Posts Tagged ‘d’versepoets pub’

“Day’s Symphony”

May 22, 2017

kohut-bartels-bop-6

(Songbirds, 1995, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels)

Over at dversepoets pub, Victoria is presenting the lovely challenge of quadrilles, a poetry form of exactly 44 words. The key word is ‘sound’.  I haven’t written many quadrilles, but today in searching for any inspiration, I thought of the many birds I hear during the day and night.  Couldn’t fit in the hoot owls though, those scary little monsters of the night.

Lady Nyo

Day’s Symphony

 

I awake to the sound of raucous songbirds

Too near my bed.

Outside the rooster crows and crows,

Until I attend his sermon.

The hawks scream above the clouds,

Hunting horns with feathers.

At dusk, mourning doves

Deliver the benediction of night.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“The Fox”

April 19, 2017

Image result for foxes

(Huffington Post.com)

 

I am to be one of the ‘featured’ poets at the Earth Day Celebration April 26, 2017 at Sevananda Foods, here in Atlanta, Ga.   Poetry readings are to be of a Nature theme, which is proper for the event.  The poetry is from 6-9 pm with open mic after.  In trying to select appropriate poems for this event, I had a hard time culling out poems.  I selected 15 poems.  It should be interesting.  I don’t read well in public so I will have to work on this. Already my vocals are scaring the cats and making the dogs howl.  Posting this early for dversepoets pub Open Link Night on Thursday.

Lady Nyo

PS: I LOVE foxes.  I would have one here if it wasn’t so illegal.  No fox was hurt or injured in the writing of this poem.

The Fox

Yanked from sleep

By a scream

Wrapping around the belly,

Fueled by some instinct,

Long buried thread of ancestors.

Bolting upright

Knowing without knowing

A terrible slaughter was tearing

The soft night apart.

I had heard that sound before.

Coming fully awake,

heart pounding through my chest

I listened again, and there!

The vocals of a hen attacked

By something stealing through

The soft night, waiting beyond

The edge of sleep.

 

Three dogs have I

City dogs, though with

The blood of once-fierce hounds.

Not one of them would

Run out to do battle.

Grabbing the collar of the

Biggest, he turned and bit me-

He was no fool.

There was danger

In that dark night-

He was doing his best

To avoid it.

 

Stupid hounds!

I’ll face the monsters

Out there myself!

And switching on the porch light

I saw the dark flight of something

Fly across my yard and vision,

Take a sharp left and disappear

Into the night where porch light met

A dismal darkness.

 

Running to the chicken coop,

Found a young hen, a pile of feathers

Mounded around her, still alive

Clucking mournfully.

 

How do you comfort a tail- less hen

At dawn, with a crescent moon

Throwing feeble light upon the ground of slaughter?

I’ve raised hens for enough years

To know they are merciless to the injured.

But the events of the night

Had stunned their own instincts

And she burrowed amongst them,

They crowding around, covering with feathers and warmth,

Rocked out of their slumber

Clucking out warnings to further attackers:

Let the night and its beasts hear their rage!

 

In the morning I asked my neighbor

Once a south-Georgia farm boy what to do.

His answer was bloodier than

The attack of this young fox,

For young he must be,

Not to kill his prey on first strike.

 

“Spread poison in the kudzu,

Here, I’ll lend you a shotgun-

Fox be vermin and bred for no good.”

 

There is something mystical

In a fox who dares to live in a city.

Or desperate.

 

Birthed in the kudzu growing

From the leveling of a small forest

Sheltered in one-foot wide drainpipes,

Feeding on rats and rabbits

With a taste for chicken from time to time.

 

No.

I’ll lock up my chickens

Let a dog prowl the fence,

And leave off the

Modern methods of slaughter.

 

There must be a balance in nature

As it struggles to right itself

To bypass concrete and the destruction

Of habitat by mankind.

There will be a balance

And I will stand with the foxes.

 

Oh, it is a marvel and a mystery!

For every species is the center of its universe,

If only for him.

 

We are connected by a fine thread to all else,

Our survival depends upon this,

Yet our eyes are blinded to the truth

And something in the proclamation

Of “Inheriting the Earth”

Lies and trips us up,

And we are no more shepherds

Of these species than wolves

In human skin.

 

The world is what it is,

With its own rules of hunger, survival,

We just a cog in this great Mandala,

And most of us attempt to bypass

These laws of nature, still clothed with

Dead dreams of conquerors.

 

And some of us know this deep in our bones.

 

We are blind to the beauty of life

That we are not alone.

The tragedy would be if we were,

And we deny our connection to what we now proclaim “vermin”,

Believing for some bad reason this makes us more human.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Haibun Monday: Fear

April 17, 2017

pleasant-grove-alabama-storm-damage

(A tornado in Alabama last year.)

Kanzen Sakura over at d’versepoets pub is presenting the Haibun Monday challenge.  And it is about Fear.  We all have them, and they are legion for most of us.  Come read what makes the heart flutter and the stomach queasy.  Thank you,  Toni….your prompts always entice!

Lady Nyo

Haibun: Fear

 

Global Warming has brought significant changes to the South, and Atlanta is now nicknamed “Tornado Alley”. In the almost fifty years I have lived here, I have seen disturbing changes. My first acquaintance with a ‘tornado’ was when I heard what I thought was a tornado and I was in the bathtub. My now-ex-husband headed for the basement leaving me in the water. It turned out to be a train. There was a track back in the woods we didn’t know of.

One flattened our local park and was called ‘severe wind shear’. From the looks of it, it seemed like a tornado. Trees, hundred year old oaks flattened to the ground, an indeterminate path through the park, a warzone of defeated greenery.

I fear the heavy winds and rainstorms. I am powerless before them. The only way to save oneself is to head for the basement and cower with whatever lives down there. And of course this adds to the fear.

 

Winds begins to rise

Fear out runs common sense

The worms are safer

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“Metamorphosis IV

April 6, 2017

 Image result for fruit bats

 “Mine, mine, mine”.

For those not following (and you are legion…) this is part of a series of basically 200 word episodes.  There are 8 in all.  I’ve never published these, nor have I posted them on this blog.  As far as I can remember and that is getting harder. The earlier episodes are on this blog if you scroll backwards.

Dversepoets is having an open link night (OLN) where you can post a piece of your choice.  I am posting this because it is funny and we need comedy desperately in the world.  Y’all too glum out there.

Lady Nyo

Laura twisted in the wind. Well, rotated in the air conditioning. Bart had a new kick, called ‘Shibari’. An ancient Japanese practice of wrapping things. Precisely. With hidden knots. She should have thought twice when he insisted she strip.

Arms wrapped behind her back, more cloth holding her legs together, she sighed. She didn’t mind hanging upside down, was even getting used to the headaches.

Bart, however, was having a bit of his own transformation, and Laura didn’t know if she liked this one bit. He was becoming ‘weirder’, taking up hobbies. Piercing was one, this shibari another. Laura was seeing Bart in a different light, helped along with her new, nighttime vision.

*Goddamn Japanese! Why can’t they stick to wrapping small packages?*

Bart told her ‘shibari’ was the ancient art of “wrapping the heart.” She bought it, didn’t even mind the bananas, mangos and kiwi he stuck between the bindings. He was, after all, a common fruit bat.

Up on the roof, Bart had other plans. From under his wings, he drew out a new black, leather- riding crop. He slapped it on his palm, laughing with glee.

Laura was about to obey.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010-2017

Haibun: Shadows

April 3, 2017

kohut-bartels-ls-19b

(“Dusk”, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2005)

Over at dversepoets pub, Kanzen Sakura is calling for poets to write a haibun with the theme “shadows”.  Go visit dverse site for more information and to read some wicked good submissions.

Lady Nyo

The newborn radishes are shadowed by cherry tomatoes. The almost-red globes drop down to visit. They compare hues. The garden is bathed in the light of a horizontal crescent moon, grinning like an idiot, suspended over trees that cast shadows on hillocks and deepening the valleys with their creeping darkness.

It is very early Spring. Dusk and day still balance in a pale sky, though the moon has risen. Oh, the mystery of the night where shadows churn with imagination!

I sit on a concrete wall, watching distant clouds dance on the wind. The oaks are feathery with their foliage, the pecans still winter-nude. Day is closing. Doves are almost silent, sleepy sounding. Bats speed by, scimitars of the night. I close my eyes and drink in the approaching dark. Only those shadows attend me, and possibly a few lurking monsters.

 

Night’s benediction:

Bull frogs bellow in the pond

Shadows blanket day.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“The Thaw”

March 23, 2017

0403Whe-R01-009

(Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2003, “Spring Thaw”

Over at dversepoets pub it is Open Link Night where you can post a poem of your choice. Go see what poems are fermenting there…

For some reason, a small poetry group objected to this short poem.  They thought the last two lines  redundant. I disagreed.   I think that is the natural ending to this short poem.  You have to trust your own vision on these things.  After all, you are the writer.  The haiku was added later.

The Thaw

Spring comes drumming through

Breaking up ice in the creek

Destroying a beaver dam

And with the unexpected noise-

The un-damming of my heart

A softening of my bones

A juiciness of my loins

A waving of budding branches

In a new born wind-

Encircling tender arms-

A phantom will o’ wisp lover.

 

Spring comes drumming through,

Cracking open where winter nailed me shut.

 

 

Fallen leaves crackle.

Sparrows add the treble notes.

Season’s musical.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

 

 

“Seasons Change”

March 21, 2017

Kohut-Bartels-LS-3

(Watercolor, Dawn Breaks, jane kohut-bartels, 2000)

Over at dverse, Paul Dear is giving a prompt of “River” meaning many things to different poets. This is my interpretation.

Jane

I took a walk this morning.

The seasons have changed here

though where you are they don’t.

The dried, brittle grass beneath my feet

made a consistent crackle,

echoed by the gossip of sparrows above.

 

The leaves are stripped from the birches and maples.

They fell like rain on a fallow ground one day

and I didn’t see them go.

 

I think of your rounded arms when I see the shedding birches,

the smooth bark like white skin with a faint pulse of the river beneath.

 

Do you remember that river, when it scared you to stand close to the bank?

You thought the earth would slip inward,

take you on a wild ride downstream where

I couldn’t retrieve you,

and I saw for an instant your raised arms imploring me silently to save you—

though it never happened and you never slipped down the bank and I never could save you.

 

But imagination plays with your mind when it’s all that is left.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

Haibun, “The Best Meal I Ever Had…”

March 20, 2017

DSCF2590

(Oil, “Still Life with Melon”, undated? Jane Kohut-Bartels)

The first day of Spring!  Over at dversepoets pub, Kanzen Sakura is posing a prompt to write about the best meal one ever had. I had to think on this, but the winner in my memory is below.  I love food, maybe too much.  Thank you, Toni, for this lovely prompt. And happy First Day of Spring to all!

I still remember a meal in a Japanese restaurant with my ex father in law. His name was Mori, so he knew about the food. But that food! Oh, Dear God! I remember the sizzling rice soup, something I never tasted again. I can still remember those nuggets of rice vibrating in my mouth. I remember a Kobe steak. It was different from any steak I had before. Only many years later I found what this meat cost. My father in law was a doctor. He could afford it.

I remember the owner coming out from the kitchen and bowing to him and him bowing back. They knew each other well and I think this marvelous dinner was because of this. I remember the warm sake bottles, endless brown pottery bottles and weird, misshapen handle-less cups. I thought them strange, but only decades later, long after  kicking his lazy, entitled son to the curb, did I discover these cups cost more than the dinner. Raku, a pitted glaze different on each cup. Priceless, at least to me, beyond my poor budget. Obvious now, not every day sake cups.

I remember getting a little drunk. I remember his brown eyes glittering above his sake cup. He proposed setting up a business for me. That was a great kindness because his son was a perpetual student and never did work. My father in law suggested a high end sake import business. I wanted to import the soup.

I never saw him after the divorce but what a man and what a memory. And what a dinner! I should have married him instead of his God-Awful son. But I would have had to kill his witch of a wife, and doctor’s wives are like vampires, hard to kill.

Ume blossom soup

Frogs bellowing in the pond

Night to remember

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

Plum Blossom Snow

March 2, 2017

 

 

Crabapple/Peach tree in back yard east

Crabapple/Peach Tree in back yard, Spring

Frank, hosting dversepoets pub today has an excellent prompt about prose/poetry.  Haven’t a clue what is what, but it seems that I have been writing this stuff  anyway.  Probably because I don’t know what formal poetry actually is.  Come over to this site for the great poetry that this prompt is sure to gather.

 

 

The plums are blossoming…tender little white flowers on 5 year old plums.  They should be later but this weather is crazy.  Yesterday 80 degrees!  Today, 49 and a brisk wind.  I thought we were over Winter, it seemed never really to jell, but it’s back or will be in the next few days with below freezing temps. I see my French Breakfast Radishes have peeked above the soil, but they are hardy souls so the  freezing temps to come should not hurt them.

The light is so tender, gentle.  The swirling pollen will cover everything with an acid green/yellow soon, and already I am feeling the allergies.

Spring is a taunting maiden, blowing in with great promise and then disappearing at will.  Once the Earth pirouettes, this game will be over.

Lady Nyo

 

Plum Blossom Snow

 

 

The present snowstorm of

White plum blossoms

Blinds me to sorrow.

They cascade over cheeks

Like perfumed, satin tears,

Too warm with the promise of life

To chill flesh.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

 

 

 

“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

 

 


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