Posts Tagged ‘“A Seasoning of Lust”’

‘Bad Karma’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”.

March 12, 2017

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

For my friends who have  a sense of humor…

Bao Ling sat on the balcony of Floating Wind brothel. A courtesan of low rank, she was deep into writing verse. She now had a scroll of 100 poems, needing revision.

“Bao! Bao! Squat Mother says you are to prepare for honored guest. Come in and apply your cosmetics”

Poor lame Midori was her maid and Bao turned her face obediently to the brushes and powders of her only friend.

“Who’s coming?” she asked as Midori painted her eyebrows high on her forehead.

“So sorry, but it’s Tanaka-san today.”

Bao’s eyes widened. “Aiiieee! He likes things pushed in odd places!”

“Just do as he wants. We’ll have rice balls later.”

Tanaka-san’s karma was to be short shafted and have peculiar desires.   Bao mourned her own karma.

In her confusion Midori grabbed the slim scroll of poems and put it where the sun don’t shine.

Midori was beaten. Over rice balls, they decided the poems had bad karma and probably belonged where they ended.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2016…

 

 

“O, Absalom!” Open Link Night at dverse…..

March 8, 2017

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https://goo.gl/YNzows

Gayle (Bodhirose)is leaving dversepoets to attend to her gorgeous granddaughters.  She will be missed by everyone.  Gayle has been a new friend, but one of the kindest poets (and wittiest) I have met.  Gayle, please be in contact when you can, you will be sorely missed by me and others. (and you know who!)

Jane

 

This second edition of “A Seasoning of Lust” was just published on Amazon.com in mid December, 2016. I want to thank, again, Nick Nicholson in Australia, for the work he did on this new edition.  The cover, the formatting, and his beautiful photographs in this edition make the book beautiful.  Amazon as publisher did wonderful work for this book.

Lady Nyo

O Absalom,

Ensnared by long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

The shimmer of life fading.

 

I,

Pulled into mysteries

So abandoned by love

Now given over to lust

Charged with stolen rapture

Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

One hand upward to Heaven

One hand spilling to Earth

Skirts stiffened with sins hard as stone

Corrupted over a life time and now–

Flayed on an unending mandala.

 

Mystery of Life,

Unstoppable desire,

O beautiful Absalom,

We float upon a divine river

Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.

 

This is our nature,

This our calling while

Flesh answers flesh.

What quarter be given when the heart is

Overwhelmed by passion’s excess?

 

Lie still–

Let the waters cleanse our loins,

Mud of the banks soothe our wounds,

Our blood mingle with the floating grasses,

Our hearts sink beneath the surface.

Let the rivers of Babylon

Carry us away.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

“A Fortunate Fate”, from “A Seasoning of Lust”, just published.

March 4, 2017

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

 

There are a number of Japanese inspired stories (actually flashers, 200 word stories) in this edition of “A Seasoning of Lust”.   “A Fortunate Fate”  is one of them. They all seem to be stuck in the 16th century, Japan.  A colorful time indeed.

Lady Nyo

A FORTUNATE FATE

 

Hana Takate was nineteen years old, a courtesan in old Edo. When she appeared in public, men’s eyes turned like sunflowers to her sun.

Lovely Hana had bones like melted butter and skin shaped from powder. She was a creature so luminous a flower of purest jade could not compare. When she rose from a nap, wearing a simple gauze robe, free of makeup and perfumes, she floated like a spider’s web. A vision of culture and desire, her laugh was a tinkling bell, her hair of bo silk, and her movements like cool water.

One day during cherry blossom time, she was entertaining, her robes folded open like gossamer wings, her rouged nipples suckled by another. A young daimyo was admitted to her rooms by mistake. This new lover was so angered he cut off the head of his rival with his long sword in one swift blow.

Hana knelt before him, head down, exposing her swan neck, awaiting death. Seeing her trembling fragility, her obedient meekness, he could not take her life and disappeared to write more bad verse.

She became known as “The Immortal Flower”, a courtesan of first rank. She prospered and became fat.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted,  2016, from the new edition of “A Seasoning of Lust”, published on Amazon.com.

“Musings on a Closing Day”

February 11, 2017

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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

“Winter Widow”

February 3, 2017

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“Winter Widow” is published in the new edition of “A Seasoning of Lust”, Amazon.com

 

At the window she saw the naked trees of winter lit by a slivered crescent moon, casting thin shadows upon frigid ground. Skeletons in the moonlight, ghostly trees, as brittle as her own internal landscape. There was little flesh about her now, she a fresh widow, reduced by grief until resembling the fragile branches outside in the sullen night.

There was a time when she was juicy, ripe with swelling tissue, wet with moisture, velvet of skin. She lapped at life with full lips and embracing gestures. Speared on her husband  she moaned, screamed with laughter and pivoted in sheer joy. Her life had been full, overflowing, desirable, endless, a portrait of promise.

He died one day, and life turned surreal. So much remained, only the reason for living gone. The temperature of life grown colder, like him under the soil.

Outside it started to snow. She watched the gentle coverage of branch, bush and ground, a tender benediction offered to a cradled earth. She went and knelt in the snow, now grateful for this arousal to life and sensation.

She would live, but thought he must be so cold under the snow.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

My beautiful picture

 

 

 

 

 

“Queen of Sheba”

January 25, 2017

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

 

Queen of Sheba” is a poem in flux…movement.  I published it in the new edition of “A Seasoning of Lust”, published in mid December, 2016, by Amazon.com.  I’ve changed it a bit here, and I believe many poems can be revised, rewritten.  I tried for rhythm in the beginning and found it hard to sustain. 

Lady Nyo

Queen of Sheba

She walked right by me,

The Queen of Sheba

Black skin glinting like steel in the sun.

Proud breasts topped with prouder nipples

Black cherry rubies jutting east to west.

Spangled turban hits the North Star

Jeweled feet tramples South Pole beneath,

All space guarded by curved, sharp fangs,

Such dangerous territory–alien ground.

Tattooed ribbons down sinuous arms

Black snakes born with sensuous intent.

Hot sun glances off gold-tipped teeth–

Shot of mystery tween mahogany lips,

Rarely a smile– more of a sneer.

Kohl eyes flashing steady disdain,

Measuring decayed urban jungle

From cracked sidewalks littered

With  broken shards of broken lives,

Burnt out neon signs,

Tumbled pool halls,

Violence growing—

Like kudzu in the night.

I offered the most honeyed of fruits,

Celestial music of spinning spheres,

Jewels of priceless glowing stars,

Captured in baskets for her fondling,

Brought to earth to surround with

Undeniable majesty-

An aura of delight,

Honor,

Cosmic glory.

Ah, Cruel Queen of Sheba!

No glance in my direction.

Obviously  other fish to fry,

Plenty of empires to plunder–

Though I promised the

Wealth,

Splendor,

Fame,

And the Wisdom of Solomon.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017, from “A Seasoning of Lust”,  published December, 2016, by Amazon. com.

 

 

 

 

“To The New Lover, #1”, From “A Seasoning of Lust”, second edition

January 12, 2017

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

It’s Open Link Night at dversepoets pub.  Come read some great poetry!

 

In December, 2016, “A Seasoning of Lust” was published on Amazon.com.  It is now in its second edition.  Nick Nicholson, a long time friend in Australia,  did the heavy labor on this book, bringing a new cover and together we rewrote some of the poems. Nick also lent some of his marvelous photographs taken on his recent world tours to illustrate some of the poems and all of the short stories.

It was my first book, published in 2009 by Lulu.com, but most first books can be redone.  I am very pleased with the new book, and am very grateful to my dear friend, Nick, for his keen advice and his patience.  There is an emphasis on literary erotica inside this book, with poems, flashers, prose, and concluding with three not- so- short stories.

Lady Nyo

A piece of erotica to get the blood moving this cold January morn….

To The New Lover, # 1

 

Fingers flit over cheeks

rubbed raw during the night

by ardent kisses and the

rough beard of a man in rut.

 

An early morning’s light

peeks through drapes drawn

for modesty’s sake

shielding the

sweet debauchery

of the night before.

 

She feels his hands move to her breasts

and nipples greet their caress,

arising to a new and different

touch, demanding notice.

 

His dark head moves to kiss her mouth now

dry, her lips bruised with their late passion,

he  filled again with early need.

She feels him push at her thigh.

 

Eyes barely open, he now knows

the terrain, and with a growl, rolls on top,

spreading the sweet apex of her thighs, a hand

in the warm  darkness there, waiting.

 

She stretches, remembering the sweet movements

of the night, a savage pas de deux.

An ardent moan escapes  her throat.

 

This morning, he is gentle, she is sore,

almost virginal, challenged by the heat

of the night

and with gentle touches, he commands

her arousal,

 

and calls her out to dance again.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

“A Seasoning of Lust” can be purchased on Amazon.com 

“Queen of Sheba”…….poetry

July 13, 2016

 Image result for Queen of Sheba

 

She walks right by me, Queen of Sheba,

Black skin glinting like steel in the sun.

Proud breasts topped with prouder nipples

Black rubies jutting east to west.

 

Her spangled turban hits the North Star

Jeweled feet trample the South Pole beneath,

All space between guarded by curved fangs,

Such dangerous territory–alien ground.

 

Tattooed ribbons flow down sinuous arms

Black snakes born with sensuous intent.

Hot sun glances off gold-tipped teeth–

A shot of mystery between mahogany lips,

Giving rarely a smile– more of a sneer.

 

 

Kohl eyes flash a steady disdain,

While measuring the urban jungle

From cracked sidewalks littered

With the broken shards of broken lives,

To burnt out neon signs of tumbled pool halls.

 

 

I offered the most honeyed of fruits,

Celestial music of spinning spheres,

Jewels of priceless glowing stars,

Captured in baskets for her fondling,

Brought to earth to surround with

Undeniable majesty-

An aura of delight,

Honor,

Cosmic glory.

 

 

Ah, Cruel Queen of Sheba!

No glance in my direction.

Obviously had other fish to fry,

With plenty of empires to plunder–

Though I promised the

Wealth,

Splendor,

Fame,

And the Wisdom of Solomon.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016 (Queen of Sheba originally published in “A Seasoning of Lust”, Lulu.com, 2009)

‘A Fortunate Fate’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”

January 13, 2015

 Cherry Blossom Viewing by Daimyo's daugher

(Cherry Blossom Viewing in Old Edo with Daimyo’s daughter…first panel)

This tale originally appeared in “A Seasoning of Lust” published by Lulu.com in 2009.  I reworked it a bit for the blog.

Since it is the New Year I have decided that I will have more fun with this blog.  I will attempt to entertain readers with works that aren’t so solemn or serious.  To that purpose I will present my “Japanese Tales”, a collection of stories based on fictional characters.  I will also post chapters from an earlier novel, “Devil’s Revenge” which will contain a warning where there is sexual content. All of this is mild stuff, but some readers appreciate a warning. It’s a funny piece of work, one between a mortal and a devil, with other devils chiming in eventually.

I thought a lot about the Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris last week, and how writers can support our craft and not be cowed by the violence that is intended to shut down our various freedoms.  I also don’t believe it wise to yank the whiskers of people who have such a different set of values.   However, I am just a writer and not a politician. I will use this blog to further my writing and to entertain my readers. Connecting to people around the world through stories and poetry is one of the purposes I see of this blog and one of the greatest of satisfactions for this writer at least.

In the spring I will publish “The Nightingale’s Song”, which is a collection of poems about a 17th century samurai couple and their marriage.  I have had the best of times writing these pieces and hope they entertain readers of this blog as much as they have entertained me.

Lady Nyo

A FORTUNATE FATE

Hana Tanaka was seventeen years old, a courtesan in old Edo. When she appeared in public, men’s eyes turned like sunflowers to her sun.

Lovely Hana had bones of melted butter and skin shaped from rice powder. She was a creature so luminous a flower of purest jade could not compare. When she rose from a nap, wearing a simple gauze robe, free of paint and perfumes, she was a vision of culture and desire. Her laugh was a tinkling bell, her hair of bo silk, her movements like cool water.

One day during cherry blossom time, she was entertaining, her robes folded open like gossamer wings, her rouged nipples admired by another. A young daimyo was admitted to her rooms by mistake. This new lover was so angered he cut off the head of his rival with his long sword in one swift blow.

Hana knelt before him, head down, exposing her swan neck, awaiting death. Seeing her trembling fragility, her obedient meekness, he could not take her life and disappeared to write some bad verse.

She became known as “The Immortal Flower”, a courtesan of first rank. She prospered and grew fat.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008, 2015

“The Shibari Series”…..

November 15, 2014
"Sea Eagle", jane kohut-bartels, watercolor, 2001

“Sea Eagle”, jane kohut-bartels, watercolor, 2001

I’m taking a chance  in posting these pieces.  They will not be liked, understood or embraced by many readers.  But I think this is part of our creativity: daring to write or even develop some rather outrageous pieces that go against the grain of what we are known for as writers, as poets.

Breaking open myths and creating new ones…..

These segments of “The Shibari Series” speak to transformation, and a rather weird tale at that.  I started them in 2007, when I was sorely pressed with many issues and some dangerous influences. They are rather a personal story, and though they came to me in a rush, it took me years to understand their significance. Perhaps we have to grow into what springs out of our unconscious, even distasteful and confusing things, perhaps this is part of the path of creativity.  We have to take chances.

People can look up what Shibari is if they are interested.  However, in my research, and my study of Japanese culture, shibari means to ‘tie’ (as in packages) but it earlier meant a military procedure:  soldiers or police would carry a small length of jute, hemp rope, and depending upon the status of the criminal, would tie the hands as he was brought into police review.  If the ‘criminal’ had high status, he was loosely tied, or not tied at all.  If a common criminal, his hands were secured tightly.  Also, shibari was never seen as a sexual proponent until the beginning of the 20th century in Japan (though there is doubt about this) but in the West, shibari has been very much sexualized in the practice of bdsm.  My husband and I both studied shibari and did some practice, but it’s intense and it takes a lot of consideration. And ….a lot of work to do it safely and make beautiful designs with the body as a canvas and the rope as ‘paint’.  We decided it was better to write about it as fiction than to practice it.  In some cities of Japan, the police still carry a short length of jute, probably symbolic of former usage of shibari.

The series details the transformation of a woman to different species, her empowerment and finally back to human.

These tales are also about compassion and empathy…and the form is just a unusual vehicle to ‘tell the tale’.  Nothing to be afraid of, though many will reject these short pieces because of their own moral and religious beliefs.  I hope others will try to have an open mind.

The Japanese words used to describe the shibari practice can be looked up easily enough. Tengus are shapeshifters from Japanese mythology.

Lady Nyo

1.

Japanese hemp coiled about the torso, creating diamonds where there was once only skin, looping back upon itself, over and over. Breasts now defined by a rope cut-out bra, while waist, love handles, now enclosed in more diamonds, thighs entwined. Added turns and thin jute split my cleft with a hard caress, the large knot on the bottom shifting upward. It would tease in mid air.

Dance comes from the earth, through the feet, up and out, giving shape to song. This time I would dance in flight, the pull of ropes challenging gravity, compounding my efforts.

Movements liquid and extreme startled me, the kikkou and hemp anchored me in space, my first taste of freedom in the ropes. Suddenly I felt the sting of a whip and I jerked out of time to the beat. I fell deeper into the dance, determined to continue. Again the whip’s sting and I faced a split reality: pain or pleasure. I went inward, deep into the music and rhythm, where movement was birthed and pain banished.

I flew, hollow bird bones filled with joy. Cradled within the ropes I spiraled up from heavy earth.

2.

(Spider Web)

Restrained by the hemp to a beam above and to posts at my sides, I was secure in a blue rope karada. It bunched my skin where it bound, creating its own mountains and valleys, distorting my natural figure.

Pain was the door, the portal, the whip applied until I cried “Mercy!” I had slipped into an altered state, far from where pain ate at my flesh. Just back from subspace, I had dangled in the infinite where time stopped and a crude salvation was born.

Looking up at the ropes I was now in a spider web, frozen at all points, the fly caught, splayed in a hemp web 360.

I glanced behind me. The spider was a big one, gently stroking my welts, drinking a glass of water, or perhaps it was green goo. He smiled, now aware I was conscious and with a questioning expression, picked up the single tail and shook it at me.

“More?”

I smiled slyly. Such gluttons we were, the spider and the fly.

 3.

Again, I am restrained on all sides, a fly trapped in the stickiness of a dismal fate. I can hear the spider behind me, warming up, flicking the whip, marking his targets on my body, my wings too shredded for further flight.

What am I searching for? I thought salvation, but there was little of that. Perhaps transcendence? At this point, I would settle for any transformation out of here.

The whip caught me by surprise. I jerked forward, lifted six inches in flight with a high scream, the sound pairing pain and confused need. Blackness poured in like oil and I went limp.

I awoke, the burn deep in my feathers. Looking to both sides, my eyes now two sharpened orbs with 6x vision. Hooked beak, my feet wicked talons. A furious shake and I was free of the web, free of the ropes. Extending strong wings, I flew to the top of the beam. With a loud hawk hunting call I surveyed the ground, hungry, need fulfilled – almost.

The spider saw me, only a moment of fear crossed its black eyes before bowing his head to fate.

4.

I flew high but it was spring, and the weak thermals did not support my flight. I was hungry, without food, except for the spider. A freshly fledged hawk must learn how to fend for herself. Beginnings are dangerous.

Cupping my wings, I hovered over a stream, watching the ice break apart far below. Three days of freedom had left me weak, confused and with a troubling need. Breaking my bindings I was now lost, abandoned to nature, cold and alone.

“Hep-Hep-Hep”. I heard the ‘call-in’ of the falconer below me, as I floated over the landscape. Seeing the whirling lure with a rabbit head was too much. Starved, I spiraled downwards, landing with a thump.

“Good Girl” I heard as the man beckoned me to his glove covered with fresh meat. As I mantled over and stepped up, he slipped a jess upon my left leg, another with silver bells on the right.

“Good Girl” I heard again as he tied me tightly to a perch.

“Good Girl” as the hood slipped over my head.

At least no one whips a hawk. And there is always the sky.

5.

For the next week I remained in the mews. During that time I was prodded, examined and weighed.  The Falconer was experienced and knew to avoid my feet when I was restrained.  I would slice him, even with bindings securing my wings and the hood blinding me.I was to eat only from his glove. He cooed, watching me as I greedily swallowed down the sparse meal, his dominance enforced.

When I was a woman I yearned for the ropes.  I wanted them tightly around my body, ‘tender is the bight’ so to speak, yet now I pecked, pulled at my leather restraints.  One day the Falconer found me hanging upsides down, like a bat, hooded and unhappy, but I gleefully bit him as he righted me on my perch.

Soon after, he put me to the glove and launched me into the air, I screaming in delight.

If I thought I had freedom I was fooled. The Falconer had tethered me with a long hemp rope. He jerked hard and I thumped back to earth.

“Good Girl” I heard through my outrage and humiliation.

“Good Girl” I heard as he pinned me to the ground.

6.

I remained in the mews for my fall back to earth broke my wing. The cage was large, one I shared with a goshawk only allowed to a Master Falconer.

One day Master claimed me from my perch, set me on his glove and launched me. This time I had no tether and made my escape. Screaming into the wind, I climbed high until he and the hated glove were invisible. I flew with the currents, my eyes bright with freedom.

Suddenly, I was changing, feathers dropping from my breast and wings. I spiraled, awkward in my descent, landing by the same brook once choked with winter’s ice. Instead of talons I had a woman’s legs and slowly my feathers molted leaving me naked, shivering, my limbs white as the remaining snow peppering the early crocuses. My cry now a sob instead of a hawk’s high shriek.

Instinct made me start at the sound of the hunting call and there was the Falconer, a blanket in his hands. He threw both of us down and took his rights, my cooing not of doves. Later, collared in steel with long jesses I walked behind his horse.

7.

The spring was gentle, tender rains like warm tears coursing down on sullen earth. I looked skyward and saw the palest of blue, everything fresh and transparent.   Sometimes, when I knew I was not watched, I spread my arms and called out to the wind. My voice was too thin, my bones too solid for flight, chained also with gravity.

One morning I brought meat to the goshawk in the mews. He sidled away refusing my meal. Admiring his powerful wings, thinking of the past, I called to him in chirps as I did when a hawk and he swiveled his head to me. Looking deep into his eye I could see my former freedoms as I passed over mountains and rivers, hunting and soaring, all given up for earthbound comfort.

Freedom and hunger traded for slavery and food.

I knew then what would happen. Captured, I had the power to free. Slipping on my Master’s glove, the goshawk stepped up and I worked the belled jesses from both legs.

A launch and he soared over me, screaming his delight. I raised my arms, my spirit in flight, my chains now looser for his freedom.

8.

The Falconer, now my Master, was not a cruel man. I found this out when he realized his goshawk gone. He did not question me as I served him his dinner, nor did he ask anything of me when we slept that night.

Only at morning did I find him watching me with a quizzical look on his face.

“Do you understand the point of keeping a goshawk, girl?”

I shook my head. Rarely did I use my voice in answering him. I did not trust it after so many changes

“Well, let’s say that in freeing him, you have upset the balance of nature.”

I looked at him curiously. What balance of nature?

With a slight smile he asked: “What do you intend to cook for dinner tonight?”

Of course! The goshawk hunted and we ate what he killed.

“Know you goshawks are called ‘the pot bird’? And since he ate from the glove as you did he will probably starve. That is what I meant by upsetting the balance of nature, girl.”

I looked for the goshawk all day until my neck was stiff. My dreams that night were full of broken feathers.

9.

(Introduction to the Tengu)

It was weeks of anxiously watching the skies for the goshawk before I gave up. I never saw him again. I learned to trap rabbits and put offal on the roof of the mews in case he flew over.

My Master sometimes watched me from the window, never saying a word about his goshawk. I now set the traps and killed the rabbits and in effect I was the goshawk.

Trapping rabbits is tricky, but soon the spring would bring fiddlehead ferns and tender green dandelions to vary our diet.

One day I passed the mews and there sat a huge bird. I quickly entered, my basket of offal in my arms. He turned his head towards me, and I screamed, the first real sound I made since my capture

It was a beautiful iridescent bird, having a man’s head with a long, red nose. He shook his feathers and crept towards the offal and wrinkled his nose.

“Girl, even a Tengu eats better fare. Get me some meat and sake.”

I backed out of the mews, and ran to the house. Transformations be damned, this was a strange one!

10.

I ran into the house, panting with shock and exertion. A Tengu! Sitting in the mews.

No sake, just my Master’s single malt I dare not touch, but found sherry and some cold pieces of rabbit. I wondered if a Tengu, bird/man such as he was, would rather have raw fare. A bird of prey would disdain the cooked rabbit, but he did have a man’s face. The leftover rabbit would have to suffice.

My Master was gone, expected at dusk. I walked slowly back to the mews, hoping my mind was playing tricks. There he was, as big as, well, there was the Tengu scowling at my approach.

Human hands appeared from under his hummingbird colored feathers and he greedily grasped the sherry bottle and drank a long gulp.

“Not sake, girl, but good for a thirsty bird.”   He grinned and his nose got even redder.

“You are thinking, ‘why is he here now’? Ah girl, deep cosmic issues. You and me in the mix. One last chance for me to throw off some bad karma.”

He finished the sherry, belched and leered at me.

I heard my Master return on his horse.

11.

I ran out of the mews with my offal basket over my arm. I must have looked funny to him because he kicked his horse to hurry to me. Looking down he peered into my eyes and an expression of concern crossed his face

“What is wrong, girl? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

My eyes wandered back to the mews and his followed mine. Dismounting, he let the horse wander into the barn and walked quickly into the mews. I followed him with quick steps.

He pulled on the falconer’s glove and approached the Tengu, now looking very much like a large, normal bird. He looked for bands, jesses and bells but found none of course.

“Strange, girl, he would find his way here. Well, perhaps he has promise of hunting if he is young enough to train. I don’t know though, he looks rather old to me.”

Telling me to draw water and feed him some raw meat, he headed to the house.

The Tengu watched my Master retreat with hawk eyes.

He had a nasty cackle. “Your Master has no idea how old. Feed me well girl, I’ve got magic to conjure. Scram!”

12.

I came back with the Tengu’s dinner that I filched from my own. He wasn’t in a pleasant mood when I entered the mews, but certainly ate what I brought him with relish.

“Good”. He belched, wiped his mouth with the cloth that covered the basket of food.

Leering at me, he winked one eye.

“Sir,” I asked, “What am I to call you?” He had started to pick lice from his feathers, crush them and drop them on the ground.

“Sir will do nicely for now.”

“Where did you come from?”

“Ah, the eternal question! Well, I came from Mount Kurama, all Tengu do, but I prefer to haunt Toyko. Like to be a pigeon in a park and look up the skirts of the women there. Nothing more, just like to see muffs and thighs, favorite parts.”

I was a bit taken back. I read something of Tengu. “Don’t you hang with Buddhist priests?”

He barked a short laugh. “Picked on the wrong one. Powerful Yamabushi. Bad karma

now. That’s why I’m here. You need me.”

He wasn’t the pleasantest of Tengu, but he certainly was the first. Perhaps need went both ways.

13.

The spring warmed up and Tengu and I took walks through the countryside. He adopted the guise of a large, golden eagle in case my Master saw us walking in the fields above the house.

The soft air nuzzled my arms and legs and the Tengu shook out his wings, opening and closing his large beak, drinking in the sweet air.

I told him of my past, the strange transformations from woman to bug to hawk and back to woman. His eyes got big with surprise.

“You have one fucked up karma, girl. And I thought mine was shitty.”

My Master had placed me in light chains, and I caught the Tengu contemplating them.

“Ah”, he said, reading my mind, “I’m wondering if they will interfere with your wings.” I was afraid to ask anything, but my heart started to race.

Later that morning, he twisted my chains into a tighter bondage. He now used my soft body for ikebana, fertile soil for him to place the stems of spring flowers and twigs in my hollows, fill my lap and hair with long grasses, giving new meaning to gardening and beauty and gentleness.

The End, so far…..

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copywrited, 2007-2014

The “Shibari Series” was previously published in “Seasoning of Lust”, Lulu.com, 2009


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