Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

“July Moon”……

July 5, 2017
Cover painting for "Pitcher of Moon"

was to be the cover painting for “Pitcher of Moon” but didn’t work out.

 

JULY MOON

 

A pale moon rises,

Unheralded, surprising

With its presence so early at dusk.

 

It wavers in the summer heat

Like a ghost under water.

The cicadas hold their breath-

Their leg-fiddles muted,

And the earth turns quiet

If only for a moment.

 

Brushing the lush green tree tops

It floats upward into a still-lavender sky,

Gaining presence, strength, gloss

As it balances in the darkening light,

A well-trod path– fascinating eternity.

 

A world-weary face appears

And casts a bemused gaze downward

Before sailing through the night

Into the harbor of Dawn.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Two haibun and two haiku.

November 18, 2016

waterlily in our pond.

(our small fish pond in summer)

For K. Sakura.

Haibun:  Solitude

 

My solitude is shared by the night time crickets and a soft hooting owl. Having withdrawn from crushing-concerns, the moon must approve. She shines comforting moonlight through a ruined roof. Moonbeams filter dust motes as if a thousand fish are swimming upstream and turning around.

 

 

Tonight I will sleep.

The moon floats though my dreams

Comfort blankets me.

 

Haibun :  Summer =

The summer was beautiful, despite the heat.  Last night the moon looked like a beggar’s cup, soft brilliance glowing.  The days in the Deep South are sultry, but the wind picks up in late afternoon when a storm is coming and then these huge oaks and pecans are whirligigs high in the sky. Barley tea, iced tea and lemonade are the drinks of choice, harkening back to an earlier time.  Closed drapes, blinds at noon work to regulate temperature, though one doubts this will.

The heat brings to life cicadas, or whatever is making a constant buzz outside.  It comes in waves, where one group, or species, competes in volume with another. A call and answer of tent meeting insects. The dogs of summer are wise: flattening themselves on the cool tiles of the laundry room, they remain motionless until the cooling of the night when they chase rats in the kudzu.  They have developed a taste for watermelon, and we sit on the back porch and share with them, all spitting seeds,  while a wood owl barks from a huge oak above. We never see him, but his hoots add to the symphony of summer nights.

Sultry air disturbs

The sleep of husband and wife.

They pant without lust.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016

 

 

 

“Summer Haibun”

September 12, 2016
Great Horned Owl with Moon

Great Horned Owl with Horned Moon

 

If you are reading this from JP at Olive Garden, please don’t.  Jingle is nothing but a common thief and an Intellectual Terrorist.  Support legitimate poetry sites, blogs and poets.  Don’t support thieves and posturers.  Help run them  off the internet so decent sites can thrive.

Lady Nyo

 

The summer was beautiful, despite the heat.  Last night the moon looked like a beggar’s cup, soft brilliance glowing.  The days in the Deep South are sultry, but the wind picks up in late afternoon when a storm is coming and then these huge oaks and pecans are whirligigs high in the sky. Barley tea, iced tea and lemonade are the drinks of choice, harkening back to an earlier time.  Closed drapes, blinds at noon work to regulate temperature, though one doubts this will.

The heat brings to life the cicadas, or whatever is making a constant buzz outside.  It comes in waves, where one group, or species, competes in sound with another. A call and answer of tent meeting insects. The dogs of summer are wise: flattening themselves on the cool tiles of the laundry room, they remain motionless until the cooling of the night when they chase rats in the kudzu.  They have developed a taste for watermelon, and we sit on the back porch and share with them, while a wood owl barks from a huge oak above. We never see him, but his hoots add to the symphony of summer nights.

Sultry air disturbs

The sleep of husband and wife.

They pant without lust.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016 all Copyright Laws Apply.

 

 

 

“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 3…WARNING…some sexual content.

August 18, 2015

Demon of Lust

 

(Demon of Lust above, but he looks like he has little energy for anything, but it’s Summer in Hell, too)

So…..I’m posting a chapter (or a few in the days to come….) of “Devil’s Revenge”, my second and almost finished novel.  It’s just silly stuff, right now….and probably will continue to be silly stuff later.

Lady Nyo

Stretching like a cat, I awoke slowly. Suddenly I smelled the strong scent of wood smoke and bounced upright in bed. Looking around, I saw the fireplace and realized where I was. Damn, it was happening again! The Demon was playing fast and loose with my molecules, zapping me from my own comfortable bed and century. How in hell does he do this? Hah! Like he would tell me, but at least this time I wasn’t sick to my stomach.

The Demon had a name, Garrett Cortelyou. Cocksure of his charms, arrogance fed into seduction and he was a danger to my decorum and decency. Compounding the situation he was devilishly attractive and exuded an unearthly charisma.   He was master of a particular brand of sexual magic and his appetite knew no bounds.   He delighted in corrupting me, shocking me with his…. techniques. I would call him a libertine. He had little concern I was married and I forgot I was when he was near. There was a certain charm in his humor and he was an entertaining devil. Sexual encounters with him were addictive and probably dangerous. But this could not continue – I was losing control of myself. What kind of world had he pulled me into? Why was I here? This was insanity and since it happened over and over, I knew I was not dreaming.

I also knew somehow… answers to this present situation revolved around the novel. Perhaps if I kept writing until the end it would resolve.   I could return to my comfortable, boring life with my husband and my chickens and this excitement and unreality would disappear. I realized the book was a key, but which door did it open?

And then this demon? Well, I really didn’t know that he was a demon, just guessing. I didn’t have anything else to call him and ‘demon’ fit for some reason. Perhaps it was the magic and the mind reading, but I needed a name for him. What part did he really play in the scope of things? He was a sharp-eyed critic and petards my writing with his presence and demands. I knew he wasn’t ‘real’, oh real enough in some physical sense, but there were other considerations. How did he materialize and why? And why me? Of course, he used the ready excuse of the book and how I thought I had brought him ‘into life’, but the power of words, my words, couldn’t upset the universe to such a remarkable extent. No, there were other forces at work, and I would just have to discover in time what they were.

Here I was, early morning by the light in the room, and again, in a strange bed.   I had to pee, and knew from past visits where the chamber closet was. It was cold in the room, the fire was dying down and I hurried across the floor. The sound of a pee in a china pot is quite intimate, as water with our modern toilets muffles sound. Leaving the closet, I stumbled over my feet in surprise. There, sitting in a chair, was the demon.

“I thought we agreed you would refer to me as your “Demon Lover”? Garrett was eating a large slice of currant bread, the Dutch escapes me–

“Kretenbroad”, he said, dusting the crumbs off his chest as he chewed.

“Thank you, the word eluded me.”

“Anna makes good kretenbroad.. I think I will marry her.” He grinned and snapped his fingers, making a dish of tea appear on the table.

“You could do worse.” According to the first novel, Anna was the spinster niece of Daniel Griggs, the manservant who lived in this house for thirty years.

“Much more. Get your facts straight.”

“Garrett, what gives you leave to invade my bedroom at all times of the morning?”

Still chewing his bread, he gave a devilish grin. “I like celestial music in the morning.”

“What are you talking about? What music?”

“The music a woman makes when she pees in a chamber pot,” he said, still grinning.

“You are a nasty demon.” I was getting impatient with his antics and he took great liberties.

“Come drink your tea before it cools”. He dusted the crumbs to the floor.

I sat down in my nightgown, and picked up the ‘dish’ of tea. It really was a bowl with two handles, but every time he conjured up tea, it was good.

“Of course it is, I made and stirred it with my –“

“Don’t tell me, Garrett, I won’t be able to drink.” He really was vile this morning, and his visits were always backed with a purpose.

“Always backed”? That’s more garbled English. Write it in Dutch.”

“All right, Demon!” He was so irritating. “”Why are you here?” (Better I ask why I am here…) I was struggling with the book, trying to finish and every time we were together in this room, there was a setback in my writing, or a detour, or something strange and distracting.

“Oh? You see me as a distraction? I can be more dangerous than that.” He burped loudly. He had the table manners of a goat.

“Bahhh”. He grinned crazily, and for whatever reason he appeared this morning, I was heading for trouble.

“First, give me your hand, and be more tender towards me.” He extended his hand across the table, and gave me a sweet smile. For some reason, he did this each visit. I never trusted him, especially when he was extending his paw.

“Hand.” He nodded to himself. “And call me ‘Lover’. I miss that from you.”

I had to smile. He was such an insecure devil.

“I am not. It’s just that you are a bad writer.” He lunged across the table and grabbed my hand. “And still not fast on your feet.”

A current flowed from his hand to mine. I was knocked back at the intensity of his touch. He had done this before but something was different today.

“You fed me. See, Bess, I was starving, and your cooking restored my strength.” He grinned and squeezed my hand. “Anna made me stronger, too…and I thank thee for her.”   Anna was a good Dutch cook, apparently.

“I don’t think I want to fokken her, though.” He couldn’t resist. “Nope, don’t want to do that at all.”

He scowled. I read what you wrote…and again, you should stick to what you know.” He smiled, yanking my hand towards him.

“What in hell are you talking about?” He rubbed the front of his breeches, and leered.

“Sex?” Is that the word you can’t think of? You have to use sign language?”

“Ha…funny! Especially coming from a woman who obviously doesn’t know a thing about fellatio.”

I sat up, and thought back to what I wrote. “What was wrong with it?”

“See the sentence above the last.”

“Now you are going stupid. Of course I know about it, I’ve been married for years.”

“Then your husband doesn’t know much.”   He had me there.

“I will teach you something useful –the devil leered again- and make you a better writer.” He grinned, and the current between us grew stronger. My hand felt like it was melting into his, the heat fusing our flesh together.

“That’s what good – (the devil burped) sex is supposed to feel like.”

Garrett was a cock-sure devil, (“damn right”) and most of his suggestions for the novel were on target. He had lived in those years, the early part of the 19th century, and knew the social customs of the period. I could only rely on my spotty research for these things.

“Hold still. I will put something nice in your mouth, sweet woman.” Ah, God…his mind was always fixated on lust.

“It effects better parts of me too, but you keep your knees together too much. Ah, seduction of women writers is hard work.”

“You’ve used that line before, Garrett. Now, who is original?” My little joke didn’t please and he pulled me over the table and into his lap.

“Give your highwayman a kiss, sweet Bessie.” When he was in this mood, there was no denying the demon.

“Oh!” I said, sitting upright on his knee.   “That’s one of my favorite poems. “The Highwayman”. I thought it the most romantic poem I ever read when I was twelve.”

“Doesn’t turn out too nice, both of them dead. That musket beneath her breast….” He shook his head and burped again. His stomach at least was all too human.

I put my head on his shoulder. He could be a sweet devil, and evoked tender emotions from me he didn’t deserve. He thought it a good time, when I was docile in his arms (“won’t last long”- I heard him think!) to pick me up and walk to the bed. He lay down besides me, and placed my head on his shoulder.

“You are rather sweet this morning, Devil.” His temper was usually like mercury. I think we were coming to terms.

“Well, we have, my darling. I have chased away all the competition and you have me at ball and cock.”

I had to laugh. I was still married, and older by decades.

“I was born in 1790. Beat that.” (I was to find this was a lie…another one.)

I thought I was robbing the cradle. He was such a beautiful creation, but still, just a figment of my imagination.

“You really need to expand your horizons, sweeting. There are so many parts to the universe and you just occupy one. You limit yourself by what you believe.”

I never accepted the stories of ghosts, haunts or spirits, but lying by his side, I was beginning to wonder. He appeared flesh and blood enough this morning, especially as he grabbed my hand and placed it on his half mast cock swelling under his breeches.

“Good. You learn something. Am I real enough for you now?   Let me show you something else.” He passed his hand quickly from the top to the bottom of my nightgown and it melted away like smoke.

“Ah! The first time I have seen you naked. You wear too many clothes. Let’s see what I’ve caught.” He pushed my hair back from my breast, and stroked a nipple.

“You have pink nipples…very pretty! And perhaps you are pink elsewhere?” I lay in his arms and blushed at his words. He took my hand and placed it in his shirt, next to his heart. He always wore a heavy linen shirt and I had become enchanted by his smell of wood smoke and probably brimstone.

“Very funny. Now unclench those knees and let me make love to you.”

“Wasn’t it you who told me the portal to a woman’s soul is her mouth?” I thought to distract his limited mind.

He turned on his side and smiled tenderly down at me. “You use my own words against me? You show courage. You also forget I am a nasty demon.”

“Not so nasty. Getting a bit better.” His behavior had turned my mood from irritation to tolerance. There really was no way around things, if I wanted answers. I had to play a role. Conditions were changing between us and he was softening with a gentler touch.

“I have no softness, and don’t bet on it.” He stroked my thigh and squeezed a breast. I tried the same trick on his clothes, passing my hand down the length of him, and he laughed.

“It will take many decades, sweetheart, for you to learn that trick.”

“Not even levitating a chamber pot?”
“You would have more luck just throwing it.”

He was a handful, this Demon.   It was hard work keeping stride with his wit. He could have written a much better book, but then again, he likes best being the sharp-eyed critic.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007-2015

The Desert Zar, a short story

July 23, 2014
"The Zar Tales", published by Lulu.com, 2010

“The Zar Tales”, published by Lulu.com, 2010

I need a break. It’s summer and my garden looks horrid, the grass uncut, the brown spots courtesy of the three dogs need tending, the chicken coop cleaned out and the chicken manure used to best advantage. I’m posting this short story here, in part because I am trying to get back into the mindset of finishing “Tin Hinan” and I did lose (or forgot to save) the last long chapter. So….I am looking forward to going back into that ‘space’ of Hyperarousal Trance where all things slightly spooky gives some inspiration.

I’ve written before about the Zar ritual, still an important ritual in many North African and Middle East countries and what the demon Zar represents.

I just got in the mail (bless you, Amazon.com) a new Berber group, Tianiwen, and their music I already know will throw me into that place where things connect and efforts are effortless.

See you on the other side.

Lady Nyo

A DESERT ZAR

The dust settled from the desert. All day it howled and swirled around the souk, a locust plague of stinging matter, a towering and maddened djinn. Now the sky over the sands was fading pink, as daylight filtered through the violent storm resolved into a dark blue night.

The roiling sea of sand, shifting like high waves of water, was now placid. Off to the east, bells of a caravan mixed with the groans and protestations of camels, floated over heavy air. Jasmine and bougainvillea scented the night along with dung fires from Bedouin camps.

Dusk was settling in, this narrow ribbon between light and dark, bridged by a few soft breezes. The djinn of night inhaled deeply, holding the memories of the day close, then blew to the desert, to repeat at each dusk into eternity.

This was Tunis, a hundred years ago, before the awnings of the souk now woven reed mats, were replaced with sheet tin, and the trampled dirt paved beyond cobble.

Somewhere a drum begin a steady beat, sounding like a heart beat, drawn from the village core. Then the soft piping of the ney flute floated out over the souk, it’s sweetness rising like a descant over the measured beat of more drums.

Black clad shadows moved down the length of adobe walls to the center well. Bundles of jasmine, tuberose, bougainvillea, red poppies and lavender were placed on the steps of the well, seeming to scent the still water.

An old Negress, her back twisted by life, took a few coins from women as they passed. Her hair twinkled like dull stars from the pierced coins strung from her dull dreadlocks.

This was the price of the Zar. Each woman would exorcise her demon, her hysteria or her bad luck. And with hope, perhaps a mean husband.

As more and more women came around the well, it seemed the drums became louder and the ney flute shriller. The bleating of a goat near by could be heard.

Still, black figures moved in the settling darkness down the cobbles to the well and placed their few coins in the Negress’ hand.

Around the corner and halfway down the street was a doorway. A curtain was drawn over the opening but the incense within puffed out with each opening. It scented the nighttime air, dueling with jasmine growing up walls. The shrillness of the ney increased and the drums picked up rhythm.

Go through the curtain and you enter a room heavy with smells. The incense–powerful, but there were undercurrents of tobacco from a hookah being smoked in the darkened room. There was something acrid, like the smell of fear or sweat. The raw smells of a crowded humanity perfumed the room.

Wooden benches placed far back upon the walls were already filled. Men and women, but mostly women, were sitting in the smoky fog. Most were still clad in the black chadors, but here and there were sparkles of an elaborately beaded head scarf. One women sat like a princess with a camel’s saddle beneath her feet. She was dressed in embroidered robes with silver jewelry over her forehead. She was the youngest wife of the local warlord and woe be to anyone who accosted her. Black eyes, two ebony moons dulled by the poppy, looked out from a face veil. The heavy sandalwood perfume coming from her robes scented the air, mingling with other scents.

In the middle of the floor a high wooden stool was placed where a large tray of sweets and fruits were offered to the spirits of the night. No mortal hand or mouth would partake of such offerings.

The drums beat varying rhythms, and all combined into a gigantic heartbeat, or perhaps many heartbeats reflecting those within the room.

Suddenly a woman appeared and walked around the altar, muttering something in a sing-song voice. Her hair unbound and tossed with the rotations of her head, she nodded back and forth in time with her pacing. As she walked and muttered, her eyes rolled back in her head. She was deep in trance.

The Sheikha! The power of a demon catcher, the handler of the Zar demons! The Wise Woman, for who but such could demand anything of the invisible and dangerous Zar?

She paced the room, muttering to herself, her body now expressing violent movements. Off to the side was a younger woman sitting on her haunches, covered with a white cloth. With the shrill call of the wooden ney, the woman was helped to her feet, uncovered, where she stood with bowed head.

She was the possessed. Perhaps her husband had brought her to the ritual. Perhaps she could be healed.
But perhaps the Zar that possessed her could overcome all the magic of the Sheikha and possess her!

Each woman had a story behind her. This one was a very young woman, now married to a much older man. He lurked in the background, anger hard in his eyes, his mouth set in a grimace. He had paid a good marriage price for his wife and she had not given him what he expected. A son was what he demanded and she had only produced one stillborn in the two years they had been married. Something was wrong with her. Perhaps the ritual he paid for with heavy coin would answer to his concerns. If not, perhaps he could ship her back to her parents and demand the bride price back.

The Sheikha’s voice called out, her arms raised towards the woman, and this woman began to pace around the altar. At first her head just nodded back and forth as she slowly moved around the room. Then her body began to twitch, her arms rose upwards, jerking with her movements. Her hair was unbound, and with each violent movement of her head, it swung around in great, undulating waves.

Still the drums increased their tempo. The drummers were off in their own trances, their faces blank, their eyes unfocused. The ney player, his wooden flute dark with age and the stains of fingers, was answered with finger cymbals and an undercurrent of chants. The room seemed to pulsate within another dimension as the incense and drums took over the senses. The chants increased in strength and sweat poured down the face and breasts of the Sheika and the possessed young woman, making transparent their white cotton dresses. Dark tipped nipples and golden breasts, the sheen of skin heated to match the frenzy of all around them, they danced on, now uttering incoherent growls and high pitched exclamations. Other women sat in place and tossed their bodies back and forth and a few stood up and joined the young woman, their own bodies beginning to mimic hers. Shrieks and groans were heard from different corners of the room and still the drums increased in rhythm, exciting the senses to a fever pitch.

Suddenly the Sheikha stiffened, her eyes rolled back as the young woman passing before her collapsed at her feet.

She had caught the Zar! He had released hold of the ends of the hair of the young woman and flown into the arms of the Sheikha! He had hit her with enough force that she staggered backwards and only the support of the women behind her kept her on her two feet.

Now the Wise Woman talked in a low, unknown language. She berated, cajoled, implored and threatened the Zar. She grasped at the air and shook it violently. She brought the Zar to her breast, seemed to stroke it, this unseen matter, and then push it from her, chiding and scolding.

For those in the room who knew about Zars, knew one never could get rid them. No, he could be appealed to, reasoned with, but who but one equal to a Zar can reason with a Demon?

A man brought forth a white cock and with a quick flash of his knife, cut its throat. With a bow he presented the dying cock to the Sheikha who began to sprinkle the warm blood about the now still woman. Again low guttural chants rose all around but the drums remained silent.

The Sheikha would threaten this Zar with her own spirits. She would threaten with her own history of wrestling with past Zars, and call upon their power for her to subdue this one.

Silently she prayed the demon before her would attend. It would be a fierce battle to the end, and onlookers watched for signs of who was winning; who was more powerful.

Ah! There always was signs of the battle within. Exhaustion threatened to overtake the Sheikha. She would have to bargain hard with this Zar. He was a powerful one; not about to give up his berth without a fight.

But, slowly, slowly….there were signs she was winning, and those who knew of these things would see renewed energy on the part of the Sheikha, a renewed passion for what she was facing. If she was coming to victory, her voice would soften, her appeals would be as to a child and perhaps this Zar would listen.

But success was never assured. These Zars were thousands of years old and wily creatures. They may be made of air and malevolence, but they were a force outside Nature.

No victory over a supernatural force could be guaranteed. It always was a battle to the end. For you never get ride of a Zar, the possessor. You only give him a good shakeup, new marching orders, and you send him back into the possessed.

No one wants a Zar running around scaring the children and chickens. And a goat for possession will not do.

The Sheikha looked down at the woman at her feet. Ah! There was a change in her face, a smoothing of her brow, a peaceful countenance. She could be restored to her husband and the Sheikha prayed that he would see his wife in a new light.

The Sheikha knew what was wrong here. It was the same old story over and over. A man, too old to give his wife the pleasure she was made for, would demand from her what he could not give. So the senses were imbalanced, the forces of love were destroyed, the woman would suffer unless….

The Sheikha’s eyes snapped to the husband and with a gesture she had him approach. She stared deep into his eyes and held them. She muttered in her strange and frightening language and still she did not drop her eyes. Then she sprinkled his white robes liberally with the cock’s blood.

She had the satisfaction of seeing the fear in his eyes.

Perhaps this time the Zar will behave. And better, perhaps so the husband, too.

*******

Outside the walls of the souk, outside where the night wind rested, camels complained and the dung fires scented the air, where the moon looked down on the sea of sand, other Zars were gathering to float over the walls.

The food on the altar would not last long. Again Spirit would invade Flesh and the drums would call out demons into the arms of some Sheikha.

In this part of the world, the Zars were part of human destiny.

They were a part of life as much as the desert sands, the groans of camels and the dark eyes of beautiful women.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2012-2014

“Songs of Summer”…….and Happy July 4th! Our Independence Day.

July 4, 2014

SONGS OF SUMMER

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 green 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 sweet 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 cymbals of colliding clouds,
The noise of fierce light,
The plaints of cows with udders taunt,
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,
And the quiet sighing of
An unexpected wind-
A benediction to the day.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2007-2014

‘Songs Of Summer’

August 12, 2012

second crop of tomatoes……

From “White Cranes of Heaven”.

 

SONGS OF SUMMER

 

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 benediction to the day.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012 

Summer of Extremes….

July 29, 2012

English roses that don’t stand at attention…backed by a grapevine

 

The heat of  summer has deadened any interest in going outside to look at what thrives.  Only the very early hours before 9am, and after 7, is it possible to leave the house. Windows don’t help in the viewing, as they can’t magnify the lady bugs, the Japanese beetles eating the new English roses, nor give more than a ‘iffy’ appraisal of mulch and water.

I still go out in the heat of the day, much like the crazy dogs and Englishmen we know….and inspect where the rats  from the fields behind  have eaten my Brandywine tomatoes.  They were asleep for the first month, then they woke up to the splendors of my Brandywines.  Big chunks were taken out of these tomatoes and left to rot on the vines.  My dogs seem to have a truce with them.  Since they rather stay in the cool tiled laundry room, it is doubtful they even know of the invasion.

There is little weeding I can do right now, as my left arm is in a cast, but when I am healed, there will be a mess of weeds to pull and carry to the hens.  Actually, if I could trust my 7 hens to weed the garden for me, without eating the good stuff…..I would shoo them in.  But I notice they also go for the beautiful Batchlor Buttons and the parsley planted around the new rose garden.  I read somewhere this spring that parsley and roses are good companion plantings…so I raked in a couple of packets of different parsley.  They all came up.  They are replacing the weeds and tall grasses with something that probably will stand ias a weed itself in a few months. Parsley is good, but right now, parsley stands neck and neck with the new roses. 

These new roses are from the David Austen species.  They are delicate roses for the first year or so, but then they come into their own.  They need to be staked. This will allow the blooms to be seen, as they are prolific bloomers, but the stems are weak, needing  support of canes. The best rose bush I have ever had, and now 15 years at least in the growing, is the beautiful “Heritage”.  It’s a David Austen rose, and a constant bloomer.  Fragrant, pale pink blossoms, many on a stem, standing 6 feet high, a marvelous and round bush.  Hardly any thorns to speak of.

This is the summer of extremes, it seems.  Horrendous heat, killing heat, and then monsoon- like rains and flooding.  Trees everywhere are feeling the results of years of drought and then the floods.  Then weeks of no rain, and the grass shrinks before your eyes, turns pale and disappears. There is fall, when much of the disregard and dismiss of summer’s chores can be repaired, but the damage is done.  What we suffer in our homes and property is nothing when you consider the plight of the farmer.

I’ve posted some of these tanka and haiku before. Some of them come from my first book, “A Seasoning of Lust”, published by Lulu.com. The heat of summer has dulled my brain, so I have little creativity right now. 

We mourn the weather of Summer, but this is a ripening season, where the bounty of the earth shows itself  with glee.  We just have to get through the heat of Hell.  I’m holding out for fall, with crisp, ripe apples.

Lady Nyo

Soft rains caress earth

A hand slides up a soft thigh.

Cherry blossoms bloom.

Sultry air disturbs

The sleep of husband and wife.

They pant without lust.

So lonely am I

My soul like a floating weed

Severed at the roots

Drifting upon cold waters

No pillow for further dreams.

 

The truth of longing

Has nothing of nice logic.

A matter of hearts

So uneven, exciting!

But most painful, nonetheless.

 

The moon floats on wisps

Of clouds extending outward

Tendrils of white fire

Blanketing the universe

Gauzy ghosts of nothingness.

 

When nature is known

Reason for awe can be found

In familiar sights.

Intimacy at the core—

Astounding revelation!

 

Human frailties

wounds that bleed such heated blood

leave a dry vessel.

Without the moisture of love

the clay reverts to the ground.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012

‘O Absalom!’, from “A Seasoning of Lust”

June 2, 2011

 

Absalom, King David’s son, caught by his hair in battle.

 

The Lady Nyo, with glitter

The Lady Nyo, with glitter

It must be the sultriness of the weather, the heat that pulsates in this ‘spring’ air that brings our thoughts to passion, sex.   June opens with a furnace blast and there is still three more weeks of spring.  But summer has more than appeared, and we will have to make the best of it.  The night is cooler, and one can stand the touch of another, as long as there are fans and the touch is fleeting. 

 It is still spring, with all the fertility of  pollen, reproduction, grafting, etc….so perhaps if one’s thoughts turn to passion, it can be expected.

Lady Nyo

O Absalom!

O Absalom,

Ensnared by  long hair in the

Boughs of an oak,

Pierced through the heart three times–

The shimmer of life now fading.

I,

Pulled into mysteries

So abandoned by love

Now given over to lust

Charged with stolen rapture

Dizzy as a drunken dervish-

One hand upward to Heaven

One hand spilling 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 is

Overwhelmed by passions excess?

Lie still–

Let the waters cleanse our loins,

Let the mud of 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, 2009,

from ” A Seasoning of Lust”, published by Lulu.com

“Strawberry Moon”

August 6, 2010

"Strawberry Moon"

Last night
I tied my kimono tight,
bound it with a red- silk rope–
impassioned lover’s hands
round a wasp- waist,
and kneeling upon a cushion,
awaited the rising of the  Strawberry Moon.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008, 2010

White Cranes of Heaven


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