Posts Tagged ‘weather’

“Via Negativa”, from ‘Pitcher of Moon’

February 24, 2015

Winter Scene, 3

great room 4

Winter still drags on, and most of the country has been hit with deep snowstorms.  In the South, we have received almost nothing of snow, the most beautiful element of Winter.  Right now, as I write this, I look out my window with blurry eyes (it is early) and it is either rain or a very light snow falling. It is rain, the snow an illusion brought on by aging eyes.

Probably because Atlanta isn’t Boston with over 100 inches of snow this year, I look toward the solitude of being quieted in a snow fall.  The air is muffled, the greys and black of the trees stand out in sharp contrast to everything around them, the traffic halts, only the birds, cardinals and wrens and whatever attacks the bird feeders in the yards are going about their business of survival.  Inside, thanks to the labor of this fall, with a good stack of dried wood, the woodstove heats most of this old house, which is a miracle in of itself. My husband has redesigned and remodeled this 1880’s house with  a more open floor plan.  It’s not the quaint Victorians with their turrets and gingerbread, but a solid English farmhouse, built 3 miles south of downtown Atlanta, an oddity now and probably back then.  The original owners and builders were the Ragsdales, out from Lancaster, England in the 1860’s, owners of West End Horse and Mule, a carriage company. 

This poem is about the trials of Winter.  We have not experienced the continuous raw weather, the dangerous snows, the complete interruptions of power, nor the isolation where you can’t travel or even get out of your house. But this particular season changes much, gives a breather in the usual activities and within that particular space, can nudge forth a deeper creativity.  It certainly is a cessation in the usual activity of humankind and beast.

Lady Nyo

Via Negativa

Winter is the perfect channel

To carry Via Negativa,

No static

Just Silence, Stillness

And the Dark.

On this path,

We sit in contemplation,

No answers,

No struggle,

We are as empty as an eggshell.

This time is colored 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 limbs,

And the rattle of the skeleton-bones

Of attic haunts.

And yes, Death,

As Winter brings

To those who succumb to frigid winds,

And those lost from shelter.

We spiral into the Darkness,

Where we barely draw breath,

Conserve our energy,

And stare outside at such

A blank palette.

Stilling ourselves,

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, 2014

originally published in “Pitcher Of Moon”, Createspace,, 2014

“Spring Storm”….poem

April 15, 2014


sunrise to the east

sunrise to the east


It is early spring here in Atlanta, and nothing is usual about it.  The weather is weird, blowing from hot to cold, and tonight we are to expect freezing temps.  Unusual for the middle of April.

Spring  brings unsettled and dramatic weather across our nation. Tornadoes are the usual fare and this morning, the winds have picked up, blowing great gusts.  The wind chimes relay the power of the wind and I jump with their frenzy.  It is an unsettled time, this spring, but also one of excitement.   Nature is in command, and our petty concerns here down on earth, those things that drive us to distraction, fade in the face of Nature’s power.  The bellows of wind, the monstrous groans of limb on limb of huge oaks and pecans, well, these things capture our attention.  Life is played out in its fullness with spring storms.

Lady Nyo




The wind howls tonight

Races round eaves,

Disturbs the haunts in the attic,

Forces wind chimes

Into a metal hambone frenzy

The clash of harmony grates

On ears, on nerves

no sleep for this night.


There is death to the west

Fear in the vanguard.


It is springtime,

No gentle embrace

Just a blaze of destruction, despair.


Is far down on the ground,

Deep as a cellar

Deep as the grave.


The moon above,

Sickly green sphere

Is in on the game.


The dogs howl

A Greek chorus

Echoing their primal fear

Over the landscape.


Each moan of wind

Heralds the apocalypse,

My eyes squeeze shut

Against grating of branches,

The rattle of panes

As I grasp for sanity

In an insane night.



I ride out the storm,

Dawn breaks,

The silence complete,

The earth placid and calm

As if the night before

Only a nightmare-

And I ridden from sleep

To the usual ground.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014,

from ‘Pitcher of Moon” 

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