Posts Tagged ‘Amazon.com’

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

July 14, 2017

Song_of_the_Nightingale_COVER

To outside appearances, it would seem  Lady Nyo has a lover.  But appearances are deceiving.  She is tormented by poems left for her by an unknown admirer.  With an introduction to her situation.

Not that Lady Nyo….

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 the culprit.

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.

 

1.

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?

 

2.

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.

 

3.

I read your poem.

I could do nothing else.

This time it was inked upon

MY fan.

 

4.

“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.

 

5.

“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?

 

6.

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, 2017 (The complete book can be bought at Amazon.com)

 

 

‘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)

 

“Song of the Nightingale” introduction…..

May 10, 2017

Song_of_the_Nightingale_COVER

 

In 2015, I wrote and published on Amazon.com “Song of the Nightingale”.  It’s a story in 13 episodes of a man and wife in 16th century Japan, he a general in a daimyo’s army and she fully half his age.  Obviously an arranged marriage.

I loved this story and apparently others did, too, but I never really concentrated on this book because life got in the way, along with other writing.  So, I am going to post some of the episodes on this blog just for entertainment and hopefully for  interest in the entire book.  A Moon Baby appears, a rather nasty Tengu priest, and other issues that involved 16th century life in Japan.  Lord Nyo refers to himself as ‘an ugly old warrior’, but his heart, immersed in war for so long, does begin to soften and attend to his wife, Lady Nyo, who is smarter than she appears.

Lady Nyo (but not the one in the book.)

 

Introduction to “The Nightingale’s Song”

In Old Japan there was an even older daimyo called Lord Mori who lived in the shadow of Moon Mountain, far up in the Northwest of Japan.  Lord Mori ran a court that did little except keep his men (and himself) entertained with drinking, hawking and hunting.  Affairs of state were loosely examined and paperwork generally lost, misplaced under a writing table or under a pile of something more entertaining to his Lordship.  Sometimes even under the robes of a young courtesan.

Every other year the Emperor in Edo would demand all the daimyos travel to his court for a year. This was a clever idea of the honorable Emperor. It kept them from each other’s throats, plundering each other’s land, and made them all accountable to Edo and the throne.

Lord Mori was fortunate in his exemption of having to travel the months to sit in attendance on the Emperor. He was awarded this exemption with pitiful letters to the court complaining of age, ill health and general infirmities. He sent his eldest, rather stupid son to comply with the Emperor’s wishes. He agreed to have this disappointing young man stay in Edo to attend the Emperor. Probably forever.

Lord Mori, however, continued to hunt, hawk and generally enjoy life in the hinterlands.

True, his realm, his fiefdom, was tucked away in mountains hard to cross. To travel to Edo took months because of bad roads, fast rivers and mountain passages. A daimyo was expected to assemble a large entourage for this trip: vassals, brass polishers, flag carriers, outriders, a train of horses and mules to carry all the supplies, litters for the women, litters for advisors and fortune tellers, and then of course, his samurai. His train of honor could be four thousand men or more!

But this tale isn’t about Lord Mori. It’s about one of his generals, his vassal, Lord Nyo and his wife, Lady Nyo, who was born from a branch of a powerful clan, though a clan who had lost standing at the court in Edo.

Now, just for the curious, Lord Nyo is an old samurai, scarred in battle, ugly as most warriors are, and at a lost when it comes to the refinement and elegance of life– especially poetry. His Lady Nyo is fully half his age, a delicate and thoughtful woman, though without issue.

But Lord and Lady Nyo don’t fill these pages alone. There are other characters; priests, magical events, samurai and a particularly tricky Tengu who will entertain any reader of this tale.

A full moon, as in many Japanese tales, figures in the mix. As do poetry, some historic and some bad. War and battles, love and hate. But this is like life. There is no getting one without the other.

 

The present Lady Nyo, descended from generations past.

 

‘The Stillness of Death’, Chapter One.

March 17, 2017

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Painting: watercolor by Jane Kohut-Bartels…of nightingales…for book cover.

 

The Lady and Lord Nyo are not me nor he….this is a chapter, or an episode from my book, “The Song of the Nightingale”, published by Amazon.com in 2015.

Lady Nyo

 

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 , 2015, from “Song of the Nightingale” published by Amazon.com, 2015.

 

“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

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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.

“Winter Widow”

February 3, 2017

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https://goo.gl/YNzows

“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

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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 

“A Seasoning of Lust”

December 20, 2016

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

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 Lulu.com, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 


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