Posts Tagged ‘d’versepoets pub.com’

“Call and Answer to Ono no Komachi”

May 1, 2017

kohut-bartels-bop-6

(J Kohut-Bartels,  1995, ‘Birds’, watercolor)

Tonight is OLN (Open Link Night) at dversepoets pub.  I don’t know who is tending the bar tonight because I am posting this early, but they are sure to give a good reading of poems there and a stiff drink to boot.

“Call and Answer” is a work in progress…my attempt to riff in verse with Ono no Komachi.  One of my very favorite poets of any age.  She was a fascinating person and poet.  I included an essay on her in the ‘essay section’ of “Song of the Nightingale”, published 2015.  She is slippery, though.  Different translations of the same poem can give a variation in message.  I have found, for her, the best translations are done by Hirshfield and Aratani.  Jane Hirshfield became a mentor to me, of sorts, when I first started writing tanka.  From her it was: “Good start. Still not tanka yet.”  This was helpful.

Lady Nyo

=–=

 

 

Did he appear

Because I fell asleep

Thinking of him?

If only I’d known I was dreaming

I’d never have awakened.

…..Komachi

 

How long will it last?

I know not his hidden heart.

This morning my thoughts

Are as tangled as my hair.

My blushes turn my face dark.”

……Lady Nyo (from “Kimono”, work in progress…)

 

When my desire

Grows too fierce

I wear my bed clothes

Inside out,

Dark as the night’s rough husk.

……Komachi

No moon tonight

Only a cold wind visits.

Murasaki robe

Stained the color of grass

Invisible on this earth.

……Lady Nyo   (Murasaki is the color purple.  it is also a grass that has dark lavender tops.  It was used as a dye.)

 

At least no one can blame me

When I go to you at night

Along the road of dreams.

……Komachi

Come to me, my man,

Part the blinds, come into my arms,

Snuggle against my warm breast

Let my belly

Warm your dreams.

…..Lady Nyo

 

One of her most famous poems:

 

No way to see him

On this moonless night—

I lie awake longing, burning,

Breasts racing fire,

Heart in flames.

…..Komachi

 

When my need denied

Burns my breasts-torments me

I tear open robes

To lie naked in moonlight

The wind your hands, caressing

……Lady Nyo

 

 

Night deepens

With the sound of calling deer,

And I hear

My own one-sided love.’

…..Komachi

 

Autumn wind startles–

Lowered to an ominous

     Key—Ah! Mournful sounds!

     The fat mountain deer listen-

   Add their bellowing sorrow.

…..Lady Nyo

 

The cicadas sing

In the twilight

Of my mountain village—

Tonight, no one

Will visit save the wind.

…..Komachi

 

Tonight, foxes scream

Cued by a howling wind.

Maple leaves quilting

A lonely time of season

No one to share the moonlight.

……Lady Nyo

 

 

 

A diver does not abandon

A seaweed-filled bay.

Will you then turn away

From this floating, sea-foam body

That waits for your gathering hands?

…..Komachi

 

So lonely am I

My soul like a floating weed

Severed at the roots

Drifting upon cold waters

No pillow for further dreams.

…..Lady Nyo

 

 

Is this love reality

Or a dream?

I cannot know,

When both reality and dreams

Exist without truly existing.

…..Komachi

 

Dreams, reality

How can one truly know?

I stumble through dreams

I stagger through the lost days

Tell me: what has more substance?

…..Lady Nyo

Ono no Komachi just begs for a call and answer.  Her poetry is sublime.  I just had to take this opportunity.  She inspires on the deepest level.

All Komachi poems were compiled from the Man’yoshu and the book, “The Ink Dark Moon”, by Hirshfield and Aratani.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“Musings on a Closing Day”

February 11, 2017

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

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

“First Snowfall”, haibun form for d’versepoets.

September 19, 2016

 

My beautiful picture

 

First Snowfall

 

There is such beauty in the night. A sudden snowfall pushed the boundaries of the mundane back and fantasy flows—an outrageous mythology upon the landscape. The white challenges the moon, lights up a trampled ground and gives purity to all it covers. Shadows form where there were none, now a supple mystery to something once familiar. A week ago leaves were brocaded quilts beneath our feet, crackling with a season’s wind- driven music, tearing around eaves and scaring the haunts in the attic.

Behold a strange, alluring world transformed, made anew.   Huge trees groan with icy burdens. The moon paints the top of pines with frostbite. Bushes split in two with alien gifts and powerlines are crystalized spider webs crisscrossing streets. The silence is complete.

 

 

A half-moon drifts

Across wintry sky.

Trees become monsters.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 


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