“Contrary to reports…..

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

My doctor leans in close

Steel stethoscope coursing my chest

Like a sucker from an octopus,

Though that would be warmer.


“Not good, not good”

He holds out the instrument a foot,

Two feet from his ears and makes faces.

My heart murmur is annoying him.



He’s from Nicaragua and I guess

That’s doctor humor where he comes from

But still I am uneasy.


Another pronouncement: “Terrible, terrible”

As he looks at some notes.

When did I get to be terrible, (two times over) ?

I look down at my hands folded in my lap.

Is this what my mother has been saying forever:

“Such a disappointing child.”

Are these the predictions of teachers, ex-inlaws

And assorted strangers that have come true?


“Go home and walk.”

What? No meds this time?

Nothing to irritate my gut,

My conscience, and ultimately

My soul?


So I do, and listen for

That ‘not good’ heart

And notice it is dusk,

And the spring trees in the distance

Stand as sentinels just brushed with

A phantom greenery

And the swallows and bats

Play chicken in the darkening sky

And I go crazy in the looming dusk and yell:

“Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted. 2017





11 Responses to ““Contrary to reports…..”

  1. kanzensakura Says:

    I love the ending of this, the sheer screaming joy of it. I love the swallows and bats playing chicken. I’ve seen this myself through the years. I love the redemption in this poem.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Toni. I’m trying something different in my work right now. Simpler, plainer verse, maybe rawer…closer to the bone. I have to laugh. No one likes my pieces on mythology, except very few. I love them because they are explorations into literature, and an extended education. But tastes aren’t there generally, so I must work something out. Redemption? I think you are right. I feel a spiraling need for something of this. Thank you, again, Toni.


  3. Brian Says:

    Listen to the heartbeat of the world
    terrible, terrible
    we drive past with eyes averted
    the long white coats
    of justice flitting to roost


  4. kanzensakura Says:



  5. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian….like this very much. Long white coats of justice indeed. Bunch of elite vultures, but that gives vultures a bad name.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brian Says:

    “A tap to the heart, and they’re to blame, You give vultures, a bad name”


  7. ladynyo Says:

    where is this from? is this yours?


  8. Brian Says:

    It’s my spoof of Bon Jovi’s song, You give love a bad name.


  9. ladynyo Says:

    OH! I completely didn’t know Bon Jovi. I know he;s a rocker, but I don’t really remember listening or following his songs. Now, The Clash, I do. In my commie days….a bunch of us were invited to be on the stage and exchange tee shirts…they took theirs off and so did we. On stage. Rather awkward as I remember…. I can’t remember what tee I got. But! I got a few pins “I Shot the Sherriff”….that looked strangely like Mao pins. LOL!



  10. Sherry Blue sky Says:

    I resonate with the first part of the poem, and LOVE the latter part, the tree sentinels, and the Joy!


  11. ladynyo Says:

    hi sherry! thank you for reading and your heartfelt comment. Some like this poem, others ignore it and that is the way it goes. I sent it to a family member and it got no interest at all. LOL! As we grow older, we come into contact with doctors, etc. who either are with us, or just drug us up because we are seen as…unfixable. My doctor is a bit of an hysteric, but I would rather have that than a doctor who doesn’t give a damn..,,and I have that, too. well, that is life. This issues are sharper for women I believe.
    And I avoid doctors when I can but that isn’t the best thing in life, neh?


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