Posts Tagged ‘Jane Kohut-Bartels’

Lord Nyo’s Lament, from “Song of the Nightingale”, Episode 3.

May 16, 2017

images (9)

 

Lord Nyo’s Lament

 

Oh my wife!

My feet take me over mountains

In the service to our lord

But my heart stays tucked in the bosom

Of your robe.

Lady Nyo, circa 2015

 

 

The song of the arrow

As it arced into the sea

Was as tuneless

As a badly strung samisen.

 

Gun- metal clouds

Stretched across a dull horizon

The sun still asleep

As he should be

His quiver empty

His heart, too.

 

When had the callousness of life and death

Become as comfortable as breath to him?

He had become too much the warrior

And too little the man.

 

His distance from his wife,

From most of life

Was as if some unseen object

Kept them ten paces apart.

Perhaps it was the cloud-barrier

Of earthly lusts which obscured

The Sun of Buddha?

 

 

Perhaps he should pray.

What God would listen?

Then it came to him

That joker of a Buddha, Fudo

With his rope to pull him from Hell

And his sword to cut through foolishness-

Fudo would listen.

Fudo knew the quaking hearts

The illusions embraced

To stomach the battlefield

The fog of drink,

To face life

In the service of Death.

Fudo would save him from

The yellow waters of Hell.

 

He remembered those years

When she could bring him to his knees

With the promise of dark mystery

Between silken thighs,

And the glimpse of her white wrist-

A river of passion

Just beneath the surface.

How he had steeled his heart

Believing himself unmanned

For the love she induced!

 

Three cranes flew low to the shore,

Legs streaming like black ribbons behind.

Three cranes, three prayers, three chances

To find his way back

Bound up in Fudo’s ropes,

Prodded in the ass by Fudo’s sword.

 

He would write a poem

On a bone-white fan

To leave on her cushion.

She would know his love

She would know his sorrow.

 

The sea took his arrows

Beyond the breakers,

The glint of sleek feathers

Catching thin rays of light.

An unexpected peace came over him

As they journeyed far from his hands.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, 2016 (Song of the Nightingale was published on Amazon in 2015 and can be bought online)

 

 

 

 

“Song of the Nightingale” introduction…..

May 10, 2017

Song_of_the_Nightingale_COVER

 

In 2015, I wrote and published on Amazon.com “Song of the Nightingale”.  It’s a story in 13 episodes of a man and wife in 16th century Japan, he a general in a daimyo’s army and she fully half his age.  Obviously an arranged marriage.

I loved this story and apparently others did, too, but I never really concentrated on this book because life got in the way, along with other writing.  So, I am going to post some of the episodes on this blog just for entertainment and hopefully for  interest in the entire book.  A Moon Baby appears, a rather nasty Tengu priest, and other issues that involved 16th century life in Japan.  Lord Nyo refers to himself as ‘an ugly old warrior’, but his heart, immersed in war for so long, does begin to soften and attend to his wife, Lady Nyo, who is smarter than she appears.

Lady Nyo (but not the one in the book.)

 

Introduction to “The Nightingale’s Song”

In Old Japan there was an even older daimyo called Lord Mori who lived in the shadow of Moon Mountain, far up in the Northwest of Japan.  Lord Mori ran a court that did little except keep his men (and himself) entertained with drinking, hawking and hunting.  Affairs of state were loosely examined and paperwork generally lost, misplaced under a writing table or under a pile of something more entertaining to his Lordship.  Sometimes even under the robes of a young courtesan.

Every other year the Emperor in Edo would demand all the daimyos travel to his court for a year. This was a clever idea of the honorable Emperor. It kept them from each other’s throats, plundering each other’s land, and made them all accountable to Edo and the throne.

Lord Mori was fortunate in his exemption of having to travel the months to sit in attendance on the Emperor. He was awarded this exemption with pitiful letters to the court complaining of age, ill health and general infirmities. He sent his eldest, rather stupid son to comply with the Emperor’s wishes. He agreed to have this disappointing young man stay in Edo to attend the Emperor. Probably forever.

Lord Mori, however, continued to hunt, hawk and generally enjoy life in the hinterlands.

True, his realm, his fiefdom, was tucked away in mountains hard to cross. To travel to Edo took months because of bad roads, fast rivers and mountain passages. A daimyo was expected to assemble a large entourage for this trip: vassals, brass polishers, flag carriers, outriders, a train of horses and mules to carry all the supplies, litters for the women, litters for advisors and fortune tellers, and then of course, his samurai. His train of honor could be four thousand men or more!

But this tale isn’t about Lord Mori. It’s about one of his generals, his vassal, Lord Nyo and his wife, Lady Nyo, who was born from a branch of a powerful clan, though a clan who had lost standing at the court in Edo.

Now, just for the curious, Lord Nyo is an old samurai, scarred in battle, ugly as most warriors are, and at a lost when it comes to the refinement and elegance of life– especially poetry. His Lady Nyo is fully half his age, a delicate and thoughtful woman, though without issue.

But Lord and Lady Nyo don’t fill these pages alone. There are other characters; priests, magical events, samurai and a particularly tricky Tengu who will entertain any reader of this tale.

A full moon, as in many Japanese tales, figures in the mix. As do poetry, some historic and some bad. War and battles, love and hate. But this is like life. There is no getting one without the other.

 

The present Lady Nyo, descended from generations past.

 

“Mystic Marriage”

March 16, 2017
DSCF2572

Sailboat, watercolor, Jane kohut-bartels, 2006

I’m removing this poem from the prompt at dversepoets pub.  It doesn’t really ‘meet’ the prompt and so it will be removed.

Lady Nyo.

Mino begs a gift of Poseidon-

From the sea comes a white bull.

 

Glorious Bull! With hooves of gold,

Eyes of fire and sweet of breath.

Pasiphae, Mino’s wife

Besotted with the sight of him

Begs Mino to spare his sword–

Offers her handmaidens

In sacrifice.

 

Tender-hearted Mino allows his queen

To rule his judgement,

All sense pushed aside–

Havoc soon overturns the throne.

 

Pasiphae builds a wooden cow

Now besotted with lust

Climbs into the decoy–

Seduces the golden- hoofed Bull.

 

The Minotaur is born,

Suckled from Pasiphae’s paps,

Grew wild and strong–

A labyrinth

Built as a prison to hold him.

 

Unnatural love-making produces

Unnatural Minotaur

Half man, half bull,

Given freedom only in a maze,

Fed on virgins of both sexes.

 

But Poseidon laughs last.

He was the gift, the snow white bull

And cuckolds Mino

For his greed.

 

Mystic marriage overturns a throne,

A kingdom,

Reveals the deception of a queen–

And produces monstrous offspring.

 

In the Minotaur’s maze

All paths lead to the grave.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

“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

“The High Road”

January 14, 2017
Kohut-Bartels-BOP-8

“Sea Eagle”, jane kohut-bartels, watercolor, 2001

 

The High Road

Asking directions to the high road,

I got shrugs and blank stares

yet knew there were two roads-

both led into infinity

both coursed through

all manner of life with pitfalls, trenches

where legs were broken

skulls rattled loose from moorings

like ships in high winds, dangerous waters.

 

What was the difference

and why should it matter?

The effort cost

energy regardless the choosing.

 

An old man sat at the crossroads,

a bum, grizzled gray hair

sprouting porcupine’s quills,

rheumy, pale eyes staring at the world–

little interest in what passed by.

 

I asked him the way to the High Road

and with a toothless grin

he stared at my feet, my hands,

lifted his eyes to my face.

I thought him mad and cursed myself

(asking questions of a fool!)

was moving away when I heard his voice:

 

“Did I know of the eagle and crow,

how they soared upon thermals

higher and higher

became dark, formless specks upon a limitless sky,

lost to human eye, invisible even to gods?”

 

I thought him crazed and started away-

he cackled and spat on the ground.

Something made me turn, startled,

And saw the wisdom of Solomon in his

now- shining eyes.

 

 

“The crow harries the eagle, the eagle flies higher.

Vengeful, annoying crow flies round eagle’s wing

turning this way and that, yet the eagle flaps upward

soars upon thinning air until the crow

breathless and spent, drops to the common ground-

falls to his death.”

 

“The High Road, the path of the eagle.

The low road, the path of the crow,

mingling with dullards

daring nothing, with eyes cast downward

only saving a bit of energy

learning nothing of worth.”

 

Silently he sat, an old man

eyes glazed with age and fatigue.

With a nod to his wisdom, a toss of a coin

I gathered my strength and pushed onward,

Upwards, the lift of eagles, now under my limbs.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016, first published in  “Pitcher of Moon”, Amazon.com 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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 

“Olsen’s Pond”

January 1, 2017

 

mignot-winter-skating-scene

 

 

Returning to the old house,

now still, vacant,

staring with unshaded eyes

upon a snowy front garden,

shrubs overgrown with the

lustiness of summer

now split to the ground

taxed with a heavy snow.

 

I tried to light the parlor stove,

cranky old smoker

clanking and rattling

in the best of times

now given up the ghost,

cold metal unyielding to wadded paper

and an old mouse nest.

 

Now the silence of the rooms

broken by hissing wind

whipping around eaves

rattling old bones in the attic,

stirring the haunts asleep in corners.

 

It took time for twigs to catch

water turn to coffee

bacon, eggs brought from the city

cooked in an old iron skillet–

tasting far better in the country air.

 

I looked down at hands cracked

in the brittle winter light,

moisture gone,

hair static with electricity,

feet numb from the cold

the woodstove not giving

more heat than an ice cube.

 

Walking down to Olsen’s pond,

Looking through the glassine surface

remembering the boy who had fallen

through while playing hockey

slipping under thin ice,

disappearing without a sound,

only noticed when our puck flew

High in the air and he, the guard, missing.

 

We skated to the edge, threw bodies flat

trying to catch him just out of reach,

crying like babies, snot running down chins,

knowing he was floating just under the ice–

silenced like the lamb he was.

 

Childhood ended that day.

We drifted away to the city,

our skates and sticks put up,

Olsen’s pond deserted like a haunted minefield.

 

Fifty years ago I still remember

stretched as far as I could

belly freezing on treacherous ice,

grasping to reach a life just out of sight,

his muffler and stick floating to the surface–

The boy, the important part,

gone for good from a chilly winter’s play.

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

“A Seasoning of Lust”

December 20, 2016

revised-cover-2776

https://goo.gl/YNzows

Well, there you have it.  The second edition of “Seasoning”.

Nick Nicholson, a dear friend of over a decade took my first book and reworked it.  Nick picked the cover, we consulted on the  writings, making some important changes in text and Nick also supplied some of his marvelous photographs illustrating some of the poetry, other writings and the three short stories inside.

We had a lot of fun with this.  This first book was heavy with  erotica, but that mostly was because of the influence of a particular writers group I was in at the time.  I left that group because I felt strongly that erotica should be a seasoning, not the whole meal.  Plus, as a writer, I realized the constrains in writing erotica.   Writing became much more.  I was ready to find out how much more.

A first book is thrilling to hold in your hand.  However, I feel after 8 years, it needed to be revised.  It was the basis of my beginning royalties, but I figured that I could do better and this book needed revision.  Nick was the instigator of that and I am deeply grateful for his eagle eye, his marvelous photos, and his guidance on the revision.

It was originally on Lulu.com, but now is published on Amazon, Createspace.

Included are the original pieces in this new edition, (but revised) much poetry, tanka, haiku, the three (longish) short stories and the beginnings of the “Lady Nyo Writings” that became “Song of the Nightingale”, my last book, also on Amazon.

All these stories and poems and ‘flashers’ (very short stories) were written in basically two years.  I look back at this book and marvel at the energy I had then. Now?  It takes me much longer to produce a book but with friends like Nick, it can be a walk in the park.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Hawk Talk, for d’versepoets.com

September 27, 2016
0403Whe-R01-012

Young RedTail Hawk, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor

 

Chicken Hawk!

Leave my chickens alone!

I have worked hard for them,

A handmaiden of fowl,

Collecting rainbow eggs

The gift of the species

Naturally dyed

Pink, brown, blue-green and white,

Jumbled in the nest,

Warm succulent fruit

Awaiting the promise of birth.

 

Such precious gems

Presented at Easter,

Symbol of the Lamb of God,

The Spring of Life.

 

Leave my chickens alone, hawk.

I won’t even share.

 

Yet,

I remember two short years ago,

When I saw you wheeling over the kudzu

Riding the thermals,

Not graced with the brick-colored tail

Of a proper Red Tail hawk–

 

And I gasped at your splendor,

a winged God from the cosmos,

glittering white ash against a cobalt sky,

And you landed one day in my birdbath,

Trying to look like a stone sculpture,

And just the flicker of your 8x eyes

Looked over the songbirds for lunch.

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

‘Lady Nyo’s Torment’, an episode from “Song of the Nightingale”

September 1, 2016

Samurai Lovers, #2

 

“I stay here waiting for him

In the autumn wind, my sash untied,

Wondering, is he coming now,

Is he coming now?

And the moon is low in the sky.

The only company I have tonight,

 Is the paling Milky Way,

And Oh, my husband!

There are not stars enough in the heavens

To equal my sorrowful tears.”

 

Hana Nyo threw back the quilted robe from her head.

It was just a dream, just a dream.

Then why does my heart pound so?

 

Two nights before

Lady Nyo and her nurse

Spent the hours til dawn

Watching the flame rise and fall

Through the shoji of Lord Nyo’s room,

Watched the candle

Consume the poems he was writing–

But to whom?

 

“Ah, he has another woman!”

Her nurse was loyal but leaned

On the privilege of time.

 

Lady Nyo’s heart took flight.

Fear and shame dueled

In her blood, pushing reason

From her head.

 

Did he know?

Did he know?

Did he know about the poems?

Did he know of the vanished lover?

 

For two days it rained.

November  poured like

Waterfalls off the eaves,

Broke the stems of the chrysanthemums,

Scattered the flower heads,

Blew great gusts of wet wind into her room,

Blanketing an already sorrowful mind

With a seasonal fury.

 

Lord Nyo had ridden out

The dawn after

The Night of Burning Poems,

Dressed for hunting,

His falcon on his glove,

Not a word of farewell,

Not a baleful glance in her direction.

She watched him mount his horse,

And gallop away.

She watched from the slits between bamboo blinds,

Like a thief or a beggar,

She didn’t know what she was,

Only felt the sharp sting of shame,

A particular loss of something she probably

Never had.

 

 

Lady Nyo spent the day journal writing,

Her misery reflected in an unpainted face,

Tangled hair,

Shunning food as a sacrifice:

The pain of her torment

Was not lessened.

 

Once I did believe

That no love could still linger

Within my heart

Yet, a love springs from somewhere

And forces itself on me.”

 

And:

 

“My eyes have seen you

But I’ve yet to hold you close

You’re like a laurel

That is growing on the moon

And I don’t know what to do.”

 

Yes, and I don’t know what to do.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015-16

 I see that JP at Olive Garden is STILL posting my blog at their illegal site.  That’s fine, because I will continue to write what unethical and craven cowards they are. I’ve asked them to take it down and they ignore. These folk are not poets:  they are thieves and don’t have the intelligence to be poets.  They are scumbags that leech off the hard work of real poets.  They will be dealt with legally.  Copyright infringement is serious business. 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

 

 

 

 

 

 


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