Posts Tagged ‘Silence’

Three Tanka on Silence: for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

November 27, 2016


(“Winter’s Geese”, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2010)

Over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the prompt was ‘Finding the Silence’. (Winter themed)   These are my submissions.


I walked a landscape

An unfamiliar dreamscape

The only sound heard

Was the tinkling of bells

Then silence covered the snow





Season of silence

Muted nature frost bitten

Black limbs empty, still

A vast field of ghostliness

No music came from the wind.


Oh, such a Season!

An invisible wind blows

Toneless, no music

Winter gives such bitterness

Silence leaches tune and song.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016


Via Negativa, from “Pitcher of Moon”

June 25, 2013


I have been thinking of this issue of creativity, where it comes from and where it goes. Some have this concept that artists, poets, etc. construct their work in isolation, but I think that is only part of the picture of creation. We breathe in the environment, we grab color from the cosmos. But also, those periods of Silence, Stillness, embracing the Dark of our souls, are important to our creativity, those fallow places…as much as when we are in full drive. Perhaps more important. Perhaps our work is born from a nothingness, a void, where we struggle to make it ‘real’…to bring it to some life, to expose it to air and light, to present it to the cosmos, to grab color and air by doing so. I don’t know. Perhaps we don’t really think of this process of creativity, and perhaps we don’t need to. There are too many words that get in the way of it.

“Via Negativa” is a poem from the soon-to-be-published Pitcher Of Moon.

Lady Nyo


Winter is the perfect channel
To carry Via Negativa,
No static
Just Silence, Stillness
And the embracing Dark.

On this path,
We sit in contemplation,
relish the early dusks,
No answers,
No struggle,
We are as empty as eggshells.

This time is filled by little outside;
A flash of darting cardinal
Like a stream of blood
racing past our eyes,
The sound of a falling limb
makes us search the skies,
The moaning of the wind
bustling around eaves,
soothes us,
The rattle of skeleton- bones
Of attic haunts
does not disturb us.

And yes, Death,
As Winter brings
To those who succumb to frigid winds,
And those lost from shelter.

These things are part of this path,
This dark quietude of a particular season.

We spiral into the Darkness,
Where we barely need breathe,
Conserve our energy,
And stare outside at such
A severe palette.

Stilling ourselves,
Stilling our hearts and thoughts,
We draw closer to low fires,
Scratch our dried skin
Like a monk in a hair shirt,
And, with time and patience–
Spiral back into the light of Spring.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2012-2013

Samhain, A Celtic Winter poem

November 4, 2012

Samhain is the Winter Quarter season of the Celtic Calendar. The months from 1st of November to the 31st of January, it is the period of reflection, of remembrance of ancestors and wise old elders in our lives; it is the hallow-tide of all souls passing, the releaser of pain, the hollow of the winter twilight. It is the contemplative season of silence and stillness.

Lady Nyo

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
but 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, 2012
from “White Cranes of Heaven”,, 2011

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