Posts Tagged ‘Summer in the South’

‘Songs of Summer’ from “White Cranes of Heaven”

August 12, 2013

"Eagle" Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2005

( Painting: American Eagle, Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2006, large painting)

We are in the middle of Summer here in the South.  The weather has been kind, but the season comes back with a fierce determination not to be forgotten. With amazingly mild temps for months, now we get 90 degrees for the past few days. But this isn’t bad, because we can see Autumn peeking over the edge: the nights aren’t sultry and the mornings can be rather cool.  But it is still Summer, and the middle of August.  All in all, this has been a kind season so far.  The incrediible rains for the past months have greatly helped.

I will continue on with the next part of “The Nightingale’s Song” tomorrow or so. Some revision called for.

Lady Nyo


Summer cartwheels through the sky!

The fertility of months

Expressed from field to orchard,

Above in the sky, and deep below,

Where the earth gathers energy

And transforms by magic

Fruits for the mouth and eye.


Fledglings tipped out of nests

Try new-feathered wings on warm currents,

Calves butt heads and race in calf-tumble

Climbing rocks and playing king-of-the-hill,

Spring lambs past the date

For the tender-est  of slaughter

Coated in white curls,

The smell of lanolin strong in their wake.


There is fresh life in the pastures,

Now with steady legs and bawling lungs,

They graze upon the bounty

And grow fat for the future culling.


Tender shoots of wheat and corn,

Waist-high, defying devious crows,

Paint once-fallow fields in saffron and

A multitude of hues-

Golden tassels forming,

Waving under an oppressive sun,

And when the sky bursts open

In random welcomed rain,

Heaven meets Earth-

The cycle complete.


These are the songs of Summer.

The bleat of lambs,

The noise of colliding clouds,

The cymbals of fierce light,

The plaint of cows with full udders,

The loud quarrelling of a swollen brook,

The scream of a hunting hawk

Calling for its mate,

The pelt of an unheralded storm

Upon a tin roof,

The quiet sighing of

An unexpected wind-

A welcome benediction

to this  summer day.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012 ,2013, “White Cranes of Heaven”, Fifty Seasonal Poems, 2011

Sunday Summer in the South

August 9, 2009

Some times this blog gets so serious….and that isn’t the point of life I think.  This morning, after washing 5 dogs, I decided that it was so beautiful and hot and there was so much water on me anyway, I would strip down and shower in the garden.  A garden hose wound around the clothes line worked just fine.

This garden is a miracle because just about 6 weeks ago, there was nothing but a sea of red Georgia clay and a 20 year old mature garden gone because of a 84 foot moat due to a clogged (by roots of plum trees) sewer line.   The only thing left were some very tall rose bushes along the house wall and a 5 year old grape vine.  So, after an intensive two weeks of hauling composted soil from the back -back garden….and replanting 10 tomato plants and some other veggies…a very few, the garden looks productive, luxurious, fertile.  Hell, we will have more tomatoes this October….or September….or late August than we can eat.  I love to can, but not tomatoes….so I do as the Mennonites:  I quarter, put in freezer bags and use them over the winter for stews and soups.  Can’t use them for salads, but they are fine for the purposes you find.  It’s just there will be so many of them because the new soil and the plentiful rains have made a tomato-rush out there.  I’m thinking of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil for holiday gifts and that’s one way to use up tomatoes.

So I called out my husband, with the enticement of a cold Killian Red, and we showered and soaped up and the water was just fine.  I feel good about this because all the water was not down a drain, but into either the garden or the garden path where we are trying to grow grass between the pavement stones.  The sun shone brightly on our bodies, drying us off, but fresh towels plucked from the umbrella line finished the job.

There is something about being naked under the sun, in the middle of Atlanta, well protected by a high wooden fence and a huge grape vine that is finally after 5 years, covered with grapes.  They are supposed to be “Thompson Green Seedless” but they are already turning purple.  They are still tiny and bitter and DO have seeds.   Another mislabel by Home Depot, but the joy and excitement of having such a fruitful vine in our garden trumps any other issue.

The economy woes and the usual issues of a nation and city in crisis would seem at times to overwhelm the blessings of life, but this morning they can’t shake a stick to the pleasures of two naked bodies and a few Killian Reds on the patio.  The luscious greenery surrounding us, the cooling water, the clean dogs outside the fence, the rabbit that is munching the crooked necked vine, the cats that are indolent in the sun under the table, well, these are the blessed times to be remembered.

Life is good.  A bit simplified, but that is good, too.

My 89 year old mother called me two times yesterday just to remember the times of our youth, and told me the Harvest Home of August, over a 100 years in existence, will happen like clock work again in Griggstown, New Jersey.  We both cried over the memories and so many of our friends and neighbors now dead or so old they are not amongst the living in daily living.

Fresh washed husband in the garden.

Fresh washed husband in the garden.

But we are making new traditions here in this alien South, and they are good ones, too.  The shared shower in the garden will be memorable.

Lady Nyo


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