Posts Tagged ‘Haibun’

Sumo Wrestlers…..Haibun

June 12, 2017

 

images (3)

Sumo Puppies at dinner…..

 

Over at dversepoets pub, Bjorn is challenging poets to write a sport themed haibun.  I’ll bite, as I have a fascination with this ancient Japanese sport.

Lady Nyo

 

Sumo Wrestling

I love Sumo wrestling. Or at least I think I do. Perhaps it is the only sport where I don’t feel like I have to hold in my stomach sitting there. Watching those mountains of flesh-men grapple with each other makes my heart beat hard. There is such history around this sport, and such a deep tradition. The fact that they gorge themselves with a purpose makes my heart sing. How wonderful that you can eat and eat without any concern for weight or fashion!
And, did you know that those belts they wear can cost a million yen? Or so I have read. I have also read that Sumo Wrestlers are some of the most humble and gentle of men. Here, have another bowl of rice.

Mountains of flesh pound

A ring of sandy earth
Cunning and strength vie.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 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

Haibun, “The Best Meal I Ever Had…”

March 20, 2017

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(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

 

Birthday Party, a haibun

March 19, 2017
My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

(“Peace in the East”….from my phone camera.)

Sometimes life gets so heavy you topple over, face in the soil.  So I’m posting this short ‘haibun’ to lighten up the load.  It’s a beautiful almost-Spring night, and everyone is tucked in their beds, and it’s almost silent outside.  No crickets yet, and too dark to see the sickle-swallows but the woodstove is empty and there is peace in the house.  Willow, the new kitty who was crippled at Christmas, had surgery yesterday (neutered) and he’s almost smiling. Haven’t heard a yowl yet, but he hasn’t looked in the mirror at his rear end.

There are kind parents in this world, even with major flaws.  My father was one of them.  He died too early, in November 1989.  I miss him terribly but he was a prime example of unconditional love, that issue that is denied by so many “Christians”.  He learned that from his big Hungarian family and a loving mother, my grandmother who died when I was just 12.

 

 

“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 out 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

 

 

 

 

 

“Healing with Nature” haibun

March 6, 2017

Kohut-Bartels-LS-17

(Oil,  ” Summer Dusk”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2002)

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE INTERNET TODAY???  I CAN’T ACCESS ANY BLOG THAT ISN’T WORDPRESS, AND THEN, HARDLY.  I WANT TO READ OTHER HAIBUNS BUT I AM BEING STOPPED.  PERHAPS THIS WILL WORK ITSELF OUT, BUT UNTIL IT DOES, I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT COMMENTING.  IT’S TAKEN ME AN HOUR JUST TO READ THREE BLOGS!  KNOW I WANT TO READ YOUR HAIBUNS!  THIS FORM SEEMS TO BRING OUT THE BEST OF PROSE/POETRY IN US ALL.-

Kanzen Sakura over at dversepoets pub has offered a wonderful prompt.  A meditational walk in the forest, along the shore line, anywhere there is a healing nature to a stroll.  Here, I have only a fourth of a acre, three miles from downtown Atlanta, but I have my gardens, and the sky to relax within.  And a gentle and sometimes rude Nature that brings these gifts to my feet.

Lady Nyo

 

 

My solitude shared-

night time crickets and an owl

the moon must approve

soft moonbeam filters dust motes

a thousand fish swim upstream

It is late afternoon, winter by calendar, spring by temperament. The radishes have pushed above the dark soil, and look promising.

Two cats and I are sitting on a retaining wall that retains nothing, except Madame Alfred Carriere and Graham Thomas. They both have climbed to the second story and are looking in the windows, watching us sleep. I am surrounded by budding nature, the canna lilies brush my thighs with tenderness, making room for me. I sigh and relax into the gathering dusk.

Last night I heard the wood owls. Their demonic chattering scared me into the chicken coop to stand guard with a rake, nervous as the hens. Now I know they are only six inches tall and can’t eat me.

When I die, I want my ashes scattered on this garden. Then, my ash-hands will caress the seedlings from below, my ash-heart will take pride in their growth, and my ash-ears will still hear those wood owls.

The moon is rising, a beggar’s cup too thin to fatten the soil. Mourning doves chant their benediction and swallows tumble like sickles in the failing light. The dark embraces all below. I am healed from the day’s tribulations. The sounds of the urban give way to the enchantment of the Night.

The soil our bed

Our classroom and our graves.

Reborn to the world.

Kohut-Bartels-BOP-7

Barn Owl, J. Kohut-Bartels, 1999, watercolor

Kohut-Bartels-BOP-1

“European Eagle Owl”, janekohut-bartels, 2003, watercolor

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Haibun: Nightmare

November 19, 2016

Winter Scene, 3

 

Haibun: “Nightmare”

I awoke this morning, being thrown to the ground by a nightmare. What would make me dream in garish technicolor about a marriage ended over three decades ago? It ended badly, but it also started the same. We were too young, and caught up in a ridiculous political cult where he was the ‘revolutionary leader’ while I was of a much lesser status in life and marriage. The abuse grew constant and I, not having the strength to physically abuse, honed my words to the sharpest point.

When you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas….

Perhaps this nightmare was a product of what we have seen on the national stage: misogyny, attempts at humiliation, fear and a bullying of weaker elements in society. Whatever brought this nightmare of a person into my subconscious, one I have not thought of in years, whatever made me sit up gasping for breath, I walked around my house in the grey dawn, touching furniture, mantels,  grateful for the gentle, kind man married to for 32 years, looking through large windows at the old apple tree that gave us such wonderful fruit this year. Walking outside, the raw  late fall dawn cleared my mind and gladdened my heart: The finally-changed leaves and the whipping, smoky wind, the peal of the different wind chimes were like church bells calling me to a reality that life is good and a nightmare is just a bad dream that will vanish like a rotten apple in time

 

Fall’s crispness compels

Apples to tumble from trees

Worms make the journey.

 

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two haibun and two haiku.

November 18, 2016

waterlily in our pond.

(our small fish pond in summer)

For K. Sakura.

Haibun:  Solitude

 

My solitude is shared by the night time crickets and a soft hooting owl. Having withdrawn from crushing-concerns, the moon must approve. She shines comforting moonlight through a ruined roof. Moonbeams filter dust motes as if a thousand fish are swimming upstream and turning around.

 

 

Tonight I will sleep.

The moon floats though my dreams

Comfort blankets me.

 

Haibun :  Summer =

The summer was beautiful, despite the heat.  Last night the moon looked like a beggar’s cup, soft brilliance glowing.  The days in the Deep South are sultry, but the wind picks up in late afternoon when a storm is coming and then these huge oaks and pecans are whirligigs high in the sky. Barley tea, iced tea and lemonade are the drinks of choice, harkening back to an earlier time.  Closed drapes, blinds at noon work to regulate temperature, though one doubts this will.

The heat brings to life cicadas, or whatever is making a constant buzz outside.  It comes in waves, where one group, or species, competes in volume with another. A call and answer of tent meeting insects. The dogs of summer are wise: flattening themselves on the cool tiles of the laundry room, they remain motionless until the cooling of the night when they chase rats in the kudzu.  They have developed a taste for watermelon, and we sit on the back porch and share with them, all spitting seeds,  while a wood owl barks from a huge oak above. We never see him, but his hoots add to the symphony of summer nights.

Sultry air disturbs

The sleep of husband and wife.

They pant without lust.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 


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