“The Stillness of Death”, Episode 2 of “Song of the Nightingale”


Continuing on with the story……




“My heart, like my clothing

Is saturated with your fragrance.

Your vows of fidelity

Were made to our pillow and not to me.”

—-12th century


Kneeling before her tea

Lady Nyo did not move.

She barely breathed-

Tomorrow depended

Upon her action today.


Lord Nyo was drunk again.

When in his cups

The household scattered.

Beneath the kitchen

Was the crawl space

Where three servants

Where hiding.

A fourth wore an iron pot.


Lord Nyo was known

For three things:



And drink.


Tonight he strung

His seven foot bow,

Donned his quiver

High on his back.

He looked at the pale face

Of his aging wife,

His eyes blurry, unfocused.

He remembered the first time

pillowing her.


She was fifteen.

Her body powdered petals,

Bones like butter,

Black hair like trailing bo silk.

The blush of shy passion

Had coursed through veins

Like a tinted stream.


Still beautiful

Now too fragile for his taste.

Better a plump whore,

Than this delicate, saddened beauty.


He drew back the bow

In quick succession

Let five arrows pierce

The shoji.

Each grazed the shell ear

Of his wife.


Life hung on her stillness.

She willed herself dead.

Death after all these years

Would have been welcome.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted , 2015, “Song of the Nightingale” can be bought on Amazon.com



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7 Responses to ““The Stillness of Death”, Episode 2 of “Song of the Nightingale””

  1. kanzensakura Says:

    Men! So many do prefer the younger woman but a wise man and an adult man prefers the beauty of their longtime wife…they get surprised every now and then.


  2. Just Barry Says:

    My goodness, this is good. Is this a series?


  3. Just Barry Says:

    Nevermind… I read on and answered my own question. I will be purchasing this soon. 🙂


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Yes they do~! And Lady Nyo has some surprises up her not too wet kimono sleeves. Thank you, Toni, for reading and your comment. LOL!~


  5. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Barry! thank you for reading this part of the series. It’s my favorite book, but I didn’t ‘push’ it enough…..it has a lot of psychological development between a marriage, and the lessons from the 16th century apply today. LOL~ And yes, it is a series of 13 episodes. A book…with paintings inside. And calligraphy.
    Thanks, Barry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just Barry Says:

    I already saved it to my Amazon shopping list. I’ll be buying it as soon as my next payday arrives. I’m extremely excited to get this book soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ladynyo Says:

    Well, Thank You! I love this book, but I am prejudiced. LOL!
    A dear friend, Marge Chester from NJ, my home state, who died in 2011….loved this story. When she read Lord Nyo’s description of himself….”an ugly old warrior”, she cried. She told me this the night before she died. And this was when the book was just in story form, not really a complete book yet. Marge was a wonderful friend and cousin by marriage for 24 years. I miss her sweet and smart presence in my life. We only knew each other by email and phone and letters,never having met properly. But she was a beautiful soul. And an inspiration to me while I was writing this book.

    Liked by 1 person

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