“The Punishment”, a haibun for d’verse.

My beautiful picture

Peach blossoms in the back yard. Spring


While binding me for his pleasure, I uttered displeasing words. With a level glance he considered options and too soon decided my fate. Grabbing my hair, he pulled me to my feet, opened the shoji, and forced me out into an early spring’s snow. A lavender sky tinted the snow purple, gray in the shadows. Ordering me to kneel, I obeyed, shivering in the cold morn. Drawing an early cherry blossom from his sleeve (a gift that was to be mine), he threw it down. It was his pleasure for me to feel the sharpness of the morning until the soft snow covered the blossom. I, who a month ago would not have cared what I said, now trembled with remorse, feeling more than cold air. My nakedness revealed my shame. A crow in the cherry tree laughed scornfully.

When sentiment grows deep and the heart overflows, one submits out of love.

The snow soon covered the blossom at my knees. Fearing I would die, he picked me up, carried me to the brazier and tucked me deep amongst his robes, singing softly of the foolish maiden who would die for the last word.

A swirl of blossoms

Caught in the water’s current

Begins the season.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016


An email from Jingle Nozelar Yan (JP at Olive Grove ):

“when you post on word press or blogger, you do not have to pay or ask permission in person. which is what we count for.”

Every poet and poet group I frequent would find that surprising!  There are Copyright Laws in the US,  Jingle. Even in China. But bless your little  heart.

Please  don’t read my work on her site. If you care about literature, you will go to the original source and bypass Jingle Bells.



Tags: , , ,

41 Responses to ““The Punishment”, a haibun for d’verse.”

  1. Brian Says:

    A deeply felt emotional working of submission. Every reading peels back more layers of thought until there is only hot/cold skin and snow blossoms drifting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ladynyo Says:

    I appreciate your reading and your comment, Brian. Many would not read this, nor understand this piece. I have been told that it should come with a ‘trigger’ warning. LOL! What? Cold snow? LOL!

    Yes, it is about submission. It was written in the period I was playing around with shibari. It’s not approached in Japan in the way it’s used here in the states. Very different. The relationship between top and bottom is very different. There is respect and admiration for the issue of shibari. Here? not so much. For me, it was much better to read and research out the historical and cultural aspects of shibari as it was (and is) practiced in Japan. And safer. There are a lot of nutters out there in the bdsm scene.

    thank you, again…for reading and your deeply felt comment.


  3. Brian Says:

    Very true… about the nutters. From the first instant I read your post, I understood what you were trying to convey. It has a Zen quality in that words cannot adequately express the totality of the experience but can only hint at the world of emotions encompassed by the dominate/submissive exchange. If I may be so bold:

    distant peak obscured
    broken ice eddies in pool
    budding fruit trees bound

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ladynyo Says:

    I love your verse! You obviously have a good understanding of Japanese aesthetics! So many attempt haiku, tanka and don’t. They view these essential things as something to ‘learn’ and break…but they really never learn them. IF they did….they would realize the fundamentals of these aesthetics.

    What I also like about your verse above are two things that come to mind: one, panoramic. Two, you leave the reader to complete the poem…to use their imagination, there are no walls here. And that is the best of verse attempting to work within the Japanese aesthetics. My eye went from each line, and it was a landscape very clear to me. But it was not ended by the poet.

    I study Shinto…and there are very much the qualities of this (not so much a religion actually) along with Zen. Bravo! I want to read more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brian Says:

    Thank you very much. Poetry is something that does not translate well because the cultural esthetics behind the original words vary tremendously. I’ve been trying haiku and tanka for ten years, it’s a work in progress. On my blog sidebar are categories broken down by poetry style.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    I’ll take a look sooon. I;ve had to talk with attorneys all morning over this Jingle woman who stole my poems and my complete blog. Ugh. She’s Chinese and apparently thinks she can circumvent US laws…even though she runs panda express, bluebird books, hyde park poetics, and many other ‘poetry’ sites. Ugh.
    Poetry shouldn’t come with such criminal elements attached.

    Better to disappear with lots of books! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    To me a submission like this is a torment no-one should succumb to… I think also maidens deserve to have the last words sometimes… lovely haiku (as I would expect)


  8. kim881 Says:

    I like the way you’ve added the sentence about the crow, almost like an aside between feeling shame and submitting out of love. And the crowning haiku.


  9. Bodhirose Says:

    You describe the scene so well, Jane. I understand that this is a choice among people even though it gives me the shivers…and not because of the cold!


  10. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Well, this was ‘me’ ten years ago. When I was playing around with shibari. It didn’t end well,, but I learned a lot. And not just about shibari. It actually kicked off my love of Japanese culture. Thanks so much for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kim. Because in people’s eyes this shibari practice is strange, weird and incomprehensible…I almost didn’t post this. I was afraid that people here at dverse would think I was…well, not normal. LOL! That was 10 years ago, and the practice of shibari kicked off my love of Japanese culture. The crow was an addition. Thank you, Kim.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. ladynyo Says:

    Oh you Swedes. LOL! Well, it was a short period of experiment bjorn…so I learned a lot. and it kicked off my love of Japanese culture. You wouldn’t be reading any haiku if it didn’t happen. And frankly? You have to have a certain temperament to be wedded to this stuff. I was not so. Much more dominant.


  13. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    The emotions here are absolutely raw and intense.. especially struck with the image of “A crow in the cherry tree laughed scornfully.” Beautifully expressed.

    Lots of love,


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Sanaa. I almost didn’t post this. People don’t understand some other cultural practices. Shibari has a long tradition, from 15th military century. Today, police in Tokyo carry a short 8 inch piece of rope in the sleeves of their uniforms…just a symbol of authority. I felt this would be disliked by most here, but that is from personal tastes. I won’t go into a long essay about shibari, but have written some very funny pieces with shibari practicing bats….LOL! The crow had a meaning,but we can talk about that off dverse. Thanks so much for understanding this rather ‘weird’ practice in Western eyes.


  15. Grace Says:

    I appreciate the scenery and cultural background of your haibun Jane. While it is strange to me, I appreciate the warmth and compassion at the end by the man, when one submits out of love. And a lovely haiku as well ~

    Liked by 1 person

  16. kanzensakura Says:

    Excellent haibun about the practice of shibari. It is indeed an interesting way of life for some and a choice indeed. Experimentation can lead to more than just sex, or e.xploitation, or other things. Years ago with my Japanese lover, I too got into shibari except I was the binder. It la sted a short while but became passe as both of us were just curious (yellow). Beautfiful haiku at the end.


  17. Michael Says:

    I enjoyed your exploration of the emotions you conveyed, very engaging and a lovely sense of the erotic at the end….


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Michael. The erotic was very slight, but I didn’t think much was called for. It seemed to upset some readers, but tant pis! It’s very much a cultural difference that most are not knowledgeable. I thought it very strange in the beginning until I discovered the ichibani possibilities. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Michael Says:

    Well it worked for me….and I thought in keeping with your piece…


  20. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Toni! About the same experience with my husband of then 22 years. LOL! It’s unfortunate that most people don’t understand the ‘exchange’ and it’s rarely about sex, and hopefully never about exploitation. But I believe it is only to be tried in a proper mind state. The outcome can be powerful, transformative, but I think you understand. Yes, it can and does become passe. You try these things on for a while and usually they just are ‘rites of passage’ in life. Thank you for reading, understanding and your wonderful comment. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Grace. It’s hard to explain. These scenes should be more psychological, or they don’t lend to comprehension. And I agree, it can seem very strange. Very few people go beyond the experimental. There is no Church of the Shibari except in Japan. LOL!


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Michael. It’s all about the balance, in poetry and the ropes. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. paulscribbles Says:

    Very interesting piece. Lots of tension provided both by the ropes and by the participants in the ritual.


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Paul. I think because of the rather conservative nature of d’verse, I won’t be posting anything like this haibun on dverse again. It’s hard to describe shibari to people who know nothing about it. And it does tend to get you placed in the corner.
    I wrote “The Shibari Series” about the transformation of a women though different species changes and her ultimate freedom from these to her humanity. This is being republished on Createspace in a couple of weeks, and I think I will post some of the episodes on my blog but never on dverse. Thank you, again for reading and your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Brian Says:

    I wasn’t sure if I could send you an email and you don’t have to publish this comment. I posted for d’Verse a quadrille called https://screamingcoffin.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/bondage-of-my-heart/ and I don’t think you should feel the need to censor your poetry. I absolutely love this shibari haibun. You have my full support.


  26. paulscribbles Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that some responses may have left you with that feeling. I have no experience of Shibari personally but I was intrigued by the piece nonetheless and by the ideas presented. I’ll keep an eye on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. lillian Says:

    Your haibun is visceral in description and emotion. I do have great difficulty with the scene you describe. But this is the mark of writing that hits the reader and makes them react.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Brian. My email is janebartels3@bellsouth.net. Email me anytime. Should be on my blog somewhere but I can’t find it. LOL! Yeah yesterday was a accumulation of a very tense and rotten two weeks. Having spent a few days trying to find a lawyer who could take on this Jingle character who stole my blog….well, it was depressing. And paying a law firm 3,000.00 calms for this was insane. My husband and a few other poet friends asked me why I was willing to do this? Well, I made the appropriate complaint to blogger/google and that might be enough. Let other poets feel the ‘excitement and thrill’ of having their own blogs stolen, poems rewritten, and the refusal of the thief blogger to take it down. Yes, I agree. I can’t save the world. So….I thank you for your understanding and your support. IT’s been a long slog to write as I see it. Some folk will really wig out at “The Shibari Series”. LOL! It’s being republished in a few weeks on Createspace. A wonderful poet in Australia, who has been a friend and fellow poet for over 10 years is doing this. Not because he’s into shibari, but he loves the transformative nature of this series. There is no sex, but it will be interesting to see the complaints. LOL! There is a wonderful Tengu in the series, and he is a scream!!! Thank you, again, Brian.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Lillian. I read such passive poems so much that when I read something like this by another poet…it startles me. Emotion (or kokoru in Japanese) is so important in poetry. Drawing out an emotional response can make all the difference in a poem. This practice I describe was from 10 years ago. I wouldn’t do it again now. It’s just something in the learning curve for me and my husband of 32 years. And this slight practice has opened my eyes (and my poetic instincts) to a culture and a world unknown.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. ladynyo Says:

    thank you, Paul. I think it’s exhausting for me right now. Having to explain and defend a practice that I only had spare dealing with is tiring. But the vast majority of people were gracious and understanding. Not chiding. It’s something very different to our general culture, and poets mostly stay within their cultures. Ah…so it goes. But! I am very glad to meet poets with open minds. We all learn that way. I don’t know how we learn otherwise. Thank you, Paul. I could really shock some people with some writings I did when I was at ERWA (Erotica Readers and Writers Assoc.) years ago. I learned how to write there, but erotica to me just was a seasoning, not the whole damn meal! I titled my first book “A Seasoning of Lust”…it’s being reissued on Createspace by a wonderful poet and friend in Australia in the next few weeks. LOL!


  31. jellybean disco Says:

    I’ve read this before. I loved it then, and I love it now. Exquisite work.

    The beauty in this type of relationship is that the woman consents, or asks for, this treatment. She wants to be punished, or parented, as a form of love. It can be a bonding experience … but only if both people want it.

    This is my favorite part: “singing softly of the foolish maiden who would die for the last word”

    Liked by 1 person

  32. ladynyo Says:

    Oh,Paul…..there are a number of books out there on Issa. I just got his ‘collected’ poems last week.
    “Issa’s Best: a Translator’s selection of master haiku Kobayashi Issa” from Amazon.
    I don’t like some of the translations, because they are ‘different’ from what I have come to love, but that’s just me. There is a wonderful collection of “Basho/Bucan/Issa by someone I can’t remember and I have the book but I can’t look for it right now.

    You can’t go wrong with Issa. He’s simple, immediate and humane. I love his verse. Of course, translations vary, but with Issa, you get the idea fast. Don’t forget Saigyo if you haven’t come across him yet. “Awesome Nightfall” (the life, times and poetry of Saigyo is a thrilling book. By W. LaFleur.
    And the very best is the first one ….a very early one on the English speaking market: Mirror of the Moon. Marvelous. Saigyo is all tanka, haiku was developed a few centuries later, but Saigyo is absolutely marvelous poet.


  33. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! I like your take on this, not quite mine (I would never be asked to be punished….LOL but I would like to be ‘cradled in the ropes”. that is an experience most people don’t understand.) It is an expression of love. Or can be. You have to be very careful about your partner. The bdsm scene in America has queered so many from an understanding of this relationship. Shibari is not the same by any stretch. I like that last line, too. Thank you so much for reading and understanding this shibari practice. I guess I thought more people would have come across this but I was wrong. I just get tired of trying to explain it, so I won’t anymore.


  34. Brian Says:

    seed cone cradles snow
    whispers death stark black pinion
    knot loosens tight heart

    Liked by 1 person

  35. ladynyo Says:

    Ohhh….dark and mysterious. I like it. It can be interpreted in different ways, which is what poetry, in my opinion should do.


  36. paulscribbles Says:

    Let’s stick with Scribbler for now eh 😉
    For what it’s worth I would not personally engage in any defence of my work or any practice I chose to engage in that is consenual. I am reminded of a part of a passage by Don Miguel Ruiz which may or may not resonate. I offer it up nonetheless as a morsel. “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves”

    Liked by 1 person

  37. ladynyo Says:

    That’s heavy and true. Good words to ponder. Thanks, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. mother wintermoon Says:

    An emotive and zensual 😉 window into the complexities of submission. I’ve played as top and bottom and I like to top. I only play with women though. 😊


  39. ladynyo Says:

    Safer that way! LOL! I found I was too dominant to be a sub. LOL! And the top was a weenie-sadist. End of that experience. Women certainly understand this phen. better.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. mother wintermoon Says:

    The gay scene is much different, safer, and more nuanced than the straight scene in my experience. Too many abusive men and misogynists in the straight scene, preying on vulnerable women.


  41. ladynyo Says:

    Absolutely. I don’t have any experience in the gay scene….but I certainly agree about men as abusive misogynists. That curtailed my interest in this tout suite. Plus, these so called Doms were jackasses. Sadists and wackers. LOL! I am fortunate that I met once and started a long correspondence with one of the American experts in Shibari. This guy was totally out of and against the bdsm scene…so that wasn’t an issue at all. Then, I was introduced to a man in Japan who really knew his history and shibari. Although it’s been 10 years or so since my venture into Shibari, it is a remarkable scene. It’s certainly not ‘torment’ but I think for most people who haven’t been exposed to Shibari, they think bdsm, and Bob’s Your Uncle. You can definitely understand why. Thank you, Mother Wintermoon.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: