Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

“Musings On A Closing Day”

July 19, 2019

black kimono

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, 2016-2019

“Seasons Change” ..a haibun.

July 19, 2019

kohut-Bartels-LS-7

(“Canada Geese”, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels)

 

Utilizing Tanka form and Haiku.

 

Autumn wind startles–
Lowered to an ominous
Key—Ah! Mournful sounds!
The fat mountain deer listen-
Add their bellowing sorrow.

 

 

The gingko filters the sunlight, the ground a crescent- printed cloth fit for a yukata. It hits my hands and feet, creating white scars that do not burn. I welcome the sun. My bones grow thin.

This passage, from summer to fall, eternal movement of Universal Design, counts down the years I have left. There is so much more to savor. Two lives would not be enough.

Tsuki, a beggar’s cup too thin to fatten the road, still shines with a golden brightness, unwavering in the chill aki wind. The Milky Way reigns over all.

 

Sharp moon cuts the sky

The fierce wind from the mountains

Disturbs dragonflies.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

“The Stillness of Death” from “Song of the Nightingale”

June 8, 2019

Japanese Lovers II

 

THE STILLNESS OF DEATH

Kneeling before her tea,

Lady Nyo did not move.

She barely breathed,

Knowing tomorrow depended

Upon her actions today.

Lord Nyo was drunk again.

When in his cups

The household scattered.

Beneath the kitchen

Was the crawl space

Where two servants hid their heads-

A third wore an iron pot.

Lord Nyo was known

For three things:

Archery-

Temper-

And drink.

Tonight he strung

His seven foot bow,

Donned his quiver

High on his back.

He looked at the pale face

Of his aging wife,

His eyes blurry, unfocused

And remembered the first time

He pillowed her.

She was fifteen.

Her body powdered petals,

Bones like butter,

Black hair like bo silk.

The blush of shy passion

Coursed through her veins

Like a tinted stream.

Still beautiful  was she,

Too fragile for his tastes now.

Better a plump courtesan,

Not all delicate and saddened beauty.

He drew back the bow

In quick succession-

Let five arrows pierce

The shoji.

Each grazed the shell ear

Of his wife.

Lady Nyo’s life hung on her stillness.

She willed herself dead.

Death after all these years

Would have been welcome.


This started out in 2011 to be a single poem but had weaved itself into a story of 13 episodes. In part I was greatly influenced by the tanka (poetry) of the great Man’yoshu, an 8th century document (collection) of over 5000 poems by lovers, emperors, court ladies, peasants (represented in their songs), priests and others.  It was a great literary achievement not done at this time anywhere else in the world.

It became a story of a middle aged couple, he much older, an arranged marriage.  He is a general in his daimyo’s (warlords) army and has forgotten the love of a normal family.  Her patience and devotion breaks open his crusty heart. Both are samurai, she from a titled samurai family.

Song of the Nightingale” was published by Amazon.com in 2016.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted , 2019

Song_of_the_Nightingale_COVER

Painting by the author.

Cosmic Force

June 4, 2019

 

Pitcher of Moon painting

(Was to be the cover painting of “Pitcher of Moon”, 2014, Amazon, but didn’t make it.)

COSMIC FORCE

 

A rhythmic universe explodes

While chortling stars, freed of their orbits

Scream across the cosmos

Lighting fires of comets and primordial dust

Standing the color spectrum on its head.

Death, then re-birth-

The Ultimate magic!

Recreates the fabric of new life

The progress of timelessness.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

“Quiet Birds”……

May 27, 2019

Kohut-Bartels-LS-3

QUIET BIRDS

 

Quiet birds!

Your chatter adds crystallized chaos

To last night’s tokaji clouding the brain.

My eyes open with reluctance

To splinters of light

Challenging soft, painful membranes.

 

 

 

The smell of black coffee cuts

Into the reality I am no longer young.

A night like last should be wrapped in tissue

Locked deep in a trunk,

To find when I am past temptations-

Having room only for memories and regrets.

 

 

 

Quiet birds.

The day looks promising.

I await a new flock of metaphors

With polished feathers

Landing on my shoulders,

Weighing me down-

Colorful daydreams,

Peacock words,

Bird of Paradise thoughts!

 

 

For some reason,

Words, whole paragraphs,

Circle my head, then

Flap off in a thunder of wings.

 

I hear laughter of rude crows,

See a mess of bird droppings,

And with a few cracked seeds begin my penitence-

Starvation wages for a poor poet,

Left to a flightless life.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Storm Drain Baby”

May 17, 2019

Spring House 3

 

Yesterday a baby was born,

Placed in a storm drain

To die by a father who wasn’t.

Three days of heavy rain

Washed the Blood of this Lamb

Into the sea.

 

He was found, expected to live

And died,

His short life measured in scant public

Outrage.

 

The 19 year old father said as they

Led him away:

“It was a miscarriage gone wrong.”

 

The rain continues today

Rushing down streets

To storm drains,

Making a gurgling sound.

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“The Children of Aleppo”

May 9, 2019

Spring House 3

 

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.

 

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.

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 surviving siblings?

 

The children of Aleppo

Have no future as children.

Suffer the little children.

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, 2016-2019

 

 

 

 

“Spring Storm”

April 20, 2019

 

sunrise to the east

 

It is early spring here in Atlanta, and nothing is usual about it.  The weather is weird, blowing from hot to cold, and tonight we are to expect freezing temps.  Unusual for the middle of April.

Spring  brings unsettled and dramatic weather across our nation. Tornadoes are the usual fare and this morning, the winds have picked up, blowing great gusts.  The wind chimes relay the power of the wind and I jump with their frenzy.  It is an unsettled time, this spring, but also one of excitement.   Nature is in command, and our petty concerns here down on earth, those things that drive us to distraction, fade in the face of Nature’s power.  The bellows of wind, the monstrous groans of limb on limb of huge oaks and pecans, well, these things capture our attention.  Life is played out in its fullness with spring storms.

Lady Nyo

 

SPRING STORM

 

The wind howls tonight

Races round eaves,

Disturbs the haunts in the attic,

Forces wind chimes

Into a metal hambone frenzy

The clash of harmony grates

On ears, on nerves

no sleep for this night.

 

There is death to the west

Fear in the vanguard.

 

It is springtime,

No gentle embrace

Just a blaze of destruction, despair.

Sanctuary

Is far down on the ground,

Deep as a cellar

Deep as the grave.

 

The moon above,

Sickly green sphere

Is in on the game.

 

The dogs howl

A Greek chorus

Echoing their primal fear

Over the landscape.

 

Each moan of wind

Heralds the apocalypse,

My eyes squeeze shut

Against grating of branches,

The rattle of panes

As I grasp for sanity

In an insane night.

 

 

I ride out the storm,

Dawn breaks,

The silence complete,

The earth placid and calm

As if the night before

Only a nightmare-

And I ridden from sleep

To the usual ground.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014,

from ‘Pitcher of Moon”

This book, “Pitcher of Moon” is available from Amazon.
Buy paperback: http://goo.gl/RzFRj4
Buy Kindle e-book: http://goo.gl/cOh8Ww

“Winter Afternoon”

April 8, 2019

kohut-Bartels-LS-7.jpg

Migration”  WC, Jane Kohut-Bartels

 

Winter’s pale afternoon

Creeps into night like skim milk

Poured from one china bowl to another.

 

Thin crescent moon appears,

A broken cup of feeble light

That spills upon the ground,

Too watery to brighten the road.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2010

Samhain, A Celtic Winter Song

November 16, 2018

Kohut-Bartels-LS-6

(Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, Off Coast of Ireland)

 

Dark mysterious season,

when the light doesn’t

quite reach the ground,

the trees shadow puppets

moving against the gray of day.

 

I think over the past year

praying there has been a

kindling in my soul,

the heart opened, warmed

and the juiciness of life is

more than in the loins–

a stream of forgiveness

slow flowing through the tough fibers

not stopper’d with an underlying

bitterness ,

softened with compassion.

 

This season of constrictions,

unusual emptiness,

brittle like dried twigs

desiccated by hoar frost

just to be endured.

 

I wrap myself in wool and

watch the migrations–

first tender song birds which harken

back to summer,

then Sandhill cranes,

legs thin banners

streaming behind white bodies,

lost against a snowy sky.

 

They lift off to a middling cosmos,

while I, earth-bound,

can only flap the wings of my shawl,

poor plumage for such a flight,

and wonder about my own destination.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018


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