“All The Old Men Are Gone” for dverse.

Gormosy 2

All The Old Men Are Gone


All the old men with beautiful manners are gone.

They with courtly manners

who brush their lips over your hand

who look up the white pillar of arm

meet eyes with sweet kindness or desire-

Are gone.


The Hungarians, Italians and Russians

who murmur into faces

and translate with twinkling spheres,

a desire found ‘deep in their hearts’

or perhaps like a well-oiled

Casanova, who glides across

the room and anchors your vanity to his side.


They are all gone, dissolved in the waters of time.


You were glad for the flirtation,

it made the stomach flip,

it brightened  everything-

Life -Suddenly- Worth- Living!

If even for the evening

or a few hours until dawn

you were young and desirable once more.


With these now-ghosts,

the light came forth from dull shadows

like diamonds thrown onto mirrors

the room was a crystal ball spinning

with a magnum of champagne watering the darkness,

a dizzying  waltz that flung the heart into the Cosmos,

an explosion of Light that banished the Darkness.

A velvet undertone that smoothed all wrinkles and

put a gleam of youth on faces that were not.



They are all gone.

Now replaced with new manners

like flat champagne,

a dullness behind the eyes

capturing nothing and inspiring less-

This has replaced all the old men with beautiful manners

for they are gone and mostly forgotten

except by those who remember-

and damn well know what is missing.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

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33 Responses to ““All The Old Men Are Gone” for dverse.”

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    Maybe we dream about those good manners, but even dreaming and setting ideals is a good thing… love the contrast to those that are like flat champagne. Wonderful share, Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881 Says:

    There is a kind of cynical darkness in this poem, Jane, that is conveyed with some interesting and well chosen phrases. I particularly enjoyed ‘…like a well-oiled / Casanova, who glides across / the room and anchors your vanity to his side’ and ‘…flat champagne, / a dullness behind the eyes / capturing nothing and inspiring less’. And then there is so much contrasting, dazzling light in the middle stanza: ‘like diamonds thrown onto mirrors /
    the room was a crystal ball spinning’, ‘an explosion of Light that banished the Darkness’ and ‘a gleam of youth’. It makes me think of the Louis XIV or Venice at the time of Casanova.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ladynyo Says:

    Casanova is a favorite study of mine. I have a few poems about him. A fascinating person and not for the usual stuff…his sexual history. He developed the Lottery in France, he was a librettist on a Mozart opera (can’t remember….think it was Cosi …Tutti) He was quite the inventor…including deodorant. LOL!
    Thank you, Kim for your analysis of this poem. Perhaps you are right: cynical darkness…but I do remember the gallant European men that I was raised around (my father being Hungarian) and their amazing manners and their open attempts to seduce. They are all gone. Thank you, Kim.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. paulscribbles Says:

    A veritable feast of the dance between darkness and light

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Bjorn. As I mentioned to Kim, I am old enough to remember these men. They were real enough to a young girl.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Paul. I wasn’t quite sure that this poem would meet the prompt. I was thinking of ‘then and now’….but I love what other poets see in poems. Thank you, again. And Casanova is a fascinating personality. He developed the French Lottery and he was a librettist on a Mozart opera. And a damn good violinist apparently in Venice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kanti Burns Says:

    Reblogged this on Kanti Burns, Book Reviews and more ….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. paulscribbles Says:

    I think it meets the prompt perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. erbiage Says:

    Excellent. Watering the darkness, wow

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grace Says:

    I love this Jane ~ Manners to me are very important and reflects a good upbringing ~ I specially love that paragraph with the now-ghosts with this: an explosion of Light that banished the Darkness.

    Thanks for joining us Jane ~

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks for having me, Grace! Manners are important. They are an introduction to character I believe but sadly now, thought irrelevant. Thank you, Grace.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, erbiage….I’/m pooped from a heavy meal, and will make the rounds tomorrow.


  13. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Paul. I am always second guessing myself.


  14. ladynyo Says:

    I am honored, Kanti!


  15. kim881 Says:

    I agree that Casanova is fascinating and that European men have a certain gallantry and sexiness about them. British men are either arrogant prigs or Neanderthals.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. kim881 Says:

    I meant to add usually – there are, of course exceptions! I have known some lovely British men and I am married to one!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. thotpurge Says:

    like diamonds thrown onto mirrors
    the room was a crystal ball spinning
    with a magnum of champagne watering the darkness… great images. Enjoyed this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    This is absolutely stunning, Jane!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Bryan Ens Says:

    Great contrast of the manners of the old-men-now-gone with the “flat champagne” manners of today.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Bryan, thank you. For those of us who might remember (or hope to) it’s a sad time. I remember these men when I was a young girl…the moustaches that tickled the back of your hand, the courtly manners. All gone now.


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Sanaa. thank you for reading and commenting.


  22. ladynyo Says:

    thank you Thotpurge. I am slowly making the rounds this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ladynyo Says:

    Hurrah for the Exceptions! Mine is German American, and also an exception. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Yeah, well that seems to be the ‘standard’ view of the English. They were hiding behind the door when sensual allure was passed out. The Swedes and Norwegians, also suffer the same general view. But there are always exceptions to every rule. The Russians are overpowering. We had a Russian stove fixer a few years ago here…to fix an element in the stove…A charming, sexy man, but he scared the crap out of me. I felt like I had the Russian Mafia in my kitchen. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. jazzytower Says:

    Ah, this kind of manners I see only in movies, period pieces. Maybe that’s why I like them so much. I really enjoyed this. A very nice write:)


  26. kim881 Says:

    Ha ha!


  27. kim881 Says:



  28. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Jazzytower. It used to exist in the flesh.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. katiemiafrederick Says:

    True.. my FriEnd..
    Love without slow
    trance romancing
    eYes smoothing moves
    Finger tips stranding whispers
    and stRings
    goose bumps
    in places not
    often seen..
    iS perHaps
    a lost
    of modern
    hook-ups and
    A new Clinton is
    only definition of sex..
    and sure.. there are words
    of SonG to Mix with DancE
    more that hardships placed iN soft..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Brian Says:

    And behind the manners lurks the wolf.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. ladynyo Says:

    sometimes….well, probably most times. Don’t destroy my childhood illusions, please.


  32. ladynyo Says:

    Probably. stand in the corner with Brian, please. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. katiemiafrederick Says:



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