Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

“Some Haibuns”

September 19, 2017

 

images (3)  Sumo puppies in training…

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.

 

 Shadows

 

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.

kappa[1]

(This is a general warning against Kappa.  And also a good example of something to fear.)

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

 

 

–One Tanka….

I wander the fields

Snow covers the barren soil

Sharp wind plays pan pipes

A murder of crows huddle

Black laughing fruit hang from limbs 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

J

 

‘The River’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”

September 15, 2017

 

revised-cover-2776

THE RIVER

 

The sun streamed in the window,

Like a jarring benediction

From a loud-mouthed priest.

It fell upon us

As we spooned asleep,

Your back turned to me,

My nose on your skin

Breathing in the miracle of you.

 

Last night, our first in spent passion,

That particular coin flowed like a river

Between us.

You brought hot, wet towels

To clean up the waters left by the flood.

 

Bending over me,

Parting my thighs with your hands,

I wanted you to leave the damp alone,

And slide

Into the faintly pulsing dark chasm,

My hollow twisting at the end of you.

 

But instead,

I curled up like a fiddle-head fern,

And embraced your dark head with my hands,

Pulling your mouth to my own,

 

And we flowed down that river again.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016  (“The River” is published in “A Seasoning of Lust”, Amazon.com 2016)

“Haiku Irma”…..

September 13, 2017
My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture…the Morning After.

Haiku Irma

 

Mighty Hurricane!

Destroys a summer landscape

Pine trees recumbent.

No moon shone last night

This morning the sun shines bright

Maple leaves glowing!

Generators growl

Crickets increase their fiddling

A fox adds his voice.

The total darkness

Moon too thin to fatten road

Disturbs our courage.

Somehow not dead yet

Last night’s torrential lashings

Rebirth this morning.

 

Cedars fan the moon

Fierce winds come from the East

Blow evil to west.

Looters try their luck

Shotguns loaded by the door

Death inside and out.

Hungry hummingbird

Pushed by mighty gale from food

Determined to eat.

Now a stray kitten

Wants the warmth of my dry lap

Rain gusts don’t play fair.

Rooster doesn’t crow

Night’s loud thunder and lightning

Ruins his morning voice.

Even the hoot owls

Are silent this stormy night

Wind muffles their cries.

Leaves, branches, litter

Torrential rains wash them gone-

Did they ever exist?

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

Thanks to Irma, power was out for 50 some hours.  Couldn’t sleep, so Basho’s “Interior Road” drew me downstairs. Basho talks about direct impressions…don’t worry about ‘proper’ form.  You can go back and reform later.  He himself forgot the ‘seasonal word’ in a number of his haiku, and said so.  I decided to write these ‘haiku’ from immediate thoughts and sensations, without much struggle as to ‘what and what’.  Though it is right and proper to use kigo, etc.

Apparently it was not only the storm, but a band of looters attempting to enrich themselves on our darkened street.  Such fools!  My neighbors are keen to their behavior, but no sound of gunfire disturbed the night.  That was a blessing.  I didn’t hear of any of this until this afternoon.  I am grateful I basically slept through it all.

 

My deepest  gratitude to my cousins, Donnie and Shirley, his wife.  And my sister in laws in Miami.  And my brave and handsome husband, Fred, who brought home a Coleman stove that almost took my eyebrows off.  This was my first hurricane.  They are old hands at this, living through Hurricane Sandy and many others in Miami.

 

 

 

“Coppermine Road”, posted for Open Link Night, dversepoets.com

September 7, 2017

 

917ce-pitcher

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,

Pastures–

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”, Amazon.com 2015)

 

Haibun Monday: “Seasons Change”

September 3, 2017
My beautiful picture

Autumn colors from my bathroom window

Komorebi:  the Japanese word for  light filtering, that time between summer and autumn., seasons changing. It is more extensive than what I write here, so read what Kanzen Sakura over at dversepoets.com says.  She is hosting Haibun Monday and her prompt is this.    There are sure to be some marvelous haibun (short paragraphs that originally were travel notes….) ending with a  relating haiku.

Lady Nyo

 

Seasons Change

 

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

 

 

The ginkgo filters  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

 Fierce wind howls from the mountains

Disturbs dragonflies.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

“Mountain Road”, a poem of Autumn.

August 31, 2017

kappa[1]

( A Kappa….certainly a monster.)

It feels a bit like fall with the rains and cooler weather.   Imaginary Gardens  with Real Toads has a prompt about ‘Monsters’, either symbolic or …..

This is my offering.  I find Nature sometimes monstrous.  People, too.

Lady Nyo

MOUNTAIN POEM

 

It is almost Halloween.

The early dark of dusk

Creeps in before finishing

With the day–

 

Strange imaginings

Cause shadows to rustle,

Briars entangle

And nothing seems exactly –right.

 

In the mountains

Clouds dip low

Smothering the landscape.

Only the moan of winds

Round eaves shaking the skeleton hambones

Hiding in attic corners

Breaks the silence—

A strange cacophony.

 

Monstrous, ghost trees

Wedged together in

Stumbling rows,

Indian Snake arms

Wave warnings to

At all daring to approach

Their Joseph’s –coat-of- many colors

Tattered by

Blasts of Autumn winds

Tearing around the mountain.

The hoot of the owl

Drives on dis-ease until dawn.

 

 

Roads dip and swell

In a frenzied, jagged run

Straight into the heart of danger.

Nerves uneasy,

There is too much mystery in this night!

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

“Storm Drain Baby”

August 27, 2017

backyard 6

This happened here in Atlanta a few years ago.   Suffer the children. 

 –

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

“O Absalom”, a Love poem, for Open Link Night, dversepoets pub.

August 24, 2017

Absalom 3

 

O, Absalom!

Ensnared by long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

The shimmer of life fading.

 

I,

Pulled into mysteries

Abandoned by love

Given over to lust

Charged with stolen rapture

Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

One hand up to Heaven

One hand spills to Earth

Skirts stiffened with sins hard as stone

Corrupted over a life time and now–

Flayed on an unending mandala.

 

Mystery of Life,

Unstoppable desire,

O beautiful Absalom,

We float upon a divine river

Entangled in the reeds of human wanting.

 

This is our nature,

This our calling while

Flesh answers flesh.

What quarter be given when the heart

Overwhelmed by passion’s excess?

 

Lie still–

Let the waters cleanse our loins,

Mud of the banks soothe our wounds,

Our blood mingle with the floating grasses,

Our hearts sink beneath the surface.

Let the rivers of Babylon

Carry us away.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

“Snakes in the ‘Hood.”

August 20, 2017

 

 

 

My beautiful picture

Second half of vandalized mural

About three years ago, a muralist came into our community, and on a bare wall, painted the most difficult and original, high artistic endeavor I have ever seen.  He ws French, and his “Artist’s statement” was painted in French, and few could read it.  So they painted over the mural.   I would agree that this mural called for discussion as to what it ‘meant’.   It was beautiful, inspiring, confusing.  But the ‘leadership’ of this particular community decided to vote their own ignorance.   Tant pis.

 

“Snakes in the ‘Hood”

“When people see a snake, they think serpent.

When they think serpent, they see Satan”

 ….former State Rep. Douglas Dean, who was  arrested for cocaine.

 

 —

Oh, my dear garden snakes,

Run and hide in the leaf litter!

You appear each spring

Birthed from that old stump,

Your beautiful duns, browns, moss greens

Intermingling with last year’s fallen leaves.

 

I remember you as divine jewelry

Around  slender wrists as a child.

You terrified the adults

And transformed me into Cleopatra.

 

A box under my bed

Disturbed by a dust mop,

A dozen of you slithered out

The 200 year old wood floors,

Cold on your bellies.

 

The head of the  mop screamed–

I never could find you all.

Did you disappear out that window

Where you dropped to the ground?

 

I mourned for those missing,

Learned adults didn’t care

For the miracles of nature.

 

Eating blackberries from

A stretch of rambling bushes,

A July North Carolina sun

Warm for the mountains

And below me,

A cottonmouth doing the same.

 

 

Backing out of fear and respect,

But the blackberries were good

And enough for both to share.

 

I remember the black racers

Hanging  in the pine trees

And kids daring

To run under them,

Hoping one of us get squeezed

In  embracing coils

But it never happened.

You knew our game.

 

In cultures you snakes

Were the umbilical cord

Joining all humans to Mother Earth.

 

In ancient Crete

You were the guardians

Of the Goddess’ great mysteries

Of birth and regeneration.

 

The Hopi Indians

Joined the snake of the Sky Spirit

With the snake of the Earth

And dancing  in reverence,

Loosened them into the fields

Where  golden corn was growing

To  secure their fertility.

 

 

No garden hoe will touch you,

My dear little garden snakes,

No stoning of your innocence.

I will gather your twine-ing bodies

And lift you above the ignorance of bigotry.

 

They violate their God’s dictates

“Even to the lesser of you amongst us”

And you without limbs or voice

 

are surely that.

 

 

If not beloved by God,

Surely,

You will be beloved by me.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017, (“Snakes in the Hood” is published in “Pitcher of Moon”, 2015, Amazon.com)

“Poem of the Night”, to answer a challenge by d’versepoets.com

August 16, 2017

An interesting challenge over at dverse.  It has to do with music and writing a piece of your own poetry with the guiding line of a song.  Perhaps a title.

This should be a lot of fun.  check out dversepoets.com

Lady Nyo

 

Full Moon, March 2011

POEM OF THE NIGHT

 

The streets are gleaming tonight

as if a million stars were brought to earth

flattened into urban mirrors

under lamp posts reflecting

an empty  nothingness.

 

It is a dull mid-winter night

straining towards spring

with all intention of leaching

the dying season’s

last insult, unleashing it

upon mankind’s discomfort

one more time.

 

“A foggy day in London town”

Is what I think when I look down

This cotton-wool streetscape

But that has tune and purpose

and this muted stillness has none.

 

The rain left a muffling fog

mercifully erasing stark bones

of tree limbs reaching to the sky

black beggars on seasonal parade.

 

Yet,

there is a strange beauty to the night,

Transforming what was common,

Dissolving borders, barriers, dimensions,

making a mirage, an alien oasis.

 

Heavy mists swirl around the ground

lift past the unfocused light

combine with the creeping gloom

and turn a hand to pale mystery.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017……“A Foggy Day in London town”, by Ira Gershwin, 1934/ 

 


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