Posts Tagged ‘vertigo’

It’s Raining Men…..

April 18, 2012

Well, no. But it’s raining which is making me mouth “Hallelujah”.

It’s been quite a while of no rain, and a high level of fire danger here in the south.  So, at 3am…the patter of rain, and a few flashes of lightining are welcome….so welcome.  The air smells good, vital, fertile, and I can only imagine what it is doing for my small garden.

I left “French Cuisine For All” outside yesterday, along with the wicker and cushion chaise lounge, but I can retrieve it when the sun comes up.  I made a cassoulet yesterday….white beans, a large ham bone, onions, allspice, garlic, broth, parsley and put it all in a heavy, cast iron lidded pot into the oven for 6 hours at least.  It was wonderful and so easy.  Slow and low cooking and I didn’t disturb it except to check the level of liquid.  Husband, dogs and a few cats gave it ‘paws up’.

I’m still lurching around with the vertigo, but I think I am turning the corner on this stupid ailment.  My stomach is pretty messed up, though, and I can’t keep solids down for long and live on Glucerna, Boost and a random Coke.  My husband is doing the lion’s share of grocery shopping, stopping every night after work, and this is such a help.  He also fills the dishwasher, attends to the cat litter and dogs, and I wonder how long I can keep this help going?  LOL!  No, I rather be doing this myself, because when I can, I know I am back to normal. 

This spring is so beautiful, and I am so sorry that friends like Margie Chester, who died in Novemeber, are not here to see it. The roses, regardless of the lack of rain, have popped out in glorious splendor, and the new David Austin roses are looking just about to set blooms. The blackberries are plumping out, looking so promising, and the blueberries are doing the same.  This is quite the miracle to me as I do nothing for them except pick and eat each year.

 The tomato seed ( I figured out what I planted.)…Brandywine…..I over fertilized with chicken manure, but they have finally ignored my overfeeding and are growing surprisingly well.  The 9 hens I have are producing eggs, too many for us to use, unless we find some new dishes, and the wet “French Cuisine For All” should help  when I dry it off.  So far, we give the eggs away, husband gets one omlet or so a week, and I generally don’t eat eggs.  The dogs do, and though I have tried to keep the new pup from raiding the henhouse (Daphne has already killed my beautiful white hen) I am giving them an egg every once in a while.

I have a stack of chores to do, lists of them, and await the day when I can do so without lurching around.  I think the rain will help, dissolving that nasty pollen that seemed to start this Spring of my Discontent.

Lady Nyo


It is Blackberry Winter

One last shot across

The bow of an emerging Spring.

Winter does not play fair.

It will not give up the ghost

Exit with a dignified bow

Preferring to show its rotting last tooth.

The blackberries are blooming

Frills of white collars surrounding

Kernels of lusty fruit,

Fruit black as midnight

Sweet as a baby’s kiss,

Unavoidable staining of hands and mouths

To be shared with a snake or two down below.

The Easter planting is done

The earth knows Winter’s game

And blankets seed

With dark, moist soil

Cozy enough to shelter tender life.

We will make blackberry wine

From Blackberry Winter.

The present chill will

Sweeten the fruit

And we will give a toast

To Winter’s frayed glory.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012

Confessions aren’t necessarily good for the soul…and probably not for the blog.

April 15, 2012

Watercolor, janekohut-bartels, 2007, "Garden Shed"

Garden Shed”, watercolor, janekohut-bartels, 2007

I’m not good with titles, so I don’t know why I titled this post in such a way, but it probably fits.

Since the beginning of the year, I have had some challenges.  I badly sprained my right ankle, thought it was broken, probably less pain if it had been, but I’ve only been mobile for about a month.  That’s a long time hobbling around.  Then about three weeks ago, the bad karma continued, picked right up, and I got vertigo.  For those who haven’t experienced this lovely ailment, it’s like being drunk or stoned and having nothing ‘pleasant’  about it.  You stumble around, hitting walls and feeling very old. You grab for fences, furniture, etc. to steady yourself, and you get strange looks from neighbors.  They think you are drunk in public.  You are not.  Your head is spinning and there is no balance to find. The doctor in the ER put me on Valium, and it just makes me groggy and sleep the day away.  This is no life, especially in the spring.

It is spring, a beautiful, tender season with the push to plant, to cultivate, to be outside.  The pollen has been horrendous, but the trees are well budded out now. The grass is growing, and I was able to put in (on my knees, crawling around in the mud) 15 tomato plants.  Pretty poor for a gardener, but I did put in a few Cinderalla pumpkins, and some buttercrunch lettuce that needs to be eaten. 

I put in a new rose garden…only 9 plants, but these should be spectactular.  At least the photos from David Austin Roses looked so.  For some reason, some worm has already attacked the greenery and I’m just looking for the right thing to attack it.  I use natural products, so pesticides are out, besides the cats sit under the roses and nap.

I’ve decided I need a break from poetry websites.  They are generally wonderful, but they also are a responsibility. I just don’t have the energy right now to participate.  I know the friends I have made there will understand.

 I am settling down with a few books I have had for years, yet never read.  One is  “Eighteenth Century English Literature” (1969) a college textbook, and a thick one.  A long and informative introduction and some of my very favorite writers:  Fielding, Swift, Richardson, Anne Finch, the (ultimately) very mad William Collins, Boswell, who, in my estimation, is better to read than Johnson.  But they are all in there, and so many more. I have avoided most of them….like Pope, Locke, Gibbon (though I have his 4 volume of “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire…also have never read it).

And because I am SICK of my cooking, I am reading “French Cuisine For All” by Louisette Bertholle.  She was a collaborator with Julia Childs on a number of books, and the recipes look good and tasty. Not exactly ‘modern-health-wise’, with butter and some other fats, but more interesting than my vegan fare that is just about tasteless. Of course, there are vegans who are marvelous cooks, but I have yet to meet one.  And I have met my share of vegan fakers.  They wear the badge of veganism but eat hamburgers behind scenes.  I tried it for a couple of months, and it did change my cooking habits, but my husband,…my poor, suffering, tolerant husband….needed something better. So did the dogs who are ‘pre-wash’ in our house.

In an important way, this frees me up to post poems and ‘flashers’ (200 word stories) that I would not be able to post on poetry websites.  Sex is sometimes frowned upon, or perhaps it depends on the reader, but sex and sexual activity is very much part of life as my husband keeps telling me. LOL!  So, I will, and I will also post things that I have in my files that I haven’t been able to place.

See you on the other side.

Lady Nyo

Spring Orgy


The roses are having an orgy.

They haven’t the decency to wait for the dark,

But ply their lust in the soft, morning light.


Randy Graham Thomas is leering.

Madame Carriere is blushing.

Her pink silk-petal gown flutters

As she twists coyly to avoid his embrace.


By 10am the sun warms their scents and foreplay is over.

The wind at 11am entwines the two.

Pistils and stamens are seriously ‘at it’

Brushing languorously over parts

And hour ago were covered discreetly.

At high noon in the heat of the day

Pollen is floating all over the air

And even the wide-eyed cats

Sitting under tender foliage are blushing.


The garden gnome is licking his lips

While a concrete hand creeps to his crotch.


This fall there will be rose-hips aplenty.

Red nipples packed with tiny seeds,

Evidence of a spring-time lust.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010, 2012

More Spring Haiku, Tanka, and Troubling Issues of Yugen and Mono-no-Aware

March 31, 2012


Watercolor:  Springtime Daffs, janekohut-bartels, 2006

(“Spring Daffs”, watercolor, janekohutbartels, 2006)

The plums, peach blossoms are done: the cherries and apple to come.  The pears are blooming and so are the roses. There is only what is outside, to see with eyes, as there is little energy right now with allergies.

I have struggled with terms in Japanese poetry such as yugen, mono-no-aware and other Zen and Zen-sounding concepts.  A poet strives for the quality of mono-no-aware; that the sense of a poem must reach beyond the words themselves, even to an ‘elegant sadness’.

As for yugen, an aesthetic feeling not explicitly expressed, rather a ‘ghostly’ presense.

These are noble and heady concepts, rich with cultural experience and a deeper study.  I believe you grow into this understanding only with time. For me, I am too new a poet to understand these things or to apply them with any honesty.

Saigyo says we start with direct observation and see where this takes us.  This spring, putting in my garden, suffering from a vertigo of unknown cause, being mostly on my back with plenty of time to stare out the window, to observe the passing of hours, well, these poems below are nothing more than that: they are a modest product of an attempt to get closer to an aesthetic I don’t really understand.

Lady Nyo


A pale crescent moon

The sky colored lavender

Nothing more to wish.


Acid green pollen

Stains the landscape of spring

Life-force of Nature.


Morning glories bloom

Entangling wrought-iron fence

Warms the cold metal.


Dawn east-sky moon glows

A thin half-cup spills on soil

Seeds stretch out their arms.


Under a crescent moon

The black soil of the garden

Anticipates life.


Tibetan earthworms

Bring a halt to all labor

Here? Feed lazy koi.




Smell of rose blossoms

Draws me around a corner.

A black cat sits there

The finest brocade can not

Equal this petal softness.




In the Garden at Dawn


Dawn east-sky moon gleam

A golden half-cup greets the garden,

Hands deep in soil

Planting tender shoots of life

With a reverence feeding the soul

As seedlings feed flesh later to come.


There is God in this black soil,

Earthworms and tiny bits of life

Independent of will or wishes.

Golden moonbeams spill on this tilled earth

Like a benediction or blessing,

And bathes plants and planter with promise.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012

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