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Spring Haiku, Tanka and a Poem

February 28, 2017

(Front Garden in Spring) It is Winter-Spring. Most of February has been warm and now the daffodils, tulips, snowbells, grape hiathyns, and azaleas are in full bloom.  Strange and unusual for Februa…

Source: Spring Haiku, Tanka and a Poem

Spring Haiku, Tanka and Two Poems

February 28, 2017

spring garden 4

(Front Garden in Spring)

It is Winter-Spring. Most of February has been warm and now the daffodils, tulips, snowbells, grape hiathyns, and azaleas are in full bloom.  Strange and unusual for February.  Tomorrow is predicted severe storms in the South, with possible tornadoes.  We didn’t have a decent Winter, so the fleas and mosquitoes will start their pestering of anything with flesh and blood very soon.  This morning, I found three  dead baby squirrels , killed by my dogs. They were only a month or so in the living, perfect little babies.  I don’t know what nest they came from, or fell, but the dogs mauled them.  Such beautiful and tender little creatures.  How sad that they didn’t get to live this spring.  So many are taken by tornadoes and severe wind storms here, people and animals.  Well, all this has turned my heart to Spring, and the fragile  and impermanent beauty of it all.

Lady Nyo 

 

 

Haiku

1.

Dogwoods are blooming

The crucifixion appears

White moths in the night.

 

2.

Soft rains caress earth

A hand slides up a soft thigh

Cherry blossoms bloom.

3.

Changing curtains

Helicopter red maple

Pollen fills the air.

4.

Willows whip about

Red kimono flares open

Eyes savor plump thighs.

 

5.

A swirl of blossoms

Caught in the water’s current

Begins the season.

 

Tanka

1.

The sound of frog-calls

In the pond floats a pale moon

Fresh life is stirring

An early owl goes hunting

Wise mice scatter for cover.

2.

Thin, silken breezes

Float upon a green-ribbon

Of spring—pale season.

Scent of lilies, myrtle, plum

Arouse bees from slumber.

 

  Foxtail

Great winds come before a storm,

tree branches whirl-

green pinwheels near heaven.

One shakes like a foxtail by the ground.

All this wind!

I think of the impermanence of life,

the ghost-smoke of one loved, now gone.

Even the snow falls to the ground

But you have disappeared into air.

Perhaps that foxtail sends greetings

to comfort the heart?

Rude Spring

Sharp brittle wind

Sails like clipper glass

Cuts the skin razor thin,

And flays off winter.

 

This spring can’t wait.

It lies,

Promises comforting warmth

Yet delivers a numbing cold-

Too much in love with winter still.

 

I hear the laughter in the pines.

They moan or echo an evil chuckle.

 

No matter.

This argument will be over

Once the earth

Pirouettes on point.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Quiet Birds!”

February 23, 2017

 

For my dear friend, Steve New,  originally from Devon, UK, who disappeared in 2002 and just turned up again, healthy and now in France. Steve was a  Master Falconer, a major inspiration in my paintings of birds,  he and his Harris Hawk, Sigi and his mews of Eagle Hawks and Barn Owls, etc. I think there was a Goshawk in there or two…..and his great generosity to an apprentice falconer and new bird painter.  This poem dedicated to him and our friendship.

0403whe-r01-016

(Watercolor, jane kohut-Bartels, 1995, Nuthatches)

Over at dversepoets pub, it’s Open Link Night, without a prompt, where you get to post a poem of your choice.  Come read the  poets there,  and get inspired…

Lady Nyo

 

QUIET BIRDS

 

Quiet birds!

Your chatter adds crystallized chaos

To last night’s tokaji clouding the brain.

My eyes open with reluctance

To splinters of light

Challenging soft, painful membranes.

 

 

 

The smell of black coffee cuts

Into the reality I am no longer young.

A night like last should be wrapped in tissue

Locked deep in a trunk,

To find when I am past temptations-

Having room only for memories and regrets.

 

 

 

Quiet birds.

The day looks promising.

I await a new flock of metaphors

With polished feathers

Landing on my shoulders,

Weighing me down-

Colorful daydreams,

Peacock words,

Bird of Paradise thoughts!

 

 

For some reason,

Words, whole paragraphs,

Circle my head, then

Flap off in a thunder of wings.

 

I hear laughter of rude crows,

See a mess of bird droppings,

And with a few cracked seeds begin my penitence-

Starvation wages for a poor poet,

Left to a flightless life.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“Unconditional Love”, a haibun.

February 19, 2017

gally-may-5-2

Gally, Galahad, found in the end of a driveway 12 years ago…starved and unable to walk.  Today, a healthy and lovely couch potato.

 

Baba 2

Baba, one of two my son brought home about 8 years ago.  “Mom, I have a surprise for you” and I always knew what it was to be.  Baba the Bully. He was supervising the remodel and painting of the cat room.  He picked “Bluebird” for the walls.

==

Over at dversepoets pub, Kanzen Sakura (aka Toni) is hosting and has presented a prompt that should bring a basket full of lovely fruit!  Pleasure, what is free in life, etc…there are many ways to go about this, but I’ve picked something that has been a thorny issue lately: unconditional love. in the theological sense, I see a wall of argument.  But in practice..?  It’s so much easier.  Mostly.  I practice this on animals.  Humans I’m not so sure of.

Lady Nyo

Many, faced with my multiple cats and dogs, asked if I was crazy? Perhaps I am. I don’t give a damn about most things today that others are yelling about. I give a damn about animals (always ever growing) I find on the streets, injured, abandoned, starving. Here in brutal Atlanta, it is almost a daily occurrence.

I have four dogs, and in this long life I have had many more. They were all pitiful strays. They lived out their lives here and are planted under rose bushes, boxwood, daffodils. Too many to count over 45 years on this property. And everyone mourned, not forgotten.

Cats? Presently I have nine. One, Tobie, lived to twenty years. He came out of a tree one day and never left. Before Xmas, I found a young male, hit by a car and crippled. He could ‘walk’…he flipped from side to side and the inside of his back legs were a mess of sores where urine ate at his flesh. He was skinny, with a crushed pelvis. A month of bed rest (cage) provided a miracle. Now Willow is walking at a crouch. But this is progress. His black coat shines like bo silk. His daily progress gives me great joy.

So many people don’t avail themselves of one of the most beautiful benefits of animals: unconditional love.  It’s Free! Once they give into trust, you can’t help but bond. That a tiny kitten or a feral cat, or a burned dog can allow you to pick them up and not be afraid? This is a miracle to me.

This kind of love enlarges the soul, expands the heart.  And it is always available.

I don’t have to beg the cats to listen to a new poem. I can tell whether I bore them or by the closing eyes, perhaps they are soothed by my cobbled words. And no cat is indifferent to your presence. They are wise and know their place in the Universe. I am not so wise.

 

Life’s greatest pleasure!

Soft purr of contentment

Immeasurable gift.

=

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

Choka: “Grief”

February 16, 2017
My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

Over at dversepoets pub, the challenge is one of writing a poem expressing expressionism.  We will see….this was a hard one for me.

Lady Nyo

 

 

 

 

 

Her lovely snow-flesh

 

the tracery of blue veins

 

upon long slim arms

 

like embracing filaments

 

fold themselves gently

 

cold, smooth marble her skin

 

water streams from eyes

 

looks upon such delicate

 

unearthly beauty, now still.

 

 

 

Grief, mine, stoppered up,

 

memories, glass-sharpened

 

cuts a shattered heart.

 

no hope for recovery,

 

life folded inward

 

her pain is over, done with,

 

mine, just beginning.

 

Each of grief’s ragged breath draws

 

out, to join in her silence.

 

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

 

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Musings on a Closing Day”

February 11, 2017

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

Over at dversepoets the prompt is the word ‘heart’ included in a poem.

Lady Nyo

 

“Musings on a Closing Day”

I move my chair

to observe Mt. Fuji-

monstrous perfection

topped with the cooling crust

of spring snows.

 

Languid movement

of a branch,

like a geisha

unfurling her arm

from a gray kimono,

makes petals fall,

a scented, pink snow

covering my upturned face

with careless kisses.

 

Timid winds caress

my limbs,

a fleeting relief

to tired bones

brittle now with

the sullen defeat of life.

 

Raked sand of garden

waves barely disturbed

by feet like two gray stones

as grains flow

round ankles.

 

I realize once again

I am no obstacle to

the sands of time.

 

My heart is quieted

by the passage of nothing

for in this nothing

is revealed the fullness of life.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016  “Musings on a Closing Day” published in the new second edition of “A Seasoning of Lust”, Amazon.com, December, 2016

Bhava Yoga

February 9, 2017

DSCF2570

(“Italian Dawn “, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2003)

Open Link Night over at dversepoets. com.  Come over and see what Grace and others have submitted.

Bhava Yoga

 

Morning’s roseate sky

Has been blasted away,

Branches now whirligigs

Swirl with a fierce southern wind

As windows rattle in frames.

 

A tattered umbrella

Shades from a relentless sun.

I listen to Bhava Yoga

The vibration of Love,

Where imagination meets

Memory in the dark.

Yet surrounding these soothing tones

The world outside this music

Conspires to disrupt, sweep away

All thought, reflection.

 

The fierce wind gets my attention.

I can not deny its primal force.

 

Still, the pulse of Bhava Yoga

Draws me within,

Feeds imagination with memory,

Calls forth something as enduring as the fury outside,

And I feel the pulse of the infinite.

==

We are like birds,

Clinging with dulled claws to

The swaying branches of life.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014 (from Pitcher of Moon, Amazon.com, 2014)

 

Can a Woman Paint and Be a Writer? And do it with the same hand?

February 7, 2017

I received a comment recently on my blog about this issue.  Apparently this was a rather new concept for this man. I in no way think he was trying to belittle me, but raising this question really m…

Source: Can a Woman Paint and Be a Writer? And do it with the same hand?

Can a Woman Paint and Be a Writer? And do it with the same hand?

February 7, 2017

I received a comment recently on my blog about this issue.  Apparently this was a rather new concept for this man. I in no way think he was trying to belittle me, but raising this question really made me think.  Once Again.

I thought I had put this  on the back burner, but I see it creeps forth from time to time.  A few people have commented on this issue on my blog, and more in private email.  Someone mentioned Judy Chicago.  I thought of Hildegard of Bingen.  Both women, both artists and both teachers and writers.  There are many more women out there who do the same thing. I know a lot of them.  And beyond just these two artistic mediums.   But I still can’t understand this issue of ‘can one be more than one thing??’  Is it an issue of gender?  Would a male raise this issue if it was about a male artist?  Do we expect men to be more….multitalented?  Are women expected to be any less?  What is the supposition here?

Years ago, I lugged some oil paintings and a few pieces of sculpture to the Highland Gallery here in Atlanta.  The woman owner asked me: “Well, are you a painter or do sculpture?”  I was rattled and shocked.  Then I realized I was angry.  Why in HELL did I have to choose?  I was both.  I didn’t get a showing, and her gallery closed a year later. Quel dommage.

Well, I am standing up for artists, especially women, who are writers, poets, painters, dancers, singers, and in any and all combinations.  Why do we limit ourselves?  Why should we?  My mother does this , and I have had to fight an attitude and behavior for 5 decades. My oil paintings are ‘sketches’ in her eyes, and my poetry? “Too many Winter poems”.  LOL!  (not ENOUGH Winter poems, I say)

This is just mean-spirited quibbling, something I have come to expect from certain people.   I am just beginning to explore my ‘limits’ and frankly??  I haven’t come to any boundaries yet.  I think that death will be the final frontier for that, but I’m not dead yet.

With many thanks to the women  (and a few men) who pushed me on to write this.  Sometimes you can get cowed by cows.  The point is to push them aside because they just take up too much room in your life.  And I don’t drink milk.

Lady Nyo

 

kohut-bartels-ls-19b

(Italian Dusk, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2008)

AUTUMN DUSK 

 

Stuttering winds blow across

Clouds tinted by the failing sun.

Brittle air softens,

Now a faded blue–

Shade of an old man’s watery eyes.

 

A late flock of Sandhill cranes lift off,

Pale bodies blending in the

Twilight with legs

Flowing dark streamers,

Their celestial cries fall to

Earth–

A harsh, chiding rain.

 

The trees in the valley

Are massed in darkness

As waning light leaches

Color from nature,

Creeps from field to hillock

And all below prepares for the

Rising of the Corn Moon.

 

Even frogs in the pond

Listen between croaks

For the intention of the night.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010-2016, (from “White Cranes of Heaven”, originally published with Lulu.com, 2011. Hopefully soon on Amazon.com, but might be there already)

 

DSCF2570

(Italian Dawn, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2012)

 

Bhava Yoga

 

Morning’s roseate sky

Has been blasted away,

Branches now whirligigs

Swirl with a fierce southern wind

As windows rattle in frames.

 

A tattered umbrella

Shades from a relentless sun.

I listen to Bhava Yoga

The vibration of Love,

Where imagination meets

Memory in the dark.

Yet surrounding these soothing tones

The world outside this music

Conspires to disrupt, sweep away

All thought, reflection.

 

The fierce wind gets my attention.

I can not deny its primal force.

 

Still, the pulse of Bhava Yoga

Draws me within,

Feeds imagination with memory,

Calls forth something as enduring as the fury outside,

And I feel the pulse of the infinite.

==

We are like birds,

Clinging with dulled claws to

The swaying branches of life.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014 (from Pitcher of Moon, Amazon.com, 2014)

 

((Song Book cover

(Painting for cover of Song of the Nightingale, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2015)

THE STILLNESS OF DEATH

 

 

“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:

Archery-

Temper-

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 , 2013-2015 (Song of the Nightingale, published by Amazon.com, 2015)

 

What was the argument again?  Can a person be a writer/poet and an artist?  Is this ‘unusual’?  I think not, and I think there are no Chinese walls between any of these things.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haibun: Birthday Party

February 5, 2017

 

 

kohut-Bartels-LS-9

(“Hummers” …watercolor, with gold leaf, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2003)

Over at dversepoets pub, it is Haibun Monday, and Bjorn is presenting the challenge of haiga.  A painting or illustration that relates to the haiku written.  Though this painting of mine might seem scant in relating to the Haibun/haiku below….It does.  At least to me.  The Haibun describes a father’s love, the wars of childhood, and the painting?  His three children: little Hummers which he used to call us. For those who don’t know birds….Hummers are fierce.  They are tiny but survive because of their tenacity.  Sort of like children when we have to.

Lady Nyo

 

Haibun: Birthday Party

Mean, spoiled Nancy Madsen was having her 10th birthday party. Nancy was always turned out in pretty dresses, with petticoats and a clean face. She had blond curly hair, like Shirley Temple, except without the talent. She was the youngest of three, so her mother took special care with her. My mother? Not so much. I was left to my own devices, and those weren’t always the best. There was no fairy godmother hovering over me.

I was sitting on a stool, stupidly too near the drop off onto the road beneath. I was taking a back seat, trying to disappear. Nancy’s mother didn’t like me much. Her dog, Freckles, a Dalmatian, had bit me in the eye the year before. She blamed me for ‘disturbing his nap.’ Back then there were no lawsuits or doctor visits for this ‘small stuff’. You had iodine slapped on the wound and went back to play. I remember being uneasy about her party, as my mother picked the gift herself. I didn’t know what she had wrapped up in gift paper. I was hoping it wasn’t my Betsy-Wetsy doll.

Nancy floated around the tables, playing birthday diva. She decided to sit on me. A big mistake for a lot of reasons, two of which I remember: One, I was deathly afraid Nancy would tip us over the cliff, and two….she was fat. I thought I wouldn’t survive this. I couldn’t breathe.

So I bit her. In the back. Nancy leaped up screaming and a general riot broke out. I couldn’t get to why I had bit her, but by the faces of the adults I knew I was no longer welcome.

My father ordered me to the car. I went, weeping, sitting in the back of the old Studebaker station wagon. I was very worried, mostly about the anger from my mother as soon as she heard what her only daughter had done. Not that she liked any of the adults at the party, and it was generally mutual, but it clearly was another failing of a daughter she really didn’t care for.

My father approached the car, his face beaming. “We won’t tell your mother about this. Let’s go get some Breyer’s ice cream.”

This wasn’t the first time my father stuck up for me. We were in a secret war against my mother until he died. He was my best friend though I didn’t appreciate it then. I do now.

 

Childhood is tough

Adults are the enemy

Kids fodder for wars

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 


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