“Winter Widow”, an attempt at haibun for dversepoets.

Winter Scene, 3

I’ve never written haibun  before but Bjorn’s prompts are always a challenge at d’versepoets pub.

Winter Widow


At the window she saw the naked trees of winter lit by a slivered crescent moon, casting thin shadows upon frigid ground. Skeletons in the moonlight, these ghostly trees, as brittle as her own internal landscape. Little flesh about her, a fresh widow, reduced by grief now resembling the fragile branches outside in the sullen night.

There was a time when she was juicy, ripe with swelling tissue, wet with moisture, velvet of skin. She lapped at life with full lips and embracing gestures. Speared on her husband she moaned, screamed with laughter, pivoted in sheer joy. Her life had been full, overflowing, desirable, endless, a portrait of promise.

He died one day. Life turned surreal. Much remained, only the reason for living gone. The temperature grown colder, like him under the soil.

Outside it started to snow. She watched the gentle coverage of branch, bush and ground, a tender benediction offered to a cradled earth. She knelt in the snow, grateful for this arousal to life.

She would live, but he must be so cold under the snow.

“Come kiss my warm lips

Cup my breast in your rough hand,

Growl into my mouth.”



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

Tags: , , ,

57 Responses to ““Winter Widow”, an attempt at haibun for dversepoets.”

  1. Joon Says:

    Oh my word, this is incredible! Every word. Just perfect.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    So much I like in your prose here Jane.. the tenderness, and the focus on temperature, and the winter landscape.. I think I can see the widow almost becoming one of the trees, waiting just a while… great to see you joining… I think you should write haibun all the time, just a perfect way to expand on both prose and poetry at the same time.


  3. kanzensakura Says:

    Lovely and sad. No, it doesn’t quite meet the criteria for night sky but as a haibun for a future snow prompt, it rocks it. Wonderful effort for a first time haibun! I do love this haibun though. It is how I felt when my lover returned to japan. I felt as if he had died and I had died with him. But then I found love again! I am so sorry for your loss of your lover.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Bjorn! I think I made a hash out of it, as I didn’t read the prompt properly. LOL!

    Well, first one out of the gate for me. But you are right,….this combining of prose and haiku. Uhmm.

    I wanted to position his death with her wanting him one more time….to be alive. Death does such strange things to the mind.


  5. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Joon. I do believe I missed the spirit of the prompt, though. It was supposed to be ONE paragraph? Ugh.

    Frankly, between thee and me….I rewrote (slightly) one poem and paired it with a already written haiku. I had so much on my plate but I did want to try this form.

    And thank you.


  6. Joon Says:

    I don’t care if you break all the rules. I’m just interested in reading poetry that’s showing a little nipple, if you know what I mean. Saucy, ballsy, funkalicious. Just “different,” you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thotpurge Says:

    I like the way you take this haibun in a fresh direction…Much remained, only the reason for living gone. The temperature grown colder, like him under the soil…very nicely done.


  8. Nan Mykel Says:

    Such a tender poem! I especially love the Cradled earth.


  9. Grace Says:

    Love the passionate write but so sad when a loved one dies. The contrast of life and death is vividly portrayed.


  10. Sherry Marr Says:

    First, I LOVE that gorgeous photo. And the haibun is wonderful – I could SEE her writhing in joy and have to say I have never felt that wild. Lucky her, but sad to lose him. I like the tenderness of her worrying he will be cold under the snow., And the haiku? perfect! So nice to see you at dVerse, kiddo!


  11. rosemawrites Says:

    this is intense!! and great!


  12. katiemiafrederick Says:

    GreaTest star oF liGht NiTe..
    Moon aBove.. ‘fore
    science.. distances..

    Love ‘gains
    star moon


  13. Sumana Roy Says:

    nature beautifully so alive in remembrance…a poignant write….


  14. maria Says:

    Woah, such vivid descriptions left me gasping for air. I enjoyed this very much. 😀


  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Maria.
    Lady Nyo


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you for reading and your lovely comment!

    Lady Nyo


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi, I would like to reply, but I don’t understand. Are you making a comment or are you posting a poem?

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Sweetie! I’m glad to be posting at dverse (once again…) but I am having a tough time posting on certain blogs….am trying my google account and it ain’t working…..and so many don’t take wordpress.

    However, thank you for reading, Sherry…and your supportive comment. Yes, sad to lose him. But her life (I hope) will go on…changed, narrowed, diminished for a while….as life does.

    Always thank you, my dear, sensitive friend.



  20. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Grace! It would have been better had I paid more attention to the prompt. LOL!

    The contrast was important to me. There is no life without death, and no death without some breath of life.

    Thank you for reading.



  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Nan….I must visit your blog. I also write about psychology…and surviving it! LOL!

    Thank you for reading and your supportive comment.

    Lady Nyo


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you!


  23. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Joon. And yes, I do know what you mean!


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Well, to you I might be vanilla…but I came from (early training) an erotica site, and there was nothing vanilla about that work. LOL!

    The best of luck to you, friend.

    Lady Nyo

    Liked by 1 person

  25. lillian Says:

    Oh my….you must join us again on Monday for haibuns…such an intensely emotional write!


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Lillian. It would have been better had I properly read the prompt. LOL Haibuns are something very new to me. That was my first but they intrigue me. Thank you, again. I posted Basho on Poetry today where he explains something about the internal workings of hokku, and perhaps this will help me. I am not good on haiku, I find it harder than tanka and other forms.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. ladynyo Says:

    Kazunsakura, I found you in my spam….I am grateful I thought to look before I deleted spam…LOL!

    Thank you. Yes, it doesn’t meet the prompt for starry night. Not at all. LOL! HAD I read the prompt first…or carefully….I could have penned a few.
    However, haibun is intriguing indeed. I will show up on Monday’s….

    Well. love and loss seems to be the mantra of women who live. LOL! I can feel the pain your departing lover must have left you. I bet some scorching poetry came out of the era….straight from the heart.

    Thank you, Toni, for reading….and your wonderful comment.
    I’ve posted something on my blog about Basho….and it’s from a little known doc. on haiku. Or maybe just little known to me. If there is ever a haiku night at dverse….I’m prepared. LOL!



  28. rosemawrites Says:

    It is my pleasure, Lady! ❤


  29. phoartetry Says:

    Jane, Haibun Today (haibuntoday.com) is dedicated to the preservation of haibun and tanka prose. If you click on archives, you can read haibun that have been published there. A great resource to understand this form of poetry.

    For the first time, I think you did a good job. 👍


  30. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! Tanka I can do, but haibun was new to me. I’ll look at that site. It’s an interesting form.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. phoartetry Says:

    Yes haibun is very interesting to read and write .

    When I was a paid member to AllPoetry (an online worldwide poetry group), I took poetry courses there: haiku (beginners, intermediate and advance) as well as a tanka course. They also have a haibun group that I belonged to.This is why I became interested in Japanese poetry.

    One of my poems, not Japanese form but a prose I posted on AllPoetry was picked-up by the Publication/Program; State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness and is leasing this poem for ten years. I couldn’t believe it when their copyright company contacted me. I never heard of poetry being leased.

    I should post some of my haibun on “Haibun Monday” but truth be told, I have know idea how to enter them there.


  32. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Wonderful, sensual and vivid language and stunning comparison to the natural landscape to her internal wake. Exquisite. The stars can wait lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. ladynyo Says:

    Connie, well, I would find out! That is very impressive. I, too,, never heard of leasing poetry. Why don’t you post on d’verse? Good people…especially now that the crowd has thinned out. Seems more serious poets are there now…Grace, Bjorn, etc. I’ve come back after 3 years or so, and it’s easier to post and read when it’s not 300 people!. I am a member of Japanese-English Poetry society in Kent, UK….have a page there….and am in some encyclopedia of Tanka Writers in English, but I haven’t kept up with the Poetry Society. There are some great groups out there….I tried to teach a course in tanka this spring at our new library, but only 3 people showed up and the library didn’t do much outreach…so I decided they weren’t serious about this course. And neither was the public in Atlanta. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. ladynyo Says:

    LOL Thank you, Anita. But I should have read the prompt properly. Next Monday I’ll have a haibun that will maybe understand the prompt. Then again…..


  35. Anita Lubesh Says:

    You never know…exactly. I do the same.


  36. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! I like a rebel.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Yeah, I can claim that but half he time this rebel has the attention span of a gnat…helps.


  38. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Same here. LOL! They don’t change much….

    Liked by 1 person

  39. ladynyo Says:

    Oh! You are speaking of yourself? Missed the boat here, Anita. And yes, I have that problem too.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Yes, sorry typo. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. ladynyo Says:

    Glad to meet you, Anita. Good poets are always welcome. Right now I am struggling with a site who steals poetry and ‘revises’ it and signs your name to what they have done. And they aren’t poets, they are Intellectual Terrorists. Seems that a number of good poets were used by them, but they don’t answer to anything. They are in the front lines of destroying poetry and poets. Now? I have to put up a warning to readers every time I post something because they refuse to take my site off their miserable site.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Yes, I caught that when I arrived at your blog. How did you come to know what they were about?


  43. ladynyo Says:

    Well, I saw an invitation to read their site which I immediately deleted. I was warned years ago that this Jingle (apparently the woman who owns/runs the site) that she did just this: steal poetry, post without permission and ‘revise’ poets poems and post them there with the poet’s names…and the hash they made out of the poems was disgusting. That’s why I call these two ‘women’ Bollywood girls. This poem (Storm Drain Baby) is an award winning poem, published in my forth book, “Pitcher of Moon” and in (with my permission) a couple of prestigious poetry journals. I just went to see what they were up to, and I was floored that they had stolen 2 poems and one chapter from a book….and had gleefully ‘revised’ SDB. I posted two comments of complaint (which they deleted immediately) and also tried to contact them by email, demanding they delete my blog. Never heard from them. They say, they are hiding in Italy, but I don’t believe it at all. They have the same blog in Washington state. And if they are in the states they are purposely violating our Copyrighted Infringement laws, amongst others.

    What I have been able to gather about JP at Olive Garbage is that they have done this repeatedly for years to other poets. Good, real poets. Brian Miller was one, a friend from a number of poetry sites, and apparently it was hell for him. They are unscrupulous.
    A number of good poets have closed down their blogs because of this behavior and are afraid to post on other real poetry sites. This is tragic. JP are Intellectual Terrorists and think they are above the law. They are Nazis in my opinion.

    Other poets from different poetry sites have told me recently of their piracy. They have been banned and deleted from numerous serious sites because of their thievery. I am very grateful, thankful for the support of poets, real ones, who have found that their blogs were in JP’s blog roll and have deleted these there. They refer to this bandit as “Jingle” and say she’s a woman. I don’t know….but I have to say that the ‘good’ poets and blogs have left, and what is left there is very mediocre poetry….and poets.

    I hate to have to head up all my posts with a “Please don’t read my blog from JP”, but they refuse to take down my blog and blog pieces. The distortion of SDB was beyond the pale. They deserve the worst names in the human language….and other species, too.

    They run a site based on Illegal and Unethical practices. Plus, they violate Copyright Laws. They should be drummed off the internet but it’s worth it to me, right now, to try to expose their behaviors. Woe be to those poets who are hiding under their beds and don’t think it could happen to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Anita Lubesh Says:

    They have a strange, sad and pathetic existence, I agree…too much time and not enough talent. What is the purpose of mutilation though? Changing a few words or totally hashing something doesn’t exclude them from copyright law and plagiarism – then again, when you have an outfit like this, brains don’t figure much.
    I know what they are doing is scandalous but you might garner more empathy/sympathy if you remove the Bollywood tag, that might hinder your cause since today it could be seen as a generalisation and derogatory, and their level if you see.
    But I hear you and it must be so frustrating and everything else under the sun.


  45. ladynyo Says:

    The Bollywood tag was because they were an artificial and extraordinary bad revisionists. I’m not looking for sympathy, I am worried about the poets who have closed down their blogs because of her behavior. And they apparently is just one woman. She stalled a very good poet for a long time. Police were involved, but I don’t know if this was this case. I know this poet very well, and I am sorry he had to go through this. He did leave a site that he was fundamental in forming. She’s an Intellectual Terrorist. And she flaunts the laws. I’ve had to get an attorney on her ass, but we will see. She has many sites doing the same thing. One thing, though….so many poets have fled her like the plague. They somehow removed their blogs from her blog roll. What is left is….well, no poet that I would read without a gun to my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Maybe bad word choice on my part – support rather than my choices. I just took the Bollywood negatively since it isn’t anything ‘bad’, it is a portmanteau derived from Bombay and Hollywood the film industry…both of which crank out films…up for debate which are good and or bad.
    I am glad that something seems to be shaking them…or alerting others. My husband actually took a look when I mentioned it and saw that she (they) don’t even post the stolen poems correctly it is a mess. Your two poems had the titles mixed. And what I don’t understand is why do they give a link back to the original author? My husband said he has seen similar before and in his experience it turned out to be that there are some people for whom only their way and opinion matters and if they do not like something they remake it to suit themselves; like if I said black they would insert white. They seem to have flipped your poems to a more generic positive and optimistic opposite, choosing those words carefully to do so They reversed the miscarriage you mention, to a happy ever after in their world etc.
    I hope this gets sorted, it cannot be good watching this theft and attacks on your work like this.


  47. ladynyo Says:

    that mauling of Storm Drain Baby really pissed me off. It isn’t something positive, it’s something that completely destroys the content of the poem….what happened to the baby and the actual dialogue of the ‘father’ to the police. It’s a white washing if anything, but it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. Generic is right. They gut the whole damn poem.

    that site is a fucking mess. Yes, they seem to have scrambled it all up and what that says to me is that no one is at the wheel. Piracy at its best. Nothing seems to be shaking them…I wish something would. They continue on their merry way destroying poems and poets. What really pisses me off is that all these poems are already published…my my books…and SDB in a heavy poetry journal (of professionals….all phds) in Mumbai, India. I was on the advisory board for a year or two. Ahhhh.
    She stalked and harassed other poets…one who I know very well. People commit suicide over these things because we feel so powerless and of course, Jingle doesn’t have a conscious. She also compiles poems and tried to sell them to her sites…but they aren’t her poems, they are ours.

    I might just not post on my blog for a while…but I hate that. This blog has been very, very good for me for 8 years. I’m working on a novel (Kimono) to be published next spring. I should be putting all efforts into this but dverse is a lot of fun, and I get tired of the isolation. Thanks, sweetie.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Well if you need to get it out, I am here. My husband is a programme maybe there is some voodoo we can find..and a little respite is a good thing, but don’t give it up, hang in there.


  49. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Anita. You know what? It feels like the abuse I got from my damn family…the denying my writing, my creativity (abuse is abuse, is abuse)….this stealing is bad enough, but rewriting something that is already published in books….this takes the cake. I guess I am just exhausted. And disappointed in some of the poets there who I used to read and comment on their poems. Seems that they don’t care about this stuff…though frankly, they aren’t in this country….so perhaps their standards are different than mine. I’m just exhausted. Having this shit hang over my head daily is debilitating. I understand how people can just get run down with this behavior of another. I’m trying to balance this blog and finishing up a novel I have worked on for 8 years and it should be a wonderful time, but having this happen is more than annoying. Thanks for being so supportive. Rant over. (until next time. lol) And thank your husband for me…perhaps some voodoo would work. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Anita Lubesh Says:

    Like I say we will explore possibilities but rather than waste that energy and any more time, for now use it positively. Take solace in the fact this is still your work, feel sorry/angry but be proud they want to rip it off, it is still yours (their revised crap is not)and what they do does not define you or it, and wont alter how others see your work since they link back (crazy idiots) or so deluded they cant see straight. The morons who frequent their pages are nobodies and not much can be done to damage your rep or work from there. It has as you say already attained high achievements and that is their first and proper place, so concentrate on your current projects. Nothing you can do for now so do that. it might be hard as you seethe but seething won’t produce results where it matters…so go for it, let it go to the extent you can, and work on what matters. and literally take deep breaths or you will make yourself ill, they win and nothing gets done with the happiness that it should bring.


  51. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, and thank you. It’s such a violation, it feels like rape. I am fortunate that I have people around the world who have bought my books and they are appalled at this situation. As I said, it feels like rape.

    The good news is this: “Kimono” is finished after 8 years of writing….a long and laborious production. Time warp, from the 21th century to the 16th…by a kimono that is commanded by some unknown being. LOL! I was stumped for a few years for an ending and then…within a few hours, it finished itself. One thing about writing novels (I have 5)…if you trust your characters, you end up the scribe while they act out about you. LOL! Of course, this novel began my descent into Japanese literature and history, so it was an education within itself.
    That is the relief from this other nasty stuff….and may Jingle get Shingles! Thanks, Sweetie. You are a brick.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Anita Lubesh Says:

    If rhyming was witchcraft lol. No worries.


  53. ladynyo Says:


    Liked by 1 person

  54. phoartetry Says:

    I follow d’verse, but have only entered one Haibun, unsuccessfully, because I do not know how to enter poetry on d’verse. Can you tell me the steps on entering “Haibun Monday”

    I was a member of a small poetry group in Venice Florida, and introduced Haibun to this group. They all seemed interested in this form, but unfortunately, the library shut their doors due to black mold and never opened again.


  55. ladynyo Says:

    Sure, Sweetie! Go to d’versepoets pub….and read all the way down the page until you get to Mr. Linky. Post your email, and your blog name and addy, press enter. It should list you. Sometimes you have to alert somewhere there that you are having problems. Mr Linky only is awake for so many hours to get in. If you have a problem, email someone ‘in authority’ there….Bjorn is good, Sherry Merk, etc….I have no authority, but I will send you their emails so you can alert them to the issue. I hope this works for you because I really want to read your Haibun. I just started writing them last week. LOL! I taught tanka to this group (or before when it was One Stop) and it was fun. Also talk at our local new library a block away, but they didn’t schedule it properly…three came the first month, none the second. I decided that this wasn’t worth my time as the librarians didn’t seem to be much on board.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. phoartetry Says:

    I’ll give it a try with posting on d’verse poet. The emails wil help, if I have a problem.

    Near my house there’s a Senior Center for older adults, 50 years and up, that offer classes, programs, activities and travel, etc. One of the groups that meet twice a month there is a Write Focus Group. They write short stories, essays and poetry. I attended a few times until my surgery and really enjoyed. Possibly you have something like this in you town. Most people heading these programs volunteer their talent/knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. ladynyo Says:

    We have a lot of writer’s groups that meet in Atlanta. I’ve gone to a few…they break down to some good people, who are new writers, some that I don’t want to be in the same room with, and a lot of them have these very aggressive older men who want to sell their books and they think this is an avenue to do so. They are a bother.

    I keep clear of them, frankly, because I haven’t really found a group that ‘fits’. So, I work in isolation.

    I did try to teach a tanka class at the new local library, the one I can see from my second story window….a block away. However, this being a majority black neighborhood, the librarians and other local folk didn’t think it had much appeal to black people. 3 people came the first month, (April)… one was obviously stoned, one didn’t say a word and one was really knowledgeable about tanka and Japanese culture. But the next month the librarians didn’t do much to disseminate the program and no one showed up I quit. I can’t pull teeth. This has been a continuous theme in this part of Atlanta. If not tailored to black culture or interests, it’s shuffled aside. Even friends who consider themselves scholars didn’t come and participate. I give up. The multi-million dollar library just opened last fall, and the things they offer are more GED and come use a computer, etc. stuff. I guess that is the vision and scope of those who plan things. I do know that the very bitchy head of the Library System something or other, said that she wanted me to teach ‘critical thinking’ to teens….I told her if their parents, school and culture doesn’t do that, what can I do? And I don’t tailor my courses to teens. So, I have given what I can….and it was rejected. It’s fine with me, I have a lot on my plate. All poets and writers do. I guess people have their own ideas of ‘continuing education’.


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