‘Lady Nyo’s Torment’, an episode from “Song of the Nightingale”

Samurai Lovers, #2


“I stay here waiting for him

In the autumn wind, my sash untied,

Wondering, is he coming now,

Is he coming now?

And the moon is low in the sky.

The only company I have tonight,

 Is the paling Milky Way,

And Oh, my husband!

There are not stars enough in the heavens

To equal my sorrowful tears.”


Hana Nyo threw back the quilted robe from her head.

It was just a dream, just a dream.

Then why does my heart pound so?


Two nights before

Lady Nyo and her nurse

Spent the hours til dawn

Watching the flame rise and fall

Through the shoji of Lord Nyo’s room,

Watched the candle

Consume the poems he was writing–

But to whom?


“Ah, he has another woman!”

Her nurse was loyal but leaned

On the privilege of time.


Lady Nyo’s heart took flight.

Fear and shame dueled

In her blood, pushing reason

From her head.


Did he know?

Did he know?

Did he know about the poems?

Did he know of the vanished lover?


For two days it rained.

November  poured like

Waterfalls off the eaves,

Broke the stems of the chrysanthemums,

Scattered the flower heads,

Blew great gusts of wet wind into her room,

Blanketing an already sorrowful mind

With a seasonal fury.


Lord Nyo had ridden out

The dawn after

The Night of Burning Poems,

Dressed for hunting,

His falcon on his glove,

Not a word of farewell,

Not a baleful glance in her direction.

She watched him mount his horse,

And gallop away.

She watched from the slits between bamboo blinds,

Like a thief or a beggar,

She didn’t know what she was,

Only felt the sharp sting of shame,

A particular loss of something she probably

Never had.



Lady Nyo spent the day journal writing,

Her misery reflected in an unpainted face,

Tangled hair,

Shunning food as a sacrifice:

The pain of her torment

Was not lessened.


Once I did believe

That no love could still linger

Within my heart

Yet, a love springs from somewhere

And forces itself on me.”




“My eyes have seen you

But I’ve yet to hold you close

You’re like a laurel

That is growing on the moon

And I don’t know what to do.”


Yes, and I don’t know what to do.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015-16

 I see that JP at Olive Garden is STILL posting my blog at their illegal site.  That’s fine, because I will continue to write what unethical and craven cowards they are. I’ve asked them to take it down and they ignore. These folk are not poets:  they are thieves and don’t have the intelligence to be poets.  They are scumbags that leech off the hard work of real poets.  They will be dealt with legally.  Copyright infringement is serious business. 

Jane Kohut-Bartels







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12 Responses to “‘Lady Nyo’s Torment’, an episode from “Song of the Nightingale””

  1. Sherry Marr Says:

    Wow! First, the opening stanzas feel very much like the poem I posted first thing this morning….the emotion is the same. We are on the same wave length. Nest, the story told is told so beautifully, in poetry form, which is not easy to do. This is really beautiful. There is a book and a film called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan which you would love. It tells the story of women’s friendships, in modern and ancient times, and nushu, the secret language once known among women.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    God…that’s so funny, but maybe not! We seen to be on the same wavelength….LOL! And that is good and comforting to me, Sherry. I love your poetry…it speaks that language straight to my heart.

    One or two writers have said that this series isn’t poetry, it’s story telling…..but I don’t know how to do it differently. It’s an old issue: what is poetry and what isn’t. Hell, I can’t get caught up in the details….I just write what I feel, and whether readers think this is poetry or not….I don’t care. Perhaps IF they read the Great Man’yoshu they would broaden their views?

    I’ll look for that book….Amazing.

    Thank you, Sherry, for your lovely comment and for you reading this. Have a wonderful, cool and restful weekend.

    Best, Jane


  3. mother wintermoon Says:

    I love the way you weave story telling and poetry, into a beautiful quilt. Great style. You are a gifted word artist! ❤️


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Love that Name, Mother Winter Moon. You sound embraceable!

    Thank you for reading and your very kind comment. You’re right. that is what poets/writers do: they weave stuff together until it becomes a story. And quilts are comforting!

    Thank you, again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mother wintermoon Says:

    (((Hugs))) 😊


  6. mother wintermoon Says:

    Thank you. My pleasure. I’m looking into buying one your books. 😊


  7. phoartetry Says:

    Filled with passion, pain and love for the one man out of reach. As always Jane, great poetry.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Connie. Lord Nyo represents all the men down through the centuries who are MIA emotionally. Things don’t change much with humanity. And the Lady Nyo is as weak in love as we all are. Thank you, Connie. There is a lot more to this story….but I am also thinking ahead….to another volume. I want to play around with Tsuki and the Tengu. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ladynyo Says:

    Well, thank you, Mother Wintermoon. If you are looking for poetry, I would recommend “Pitcher of Moon” 2014….and a good story..”Song of the Nightingale”…2015. Both are on Amazon.com. And thank you. The support of other poets means more to me than people know.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ladynyo Says:

    And Hugs back. Jane


  11. mother wintermoon Says:



  12. phoartetry Says:



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