‘Lord Nyo’s Lament’, from “Song of the Nightingale”

 Shawna and many others:  I’m having a hard time posting on sites…..but know I will keep trying…the poetry of you all is wonderful, and I just wanted you to know that I am reading.  Jane….wordpress doesn’t seem to be working on many sites lately.

This is #3 in 13 episodes from “Song of the Nightingale”.  A tale of two early 17th century Japanese couple, not young, and suffering some of the same issues of marriage that centuries later still exist.


(Cover painting by Jane Kohut-Bartels, wc, 2015)


Lord Nyo’s Lament


Oh my wife!

My feet take me over mountains

In the service to our lord

But my heart stays tucked in the bosom

Of your robe.

Lady Nyo, circa 2015



The song of the arrow

As it arced into the sea

Was as tuneless

As a badly strung samisen.


Gun- metal clouds

Stretched across a dull horizon

The sun still asleep

As he should be

His quiver empty

His heart, too.


When had the callousness of life and death

Become as comfortable as breath to him?

He had become too much the warrior

And too little the man.


His distance from his wife,

From most of life

Was as if some unseen object

Kept them ten paces apart.

Perhaps it was the cloud-barrier

Of earthly lusts which obscured

The Sun of Buddha?



Perhaps he should pray.

What God would listen?

Then it came to him

That joker of a Buddha, Fudo

With his rope to pull him from Hell

And his sword to cut through foolishness-

Fudo would listen.

Fudo knew the quaking hearts

The illusions embraced

To stomach the battlefield

The fog of drink,

To face life

In the service of Death.

Fudo would save him from

The yellow waters of Hell.


He remembered those years

When she could bring him to his knees

With the promise of dark mystery

Between silken thighs,

And the glimpse of her white wrist-

A river of passion

Just beneath the surface.

How he had steeled his heart

Believing himself unmanned

For the love she induced!


Three cranes flew low to the shore,

Legs streaming like black ribbons behind.

Three cranes, three prayers, three chances

To find his way back

Bound up in Fudo’s ropes,

Prodded in the ass by Fudo’s sword.


He would write a poem

On a bone-white fan

To leave on her cushion.

She would know his love

She would know his sorrow.


The sea took his arrows

Beyond the breakers,

The glint of sleek feathers

Catching thin rays of light.

An unexpected peace came over him

As they journeyed far from his hands.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, 2016  (“Song of the Nightingale” was published by Amazon.com, 2015)




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18 Responses to “‘Lord Nyo’s Lament’, from “Song of the Nightingale””

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    Jane this is spectacular… I realize I will need to go back to read episode 2, but for me it seems there is a will to rekindle the fire… the arrow and the feather works so well here…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa) Says:

    Beautifully written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Sanna!


  4. ladynyo Says:

    I’m glad you see it so, Bjorn. I find out more about my writings from other readers who pick up on nuances I was blind to in the writing. LOL! The hardest part…..no, there was no hard part. The story wrote itself. I am humbled by the outcome. And I am full of gratitude to those who read.

    Lord Nyo in a later episode, calls himself ‘an ugly, old warrior’ and has realized the emptiness of his mentality. Or so I hope. These characters have become very dear to me, and when we write and this happens…it’s a blessing.

    Thank you, Bjorn.


  5. Shawna Says:

    I’m completely captivated by this piece.

    This is my favorite section:
    “He remembered those years
    When she could bring him to his knees
    With the promise of dark mystery
    Between silken thighs,
    And the glimpse of her white wrist-“


  6. Grace Says:

    Wow, a delightful read Jane – a really moving tale. Thanks for sharing this with us at D’verse and hope to see more of your poems too!


  7. kanzensakura Says:

    I totally agree with Bjorn. It does seem there is a will to rekindle The last two stanzas are so full of love and longing. spectacular indeed.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you. Lord Nyo is a character fraught with issues. I think his forgotten (?) love for his wife has taken him by surprise. I like Fudo prodding him in the ass. LOL!

    Thank you for reading and your comment.



  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Grace, for reading and your comment. Well, there are 13 episodes and I don’t know how much to post, but we will see if there is interest further in this tale.

    Glad to be back at d’verse.


  10. kanzensakura Says:

    I too like Fudo prodding him!


  11. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Lord Nyo is somewhat a ‘salty dog’. Jizo and Fudo are my two favorite deities.


  12. lillian Says:

    This is quite beautiful. I especially love the stanza about the three cranes. Agree with Bjorn and so glad you posted on dVerse. Hope you will come back many times. Might you perhaps also make a mention of dVerse on your post here? With a link to dVerse so others might join us there as well? It really is a wonderful place to share poetry and get to know others who enjoy the power of words as well! Hope to see you again and hope you’ll stop by and read some of the other folks who enjoy posting at dVerse as well! 🙂


  13. ayala zarfjian (@ayalazarfjian) Says:

    Beautiful, Jane.


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Lillian. I have. I’ve been a past member for years, but it didn’t seem that many were interested in my work, so I left. The world is a big place. I have been reading others work here and I try to extend myself in comments beyond one or two words. I think that is important. I did link to dverse in the tags…as I always do.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Ayala! Good to talk with you again!


  16. lillian Says:

    oh….so sorry. I missed it! Glad you did…and I do hope you’ll come back often!


  17. ladynyo Says:

    I’ll try. I do miss the company of poets. Next to cats, the best.

    Lady Nyo

    Liked by 1 person

  18. phoartetry Says:

    This poetic form that you write so magnificently, I must say, makes me appreciate Japanese poetry. Human emotions are revealed and felt strongly.

    As always, Jane, thank you for sharing your poetry, and I really like your cover painting.

    Hugs and smiles Connie


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