“Samhain, A Celtic Winter Song”



(Watercolor, “Dawn Ducks”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2004)

Posted for Open Link Night over at Dversepoets.com.  Come and read some great, non themed poetry!

Dark mysterious season,

when the light doesn’t

quite reach the ground,

the trees shadow puppets

moving against the gray of day.


I think over the past year

praying there has been a

kindling in my soul,

the heart opened, warmed

and the juiciness of life is

more than the loins–

a stream of forgiveness

slow flowing through the tough fibers

not stopper’d with an underlying


but softened with compassion.


This season of constrictions,

unusual emptiness,

brittle like dried twigs

desiccated by hoar frost

just to be endured.


I wrap myself in wool and

watch the migrations–

first tender song birds which harken

back to summer,

then Sandhill cranes,

legs thin black banners

streaming behind white bodies,

lost against a gunmetal sky.


They lift off to a middling cosmos,

while I, earth-bound,

can only flap the wings of my shawl,

poor plumage for such a flight,

and wonder about my own destination.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Tags: , , ,

14 Responses to ““Samhain, A Celtic Winter Song””

  1. kanzensakura Says:

    This is quite a poem Jane. The end of it is incredible and fraught with mystic meaning.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Toni! First, thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment. This is one of my earlier poems when poetry seemed to give a lot of topic to write about. LOL! I don’t know about mystic meaning but I;ll take it! Lately, everything seems to be dull and gray. Just a phase I am hoping. And when we compare ourselves to nature and birds…..we are left to flap our shawls in envy. Thank you, darling friend and fellow poet.


  3. kanzensakura Says:

    I love this poem Jane. Did you mean to attach the Devil to this? OLN only allows one submission so I am choosing to read this poem again. It reads so much better everyone I read it.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    No. Devil in Paris (not read except by Frank…) should not be attached. Thanks, Toni. I know OLN allows one submission. Thanks again. A far as I see…..it’s not attached at all. Not on my blog.


  5. Grace Says:

    We are in the dark mysterious season Jane ~ Love the images of birds in the gunmetal sky and you being earth-bound ~ We wait Jane for that season warm with the juiciness of life ~


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Grace. That poem was when I hit bottom emotionally after a long madness. It’s an early poem, (hell, I have only been writing poetry for exactly 10 years ) but it has meaning for me in different ways and on different levels. Juiciness of life? Well, as we grow older,that gets drier and drier. Thanks, Grace.


  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    I think there is a snowbird in many of us… what if we could raise to the sky to seek the south as well.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks for reading, Bjorn.


  9. hypercryptical Says:

    Beautiful wistful words (which I have read and pondered on several times) of hope rising through melancholy .
    I do so hope the dull gray lifts and will think of you.
    The kindest of regards


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Anna! Thank you so much for reading “Samhain”. A few have read it, but it seems favorable to those who do. I appreciate your words and it was written at a time of great despair. That cloud has lifted to be replaced with other clouds. LOL! that is the way of life, I guess.


  11. hypercryptical Says:

    Dear LN

    Thank you for your kind response.

    I read your comment on Abetternhs’s blog and so maybe understand a little. My eldest grandson (T, aged 4) received a dx of ASD earlier this year. Although my son and daughter in-law think it probably correct, they have not ‘officially’ accepted it as they think the little fellow too young to carry a label (that will dog him all through school life). Luckily T’s child psychiatrist is good and thinks this the right way.

    Both my son and d-in-l find life difficult, with T’s ups and downs, and the little fellow has little speech and my sons earnest wish is to have a conversation with little him – hopefully that day will come soon.

    This very same son (of mine) also experienced developmental delays and in his early life, perhaps up to the age of ten, was very difficult too. He too was diagnosed (at 3) as autistic and also as mentally retarded and these labels followed him through school and marred/coloured expectations of him. Even though we disagreed with this dx, we were powerless to do anything about it as times were different then. In my son’s case, both dx’s were wrong.

    Initially, in the first year or so of my blog, it was very much to do with health and I gained two lovely email doctor friends whom I still write to. One is the Cockroach Catcher who was an NHS child psychiatrist. I have a download of his book which you may or may not find helpful. I am certain he would not mind if I forwarded it to you.

    As there is not a contact email available on your blog, I am glad comment moderation is available as it enabled me to write to you in this way. Please know I do not expect you to publish this as it gives too much of our personal lives away.

    There is no obligation to respond LN, but if you wish to do so, my email address is on the blog.

    The kindest of regards


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Anna! my email is: janebartels3@bellsouth.net Please feel free to email me at any time.
    Yes, these diagnosis are hard to hear, sometimes wrong or sometimes too harsh.

    My son is 29 and lives away from us in another state. He refuses to take any concern about him and his behavior seriously. Some just grow out of it. and some don’t. I wish the best for you, and I know the harshness of therapists who rubber stamp children. My son was labeled mildly retarded, but it was a catch all for the state. He’s not at all, but he had learning disabilities all through schooling. We homeschooled and I don’t think that was the best, but considering the local schools, it was all we could do. He wiggled his way through life and now? Well, he has a good job, makes enough money to have a fair lifestyle, and is fixated on English sports cars which he completely repairs. He isn’t doing what I want him to do in life, but it’s his life. I have to make adjustments on this side in terms of expectations. He also didn’t speak until 4. Then he never shut up!

    Cheers, Anna and send me anything you want. It is hard on all sides, but there is also great joy in these people making it in the world.

    Lady Nyo


  13. Frank Hubeny Says:

    Nice end with wondering about one’s destination with only the “wings of my shawl” to get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ladynyo Says:

    I am so glad you got a chance to read this poem, Frank. It was written at a time where I had a lot of questions as to where I was going. Hence the particulars of the poem. Thank you, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

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