Posts Tagged ‘Spiders’

Summer’s blooming, and the sewer is flowing….

June 24, 2009

Hey!  That’s important stuff.

A little  less than a month ago we had a disruption to civilized life late one Sunday night.  The upshot of all the excitement was a blocked (with tree roots) sewer line and that necessitated 84 feet of dig up.

4’x4’x84′.  Quite a moat.  Red Georgia Clay that doesn’t quit and makes a mockery of all the cleaning attempts possible.  For almost three weeks.

On top of that The Husband decided to do a remodel of many parts of the house: his idea of vacation.  Which was fine but it involved drywall, drywall mud, sanding, painting and a lot of shake shingles on the back of the house.  Plus that pink fluffy insulation and walls that hadn’t been removed since 1880’s.  I think I mentioned spiders…lots of BIG spiders.

Summer has arrived in the South, and the spiders are everywhere…especially indoors.  I don’t mind them at all, those lovely black and yellow Garden Spiders, who weave large webs but between rose bushes as  God intended.  It’s the spiders that creep out of the unfinished drywall above my bed and watch me, looking like “Kilroy”….the head and hands appearing over the wall.  Waiting for me to fall asleep and then they suck whatever they suck from me.

Juice, I presume.

Well, we went on a marathon of work on the inners of the house, and then in the middle of 90+ heat, the 30 foot outside wall in the back…which has a lot of windows, but still called for a lot of shakes or shingles, whatever they are.  But The Husband is cutting them as they go up, and damn if the primer isn’t the exact color of our finish paint.  Husband says, “No, you are going to get up on that scaffolding and PAINT, but I am as afraid of heights as I am of spiders, so I am dragging my feet here.

He has been merciful and I have turned my efforts to the garden.  It’s a sad lot because this was a garden of 20 years maturity, and 20 inches of composted soil, with mature blueberries, blackberries, grapes, roses (for hips) lavender, and the usual spring/summer/autumn plantings.

This year…hits the sewer disruption, leaving that moat. My tomato plants which were already in the earth and doing fine, had to be pulled up, along with the blueberry/blackberry plants, lavender, ginger, rose bushes, etc….and we only were able to salvage the berry plants.  The lavender died, along with everything else except the roses.

I’m attempting to post two pix.  Right before they closed the moat…and two weeks later to the day.  We also lost our driveway, and in the digging and pouring concrete for the nice new one?  I lost another 20 feet of garden space.  BUT! I have nice pad for garden furniture and for the last two nights we have had dinner out there.  Us and the flies, which are biting right now.

We worked hard, my son and I….rototilling red clay, hauling off old cement left over from what they didn’t clean up, and sifting wheelbarrels of compost that we make in the back of the property.  We replanted the concrete block walls, to be replaced with something else later, but we don’t know just what yet,  filling the three parterres with fresh soil, and then….planting a least a few tomatoes, eggplants, watermellon, crookneck squash, lavender, ginger, etc.

Oh! A blessing this year!  Our 5 year old grape vine is ‘heavy’ with clusters of grapes….little clusters that look like grapes and we have never had any such thing before, and we are now trying to learn something about grape cultivation.  We are removing the top leaves for the sun to get to the clusters.  Other than that, we know nuthin’.

I know that it’s not good to get sunburned, but hell, it’s about impossible to do sunscreen and mosquito repellent on the same surface, and the amount of sweat seems to negate anything, but I will be as brown as a berry if I keep this up much longer.  Or red as a fire poker.

It’s good to have water/sewer system back, it’s good to have a new paint on some of the walls, it’s good to have baseboards and trim, it’s good to have shakes on the back of the house, but it’s best to have a garden.  There is something ‘wrong’ with land that doesn’t have the fruit of the earth growing in it.  Even if you have to buy tomato plants already with tomatoes on them.

Pride goes just so far.

The earth and the sPICT0026PICT0043eason calls out to us to attend the  bounty and we are richer for obeying.

Lady Nyo


Tarnished moon,
Cottoned in dark, settled clouds
Striated against still wintry branches
A ghost of beggar’s light spills down
Upon a fallow ground.

This pale spring orb,
Cast on a placid lake,
Mirrored mysteries of countless years
Reflects an empty alone-ness,
Yet pulls at women’s courses
And opens the womb to need.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

The Poetry Workshop, As Nick Nicholson calls it…

June 12, 2009

has taken off this week.  It was just a small thing amongst fellow poets, but it has been embraced by these poets-friends, and I have some excellent submissions to post, with more promised.

This blog started almost exactly a year ago as  a writer’s blog open to other writers, and it seems that sometimes, some weeks, months, it  diverged from that set task.  All in all, that is fine, there were matters that glimmered and caught our  attention, but now we are back to the basics: writing and right now…poetry.  In particular, the dissection of pieces of poetry and poetry crits.  Actually, Nick has been the one to lead this, and I thank my dear friend for his wonderful efforts.  Nick and I came  out of ERWA (Erotica Readers and Writers Association), basically joining the same time, and we cut our teeth on what we saw and attempted there.  Our guide in the poetry section of ERWA was Gary Russell and he was a good mentor in those things of poetry he introduced.

This week has been a good start, and the stats show that there are over 220 people today reading the blog…and in particular the poetry offerings.  That says many people interested in poetry and of course, we are delighted.

Further, Katie Troutman wrote  last night and said she was delighted in the crits she received and is presently rewriting her poems and making them stronger.  That was  the purpose of this ‘workshop’ and if it does this, then we are succeeding in our efforts.

I’m going to have to slow down a bit right now, because of two situations.  One, we are doing a house remodel, and The Husband needs me to hold up the other end of the 2×4’s, the ladders, hold the end of the chalk line, but there is a constant clean up of debris, dust and plaster.  We bought Festool equipment (fine German technology in carpentry tools) last Xmas, and the best part of it is the vacuum. It gets a workout as we remove walls in place since the 1880’s.  Have you any idea what is behind those walls?  Besides no insulation, there are SPIDERS who look like they could eat eyeballs in a gulp.  There are MORE SPIDERS , and Camel Crickets that jump yards and scare the hell out of you.  My son keeps the Festool suckup away from the spiders and captures them on a broom or in a glass and deposits them in the front garden, but I would  rather suck them up.  I have been bitten and it’s not nice.

Also, I have started another collection of poetry, this time titled “White Cranes of Heaven”, and this  will replace the “Seasoning of Lust, Vol. II”  planned for this fall.   This is a shift for me because there will be very little erotica in this collection, and my friends are chortling at my ‘target marketting” of the first book “Lust”.  A nun, a female rabbi, and 4 90 year old  plus family members and friends of the family are NOT a good market for that first book.  LOL!  I knew that, I tell my friends, but I did hope  a couple were ‘liberal’ enough to embrace this venture.  I was wrong and I seem to be the scarlet woman in my family.  The rabbi still talks to me, but the nun?  She acts very nervous.

So I will parse out the poetry and make it last and hope others chime in with ‘poetry criticism’.  We are not experts here, except for Dr. Singh, but he’s awaiting the Monsoons in Mumbai, and it’s damn hot there he tells me.  It’s damn hot here, too…and the spiders aren’t helping a bit.

Mary sends in a tanka and Susan Clarke from Australia sends in a poem.  I’ll  post them  and perhaps after the weekend, there will be others to jump in the crit circle.

Lady Nyo

Tanka from Mary:

Today is summer

The heat has made roses wilt

Like a sad lover

Crying crystal tears that flow

Can not the tears offer life?

Poem from Susan Clarke:


She observes the weeds
multiplying with obscene haste
across every garden bed.
Clandestine seedings
cause multitudes of offspring
to work their way into the light,
mocking her impotence to act.

She observes the weeds,
bees pollinating flowers
that will become cobbler’s pegs or farmer’s friends
depending on your preference.
Her head hurts
as she sees the futility of any effort
to combat their relentless progress
through what should be a garden,
an asset to her home,
a pride and joy.

But she can only see weeds,
a testament to the state of her mind
overgrown with unresolved pain,
longing for a life free of torment.

Her home is untidy,
dirty floors,
old worn furniture.
Anti house-proud
the dust bunnies multiply
in the corners
waiting to be gathered up
by a broom
in a healthy sweep of awareness.

She observes the kitchen
the indifference of family members
brazenly displayed in congealed fat
around the stainless steel sink
red wine and milk stains
stickiness and clumps of crumbs on bench tops.

She observes the open griller gaping
to reveal a crusty cheese coating,
the trash bin lid
covered in grease from food scraps
carelessly scraped in.
bread tags, rubber bands, milk bottle tops and grime
on every surface.
The recycling box is overflowing
the fridge covered in spill stains gone mouldy
the fruit bowl overflowing
with decayed passionfruit, old apples
and mandarins that looked nice
three weeks ago.

She observes her weariness
and remembers observing the same scene
a month ago
and how it mirrored the state of her mind.

Then, as now
she got to work and cleaned up the grime
making the surfaces clean and dry
feeling brief relief and pride
from action taken
ephemeral resolution and peace
a clean tidy house
and a clean tidy mind.

But the weeds remain.

A crit/comment from Katie Troutman:

This poem is wonderful. The imagery is fragrant, sharp, colorful, immediate, and the words slice as cleanly as the images into our psyche. I like the weeds lurking in the background, still looming on the horizon at the end. The image of relentless weeds is a wonderful metaphor for LIFE. Plain, regular, everyday life. No matter how much we do-and we must do it-the everyday things like washing dishes and pulling weeds are always with us. Life is  process. Weeds remind us of that.
Loved it.

I agree, Katie, I was struck by the pathos and intensity of Susan’s poem….the everyday issues are the basis but I know more about Susan through this poem.  She reveals a lot about herself that connects with others, us, other readers.  I think it’s a good example of lyric poetry…not just a statement of ‘herself’ but the communication that most of us strive to do THROUGH our poetry-  make those connections with humanity.  Not just statements of our lives.

Susan communicates through her poetry in interesting terms.

She cares about this important issue of resonance.

Lady Nyo.

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