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“Winter Widow”

February 3, 2017


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


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



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  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,


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




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


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


In December, 2016, “A Seasoning of Lust” was published on  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, 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 

“A Seasoning of Lust”

December 20, 2016


Well, there you have it.  The second edition of “Seasoning”.

Nick Nicholson, a dear friend of over a decade took my first book and reworked it.  Nick picked the cover, we consulted on the  writings, making some important changes in text and Nick also supplied some of his marvelous photographs illustrating some of the poetry, other writings and the three short stories inside.

We had a lot of fun with this.  This first book was heavy with  erotica, but that mostly was because of the influence of a particular writers group I was in at the time.  I left that group because I felt strongly that erotica should be a seasoning, not the whole meal.  Plus, as a writer, I realized the constrains in writing erotica.   Writing became much more.  I was ready to find out how much more.

A first book is thrilling to hold in your hand.  However, I feel after 8 years, it needed to be revised.  It was the basis of my beginning royalties, but I figured that I could do better and this book needed revision.  Nick was the instigator of that and I am deeply grateful for his eagle eye, his marvelous photos, and his guidance on the revision.

It was originally on, but now is published on Amazon, Createspace.

Included are the original pieces in this new edition, (but revised) much poetry, tanka, haiku, the three (longish) short stories and the beginnings of the “Lady Nyo Writings” that became “Song of the Nightingale”, my last book, also on Amazon.

All these stories and poems and ‘flashers’ (very short stories) were written in basically two years.  I look back at this book and marvel at the energy I had then. Now?  It takes me much longer to produce a book but with friends like Nick, it can be a walk in the park.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016







“Pitcher of Moon”

September 21, 2016


Cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon"

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



I dip into the pond

And gather a pitcher of moon.

Above it glimmers,

Smiles at my efforts

This late-winter moon.

It is just a bowl of cool water

I am holding

But the magic of the cosmos settles

In this plain clay vessel.


Copyrighted, 2016

“Pitcher of Moon” is the lead poem in “Pitcher of Moon”, 2014,


‘The Temptation of Lady Nyo, from “Song of the Nightingale”

August 29, 2016

Song Book cover


Does he know?

Does he know?

Does he know about the letters?


The court of Lord Mori

Was a small one

Where the men,

Lord Nyo included

Sat and discussed business:

The pleasurable business of hunting,

Archery, drinking

And on occasion,

Just for form’s sake,

Wrote bad poetry.


The women of course

Were positioned behind carved screens,

Where the eagle-eyed Lady Mori,

An old and rice-powdered dragon

Conducted her own court of

Writing more bad poetry, finger games

And layering sleeves and hems for the

Best effects…unseen by anyone else–

Except the other women.


There was a break in this

Unending monotony one day;

Lady Nyo received poems

From some unknown admirer

Stuffed in different places where

She would find them:

Her screen at court,

On her silk, embroidered cushion,

And even penned on her fan.

She never knew who was so bold,

Never saw even a glimmer of him-

He could have been a ghost.

She recorded her answers in her journal

So she could have evidence of her innocence

Yet she buried his poems in the garden under

A bed of peonies.

She could not bear to burn them.


Japanese Women




Yesterday I found a fan with a poem

Stuck in the screen.

Today I found another one placed

On my cushion at court.

Do you have a death wish?

Do you desire the death of me?

You know my husband is known for his temper.

Would I end my life so dishonored?



I see you are as persistent

As the rain in Spring.

Have you no fear?

What is your interest?

Surely I am just another painted face.



I read your poem.

I could do nothing else.

This time it was inked upon

MY fan.



“The wind blows from the north

Chilling my heart.

Only the thought of a touch of your sleeve

Warms me.”

Very nice, but my sleeves are not interested.



“I throw acorns

To the darting carp.

With each nut I say a

Prayer for your health.”

Lovely sentiment, and I am

Always grateful for prayers.

But do you think of my reputation

And what you risk?



I see no poetry this morning

Though I searched for your usual offering.

I knew your interest was as capricious

As a flight of moths.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, 2016



“A Bad Quarrel”, from “Song of the Nightingale”

August 26, 2016

Song Book cover

I should have looked at the manuscript before I posted yesterday’s verse for d’versepoets pub.  Apparently I had forgotten this episode.  So….I’m posting it now.  It ‘fleshes out’ a bit about Lady Nyo and her husband.




Life with Lord Nyo was not easy. A general in the service of his Daimyo Lord Mori, his life was not his own. For thirty years he had devotedly served him, leading men onto the battlefield, his two swords cutting a swath through the enemy. Most battles he was away from his home and wife for months. When his Lord Daimyo took it into his head to raid other territory, Lord Nyo could be gone for as long as a year.

Lady Nyo, as was expected, was an obedient wife, devoted to her Lord husband and their Daimyo. But life was tumultuous with Lord Nyo. Almost two decades of marriage had frayed the warp and weave of this fabric and patience had become thin.

After a bad quarrel initiated by Lord Nyo (who had a temper as dangerous as black powder), Lady Nyo took to her journal, and in a curious code, composed herself and wrote some poems for her eyes only. Those poor eyes were swollen from sleeplessness and excessive tears, but her mind was as steady as a well-shot arrow. Even her nursemaid, her lifelong confident, could not read her code, for in these things Lady Nyo trusted no one.

If not proper to express anger to her husband, the leaves of her journal would not deny. They would hold her sentiments and even the great Lord Jizo would smile with mercy on her troubled soul.

With no solace or comfort except for the journal, she carefully buried it beneath the azaleas in the garden. Perhaps the sweet smelling flowers in early spring would dissolve the rancor burrowing in her heart.


My soul was blossoming secure in your protective shadow. I stumbled upon this road we walked and all was suddenly lost. Perhaps the fault was I did not tightly grip your hand?


Like a ghost under water only the moon gives illumination. Throw a pebble there and see how fragmented I am.


I can’t look in the mirror when I awake. (My eyes swollen with last night’s sobs– my pillow filled like a lake.) If I could turn back the hands of the clock, I would give up those moments of life To restore lost harmony…. But I dare not look this morning.


It is raining outside, It is raining within. Do you think I care about that? What happened has disrupted all the essentials of life.


Who opened the window? Who let the bees in? They are the life I am avoiding. Their legs have honey on them! Too sweet for my present mind.

Outside is a tender spring. Inside it might as well be winter. There is no warmth generated by memory.


I am told this is a little death I will have to bear. Perhaps I don’t want it to end? Then the thought of living without you Or the threat of living With you….. Would upset my self- pity.


There is nothing from you today but then, it was I who moved afar. I did this from self-hatred and found there was enough to spread around.


When I get to the anger you will know I am recovering. Not nicely, there will always be scars and jagged edges tokens of our time together. Do you feel any of this pain? No, perhaps not.


My laughter is as hollow as that stricken tree by the pond. I have not laughed for a long time. It strangles in my throat.


This morning I awoke the first time in days Everything sharp-edged– Eyes were hardened steel, Mouth a grim line of dead cinders…. But my hands are now steady.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011-2016  Song of the Nightingale is published by, 2015




“Chicken Hawk Talk”

July 5, 2016



Chicken Hawk!

Leave my chickens alone!

I have worked hard for them,

A handmaiden of fowl.

Collecting beautiful eggs

The gift of the species

Naturally dyed

Pink, brown, blue-green and white.

Presented at Easter,

A symbol of the Lamb of God,

And the Spring of Life.


Leave my chickens alone, hawk.

I won’t even share.


I remember, two short years ago,

When I first saw you wheeling over the kudzu

Riding the thermals,

Not even graced with the brick colored tail of a Proper Redtailed hawk,


And I gasped at your splendor, a winged god

From the cosmos, glittering white ash against a cobalt sky,

And you landed one day in my birdbath,

Trying to look like a stone sculpture,

And just the flicker of your 8x eyes

Looked over the songbirds for lunch.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014  (This poem originally published in “Pitcher of Moon”,



Mishka’s Loot

May 22, 2016


My dear friend, Nick Nicholson from Australia sent me this picture last night of one of his cats, Mishka.  She is quite the cat burglar.  For the past year, Mishka has been roaming the neighborhood, bringing back loot from God Knows Where.  Amongst the items she has selected are:

3 tea towels

one facewasher

2 car washing sponge

1 hairband w/bow

2 sports headbands

1 T-shirt

1 long sleeved T-shirt

1 girl’s top

1 piece bathing suit

1 pair of stockings

1 pair of leggings….


But by far, her favourite things to bring me were:

9 pairs of Knickers

19 gloves (mostly gardening gloves)


83 socks.

Nick xxx

Mishka looks…. positively unrepentant.

Nick was my collaborator on “Pitcher of Moon” and “The Song of the Nightingale” (, 2014 and 2015).  We are going to do a collection of my Southern Short Stories next spring, with Nick including his marvelous photographs from his recent trip around the US, including the South.

Nick has been my greatest encourager in writing  and in other creative arts for the last 10 years.  Besides my Aunt Jean Kohut, who died two years ago at age 102. In this time when people  don’t read much, except their phones, these two people have made all the difference in my exploration and production as a writer.

However,  unless Nick can dissuade Mishka from her life of crime, the folk around him will appear with pikes and pitchforks, demanding at least their knickers and socks back.

Think of the villagers in “Frankenstein”.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016



“Darwins’ Worms”

May 15, 2016

Spiral right back into Life


The soil has lost its excellence.

Worms hide in the

Deep sullen earth

I imagine curled up,

Embracing worm castings

And each other,

Desiccated former selves

Pale little ghosts

Awaiting the fertility of spring

The watering of a hard rain.


I squandered the bloom months,

Thinking paper and pen

Would bring its own blossoming

Scarcely seeing the vitality outside


Allowing cabbage moths and beetles

To dominate

My nod to farming,

To self-sufficiency,

My tithe to the earth.


Ah, the soil is hardened

By the sins of the season.

Sharp winds make


The cold buries down,

Deep, deep down

Torments, teases any life

That would show a feckless head.


Especially those hopeful worms

Now bundled in worm-sleep.


The words, verse,

I chose to cultivate

Over cabbage, collards

Failed to bloom.

Better I had plied the hoe

And bucket to that

Than a fevered pen

To paper.


It is now winter.

The fallow earth

Plays a waiting game

Knows I have failed

In pulp and soil

And mocks with a barrenness

Inside and out.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

(“Darwin’s Worms” was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, Jane Kohut-Bartels,, Createspace, 2014) 






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