this any different?  I have known Jews who were as perverted and violent as any Islamic terrorist. The religion changes but the nature doesn’t with these people.  Is it Religion that perverts hearts and minds?  I don’t know.

Tree hugging, flower sniffing, attending to animal life seems a better way to spend one’s life.  At least there is comfort and measure in these things. They don’t pervert the soul.’

Lady Nyo

backyard 2





In the outer reaches of the night

Where the thrumming of the brain

Is stilled,

The possibilities of dreams

Are sharpened, knives cutting through

Confusion, dismay of day.


In the ink of night

The solitude apart

Oh, the possibilities!

A suspended reality

Brought to our minds

And here is where

Creation is born-

Not gelled in brick-like mortar

But fragile, tender

Elusive with promise,

Seducing with such promise.


You know the dreams

Before you wake?

The songs you hear,

The verse you write

When asleep, the day

Not begun nor you stirring

From such stilled comfort?


Hold tight to their seduction.

They announce your resurrection

Into a mystic realm

Where creativity becomes reality

And the thrumming of the brain

Is of an effortless ploy.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

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