The Rites of Spain, for d’verse challenge.


I have to say…. the fascist underpinnings of this Futurism aesthetic give me hives. Intolerance as the coin of the day, and what we see right now under our noses reminds me of 1930’s Germany.  The Brownshirts arising, the lumpen proletariat just egging for a fight and easily manipulated.  Well, history repeats itself.

I deplore any fashion in literature that serves Nazism, fascism, any ism.  The Shinto aesthetic was bent to serve imperial Japan during WWII, and I believe just about any ism will find its adherents.  Which brings the issue of ‘what does art serve?’ to  light.

I have little brain for this movement.  It confuses me mightily.  And anything that was approved or looked upon by Stalin is even more reason to proceed cautiously.  I just couldn’t get my head around the prompt, but that’s not unusual for me.  This “The Rites of Spain” is a work in progress.  It doesn’t call for Revolution but can that be far behind when conditions are so dire?

Lady Nyo

Canto 1



Sharp azure skies

Rusty brown earth,

Black of women’s shawls,

Goat dung flung by boys

At passing soldiers,

The Inquisition churns onward

Like the great mandala

Crushing bodies under its wheel

Burning witches in great pyres

Ignited by ignorance

Of the blessed padres.



Time of terror,

Overtime superstition.

Of hidden manuscripts

under floor boards,

and investigations

Seeded by the envy of neighbors.

Goya colors flung on

the black of night,

Red of Blood

White of Death

Green of Decay

Duller grays of corruption

Shiny blues of greed

Exchanging favors,

Cardinal to Cardinal–

Madrid to Rome.

These are the colors

Of the Inquisition.

Holy Terror of God in

Man’s hands

where nothing is safe,

Humanity defiled.


Soldiers force Rabbis

to spit on the Torah,

A diversion, for the net holds much room,

All ‘thought’ is open to this furor,

For terror reigns.

The banality of evil,

Which words belie the results

Fashions such existence.


Dark shawls drawn

Over frightened faces,

only the

Whites of eyes

gleam out like hooded lanterns,

faces cast downward

when the Cardinals pass.

No one wants to be noticed,

There is Death in the

Very air.



Gossip is gone

From the full rose lips

Of women.

They huddle


Though no safety

In numbers.



Wearing an early shroud

To cover their


A slight sway of

Curvaceous hips

Could draw the Holy Terror

Upon their innocence

Condemned by black lipped priests-

Whores worthy of fire.


Cruelty and censure is the mantra of the day.


Breathe in the

Moisture of the drowned

Catch the blood

Flayed from bodies

Hear the sharp screams from

Those tortured,

And the

Sharper silence to follow.


Hope is gone

From the heart

Of Spain.


Fear the mantra of the day.


The disdainful eye

Of the Church’s


Circling the

Spanish masses,

Like herding goats

From a horse,

Whip held easy

In the hand,

Ready to strike,

And strikes when not.


How many died

That could give

Birth to Enlightment?

How many aborted

By this

Scourge of Mankind?


Compassion forgotten

Humility distorted.


Lies the particular coin of the day.


The Inquisition

Rolled onward,

Tearing up

Soil watered by

Clotted blood.

Black tentacles

Of Power


The heart

Of Spain




Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

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10 Responses to “The Rites of Spain, for d’verse challenge.”

  1. Kathy Reed Says:

    OMG…I just discovered your writing and “firsts” at dverse. I was in Spain in 2003…you rolled all into a multicolored ball of fine threads, completely touching all points in her history and, I am thinking, how she is today..I am not surprised, but saddened, for such a beautiful culture-‘s dark and light edges.
    Nautical Erotica…the colors, the ship..I love it all!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881 Says:

    You definitely hit the ‘revolt’ button, Jane! This poem is something else! I like the way the black shawl appears throughout, sometimes as itself, sometimes as a shroud. The women represent the voice of reason, I think.


  3. Grace Says:

    A lovely piece of history, from one Conqueror to the vanquished. I specially like this part: Cruelty and censure is the mantra of the day. And so it goes on and on….Really appreciate the details of the time of the Inquisition.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brian Says:

    Well I like it, but then again, Fascism and Communism were/are simply repackaged ideologies that spread rapidly due to modern transportation and communication. They’ve never gone away and never will as long as those in power use their wealth to divide and conquer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ladynyo Says:

    And the fight continues…..Thanks Brian, for reading and your comment on Futurism.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Grace. The Inquisition lay the basis for Franco: the Spanish Enlightenment delayed. Thank you for reading and your comment@


  7. ladynyo Says:

    Yes, they do. It was a terrible time, and the tremors of the Inquisition can still be felt in Spain. Thank you, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Kathy! Oh, you have made my day! Thank you for reading and your comment. Spain is still tainted with the Inquisition….politics and religion. There is a Canto II but it’s not ready for posting. I lost this thread with life ablooming but hope to get back to this series on Spain.


  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    I think each time has its time to react against its own injustice… i love how you tied back it back the the language of the inquisition and its blacklipped priests… and I don’t think that the radicals of the early 20s believed that their work would form a future of new unjustness.. love your political rant (and to establish a new generation of futurism… )

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ladynyo Says:

    Lost my comment…damn computer is shutting down every 10 minutes. this issue of futurism is a heavy topic, and I am guilty of my own prejudice. Won it far and square. No, the radicals of the early 20th century did not know what they wrought. Tnanks, Bjorn.


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