Posts Tagged ‘direct observation’

Some New Haiku….

July 1, 2018


(Summer Dusk, oil, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2010)

I struggle with this form, and this weekend just decided to write something from direct observation.  Little thought behind this, more eyes than anything else.  I know I violate much in proper haiku form but that will come with study.  It’s summer and haiku seems the perfect literary form to use.

Lady Nyo


Summer storms threaten

Gun metal skies become pitch

Birds shelter in place


The air sullen, heavy

I sense the rain being born

Grass rises to drink


Two hawks look over

Penned chickens awaiting Fate

Dogs too hot to chase


Dark skies are heavy

My bones answer with dull pain

The sins of aging


Black storms gather

A blessing of rain to come

Thunder rattles glass


A murder of crows

Watch a cat passing beneath

Suddenly alarmed.


Autumn evening

The wind whips up fallen leaves

Scattering the quilts


Ho! The ice cream truck!

Children swarm, a plague of locust

A child without cash


Summer night brightens

Stars whisper to each other

More than grains of sand.


The soil our bed

Our classrooms and our graves.

reborn to the world.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

More Tanka In The Morning….

February 15, 2011

"White Cranes of Heaven" book cover, painting, wc, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2010

I believe in writing from immediate observation; that is to say, Sunday, while doing yard work on the first warm day we have had all winter, I heard the Sandhill cranes high in the sky, and saw them in formation heading towards a surprisingly early rising moon.  One of our cats, Chessie, who is getting old and slow, was sitting on a bench, and refused to attend to a barking dog, nor to me who was trying to get him to move over.

Tanka is  a snapshot of the moment.  It can be sharply in focus, or blurred, and is sometimes memorable. Seeing these Sandhills against the moon is fixed in my mind.  Seeing Chessie sitting in the sun reminds me that life isn’t forever.

A few of these tanka will be included in the soon-to-be published, “White Cranes of Heaven”.

Lady Nyo


Cranes wheeled in the sky

Their chiding cries fell to hard earth

Warm mid winter day

A pale half moon calls the birds

To stroke her face with soft wings.

A cat sits dozing

Beneath a thorny rosebush

No foot can reach him

His paws retract the sharp claws

A deep purr closes his eyes.


Human frailties

wounds that bleed such heated blood

leave a dry vessel.

Without the moisture of love

the clay reverts to the ground.

Glimpse of a white wrist

Feel the pulse of blood beneath-

This is seduction!

But catch a wry, cunning smile

One learns all is artifice.


Overhead, the cranes,

Sandhills– swirl in broad circles.

Broken GPS?

No matter, their cries fall down

Celestial scolding rain.

The fire of life

Is love. No exact measure.

A whirling dervish

Hands in opposite display

Gathers in the miracle.

The full moon above
Floats on blackened velvet seas
Poet’s perfection!
But who does not yearn for a
Crescent in lavender sky?

In this single branch
Of a wintry holly,
A hundred words hide.
A thousand blushes appear.
Do not overlook the thorns.


Lithe-bodied, she climbs-
She has now mounted my soul!
Clinging with strong legs
Her breast pressed against me
Shapes an intangible thing.



So lonely am I

My soul like a floating weed

Severed at the roots

Drifting upon cold waters

No pillow for further dreams.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008, 2011

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