Posts Tagged ‘d’versepoets pub’

“Unconditional Love”, a haibun.

February 19, 2017

gally-may-5-2

Gally, Galahad, found in the end of a driveway 12 years ago…starved and unable to walk.  Today, a healthy and lovely couch potato.

 

Baba 2

Baba, one of two my son brought home about 8 years ago.  “Mom, I have a surprise for you” and I always knew what it was to be.  Baba the Bully. He was supervising the remodel and painting of the cat room.  He picked “Bluebird” for the walls.

==

Over at dversepoets pub, Kanzen Sakura (aka Toni) is hosting and has presented a prompt that should bring a basket full of lovely fruit!  Pleasure, what is free in life, etc…there are many ways to go about this, but I’ve picked something that has been a thorny issue lately: unconditional love. in the theological sense, I see a wall of argument.  But in practice..?  It’s so much easier.  Mostly.  I practice this on animals.  Humans I’m not so sure of.

Lady Nyo

Many, faced with my multiple cats and dogs, asked if I was crazy? Perhaps I am. I don’t give a damn about most things today that others are yelling about. I give a damn about animals (always ever growing) I find on the streets, injured, abandoned, starving. Here in brutal Atlanta, it is almost a daily occurrence.

I have four dogs, and in this long life I have had many more. They were all pitiful strays. They lived out their lives here and are planted under rose bushes, boxwood, daffodils. Too many to count over 45 years on this property. And everyone mourned, not forgotten.

Cats? Presently I have nine. One, Tobie, lived to twenty years. He came out of a tree one day and never left. Before Xmas, I found a young male, hit by a car and crippled. He could ‘walk’…he flipped from side to side and the inside of his back legs were a mess of sores where urine ate at his flesh. He was skinny, with a crushed pelvis. A month of bed rest (cage) provided a miracle. Now Willow is walking at a crouch. But this is progress. His black coat shines like bo silk. His daily progress gives me great joy.

So many people don’t avail themselves of one of the most beautiful benefits of animals: unconditional love.  It’s Free! Once they give into trust, you can’t help but bond. That a tiny kitten or a feral cat, or a burned dog can allow you to pick them up and not be afraid? This is a miracle to me.

This kind of love enlarges the soul, expands the heart.  And it is always available.

I don’t have to beg the cats to listen to a new poem. I can tell whether I bore them or by the closing eyes, perhaps they are soothed by my cobbled words. And no cat is indifferent to your presence. They are wise and know their place in the Universe. I am not so wise.

 

Life’s greatest pleasure!

Soft purr of contentment

Immeasurable gift.

=

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

Bhava Yoga

February 9, 2017

DSCF2570

(“Italian Dawn “, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2003)

Open Link Night over at dversepoets. com.  Come over and see what Grace and others have submitted.

Bhava Yoga

 

Morning’s roseate sky

Has been blasted away,

Branches now whirligigs

Swirl with a fierce southern wind

As windows rattle in frames.

 

A tattered umbrella

Shades from a relentless sun.

I listen to Bhava Yoga

The vibration of Love,

Where imagination meets

Memory in the dark.

Yet surrounding these soothing tones

The world outside this music

Conspires to disrupt, sweep away

All thought, reflection.

 

The fierce wind gets my attention.

I can not deny its primal force.

 

Still, the pulse of Bhava Yoga

Draws me within,

Feeds imagination with memory,

Calls forth something as enduring as the fury outside,

And I feel the pulse of the infinite.

==

We are like birds,

Clinging with dulled claws to

The swaying branches of life.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014 (from Pitcher of Moon, Amazon.com, 2014)

 

Haibun: Birthday Party

February 5, 2017

 

 

kohut-Bartels-LS-9

(“Hummers” …watercolor, with gold leaf, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2003)

Over at dversepoets pub, it is Haibun Monday, and Bjorn is presenting the challenge of haiga.  A painting or illustration that relates to the haiku written.  Though this painting of mine might seem scant in relating to the Haibun/haiku below….It does.  At least to me.  The Haibun describes a father’s love, the wars of childhood, and the painting?  His three children: little Hummers which he used to call us. For those who don’t know birds….Hummers are fierce.  They are tiny but survive because of their tenacity.  Sort of like children when we have to.

Lady Nyo

 

Haibun: Birthday Party

Mean, spoiled Nancy Madsen was having her 10th birthday party. Nancy was always turned out in pretty dresses, with petticoats and a clean face. She had blond curly hair, like Shirley Temple, except without the talent. She was the youngest of three, so her mother took special care with her. My mother? Not so much. I was left to my own devices, and those weren’t always the best. There was no fairy godmother hovering over me.

I was sitting on a stool, stupidly too near the drop off onto the road beneath. I was taking a back seat, trying to disappear. Nancy’s mother didn’t like me much. Her dog, Freckles, a Dalmatian, had bit me in the eye the year before. She blamed me for ‘disturbing his nap.’ Back then there were no lawsuits or doctor visits for this ‘small stuff’. You had iodine slapped on the wound and went back to play. I remember being uneasy about her party, as my mother picked the gift herself. I didn’t know what she had wrapped up in gift paper. I was hoping it wasn’t my Betsy-Wetsy doll.

Nancy floated around the tables, playing birthday diva. She decided to sit on me. A big mistake for a lot of reasons, two of which I remember: One, I was deathly afraid Nancy would tip us over the cliff, and two….she was fat. I thought I wouldn’t survive this. I couldn’t breathe.

So I bit her. In the back. Nancy leaped up screaming and a general riot broke out. I couldn’t get to why I had bit her, but by the faces of the adults I knew I was no longer welcome.

My father ordered me to the car. I went, weeping, sitting in the back of the old Studebaker station wagon. I was very worried, mostly about the anger from my mother as soon as she heard what her only daughter had done. Not that she liked any of the adults at the party, and it was generally mutual, but it clearly was another failing of a daughter she really didn’t care for.

My father approached the car, his face beaming. “We won’t tell your mother about this. Let’s go get some Breyer’s ice cream.”

This wasn’t the first time my father stuck up for me. We were in a secret war against my mother until he died. He was my best friend though I didn’t appreciate it then. I do now.

 

Childhood is tough

Adults are the enemy

Kids fodder for wars

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

“Help Can’t Wait” Haibun for Monday at dversepoets pub.

January 21, 2017

pleasant-grove-alabama-storm-damageThe prompt over at dversepoets pub is about waiting.  Since this haibun is about the issue of waiting for help…or not waiting….it fits in my estimation.

This memory is written in a Haibun form.  Haibun is a very ancient Japanese form used for travel notes and memoirs.  Usually a few paragraphs with a relating haiku at the end.  I have been playing around with this form for only a few months, but I find it fascinating.

Many thanks to Kanzen Sakura for introducing me to this lovely, dynamic form. 

Lady Nyo

(Sunday’s tornados  killed 18 people in south Georgia and north Florida, yesterday.  Rescue workers are still looking for missing people in the Georgia storms. The death count is expected to rise)

 

I remember the tornado in 1998, Hall County, Georgia that ripped through at dawn. I was safe down in Atlanta and caught the morning news report with a cup of coffee in my hand. Back then I attended the Meeting for Worship in Atlanta. Almost trembling, I stood and addressed the end of the Meeting about the tornado. The only response I got from the Meeting was “Help can wait”.

I turned to my neighbors in our rather poor SW Atlanta neighborhood. They gave from the heart. My ten year old son and I drove to Gainesville with my husband’s ‘newish’ truck, the one with a paper license plate on the back. We got lost, stopped at a Denny’s and when the waitress heard we came with supplies, she refused to take our money. We got lost again, looking for the Salvation Army site. An old man insisted we follow his truck to our destination.

We weren’t supposed to go into the tornado area, but as we were leaving Gainesville to go home, there stretched between two radio kiosks was a big yellow banner: “Help Can’t Wait”. The sky was azure blue with clipper-ship-clouds floating by, peace after a terrible storm. My son’s eyes were enormous as he turned to me. “Mom, God is speaking to us. Help can’t wait, those Quakers were wrong!”

That day was filled with miracles: the police never stopped our truck. Our license plate had blown off. They waved at us. We saw the total destruction of a Nature Hell- Bent on  a major disaster. We saw metal sides of trailers twisted like ribbons through denuded trees, baby strollers smashed on the side of the road, blue tarps over just about every house. Right next to total devastation were cows in a pasture peacefully grazing. Trees were gone, the landscape was a moon scape.   Small debris fires were everywhere. Porta Johns were everywhere. We found the hearts of total strangers open everywhere. Thirteen people died from that tornado in Hall County.

A month to the day another tornado hit a  wealthy  part of north Atlanta, neighborhoods where many  Quakers of the Meeting lived. They weren’t the working people of Hall County. These were the professors and lawyers, doctors and teachers, etc. of the Meeting. I wondered if ‘Help Can Wait’ applied to them.

 

Compassion, balance

Restored in the Human Heart

If we feel the pain

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

“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 

One Reason for the Season….

December 16, 2016

 

 Xmas wreath

 

I saw the Cooper’s hawk this morning. She landed on the chimney pot, probably looking for my miniature hen, Grayson. Four years ago she was a starving fledgling who mantled over while I fed her cold chicken. She’s back this holiday, my spirits lifting. A good Christmas present.

In the middle of the commercialization of Christmas, Nature closes the gap. I have noticed squirrels with pecans in mouths leaping the trees, hawks hunting low over now-bare woods, unknown song birds sitting on fences, heard the migration of Sandhill cranes as they honk in formation. You hear their cacophony well before they appear. Their chiding cries float down to our upturned faces.

There is brightness to the holly, washed by our late autumn rains and the orange of the nandina berries has turned crimson. Smell of wood smoke in the air and the crispness of mornings means the earth is going to sleep. We humans should reclaim our past and join the slumber party of our brother bears.

Jingle Bells will fade and our tension with it. Looking towards deep winter when the Earth is again silent will restore our balance and calm nerves with a blanket of Peace.

 Winter’s seasoning

Bitter winds, branch of holly

Haunts in the attic.

 

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

My beautiful picture

Merry Christmas!

“Withered Fields”

December 14, 2016

Winter Scene, 3

 

Dversepoets pub has a prompt about time in any of its variations.  Check out the poetry over there at this wonderful and creative poety site.

Lady Nyo….who was very cold last night where the wood stove did not draw well.

 

 

 

Withered Fields

Winter’s withered fields

Hoar-frost covered stalks of grain

Gives a brittle presence

Leached of color to

A shade of nothingness

Snapped and dried twigs

To be called stubble, debris.

Pale, thin air conspires

To starve the landscape

Drawing of air not enough for life

Too shallow for lungs, just a whistling down

The ghostly sound of pipes-

A frozen Pan of the fields.

The north wind a

Howling scream, sweeping

The land before it

And only those underground

Are spared its crippling caress.

This withering landscape reflects within

Age, infirmities, brings the cold inside

Where no amount of warm fire, wool

Feet propped against a blazing fire

Can stem the ravages of what

Is happening outside

As it swirls under doors and through

Shut and shuttered windows.

Hands thin and clawed

Bones reluctant of movement

Skin dry, itching –

A monk’s hair shirt

A penitence unbidden

Ours for the sin of growing old.

 

There is little to do

But crawl to the fire

Wrap ourselves in solitude

Obey the circle of seasons

And pray these withered fields

Reclaim its fertility in time.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2016

 

 

“French Horn”

December 7, 2016

Image result for french horns

 

I can still hear the music

Coming over the valley,

A glissando of silver sound

My father’s French horn

All phantoms now,

The adagio of Mahler’s Fifth-

Heartbreaking, haunting  dreams,

The allegro of a Mozart something,

What I never knew

But quickening the heart.

 

The Aurora Borealis

Dipped her chariot too low

And a glissading curtain

Of celestial green

Ribboned the ink black sky.

 

My father saluted

With a cadenza of Wagner

And a Music of the Spheres,

Drawn out in lyrical passages

golden tones linked together

Floated  to those green ribbons,

A celestial duet-

With the Cosmos on one side

And a determined humanity on the other.

 

I can still hear the music

Coming over that valley

A haunting horn fading away

The man, too,

Both the essence of phantoms now

Into the territory of dreams.

 

Adagio tones

Float upon gossamer air

Birds go back to sleep

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

“Recipe for Life from a Hungarian Grandmother”

December 6, 2016

kohut-bartels-ls-8

(Watercolor of a Coal Barge, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2006)

The prompt over at dversepoets pub is ‘recipe’…but not just of cookery.  There are many recipes in life.  Check out the poems this prompt has brought forth from poets. A very fruitful prompt indeed at a particular time of the Season.

 

How do you measure another life?

By  success, or fortitude or some sort

Of battle-field glory?

Grandmother Elizabeth,

The woman I am named for,

Must have been made of steel,

Blind courage and all the above.

 

From Hungary on a boat

Steerage of course, in the darkness part

Of the ship, where air and comfort were

Paid for by donations from the village,

Where expectations of survival were bleak

If the ship sprang a leak,

Yet this sixteen year old girl made the trip

From some village in Hungary,

(and went back five times pregnant, steerage of course, 

to bring out  family from oppression and famine).

 

Registered at Ellis Island,

She was a pretty

Young woman

Met my grandfather straight

Off the boat.

 

They broke the bed,

that first night of married life

And the gossips in the tenement said

She would be fruitful, with dark hair and dark eyes

A Magyar, but not a gypsy, as if that mattered.

 

Fruitful enough, with thirteen children born,

Enough survived to build a clan.

One son, my father, cut down his own father,

Hanging from the rafters.

Poverty and cares must have made him

Choose this over life.

Elizabeth went on

And raised her children

And no one starved

And everyone became fruitful

In the course of their own lives…

 

She made satin quilts,

That slipped off  beds

Braided rugs from rags

Precious cloth not to be thrown away,

To  be, as we say now: ‘repurposed”.

 

Sitting on the treadle of her sewing machine

As it went up and down to the rhythm of her labor

Seeing her stockings rolled up beneath her knees

Tied with cloth, and that rhythm and those knees

Were the security of love that was missing from home.

 

Large glass jars on the floor grates in her kitchen,

Where milk was curdled for sour cream

Half lemon stopper we competed to squeeze

The smell of boiled cabbage permeated the house

Like the comforting scent of an old woman

With embracing arms and a wrinkled bosom.

 

She died when I was twelve,

Taught me to make quilts and kiflies

A buttery pastry filled with fruit, nuts.

 

Every  Christmas and Easter

I roll out the dough and fill the pastry

With love remembered from an old woman

Whose name I carry and whose heart

I can only hope to.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

Grandmother Elizabeth’s Kiflie Recipe.

 

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese (full fat, please)

2 sticks of butter (don’t cheat and use margarine)

3 cups of unbleached flour (scant)

Get a good husband to knead into dough, or use a mixer. Chill.

Roll out and cut into squares.

Fill with Levar (prune paste) or apricot paste (simmer both separately until pasty)

Or crush walnuts, mix with egg white and scant sugar,

Fold over the squares and bake for 20 minutes in 350 oven (not too fast an oven)

When cool…sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Bet you can’t eat just one!

Merry Xmas and all other holidays at this time of the year!

 

…..STEAL THIS RECIPE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haibun: Weather Report, for dverse.

November 28, 2016

chickens 2

(our hens, mostly nameless….for eggs only)

 

true to form: we are losing power here….the computer/stove/lights/dishwasher/washer and dryer and every other damn  thing that runs on this invisible juice.  Anyone I have missed in visiting, I will try to make admends…. tomorrow or when we stabilize.  Thanks…

 

Haibun:  Weather Report

=

 

Solitude is shared

by night time crickets,  plus owl

the moon must approve

soft moonbeam filters dust motes

a thousand fish swim upstream

 

My solitude was enforced by a hot summer and then a 43 day drought. They haven’t seen such since 1884. From inside, I watched bushes dry up, flower beds melt and a vegetable garden giving up the ghost. Our water bills, the second highest in the country, tripled when we tried to water. Digging up an ailing rosebush, the soil was baked brick. Amazed the rose bush survived. Half was gone. The vegetable garden whimpered when I passed.

This fall brought tragedy. A beloved cat, Stripy. One month on and I am still mourning. Our seventeen year old Golden/Chow is getting quarrelsome. The addition of Mia, an English Staffordshire bull terroir isn’t helping his disposition. We are all aging here, even the hens. The good news is this drought is to be broken a little starting tonight. There are 30 forest fires burning in North Georgia. We hear these fires will be burning until Xmas. Even those of us who don’t believe in prayer, are praying.

 

 

Frosty autumn night

The moon glides through chilly dreams

Red Maple stands sentry

The rains have started this morning, around 2am.  I could smell it…still far in the distance, like an old camel, so thirsty we are for any rain after 43 days.  It started gently, as if washing the grime off the skin of our world and then harder and harder to dissolve the dirt.  The sound of the baritone wind chime outside my bedroom window gave the most beautiful music as if welcoming the rain with a celestial song, for what is a wind chime but a way for the wind to announce its presence besides a howl?   I opened windows and smelled the combined smell of asphalt, ozone and moisture.  I thought of some Berbers I knew, who wrote songs about the rain only falling every five years in parts of the desert.  O, Blessed Rain!

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 


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