No Rules Haiku and Tanka……

July 7, 2017

Marsh Grass 3

 

Something New!  Over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Chevrefeuille is running a no rules challenge.  Like Basho said: “Learn the Rules, then immediately forget them and write from the heart.  Unfortunately, most modern haiku and tanka writers don’t LEARN the rules.  LOL!  These are rather free for all pieces, with kigo words, etc.  Nope, couldn’t do it. Once you learn something about writing haiku and tanka, it’s damn hard to do it without kigo.

Lady Nyo

Haiku….with kigo.

I chase one red leaf

Across dry and brittle grass

Juice of summer gone.

Frosty autumn night

The moon glides through chilly dreams

Red Maple stands sentry.

 

These next five are haiku without kigo.  

 

Under the dark moon

I awaited your return

Only shadows came.

The moon, a ghostly

Sliver, sails on a jet sea

Wild dogs howl beneath.

The soil our bed

Our classroom and our graves.

Reborn to the world.

Childhood is tough

Adults are the enemy

Kids fodder for wars

Imagination

Such a fragile thing.

Child’s salvation

Tanka…. With kigo….

Autumn wind startles–
Lowered to an ominous
Key—Ah! Mournful sounds!
The fat mountain deer listen-
Add their bellowing sorrow.

I wander the fields

Snow covers the barren soil

Sharp wind plays pan pipes

A murder of crows huddle

Black laughing fruit hang from limbs 

(Kigo word is interesting.  Using snow as a kigo is rather obvious.  Kigo should infer a season.  Snow hits you over the head.)

 

And one without….

How could I forget
The beauty of the pale moon!
A face of sorrow
Growing thin upon the tide
Pulls my heart within its light.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

Tsuki…..

July 6, 2017

tsuki01.png

On the 4th, because of all the gunshot and fireworks by the Cretins around here  (4 plus hours of heavy barrage)  Tsuki (Moon in Japanese) disappeared.  We feared the worse because people were shooting guns: shotguns, pistols, automatics, semiautomatics, Blunderbusters, etc…..whatever these morons could get their hands on. Yikes!  I think this is the first year fireworks were available in Georgia and digits were lost in the fun all over.

Tsuki came back at dusk 24 hours later….and won’t go outside now.  He is a head butt-er and sleeps wherever he can find human flesh.  Glad my Creamcycle is back!

Lady Nyo

“July Moon”……

July 5, 2017
Cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon"

was to be the cover painting for “Pitcher of Moon” but didn’t work out.

 

JULY MOON

 

A pale moon rises,

Unheralded, surprising

With its presence so early at dusk.

 

It wavers in the summer heat

Like a ghost under water.

The cicadas hold their breath-

Their leg-fiddles muted,

And the earth turns quiet

If only for a moment.

 

Brushing the lush green tree tops

It floats upward into a still-lavender sky,

Gaining presence, strength, gloss

As it balances in the darkening light,

A well-trod path– fascinating eternity.

 

A world-weary face appears

And casts a bemused gaze downward

Before sailing through the night

Into the harbor of Dawn.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“Chompers, the Alligator….

July 3, 2017

I LOVE this….I love Chompers…..have no idea why, but he looks intelligent and he didn’t eat the cellphone.  My husband comes from Miami and knows something about alligators.  His father used to take the kids to “The Way to the Alligator Farm”, road stops to Alligator, Everglades, etc.  He says the most sensitive spot on an alligator is right on the end of the nose.  Never thought an alligator could or would interface with a human…but what do I know?  Chompers looks happy and that is good enough for me.

“The Kimono”, Chapter 27

July 1, 2017
Fox Pix

kitsune

 

Very recently I have picked up this story and now I am back in the swing of things. A push to the end but I know that won’t come until….well…..I think of it.  Or my characters push my hand and brush.  I believe strongly in trusting the personalities of your created characters.  They, their behavior, their quirks, usually give me a direction in which way to go with a story….or not.   Anyway, this is continuing on…

Lady Nyo

For Gay….

The moon peeked through the distant trees below Mount Gassan in the east.  This low to the horizon its color was a dark coppery-pumpkin as it hovered in the evening sky.  Its rising caused the very drunk men to pause in their good-humored noise as the women behind the screen heard their exclamations. How many times had the full moon risen, yet the beauty of its appearance, the miracle of its closeness always produced such awe?

A servant came around the screen and whispered something to Lady Nyo.  She, in turn, came to Mari and in a very low voice said that Lord Mori has requested her company.

Lady Nyo fussed a bit with Mari’s face, patting rice powder over her features, combed out her hair and gathered it half-way down her back with a twist of red paper.  From a small, wooden box she brought out a flask of scent and applied it between Mari’s breasts.  With a nod and a sigh, she was finished and bowed to Mari with a small smile.  Mari followed a serving girl to the lake where she found Lord Mori.  He gave a slight nod in greeting and turned, walking further down to a small stand of cherry trees.  Here there were no lanterns hanging from these branches silhouetting the cherry blossoms. Only the brightness of the rising moon and a small brazier gave light.  Quilts had been placed for them on the ground.

The servant disappeared, fading silently into the shadows surrounding the grove of cherries.  Dragonflies dipped and swooped along the shoreline.  The sound of the water lapping at the beach was amplified by the silence around them. They were far enough  they could not hear the others.  The sky darkened and rose- bottomed clouds appeared over the water.

Lord Mori sipped his sake and said nothing.  Mari didn’t want to break the beauty of the young night with conversation.  It was enough to enjoy the silence and the moon reflecting in the water.

Suddenly Lord Mori made a soft exclamation and pointed to some rocks at a distance, farther down the beach.

“There- do you see kitsune?  She has come for her own hanami.”

Night was replacing dusk and the shoreline was dissolving into shadows.  Mari could hardly make out the small form of a fox. She darted back and forth, from rock to rock, rolling over those at the water’s edge and pouncing on something, probably a crayfish.

Suddenly the moon rose high enough, beaming across the water and Mari could see the russet coat of the fox.  She had a tail that looked tipped in gold, illuminated by the moonlight.

 

“Kitsune

Has a long and gilded tail

She comes at night

Down to the glistening lake—

The moon rises to light her way.”

 

Lord Mori’s voice was hardly more than a whisper.  Mari was caught, spellbound by his words.  How exact, how clever his  tanka within a breath’s notice of the fox!  Mari knew she would have struggled with her thoughts, casting aside her impressions and losing the immediacy of the moment.  With Lord Mori it was as natural as breathing.

She turned her head to look at him as the moon went dark with a flock of passing clouds.  Lord Mori’s features were silhouetted against the shadows of the grove behind them.  How serene he appeared.  Mari touched the silk of his sleeve.  He looked down at her small, white hand and smiled as the moon reappeared in its soft brilliance.  The water was like a black mirror for the moon, so still and calm.

Lord Mori drew Mari close, she aware of the scent of sandalwood from his gown and the scent of sake.  He stroked her hair and Mari put her hand inside his kimono, on his breast, feeling  his heartbeat.  With all the strangeness of her present world, with all that was unknown before her, this, this—the warmth of his skin, the scent of him at least was real, had no unsettling magic.  She had enough of magic and whatever superstitions that plagued this century and this place.

Mari shivered.  Lord Mori chuckled and drew her closer.

 

“The moon is clear

I escort a lovely girl

Frightened by a fox.”

 

Mari knew the verse to be Basho’s, a very famous poem at that. She also knew Lord Mori had changed the word ‘boy’ to ‘girl’.

Lord Mori loosened the string of his trousers and pulled aside his robes.  He pulled Mari over him, making her straddle his hips.  Without a word he pulled her carefully arranged kimonos up over her hips and off her shoulders.  He held her breasts, now exposed to the moonlight in his large hands and bent her to him.  Only her obi kept her robes around her.  She felt his hand at her crotch.  It had been so long since they had mated, right before her miscarriage months ago.  She groaned as desire flooded her, stiffening her nipples, arousing her.

Lord Mori wasted little time, his own desire evident.  Pulling her arms around his neck, he lifted her onto him and with his own groan, held her to him like a vise, pushing his hips up and back, Mari’s head rocking with his motion.  Seeking her mouth, he finally kissed her as their coupling ended.

Later Lord Mori wrapped them together in quilts and Mari slept, her head pillowed on his shoulder, the warmth of his body a further comfort.  It was still spring, not near summer at all, and the nights were cold this near to Gassan Mountain.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

“The Kimono”, Chapter 17

June 30, 2017

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European Eagle Owl, watercolor, something I imagine what would be Lord Mori in bird of prey form.

 

images (8)

 

For my friend, Kanzen Sakura.

This is a book in progress.  Actually there is a ‘corrected’ version at Dropbox, but I don’t seem to be able to copy and paste it here.  So it goes.  I am no computer whiz.

I hope to have this ready for publication in this fall, 2017.  Nick Nicholson is a dedicated reader and much more:  his intelligence and eagle eye has made this  a much better novel.  

I know it’s not easy to post a chapter mid flight in a novel…lends to confusion. But I am now, after 4 months, beginning to finish it…”The Kimono” has it’s origins back in 2007 or so, so it’s a novel of 10 years writing.  

Short course as to the theme of the book:  Mari, 21 century Japanese/American woman, married, buys an antique kimono and donning it, is transported back to 16th century Japan….northern region, Akita,  to the domain of a warlord, a samurai and a daimyo, Lord Mori.  Plot thickens….

Lady Nyo

 

CHAPTER 17, THE KIMONO  

Mari stood at the window, a copy of the Man’yoshu in her hand.  Love poems, and of course in a language she couldn’t read.  Literally “The Collection of a Thousand Leaves”.

Some scribe had taken the time to carefully illustrate this book with erotic drawings.  They were exquisite, though rather pornographic in her opinion.  Compiled during the 8th century, this book was considered the pinnacle of Japanese verse, even in this more ‘modern’ 16th century.  But eroticism to these Japanese didn’t seem to have many boundaries.  Sex was very natural to them, and even nudity. They did not have a concept of sin, at least of sin she understood.

Lady Nyo was ordered by Lord Mori to teach her to read and write.  He was of the opinion, according to Lady Nyo, that Mari should be entertained while learning a difficult language.  Therefore he gave her this book.

Entertained!  How different their cultures, stretching across the centuries, two oceans separated by mountains and sand.  It was now two months since the miscarriage, but her mood had not greatly improved.  Her heart was a mass of confusion. She would wake in the night, sweating.  She dreamed constantly but could not remember much, just disjointed scenes in clashing and violent colors. Dreams before were fathomable, but now?  They were strips of some unrolling and unending painting, without words or knowable meaning to her.  Just confused sensations with a hidden terror.

With patient instruction by Lady Nyo, Mari was beginning to recognize some of the words.  She still couldn’t construct a decent sentence.  There were all sorts of issues with the Japanese language, and her attempts in forming a sentence sent Lady Nyo into peals of laughter.

Well, at least she was entertaining to someone, if not exactly entertained.

 

The house was a flurry of activity.  Lord Mori was to visit sometime in the afternoon, and Mari felt anxious. He had not visited her since her miscarriage, but Lady Nyo said he had come. Apparently,  she  was asleep due to the medicine prescribed by the doctor.  The only evidence was a short poem inked on his fan. Something about laughter and fireflies.

Mari turned from the window.  There were two small women kneeling outside the entrance to the room. They bowed with their heads to the wood floor as soon as she saw them.  Lady Nyo came up behind them and bowed to Mari.

“So sorry to disturb you, Lady Mari.  These women are here to attend to the house.  Would you please come out to the rokka and view the niwa?

Mari nodded and put her book down on a small chest.  She recognized the words rokka and niwa as the porch overlooking the garden and niwa as garden.  She was beginning to recognize the names of her environment.

“Oh, Lady Mari!  If you would like, I will come with you and we can read together those wonderful poems.”

What she really meant, thought Mari, is I can read these poems, because you are still stupid about our language.  Of course, Lady Nyo was the picture of decorum and would never say such, but Mari was foul in mood and took offense secretly at many things.

The house was more like a cottage, with small, bare rooms constructed from a central passageway, closed off by shoji screens.  They walked through the house towards the back where kneeling, Lady Nyo pushed a screen open and they faced a narrow platform looking out upon a small garden.

Enclosed by a low stone wall, the garden  very old with a misshapen tree in the middle.  There were raked pebbled paths and small green bushes with buds and a few open flowers beneath.  Upon the wall were small plants growing out of the rocks.  The cherry blossoms were almost beginning to bloom. This event was as important to the Japanese of this century as much as it was in Mari’s.  She heard how beautiful they were on the castle grounds when in full bloom.

 

The morning mist, kasumi, had lifted but there was a possibility of rain.  Mari liked the rain, it fit her moods.  She could withdraw from the company of Lady Nyo and look out her window, wrapped in a silk quilt against the cool air.  As she recovered, she spent less time sleeping late and would get up earlier.  She liked the kasumi, it comforted her.  It put a barrier between her and the world.  Any rain or mist was welcomed by the people around her.  There had been a drought for a couple of years. Lord Mori had mentioned the rice production had dropped.  Famine was always around the corner.

Mari sat on a wooden bench on the rokka overlooking the garden and above the pebbled paths.  The mists had all gone from the morning, replaced by a gentle wind.  White cranes lifted off the water down by the shore, their black legs trailing like stiff ribbons behind white bodies.

It was peaceful.  She felt her nerves untangle, fall away.  Breathing in quietly, she could smell the scent of plum trees within the garden wall.  The wind made cascades of plum-snow litter the raked pebbles.

“Lady Mari, I have bought your book outside.  If it pleases you, may I read aloud a few poems?”

Mari could not refuse this simple request.  Lady Nyo’s role was to educate her in these finer arts. It was not as if it were her idea to do this.  Clearly,  it came from Lord Mori.  Mari could see Lady Nyo was obediently following orders.

“Oh, Lady Mari!  Here is a poem by the Princess Nukata.  She was very famous many centuries ago for her lovers.  She was wife to Prince Oama and then the Emperor himself!”

“As I stay here yearning

While I wait for you, my lord,

The autumn wind blows,

Swaying the bamboo blinds

Of my lodging.”

 

“Oh, isn’t that the most romantic of poems?”  Lady Nyo clasp the book to her flattened bosom.

“Well, I would think it would be a matter of taste, my Lady.”  Mari didn’t want to sound sour, but the poem did not move her as it obviously did the reader.

“Oh, Lady Mari”, said Lady Nyo plaintively.  Perhaps the part of the poem that is more obscure is a key here.  The autumn wind in this poem represents the visitor….or builds yearning for him.   And this morning we have such a lovely, gentle wind blowing.”

If she is referring to the Lord Mori, she got him all wrong, thought Mari.

Lady Nyo looked at Mari hopefully.   Mari laughed and asked her to read more.

 

“Tonight, too,

Does my woman’s pitch-black hair

Trail upon the floor

Where she sleeps without me?”

 

Mari sat up straighter, her interest piqued.  Now, that poem had interest and so modern in sentiment.

But why were they separated? There were more secrets than answers in this sort of poetry.

 

“Read more.”

 

Lady Nyo smiled and looked for another poem to please her.

“Though I sleep with

A single thin rush mat

For my bedding,

I am not cold at all,

When I sleep with you, my lord.”

Lady Nyo smiled over the book, again clasped to her bosom.  “She must have been a poor woman to be only able to afford such bedding. But here’s another poem that speaks to men.”

 

“Though I sleep beneath

soft, warm bedding,

how cold my skin is,

for I do not share my bed

with you, my woman.”

 

“Now, that is nice”, said Mari wishfully.  And how modern. A man who shows his main concern in bed:  warm feet.

 

Lady Nyo read another.

 

“Brave man like the catalpa bow

That, once drawn,

Does not slacken—

Can it be that he is unable to bear

The vicissitudes of love?”

 

As soon as Lady Nyo read this particular poem, she blushed deeply.  Mari saw her reaction.

“Lady Nyo.  I am a stranger here.  I have no history among your people.  Clearly that is obvious.  But please tell me.  Does Lord Mori have a wife, or children?”

Lady Nyo’s face went sad.

“Ah, this was a long time ago, but Lord Mori still mourns, I think.  It is hard to tell with men, but Lord Mori, though powerful daimyo, is still a man.”

Lady Nyo moved closer on the bench to Mari and dropped her voice to a whisper.

“Years ago, before my Lord Nyo and I were vassals to Lord Mori, he lost his young wife and children to the sea.  They were travelling to a city on the southern coast and a terrible storm took hold of the boat and all were lost.  Lord Mori was not with them, being on land.”

Lady Nyo sighed.  “I understand he travelled to a sacred mountain and for years lived in the forests.  He talked to their ghosts and shunned all men.”

Mari felt her breath catch in her chest.  Perhaps this was key to his personality.  He was certainly a strange man.  Even for a 16th century daimyo.

 

“But surely he has remarried? Does he have a wife in the castle I have not seen?”

Lady Nyo’s eyes widened.  “Oh, no!  To my knowledge, Lord Mori has never remarried.  Certainly she would be amongst the women with Lady Idu.  Oh, it would be hard to ignore a daimyo’s wife!”

Mari thought, yes, she would be first among all the women in the castle.

“But perhaps he has a wife that lives apart from him?”

Lady Nyo shook her head. “No, not that I have ever heard, Lady Mari.”

“But of course men and women many times do not live together.  So that would account why we know nothing about a wife.  However, surely my husband would tell me.  But in all these years, he has said nothing.”

The expression on Mari’s face took Lady Nyo by surprise.

“A man and wife don’t live together?  How strange.”  As soon as Mari spoke, she realized her mistake.

“Oh, Lady Mari!  Surely the married people where you come from don’t live together after marriage?”

“Well, actually they do.  Except if the husband has to travel for his…ah….business.”

“Oh! People are so different it seems.  Only the farmers live together, but that is because their women are needed in the fields.

That morning Mari learned that among the upper classes, and especially within the aristocracy, men and women lived apart.  The visits were planned, and each was notified by a messenger.  Now that poem of autumn winds and the bamboo blinds blowing made sense.  These marriages were conjugal visits.

“No, no wife I think, but the finest courtesans do visit him….or he them, from time to time.  It is only right and proper. He is not a hermit.”

“Who?  Tell me, Hana, do you know the women?  What do they look like, have you seen them?”

Lady Nyo, touched Mari would use her name, blushed and shyly touched Mari’s hand next to her.

“Well. There was the beautiful courtesan Midori last year.  Oh, Lady Mari!  You should have seen her kimonos! Such silks and colors!  She looked like a beautiful butterfly!”

Lady Nyo giggled like a girl and rushed to explain.  “I was passing from one hall to another on some endless errand and I saw her with attendants.  She was so beautiful!  Her skin was as white as a lily and her hair was as glossy as a blackbird’s wing.  Long, too.  She wore it unencumbered and it swept her hems. “

Mari chuckled to herself.  So, Lord Mori wasn’t the hermit he appeared at first to her.  He was man enough.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Songs of Summer”….poem.

June 27, 2017
My beautiful picture

Watercolor, Early Spring, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2011

dversepoets pub is OLN…Open Link Night!  A wonderful time to post ONE poem and visit other poets……And…they will be on break until July 17th.  Our Norseman Bjorn is presiding over OLN so be good.

Lady Nyo

 

SONGS OF SUMMER

 

Summer cartwheels through the sky!

The fertility of months

Expressed from field to orchard,

Above in  sky, and deep below,

Where earth gathers green energy

And transforms by magic

Fruits for the mouth and eye.

 

Fledglings tipped out of nests

Try new-feathered wings on warm currents,

Calves butt heads and race in calf-tumble

Climbing rocks and playing king-of-the-hill,

Spring lambs past the date

For the tenderest of slaughter

Coated in white curls,

Smell of lanolin sweet in their wake.

 

There is fresh life in the pastures,

Now  steady legs and bawling lungs,

They graze upon the bounty

And grow fat for the future culling.

 

Tender shoots of wheat and corn,

Waist-high, defy devious crows,

Paint once-fallow fields in saffron and

A multitude of hues-

Golden tassels forming,

Waving under an oppressive sun,

And when the sky bursts open

In random welcomed rains,

Heaven meets Earth-

The cycle complete.

 

These are the songs of Summer.

The bleat of lambs,

The cymbals of colliding clouds,

The noise of fierce, sharpened light,

The plaints of cows with taunt udders,

The loud quarreling of a swollen brook,

The scream of a hunting hawk

Calling for its mate,

The pelt of an unheralded storm

Upon a tin roof,

And the quiet sighing of

An unexpected wind-

Brings a benediction to the day.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011-2017

 

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Young RedTail Hawk, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor

Watercolor, janekohut-bartels, 2007, "Garden Shed"

kohut-Bartels-LS-9

Kohut-Bartels-LS-17

Rose Garden April 2017

Our new Rose Garden this Spring/Summer.  Looks small, and probably is but we stuffed 30 roses in this area.  Mostly English (David Austen) and Knock Out roses that really need to be trimmed every two weeks.  Some Mister Lincoln (on pedestals) and O.L. Weeks roses,  and those gorgeous “New Dawn” (2) of them that cover the arbor.  And lots of mosquitoes which curtail our using the garden.

All paintings by Jane Kohut-Bartels, various dates and various mediums

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

‘Lady Nyo’s Torment’, from “Song of the Nightingale” an episode.

June 19, 2017

Song_of_the_Nightingale_COVER

(This  is a watercolor of mine called “Savannah Birds”.  I gave it to a person who apparently didn’t care for it. I found it under a bed with frame and glazing broken. I brought it home.  A few years later it became the cover of “Song of the Nightingale”.  One can never account for another’s taste.)

 

Two years ago, I published “Song of the Nightingale”, a book containing 13 episodes of poetry describing the life of a 16th century Samurai couple in Japan.  People who had read excerpts of this book loved it, but I didn’t give it enough attention when I published it in 2015. (I went on to publish another book, “Seasoning of Lust” 2sd edition in 2016 and have recently almost finished “Kimono” a long time-warp novel.) Having been a reader of the “Man’yoshu”, a 8th century document of over 4500 poems, I was taken by the beautiful and very modern verse in this great document.  I had the story already in my mind for a few years, but the Man’yoshu gave me a very human element to  understand how people don’t really change over a 1000 years ago.  Human nature, and emotions remain mostly the same. Both of these books, “Song of the Nightingale” and “Seasoning of Lust” can be bought on Amazon.com.

 

“I stay here waiting for him
In the autumn wind, my sash untied,
Wondering, is he coming now,
Is he coming now?
And the moon is low in the sky.
The only company I have tonight,
Now near dawn, is the paling Milky Way,
And Oh, my husband!
There are not stars enough in the heavens
To equal my sorrowful tears.”

—verse of Lady Nyo, 16th century

Hana Nyo threw back the quilted robe from her head.
It was just a dream, just a dream.
Then why does my heart pound so?

Two nights before
Lady Nyo and her nurse
Spent the hours til dawn
Watching the flame rise and fall
Through the shoji of Lord Nyo’s room,
Watched the candle
Consume the poems he was writing–
But to whom?

“Ah, he has another woman!”
Her nurse was loyal but leaned
On the privilege of time.

Lady Nyo’s heart took flight.
Fear and shame dueled
In her blood, pushing reason
From her head.

Did he know?
Did he know?
Did he know about the poems?
Did he know of the vanished lover?

For two days it rained.
November rains poured like
Waterfalls off the eaves,
Broke the stems of the chrysanthemums,
Scattered the flower heads,
Blew great gusts of wet wind into her room,
Blanketing an already sorrowful mind
With a seasonal fury.

Lord Nyo had ridden out
The dawn after
The Night of Burning Poems,
Dressed for hunting,
His falcon on his glove,
Not a word of farewell,
Not a baleful glance in her direction.
She watched him mount his horse,
And gallop away.
She watched from the slits between bamboo blinds,
Like a thief or a beggar,
She didn’t know what she was,
Only felt the sharp sting of shame,
A particular loss of something she probably
Never had.

 

Lady Nyo spent the day journal writing,
Her misery reflected in an unpainted face,
Tangled hair,
Shunning food as a sacrifice:
The pain of her torment
Was not lessened.

“Once I did believe
That no love could still linger
Within my heart
Yet, a love springs from somewhere
And forces itself on me.”

And:

“My eyes have seen you
But I’ve yet to hold you close
You’re like a laurel
That is growing on the moon
And I don’t know what to do.”

Yes, and I don’t know what to do.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2015-2016, (Song of the Nightingale” a tale in 13 episodes can be obtained at Amazon.com)

 

Roses…..

June 18, 2017

My beautiful picture

This is a Madame Alfred Carriere rose that has climbed up the side of the second story and is coming into the bedroom.  Beautiful rose but you can get hurt just rolling around in the bed.

My beautiful picture

A beautiful rose, but very invasive.

My beautiful picture

We will spend Father’s Day cutting back this climber.  I don’t care if it is the wrong time to prune…..you can get hurt just stretching in bed!

We did….cut it back to 4 main canes….no greenery on it at all, but did get some blossoms for the house.  Will clean up tomorrow and try to bend these main canes laterally…so the bud unions can form and we can get new growth.  The Cecille Brunner was  cut back severely this early spring and it is again blooming.  That bush almost tore the chimney down.  It looks cruel to prune so severely, but you do get new blossoms and canes.  The problem is the growth is so fast on these climbers you have to have ladders and someone brave enough to climb and clip…and duck.

I will miss waking up to a face full of blossoms, but it will always try again.  Nature Rules.

Rose Garden April 2017

This is the new Rose Garden.  We had about 20 plants in containers for a year and then put them in the ground.  Then we dug more holes in this Georgia Clay and scant top soil, and put in 15 more a few weeks ago.  They were mostly English roses, David Austin varieties, which have very weak stems….Lady of Shallots, and  others I can’t remember names…and a lot of Knock Out roses that I wouldn’t do again because they really are invasive.  I have to clip, prune them every 5 weeks or so or sooner.  Can’t get down the garden path to that arbor if I don’t.  A few roses came from Walmart, just because they looked promising, and they lived up to the promise.  O.L. Weeks, and Mister Lincoln we planted in containers on stands in the middle of each side of the rose garden, because the Knock Outs just were BIG and swamped these two.  One from Home Depot was “Coretta Scott King”….a white rose tipped with a dark pink.  Lovely. The Lady of Shallots are a beautiful peach/yellow, but have to be staked where they are planted because they are so wimpy stemmed.  There is a really silly rose….a red variegated with white that has only 5 or 6 petals but is so pretty.  I used to be a real snob about where I bought my roses, mostly English and German and a few French roses, online, but now I go for the easier ones to grow and fill up a new rose garden.  These Knock Outs are disease free, constant bloomers and can be pruned into civilized shapes.  The arbor is covered by two “New Dawn” roses…about 15 years there, and they just had no structure beneath them….until we squeezed an iron seated arbor two years ago on Mother’s Day.  Perfect fit with some weaving of canes over it and it has taken off.  Those New Dawns are the mass of pink/white roses over the arbor.  They smell like Ivory soap.

There are two peach roses in planters from Walmart and they are just beautiful and remarkable bloomers.  I didn’t think they would do so well, but they really are impressive.  And cost next to nothing.  Tight budded and incredible fragrance.

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

“Lady Banks” that died when we cut it down and tried to transplant it to the side.  We planted another, but not in that place.  It ate up the corner of the house!

Lady of Shallot

My husband holding a blossom of Lady of Shallot.  Too weak stemmed.  English teas can be that way.  English climbers are much better.

 

Lady Nyo

“High Road”

June 13, 2017

"Eagle" Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2005

“American Eagle”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2001

Open Link Night over at dversepoets pub.  Where you can post one poem of your own-  This is a wonderful slot at dverse where we can read some  original poems.

Although I wrote this poem a couple of years ago, it seemed rather appropriate to today.  We all have choices, and they might not be easy, but we should expect our leadership, our politicians, who say they will represent us in the political arena to exhibit the best of character.  Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the standard in practice.

HIGH ROAD

 

Asking directions to the high road,
I got shrugs and blank stares
yet knew there were two roads-
both led into infinity
both coursed through
all manner of life with pitfalls, trenches
where bones were broken
skulls rattled loose from moorings
like ships in high winds…. dangerous waters.

What was the difference
and why should it matter?
The effort cost
energy regardless the choosing.

An old man sat at the crossroads,
a bum, grizzled gray hair
sprouting porcupine’s quills,
rheumy, pale eyes staring at the world–
little interest in what passed by.

I asked him the way to the High Road
and with a toothless grin
he stared at my feet, my hands,
lifted his eyes to my face.
I thought him mad and cursed myself
(asking questions of a fool!)
And was moving away when I heard his voice:

“Did I know of the eagle and crow,
how they soared upon thermals
higher and higher
became dark, formless specks upon a limitless sky,
lost to human eye, invisible even to gods?”

I thought him crazed and started away-
he cackled and spat on the ground.
Something made me turn, startled,
And saw the wisdom of Solomon in his
now- shining eyes.

 

“The crow harries the eagle, the eagle flies higher.
Vengeful, annoying crow flies round eagle’s wing
turning this way and that, yet the eagle flaps upward
soars upon thinning air until the crow
breathless and spent, drops to the common ground-
falls to his death.”

“The High Road, the path of the eagle.
The low road, the path of the crow,
mingling with dullards

daring nothing, with eyes cast downward
only saving a bit of energy
learning nothing of worth.”

Silently he sat, an old man
eyes glazed with age and fatigue.
With a nod to his wisdom and a toss of a coin
I gathered my strength and pushed onward,
Upwards, the lift of eagles, now under my limbs.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2017

 


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