“Healing with Nature” haibun


(Oil,  ” Summer Dusk”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2002)


Kanzen Sakura over at dversepoets pub has offered a wonderful prompt.  A meditational walk in the forest, along the shore line, anywhere there is a healing nature to a stroll.  Here, I have only a fourth of a acre, three miles from downtown Atlanta, but I have my gardens, and the sky to relax within.  And a gentle and sometimes rude Nature that brings these gifts to my feet.

Lady Nyo



My solitude shared-

night time crickets and an owl

the moon must approve

soft moonbeam filters dust motes

a thousand fish swim upstream

It is late afternoon, winter by calendar, spring by temperament. The radishes have pushed above the dark soil, and look promising.

Two cats and I are sitting on a retaining wall that retains nothing, except Madame Alfred Carriere and Graham Thomas. They both have climbed to the second story and are looking in the windows, watching us sleep. I am surrounded by budding nature, the canna lilies brush my thighs with tenderness, making room for me. I sigh and relax into the gathering dusk.

Last night I heard the wood owls. Their demonic chattering scared me into the chicken coop to stand guard with a rake, nervous as the hens. Now I know they are only six inches tall and can’t eat me.

When I die, I want my ashes scattered on this garden. Then, my ash-hands will caress the seedlings from below, my ash-heart will take pride in their growth, and my ash-ears will still hear those wood owls.

The moon is rising, a beggar’s cup too thin to fatten the soil. Mourning doves chant their benediction and swallows tumble like sickles in the failing light. The dark embraces all below. I am healed from the day’s tribulations. The sounds of the urban give way to the enchantment of the Night.

The soil our bed

Our classroom and our graves.

Reborn to the world.


Barn Owl, J. Kohut-Bartels, 1999, watercolor


“European Eagle Owl”, janekohut-bartels, 2003, watercolor


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Tags: , ,

39 Responses to ““Healing with Nature” haibun”

  1. kanzensakura Says:

    This is beautiful writing. I love how you guarded the hens as well. those wood owls can be scary, just listening to them and not seeing them. Thank you for this gorgeous piece of writing.


  2. Jane Dougherty Says:

    What a lovely string of images! I know Mme Alfred Carrière and Graham Thomas, lovely old-fashioned roses. It’s strange how we think of death and afterwards when we are intent on gardening and watching things grow. I understand your choice 🙂


  3. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! I’m laughing and crying at the same time! LOL! Those damn wood owls! Last year they had me fearing the dark! I didn’t know they were so small, I was sure they were going to tear my eyes out. I’ve tackled foxes and a few stray dogs in defense of my hens, but those damn wood owls had me at the run! LOL! They really sound like demons from Hell! The witch’s brew of exclamations makes my blood rise in fear. Thank you so much, Toni for this prompt. It was much needed here and out there. Even the cats thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Jane. I have thought about this a lot lately…and it is better for me to be turned into ready fertilizer than to be moldering in a box somewhere. LOL! I am glad you know of Graham and Madame….such lovely roses, must I remember…and one I had in the same place 5 years ago (the Madame) grew to 20×20 in a matter of a few years. An eastern wall and she climbed up it and threw roses into our bedroom right above our windows. Waking up to blooms in your face and at times a hummingbird patrolling your nose, was quite an experience. LOL! The French Breakfast Radishes are just so precious as little green stars on a black soil sky. Thank you for reading and your lovely, lovely comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kanzensakura Says:

    You and the cats are most welcome. 🙂 But you aint had nothing like a horned owl silently sailing over your head at night – I call them the stealth owls. Huge birds with strong claws. Now, one of those would scare even me.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Actually, I had. Years ago, and it scared me into painting birds of prey. I didn’t hear it coming of course….those upturned feathers at the ends of their wings buffer the sound. They really are silent killers. And yes, stealth owls are an excellent name for them. I have a favorite painting of a barn owl…or a barred owl I’ll post at the end of this haibun. But it doesn’t have the reputation of a Great Horned. The claws would scare me, too.


  7. kanzensakura Says:

    Please do post the painting. I love raptors, I really do. Something clean about them – their instinct to kill and then to use all of their prey.


  8. Jane Dougherty Says:

    You’ve inspired me to go and sit (in imagination) outside the house we’re trying to move to.


  9. ladynyo Says:

    Oh, wonderful, Jane. Do. You can learn a lot through imagination about a promising site. Sit there in your mind and plan. That is the best because you don’t have to strain any muscles! LOL! That will come later.


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, but it’s messy in the doing. The scavengers, like mice and raccoons and possums later clean up the crime scene. I’ll post the Barn Owl and also an European Eagle Owl…nasty tempered bird I am told.


  11. kanzensakura Says:

    Yes. Very nasty….


  12. frankhubeny Says:

    I liked the haiku about the soil. The ash-hands, ash-heart and ash-ears show a deep attachment to your quarter-acre.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane Dougherty Says:

    I’m not allowed to heavy work so I do a lot of sitting. One reason we’re not there at the moment—the weather’s not warm enough for me to just sit about without getting cold! No heating yet in the old place.


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Jane, when we moved into this old house 40 some years ago, it had a huge monster of a gas burner in the basement with all these flues of asbestos. We torn out that monster and it’s tentacles and bought a wood burning stove. We have had three of them….but I thought I would die the first winter. We had to learn what to feed that woodstove, and how to regulate it. It took a year. And then we forgot how until the next winter when we had to learn all over again. LOL! Is your house an old house? They are lovely, but nothing is plumb and nothing is draft free! LOL!


  15. Jane Dougherty Says:

    It’s about 150 years old, a farmhouse and we’re looking for antique woodburners for it. The chimney flues are too narrow for the modern tubing. We have one and a half so far, and a couple of open fireplaces, but the woodburners aren’t installed yet. We’re going to have fun next winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Frank! Yep…after 40 years, you get attached. And a quarter of a acre is a lot of land regardless….IF you want to utilize it. Growing up in the countryside of New Jersey we had a lot of acres and I don’t know how we would ever utilize them. Glad you liked the haiku about the soil…I did too, but it’s not a real haiku….no kigo word, etc. But it was the best I could do at the time. Will be over to read tomorrow am. Thanks Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Been there…done that! Ach! I am laughing because old houses are a mess of contradiction. I was raised in a pre Revolutionary War house in the countryside of NJ….and the open fireplaces came in handy when the power lines went out. The furnaces were oil fed, but they had motors I guess. A 150 year old house is so interesting. You will have a lot of fun with it. OUrs is only a farmhouse built in the 1880’s and the Battle of Atlanta was behind the property….of course the house wasn’t there yet. Sherman with matches took a lot of the realestate here. The problem with antique woodburners is that they leak….fumes, smoke, etc. But retrofitting the flues to the chimney is tough. We finally put our main one (and now the only one….) in the great room we built with a 24 foot ceiling…we put up a chimney stack that high through the roof and vented it out. That allowed us to use a newer version. Consolidated Dutchwest three times over. Is your house Victorian? They do have narrower flue pipes….but they are beautiful. Oh, happy day!


  18. kim881 Says:

    I so enjoyed your haibun, Jane, and the gorgeous illustrations. Those radishes are coming on. I’m pleased to see you are visited by owls too – mine seem to be on a break and I keep listening out for them when I wake up in the early hours Great sentence:
    ‘The moon is rising, a beggar’s cup too thin to fatten the soil.’


  19. Grace Says:

    I am curious to see and listen to those wood owls Jane ~ And I love the idea of being scattered in the soil and growing again to listen to those owls ~ Love your share ~


  20. Beverly Crawford Says:

    Such a lovely descriptive read! I love the owl photos, and I guess I’ve never heard wood owls. The only owls I’ve heard have reassuring quiet hoots, and I’ve always loved to hear them at night. Your story is amusing. I enjoyed!


  21. Victoria C. Slotto Says:

    This is just “delicious” writing, Jane. I also find so much healing in my garden. A while back we had cluster earthquakes, small but shallow, like a truck running into our two-story home…some days over a 100 of them. The only way I could find solace was turning the soil, soothing the troubled earth.

    I loved this:
    When I die, I want my ashes scattered on this garden. Then, my ash-hands will caress the seedlings from below, my ash-heart will take pride in their growth, and my ash-ears will still hear those wood owls.


  22. ladynyo Says:

    VIctoria, that sounds horrible! I have never gone through an earthquake, but I think you are very brave. And turning the earth…yes! what else can we do to calm the earth? We attend it, as it attends us through our lives. Thank you, Victoria, for reading and your lovely, insightful (and terrifying) comment.


  23. ladynyo Says:

    Beverly, Thank you! Those photos are painting I did a decade ago. I had an agent in Devon, UK, and he had birds….big Harris Hawks, etc. and I taught myself to paint from mostly his birds. Then I branched out to other birds. Just recently, I went back to painting birds,….and this time they at birds with landscape. Or at least branches. LOL! Wood owls are demonic in their howlings! They bark and chortle, but it isn’t a pleasant sound. Two together will raise the blood pressure. LOL! I know of the owls you are talking about….distant hooting, gentle owls….that sound like they are whispering….not screaming in your ear! LOL! Thank you so much for reading and your great comment!


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Grace! My husband wants me NOT to be scattered in the rose bushes and the garden. He’s afraid I’ll be ordering him around from the soil. LOL! I still can’t believe that something six inches high can make such noise! Unbelievable!


  25. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Kim! Perhaps your owls are visiting mine?? Last night there were two chattering together…making such noise! Your owls will be back soon. Some nights are totally silent (most) and then???? It’s a regular circus out there. Yesterday, early afternoon, the Red Tail Hawks started up….crooning from some tree in the back. They have a call, from one to another, that you can’t mistake for any other bird. It took me years to know who was making that sound. I just lost a hen a few weeks ago to a RTH…who just sat in a low tree branch and then just fell to the earth….landing on my pretty hen. Event he dogs were afraid to go out and scare her away. I ran out but the hen died overnight. looking at the radishes this afternoon? They looked like random green stars in the soil of night! I just love their growth…and it’s so fast!~ I think the chicken shit from my hen’s coop has helped their growth this spring. Thanks, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    So wonderful to be at sleep with nature.. and to get used to wood owls… I love my little piece of woodland that I live in, and wonder if I would raise at the defense of my hens (if I had any)


  27. kim881 Says:



  28. Jane Dougherty Says:

    The house is typical of the region, a stone cube with a tiled roof, tiled floors, small shuttered windows, and a barn attached. I have photos on my blog but I have no idea where!


  29. lillian Says:

    An absolutely gorgeous write. Especially love the idea of one’s ash heart, hands etc. I am calmed and soothed by this write. Thank you.


  30. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Lillian. First thank you! I am having a devil of a time accessing blogs/haibuns. If yours isn’t one I have commented on, please forgive me! You know I LOVE your work….hopefully this internet issue will resolve soon. I feel so stopperedup with this stuff. And thank you for your reading and your gracious comment!~

    Liked by 1 person

  31. ladynyo Says:

    Oh! Stone! I love those house….I was raised in the countryside of NJ, and neighbors had a stone house, two story across the canal. The walls weeped, but I loved it. It also had a grotto in the back…very mysterious…but those times in the 50’s and 60’s were very mysterious times. I’ll look for them on your blog when I can.


  32. ladynyo Says:

    Well, you wouldn’t have any eggs if you didn’t. LOL!


  33. Jane Dougherty Says:

    If you find the photos you’ll have to let me know where because I’ve searched and can’t find them!


  34. ladynyo Says:

    I’ve wanted to read more of your blog… ever since I found that you are a sister novelist….! So, I will put aside some time to look for those pics….and also to read your lovely work.


  35. Jane Dougherty Says:

    There’s a lot of it! I post a lot. Today’s dverse prompt is about houses, so if I write a poem, I’ll illustrate it with our house.


  36. charliezero1.wordpress.com Says:

    Your Haibun poetry and the painting you share are brilliantly outstanding and purely detail in its nature.

    Two! Thumbs way up!

    I am back! And new poem on my blog. 🙂


  37. ladynyo Says:

    HI Charlie! Love your enthusiasm! Thanks for reading and your comment. Will check out your new poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. charliezero1.wordpress.com Says:



  39. W miejscowosci Says:



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: