Posts Tagged ‘“Pitcher of Moon”’

“Coppermine Road”, posted for Open Link Night,

September 7, 2017



Coppermine Road


When I was a child

Sitting on a hill

In south-central Jersey,

I would watch the roiling thunderstorms

Shoot daggers of lightning

Across hills of the Sourland Mountains

Setting fires to forests,


Torching the barns.


The hand-cranked siren would yowl

And all men over 21

Would answer the call.

To lurk under jacked-up cars,

To pitch hay,

Run the combine

Or start the evening milking

Would get you the cold shoulder

Or worse…

In the local gin mill.


Coppermine Road had

A ton of fires,

This gateway to the Sourlands

Stretching miles into Dutch-elmed darkness

As we watched

First the lightning

Then smoke rise into the air,

And heard the howl of the siren

In the valley below.


Mined out, this Coppermine

Emptied before the Revolution

The sturdy Dutch taking their

Share from the earth,

Leaving little of worth, just the name,

The scars of digging plastered over in time.


Perhaps a grand conspiracy

Between storm clouds and copper deep down

A particular cosmic revenge,

Enough to torch the barns

Scare the milk out of cows

And bedevil the men.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017  (from “Pitcher of Moon”, 2015)


“The High Road”

January 14, 2017

“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”, 2014








“Pitcher of Moon”

September 21, 2016


Cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon"

was to be the cover painting for “Pitcher of Moon” but didn’t work out.



I dip into the pond

And gather a pitcher of moon.

Above it glimmers,

Smiles at my efforts

This late-winter moon.

It is just a bowl of cool water

I am holding

But the magic of the cosmos settles

In this plain clay vessel.


Copyrighted, 2016

“Pitcher of Moon” is the lead poem in “Pitcher of Moon”, 2014,



September 8, 2016

It is sad that I have to post a warning about JP at Olive Garden and especially approaching this national day of grief and mourning.  Jingle is no less than an Intellectual Terrorist, a long term thief.  She has a history of stalking and harassing other poets.  If you are reading this from their site, Please Don’t.   Copyright Infringement is a law in the USA.  It’s not only unethical, it’s Illegal.  Support real poetry sites and real poets, not pretenders.

Lady Nyo

Lady of Shallot rose



That beautiful morning–

Teasing taste of early Autumn

The unthinkable happened

And our world stopped turning

I saw the plane, I saw the fire

I saw the smoke descend like

A blanket of blinding grief

Too late to spare those on the ground

The sight of Armageddon.



Mortar-grey people transformed

Into gritty moving statues,

Holding hands, blinded by smoke,

Move down streets where

Paper, bricks, metal, glass rained down

Like the Devil’s Ticket Parade,

Walked in silence towards the bridges,

Barely a moan heard,

An Exodus unexpected on this

Morning of such seasonal promise.


I saw worse.

I saw people jump

From the ledges, holding hands,

Some with briefcases

And all I could do

Was howl:


“I will catch you!

Jump into my arms

I will not drop you.

Do not be afraid,

Aim for my embracing arms,

With the last of my life—

I will catch you.”


That day of fire and ash,

Inexplicable funeral pyre,

Of brave souls rushing in

And frightened souls rushing out

And the ash, the ash, the ash,

Covered everything like a silent September snow.


Fifteen years later

Grieving when this day approaches,

I hear the words swell up in me:


“We will catch you!

Jump into our arms,

We will not drop you.

You will not be forgotten,

With the last of our breath–

We will catch you.”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 9-11-2011-2016 (This poem was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, which can be purchased at, 2014)

“Chicken Hawk Talk”

July 5, 2016



Chicken Hawk!

Leave my chickens alone!

I have worked hard for them,

A handmaiden of fowl.

Collecting beautiful eggs

The gift of the species

Naturally dyed

Pink, brown, blue-green and white.

Presented at Easter,

A symbol of the Lamb of God,

And the Spring of Life.


Leave my chickens alone, hawk.

I won’t even share.


I remember, two short years ago,

When I first saw you wheeling over the kudzu

Riding the thermals,

Not even graced with the brick colored tail of a Proper Redtailed 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, 2014  (This poem originally published in “Pitcher of Moon”,



“Original Blessing”

May 18, 2016

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


I have been fighting theological issues my whole life.  I come from a family who has a stance on theology  I just can’t tolerate.  It’s mean, oppressive, fundamentalist and especially misogynistic. There is no room in my life, in my belief system for this kind of ‘theology’.  It is abhorrent to me.  Having said that, I have struggled to come to what I do believe, and it has been an uphill climb my entire life. Organized religion is a sham to me, as I have seen the falsity of much of it.  Baha’is, Quakers, the different churches have left me numb and still an unbeliever. 

I  feel the necessity of Gratitude, and for this I am strong, though my target is not what others in the religious communities would consider the ‘correct’ target.  Too bad.  I am grateful for the beauty of Nature and the random kindnesses I have received, and I am grateful for a place of relative safety.  Perhaps there is little more in life to expect.

Lady Nyo

Original Blessing”


I am dizzy with love,

Standing in the rain,

This cosmic blessing

Pouring on my head,

Mingling with tears of gratitude

Til one stream

can not be deciphered

From the other.


I am an Original Blessing,

As are you,

And we are not born in sin,

But brought into the light of life

In great joy and anticipation.


Our first bellows are not of pain

But surprise at the roominess of the Cosmos,

As we kick our feet, flail our arms

And finally open our eyes at the glorious colors

Of Nature.


Original sin would have us

Born rotten,

A theological monkey on our back–

But I know no God of the Cosmos

Who would scar these tiny blessings

With such a heavy burden.


Original Blessing is a deliverance,

A deliverance of hope, trust and pride

A heritage where we can discern and save


Walk in harmony with the Earth,

Stride with God across the span of life–

For this Earth is our cradle,

And all in it our kin.


For a truly wise person

Kneels at the feet of all creatures

And is not afraid to endure

The mockery of others.


And when the day sidles up to night

I will settle into the nest of the Earth,

Draw the dark blanket of the Cosmos

Across me,

Pillow my head upon stars

And know that the blessings I have been

Graced with today and always

Have come from the womb of God.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012-2016

(“Original Blessing” was published in “Pitcher of Moon” ,, 2014, by the author)




“Darwins’ Worms”

May 15, 2016

Spiral right back into Life


The soil has lost its excellence.

Worms hide in the

Deep sullen earth

I imagine curled up,

Embracing worm castings

And each other,

Desiccated former selves

Pale little ghosts

Awaiting the fertility of spring

The watering of a hard rain.


I squandered the bloom months,

Thinking paper and pen

Would bring its own blossoming

Scarcely seeing the vitality outside


Allowing cabbage moths and beetles

To dominate

My nod to farming,

To self-sufficiency,

My tithe to the earth.


Ah, the soil is hardened

By the sins of the season.

Sharp winds make


The cold buries down,

Deep, deep down

Torments, teases any life

That would show a feckless head.


Especially those hopeful worms

Now bundled in worm-sleep.


The words, verse,

I chose to cultivate

Over cabbage, collards

Failed to bloom.

Better I had plied the hoe

And bucket to that

Than a fevered pen

To paper.


It is now winter.

The fallow earth

Plays a waiting game

Knows I have failed

In pulp and soil

And mocks with a barrenness

Inside and out.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

(“Darwin’s Worms” was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, Jane Kohut-Bartels,, Createspace, 2014) 






“Musings on a Closing Day”

May 12, 2016



mount fuji, 2

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

a 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, 2o14

“Musings on a Closing Day” was included in “Pitcher of Moon”, 2014,

“Winter into Spring”, a poem

March 11, 2016

spring garden 4

(My front garden a few Springs ago)


Mysterious, unfathomable, muted season,

where life and reason are suspended

upon a cold metal wire.

The wind a  razor of clipper glass

sailing through glassine air

slicing the pallid sun’s rays–

an attempt to warm a frigid earth

to a remembered fertility.


Solemn seasonal palette,

white, gray, black,

cut with a flash of blood-red–

Kamikaze cardinal!

like the demon wind bearing its name,

dares the thin and paling air

to brighten for a flashing moment–

A witness to recurring life.


Season of bountiful snow,

brings a thirst to the land

where hoar-frost leaches

moisture with a crystallized withering-

hands to crack, bark to shatter,

and all dries and curls about

in a perverse furnace of freeze.


One day, a pale day

a southern breeze

breaks through the bonds of Winter

brushes up, slides up

upon the ice

and a crack like a thump is felt in the gut

a slow drip-drip of water

signals the end of this harsh season,

as icicles emit a hesitant stream,

and then the ice dam down in the brook

cracks with a louder sound

and the rush to Spring

is heralded with these natural sounds.


A blind movement

felt deep in the soil-

a careful stirring,

barely a rumble in the gut of the Earth

as birth beneath replaces death above

pushing through the Great Womb

to a pallid sun above-

The tyranny of Winter now broken.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016 (this poem is included in “Pitcher of Moon”, by the author,, 2014

“The Children of Aleppo”

January 18, 2016




Reading this morning the never ending terror and violence done by Muslims in Europe and around the world makes me wonder where it all will end.  Obviously in Civil War and then probably in WWIII.  The real victims of war, civil war, etc., are  children.  It is always the children who suffer the most.  In our hatred for what adults do, we must remember the children who are innocent of such terror.

Lady Nyo

The Children of Aleppo


There is no childhood in Aleppo.

There are little martyrs-in-the-making

Where 5 year olds and 8 year olds

Wish for a ‘family death’

Where they can die together

With their parents

Where they live in peace in Heaven

Never tasting the fruits of peace on Earth.


There is no childhood in Aleppo.

The children haunt the abandoned houses

Of friends who have fled the city.

There they find abandoned teddy bears

While looking for guns for the rebels, their fathers.


“Oh, the poor thing!”

A dead canary in his cage

Abandoned by its owners

They flee the rockets, bombs

And mortars.

In the face of daily death

The sight of this bird

Evokes a child’s sorrow.

But the gunfire outside continues

(They are used to the noise)

And huddle in the pockmarked

Halls until safe to scatter.



The children of Aleppo

Have no teachers, doctors.

These have fled the cities, schools

But they still pine for ice cream,

For music in the streets,

For curtains not torn by violence,

For books and toys

And gardens and flowers,

For friends that have not died

Innocent blood splattering

The dirty cobble stones

At their feet.


The children of Aleppo

Are free and children again

Only in their dreams,

And perhaps, if you believe so,

After death.


How do you put back the brains

Of a child in the cup of the shattered skull?

How do you soothe the howls of the mothers

The groans of the fathers in grief?

How do you comfort the left-alive siblings?


The children of Aleppo

Have no future as children.

Suffer the little children here,

They are the sacrifice of parents

And factions,

And politicians

All with the blood of

10,000 children

Who have died

In a country torn

By immeasurable violence.


The beautiful children of Aleppo

Like children everywhere

Still want to chase each other

In the gardens, on playgrounds,

Want to dance in the streets,

Want to pluck flowers for their mothers

And they still pine for ice cream.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014-2016







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