Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

“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

“Dusk”

October 30, 2018

Kohut-Bartels-LS-19

(Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2005)

 

DUSK

A sickle moon

Sits high in a pale night sky.

Black swifts shoot like

Miniature crescent moons

Traversing the air–

Or perhaps they are bats.

 

Dusk’s  breezes have settled,

The rustling of pines–stilled.

Spring brings a tender benediction

To a tender day.

 

The lowing bellows of milk cows

Echoes across the valley,

The hoot of an early owl,

Perched unseen in a fresh leafed tree-

The call of bull frogs,

Mournful sentries of the fresh night,

Calls us homeward, homeward.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

“Almost Halloween”….

October 27, 2018
My beautiful picture

Night Fire Road in the Georgia Mountains

 

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 all who dare approach

Their Joseph’s –coat-of- many colors

Blasted by 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  much mystery in the corners

of the night!

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

“River of Death”…..

October 24, 2018

Haibun, “River of Death”

Man'yoshu image II

 I’ve had enough horror this weekend and wanted to dial back on that.  So, I am posting this new haibun  I fashioned out of an episode of “Song of the Nightingale”, published by Createspace, 2015.  It’s a bit ghostly.

 

The river of death is swollen with bodies fallen into it;

in the end  the bridge of horses cannot help.

—Saigyo

(it was a medieval military tactic to stand horses together to make a bridge for soldiers to cross the river.)

 

“River of Death”

Voice of Lady Nyo:

When the news of my birthing a son reached my husband, he was far from home, to the east, over mountains in dangerous, alien territory. A general in the service of his lord, the gore of battle, and the issue of ‘dying with honor’ began at first light. The air soon filled with the sounds of battle- dying horses and men, drawing their last gasps of life, churned into the mud of immeasurable violence. Death, not new life was before his eyes at dawn. And death, not life, pillowed his head at night. He stunk with the blood of battle as his bow and swords cut a swath through men in service to another and when the battle horns went silent, with tattered banners like defeated clouds hanging limp over the field, acrid smoke stained everything and the piteous cries of the dying echoed in his ears. He wondered if his life would end here. But the gods he didn’t believe in were merciful. His thoughts turned from fierce, ugly warriors towards home and a baby. Still he could not leave. He was caught by status, the prestige of his clan. He could not desert the fate set out from birth. Ah! This was the fate of a man chained to Honor.

Still, in the darkest hours of the night, he said the soft, perfumed shape of me floated down from the fleeting clouds, and I came to him through the smoke of battlefield fires, and he turned on his pallet to embrace this haunting comfort.

Shaped like a crossbow

Moon floods the battle below

Too late for the dead.

Dark is the hour

when hope is vanquished

the nightingale sings

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

Song Book cover

Some Haiku

October 14, 2018

Kohut-Bartels-LS-2

(Watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels)

I chase one red leaf

Across dry and brittle grass

Juice of summer gone.

The garden spiders

Fold their black spindly legs,

Die, all work now done.

Pale lavender sky

Balances the moon and sun

The scale shifts to night.

 —

 Fallen leaves crackle.

Sparrows add the treble notes.

Season’s musical.

 —

Dogwoods blooming

The crucifixion appears

White moths in the night.

— 

Fall’s crispness compels

Apples to tumble from trees.

Worms make the journey.

 —

 The frost at morning

Makes the birds plump their feathers

Squirrels add chatter.

— 

 A swirl of blossoms

Caught in the water’s current

Begins the season.

 

The cold moon shines down

Upon hollow dried grasses.

Earth prepares to sleep.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

 

A few favorite tanka….

October 9, 2018

Kohut-Bartels-LS-17

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

 

 

Mist drifts in waves

Ribbon-ing maple branches

The rising of moon

Make Egrets shimmer silver-

Gauzy ghosts of nothingness.

 

 

Like the lithe bowing

Of a red maple sapling

My heart turns to you,

Yearns for those nights long ago

When pale skin challenged the moon.

 

How could I forget

The beauty of the pale moon!

A face of sorrow

Growing thin upon the tide

No one now visits me.

 

——

The full moon above

floats on blackened velvet seas,

poet’s perfection!

But who does not yearn for a

crescent in lavender sky?

Autumn wind startles–

Lowered to an ominous

Key—Ah! Mournful sounds!

The fat mountain deer listen-

Add their bellowing sorrow.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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