Poem Meta: Changing the Dates! – Day 28

GloPoWriMo 2019


Day 28: Prompt to write a Meta Poem which is a poem which talks about itself.


Poem Meta: Changing the Dates!


A charcoal etched date on the walls of a house.

The sad bones of an adult and two children

lying on the floor nearby: the search goes on.


The poem is the excavation of

a destroyed city. The poem is

a frightening year, 79AD.

The poem has a struggle as to

which month exactly. And that’s

the reason the poem is interrogating itself.


The poem is beauty and rediscovered art

on the walls of the grand houses

of Pompeii.


The poem is a ‘maybe’, nothing more

than a scrawl; charcoals’ life use

is limited. Maybe it was a date

set aside for some other reason.

Someone’s relatives coming to stay?

The time some crop or other must be picked?

The poem is not changing her mind.

She has more questions than answers

but she has no mandate to solve this riddle.


The poem is the remaining mystery:

Vesuvius and that all important date.


Benita H. Kape © 29.4.2019





High Maintenance – Day 27

GloPoWriMo 2019

Day 27: Prompt to write a sonnet. I took Shakespeare’s Sonnet 4, line 8 as my starting point.


High Maintenance    


So great a sum of sums yet canst not live.

So early in the piece and you are broke.

A girl like her with many charms should thrive.

New this, new that, that which stands bespoke.


The smartest clothes, hats, shoes, newest trends;

I struggle to keep up, to keep this girl in style.

She began as she meant to go on, high flying at the week-ends

And when not partying hard, checking out the mercantile.


She has never in her life made do; high maintenance.

She tries her best but she cannot do a millionaires’ mile.

While I, it’s true, am trying to introduce some measure of prudence.

I am working very hard at setting up an easy come, easy go profile.


So it had to end; it’s been going too hard, too long to overcome.

I can no longer pay her bills; she is too great a sum of sums.


Benita H. Kape © 27.4.2019


Rink On

Rock and rink

Nuptial Photoshoot


roller rink at the beach …

rock & roll, hand in hand,

wave after wave they get the balance.


the high shot

looking down on them,


and that high sweep


don’t turn to look

artfully netted rocks, beachside:


(a city setting itself against future storms.)


later, upon opening up the photograph,

choose “Paint;” and having chosen text,

font, size and colour, in a blue wave

write on that big sweep of the rink



ignore them

rink on

or swim for your life


Benita H. Kape © 26.3.2019





Corned Beef

Corned Beef

to: my mother who made the best CB ever

Katherine Mansfield paid tribute 
to the Corned Beef;
well browned. But red is the true Corned Beef.
(Brined by the butcher or yourself.)

She mentioned plenty of gravy
so I doubt KM's was brined.
and horseradish sauce along with baked(?) Potatoes.

My best version Corned Beef: white sauce,
be it a horseradish or mustard, but
make it white
along with mashed potatoes (plenty pepper
and butter.)

Here we go from simmer
to a near two hour slow boil,
and what a good cook must add.

One tablespoon of golden syrup 
(if you haven't got golden syrup, honey will do.)
half a cup of malt vinegar.
Then sprinkle in a dozen or so cloves.
My friend sprinkles in peppercorns and bay leaf.
(She says start with cold water and bring to a slow boil.) 
Add sliced carrots:
peel a brown onion,
quarter and add to the water
along with the 3 c's Corned Beef, Cloves and Carrots.
Place in an own pot, sliced cabbage:
which must not be over-cooked.

May twenty-twenty-three be the year of Corned Beef.

Benita Helen Kape (c) 18.1.2023
(Helen: also my Mum's name.)

Climate Change Nonet Day 9

Climate Change in Nine Lines x 2
Cyclones Dovi and Fili, 2022

And so came a day at summers end
we waited for the autumn storm .
huge floods; they came to beat us
and close our roads and tracks
bridges washed away
climate change: and
it went on
not days,

not days,
it went on
climate change and
bridges washed away
and close our roads and tracks:
another storm tracks its way
and this one they named Fili …
which in Samoan means enemy.

Benita H. Kape (c)

And now for our (optional) daily prompt! Because it’s a Saturday, I thought I’d try a prompt that asks you to write in a specific form – the nonet! A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on until you get to the last line, which has just one syllable.


Day Eight – Alter ego

(poem for my alter ego)

I think you are an inanimate thing
hanging on a wall.
Not that tall flowering Yucca plant.
Not the waves rolling in
there on the beach,
but the hint of them.
And in the background the cliff
or maybe the hint of the cloud
drifting overhead.
the gentle days
when lying sunning on the beach
far from the city.

The one moment the painter
ceased painting this picture;
or one of his many immediate scenes,
and made love.
The day you were everywhere for him
and not in his head.

Benita H. Kape (c) 11.4.2022

Prompt Notes: Darned hard to get going on this. Then I chose to be as abstract as I could be.

“And last but not least, here is our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt comes to us from this list of “all-time favorite writing prompts.” It asks you to name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice. Maybe your alter-ego is a streetwise detective, or a superhero, or a very small goldfinch. Whoever or whatever your alternate self may be, I hope this prompt lets you stretch both your writing skills and your self-knowledge. “


Day Seven – Turn a Proverb around!

Spare Us Your Elaborations

That guy who wrote about a Grecian Urn
never required a thousand words to get
a good story across. And think how many
poets were inspired, with few words,
to write on a lad falling from the sky
in a Bruegel masterpiece.

And U.A. Fanthorpe emerged with
a fine anylsis of the deformed neck
and hooves of a horse in full less
than half those thousand words.
She took only one stanza to declare
Knights out of fashion and rave
on about the sexiness of dragons.
Gave us a mini lecture on Dragon
Management and Virgin Reclamation.

Fewer words spell not failure
but success. I don’t believe
it was a poet who gave us
the proverb; “a picture is
worth a thousand words.”
Sometimes the one word
will do: WOW

Benita H. Kape (c) 8.4.2022

Prompt Notes:

“And now for our (optional) prompt! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying. They say that “all cats are black at midnight,” but really? Surely some of them remain striped. And maybe there is an ill wind that blows some good. Perhaps that wind just has some mild dyspepsia.  Whatever phrase you pick, I hope you have fun complicating its simplicity.  “


To What My Poem’s Title: Elegy – Day 6, NaPoWriMo 2022

To What My Poem’s Title: Elegy

When I know where I am going
At the expected hour
A thought never occurs:
Loss may be a part of it.
For I look to the stars;
An otherwise cloudless night
Ending with just you and I.

Benita H. Kape (c) 7.4.2022

My phrase which makes an acrostic variation, word rather than alphabet letter, was ‘When at a loss for an ending,’ a line from the poem ‘The Student’ by Billy Collins. I took ages to find a phrase I was happy with. Sometimes we are just taken on a journey and we can’t explain why.

Prompt Notes:

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’d like you to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first words of each line. Perhaps you could write a poem in which the first words of each line, read together, reproduce a treasured line of poetry? You could even try using a newspaper headline or something from a magazine article. Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy this prompt. “


Prose Poem to a Broonie – Day 5 – NaPoWriMo 2022

Prose Poem to a Broonie (Brunaidh)

Before I begin my tale let me tell you that a Brunaidh is a helpful household spirit in Scotch mythology. They lived in the walls etc. of houses and came out at night to perform chores or work on the farm overnight. They were easy to offend. You had to leave a bowl of milk by the fireplace for their services. Often Broonie or Brunaidh pulled pranks on people who didn’t pull their weight or complete their chores.

This might have been my mither’s (mother’s) story to tell. Something not to be writ in prose. (Rabby Burns, where are you when a poet needs you?) Neither of them are coming to my aid so I’ll make it up as I go along; of the night the Broonie arrived for her usual chores of cleaning up and putting away. It was the night after New Year and ringing in her ears were the famous words: –

But if ye wish her gratefu’ pray’r
Gie her a Haggis (Robert Burns)

And our Broonie, fed up with bowls of milk, felt assured she’d find a small plate left just for her. But no, not a smidgen of Haggis remained. The kind-hearted Broonie found more than a few dregs of whisky though, which, one by one she drained. But whisky put her in a foul mood. Any meagre tidying and repair of the reception room the Broonie now undid. She threw things here and there, stomped her muddy boots up and down. Got a pail and flung mud on the walls and ceiling. Och ae, ye ne’er seen such a frantic fuddled mess. Hersel’ as well which was unheard of for a Broonie. And then she sit hersel’ doon on the job: that too unheard of : went to sleep for the rest of her allotted time. She’d have been so pleased with herself as she drifted back into the walls of the Hall. Except, she was trying to come to terms with a god almighty hangover. And next year, when she heard the words To a Haggis being recited in the Hall, she turned over and went back to sleep.

Benita H. Kape (c) 6.4.2022

Prompt Note:

“And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual – or at least something that seems unusual in relation to that person/creature. For example, what does Hercules do when he loses a sock in the dryer? If a mermaid wants to pick up rock-climbing as a hobby, how does she do that? What happens when a mountain troll makes pancakes?”


Day Four – NaPoWriMo, 2022

Poetry Prompt – #Screw It
after Mathia Svalina

  1. Flick a finger at your nearest word.
  2. Screw the word at the wrist.
  3. Elbow a number of words to one side.
  4. Shrug that paragraph cloaking your right shoulder.
  5. Or your left shoulder; if that’s the hand you write with.
  6. Stretch the neck of that word intent on strangling you.
  7. Lick a word; more than once if it’s tasty, especially if
    it excites the hormones rather than the bones of it.
  8. Spit out the words you cannot spell just remember you
    are neither a cobra or an alpaca; leave the spitting to them.
  9. Eight is my lucky number.
  10. I ate as many words as I could devour.
  11. I can still see my toes.
  12. Eleven is my lucky number too.

Benita H. Kape (c) 5.4.2022

Poetry Prompts

“Finally, here’s our optional prompt! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram. You can find examples here, and here, and here.”


Day 3, NaPoWriMo 2022 – a Glosa poem

March Into April, Aussie 2022

July, July

There’s a dreary morning coming up
the sky’s as dull as a shoe.
It’ll be a day that won’t touch
even the gap of blue.

(By Vincent O’Sullivan)

It was March, East Coast of Aussie coping it bad.
Rain hangs and doesn’t budge.
Of weather warnings; given the superadd.
There’s a dreary morning coming up.

It seemed the rain was never spent.
It kept on coming through.
With climate change little will prevent.
The sky’s as dull as a shoe.

The water was up to windows, then the roof.
An airclub/field, planes swept away: too jolly much.
But they’d reclaim them and regroup.
It’ll be a day that won’t touch

The days they’d waited to see again.
When they would reassemble and review;
Right down to the last drop of sky, fundament –
Even the last gap of blue.

Benita H. Kape (c) 5.4.2022

“And now for our (optional) prompt. This one is a bit complex, so I saved it for a Sunday. It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that! Here’s a nice summary of the glosa form to help you get started.”

NOTES: It was jolly well more complex but I have done one before, eight years ago (which I like better than this one.) But yeah I got it done.


exordium – Day 2 – NaPoWriMo, 2022

praise to roses
rorulent in the yard
it is, after all, autumn;
the final flush
of such blossom
has the quietness
of colour
we can expect

fingers itch
for secateurs;

a little
like poetry

Benita H. Kape (c) 4.4.2022

To choose an obscure and interesting English word. Well I came up with two obscure, and to me, interesting words but then the third was unavoidable.

  1. exordium: opening portion of speech or writing
  2. rorulent: covered with dew
  3. secateurs: pruning sheers

“And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means “an inability to concentrate”? Or maybe something like “greenout,” which is “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time”? Whatever you choose, happy writing!”


Across the Mountain – NaPoWriMo – Day One – 2022 (Story about the Body)

Across the Mountains

We are to be on the early flight I called after answering a late in the day call. You managed that; even rumbled up to the nurses station in a hospital right across the country. No one expected you upright, on your feet. Two days later that mountain began erupting. But I couldn’t say if it was the same day they operated on you. Smoke and haze drifted as far as that city and beyond. Your wound weeping. You thought the attention was on you. Well it was and it wasn’t; but a fair amount of it was and then we flew back home, on the far side of the mountain. The mountain smoked itself out and settled down. The wound healed. But what else did it premise. Never fully explained. We adjusted our bodies as lovers do when both had been lusty and able and then both remain lusty but one is not quite so able. They have one on one workshops for this sort of thing. In the workshops we laughed a little; alone we cried a little. You got used to the wheelchair. I got used to the wheelchair until one day the wheelchair was no long here and neither were you. The mountain is in the news again; rumoured to erupt. I’ll never be as close to that mountain as I was on the flight home. I still wonder how you walked up to the nurses station that day.

Benita H. Kape (c) 2.4.2022


“And last but not least, our optional prompt! I got this one from a workshop I did last year with Beatrix Gates, and I’ve found it really helpful. The prompt is based on Robert Hass’s remarkable prose poem, “A Story About the Body.” The idea is to write your own prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.”