Armistice Day Poem

Thinking of the story my mother told me of the wounded soldier who came to teach at her school in New Deer in Scotland. These soldiers were encouraged to return to the community. How difficult it must have been to be faced by these innocent young faces and in light of the injuries they now carried.


Mother Recalls a Soldier Teacher – 1919


I am not sure what subjects he taught.

His class, all of whom were rigid with fright.

A troubled dimension to the schoolroom it brought.


Not a child that first day, his eye contact sought.

Repatriated early, he now made a terrible sight.

I am not sure what subjects he taught.


He carried on; sympathy unsought;

He stood before them, disfigured, barely upright.

A troubled dimension to the schoolroom it brought.


The door to the schoolroom never athwart;

to every Scottish child in that room, a birth-right.

I am not sure what subjects he taught.


But into the classroom, lessons, none ought,

so young, to have seen such terrible plight.

A troubled dimension to the schoolroom it brought.


He stood before them, a revealing report,

of modern war and its aftermath in vivid light.

I am not sure what subjects he taught.

A troubled dimension to the classroom it brought.


Benita H. Kape © 12.1.2014



NOVEMBER and the Cherry Tree

Cherry blossom 2nd year

This is the Cherry tree in her 2nd year;  her blossoms even more dense this year

November   and   the   Cherry   Tree

(protesting colonisation of every kind)


We have had temperatures in the twenties

and rising, normal for this time of year

and our place on the globe. But last night

a spring storm swept in with all

the force it could muster. I watched

through my high lounge window,

the beauty of the tree in full bloom,

blousy, pink; and I loved her November

promise of the warmer months ahead.

But we get them at this time of year, these

late spring storms.


In the morning blossoms, light, pink

but looking like confetti, covered

our car windows and the yard.

And the Cherry Tree revealed

more leaf; the density of blossom

sadly and exponentially reduced.

The wind was still blowing, and

though we get the equinox winds

in October, this was a more

powerful spring storm. And yet,

I have faith in the Cherry Tree’s

recovery; a wealth of leaves

we expect in November. On many

an occasion,  I feel as battered

if I never speak out.


I wanted to call this poem simply

“November” but so many are

already so named. A large

percentage of which shout

of colonisation; the arrogance

of an old world; even to months

of the year and what’s to be expected

of a word, a noun – a top versus

a bottom of the globe; and taking

for granted that November means

autumn and endings.


November Aotearoa is spring and beginnings;

Beltane then Christmas is the way it is:

of Pohutukawa and Manuka in flower.

November, as a title for this poem?

Something suggests no, do not go there today:

“November and the Cherry Tree” it is. And

this is my “colonization within literature” protest.


Benita H. Kape © 2.11.2018

Cherry Tree after the storm 2

Cherry Tree in November:  my battered survivor


Come Walk With Me Into The Night

Ryan & I walk into the night


Come Walk With Me Into The Night


Come walk with me into the night.

The car is a fair way down the road.

We have a corner to round

And as we turn it you say

“That’s miles away,” or something

To that effect.


My car awaits me,

The driver a little way behind us.

A man across the river is singing.

How ancient and beautiful this sound.


We are parked by the river.

Lovely this late spring night,

The air and the ambiance of the city

Embrace us. We embrace each other.

My driver has already opened the car door.

We wish each other “goodnight”.


Benita H. Kape © 29.10.2018


Notes: Ryan, Dianne, Nicki and her daughter Maddy

and I had just been to dinner for Ryan’s 34th

birthday. Nicki had made Ryan the most incredible

cake; a fish, a replica of one Ryan caught two weeks ago.


This, at times, feels like a series of farewell poems.

This is not to be morbid but to record a changing

moment in my life.



I Only Have Eyes For Prince Harry

Prince Harry gets hugs

Prince Harry, Luke Vincent and Megan — Photo Credit (AAP)

I  Only  Have  Eyes  For  Harry

for;  Little Luke Vincent


I only have eyes for Prince Harry

today when he visited my school.

The Principal guided me

in his direction, which was cool.


My name is Luke Vincent.

I only have eyes for Prince Harry.

I wore my sun hat and glasses.

I never noticed the world press

was here recording us. This, they

say, has gone viral. The Duchess

was there too and I gave her

a quick cuddle but, the truth is,

I only had eyes for Prince Harry

and his lovely red beard

which someone said; it was

a wonder of wonders, that

I was permitted to stroke.


I came back for a second touch

and a tickle. More cuddles

dear Prince Harry,

I only have eyes for you.

Please come again to Dubbo

and again bring the rain when you do.

My Principal and my whole school

love you. And yes, we love Megan too.


Benita H. Kape © 21.10.2018

Prince Harry gets his beard tickled photo credit (AAP)

Luke Vincent & Prince Harry — Photo Credit (AAP)




Theresa May Dances to Abba


4338.jpg Theresa May dancing. photo credit Stephen Rousseau

Conservative Entry – Theresa May  —-  photo credit: Stephen Rousseau

Theresa May Dances to Abba


I once wrote “I couldn’t imagine

Theresa May hugging one of the Lions”

(as in members of the English football team).

But I’ll take that back because today

she is all over our TV screens

as she comes on stage dancing

to Abba; The Dancing Queen. (Her moves

are much improved upon since her African visit.)

So that Philip gives her a hug. But then,

being her husband, he’s allowed. And it

comes nowhere near dancing through

a wheat field as a child. It’s more than

a dry background shot. It’s the real deal. The lady

who was left with a kettle of worms while Boris

now dances in a field of dry grass; a real pain.


So dance Theresa May, woman

at England’s helm. Has Jacinda,

that laidback young woman from the Colonies,

shown you the laidback/lead-the-way edginess

as we move down the twenty-first century?


With dancing and babies, the women

are bringing reality to politics.


Benita H. Kape © 6.10.2018


Middle-earth Quadrille for d’verse


Middle-earth Quadrille


I live not too far from the film set

of Middle-earth, north at Matamata.

And Tolkien would be amazed

at such a place: laid out at Matamata.


There’s the whole community


Peeping out from the green dunes.

A tourist Mecca: out at Matamata.


Benita Kape © 28.8.2018


So this week, dig deep into the earthy depths of your imagination and write a poem of exactly 44 words (not counting your title), including the word earth.

Here’s how to Quadrille:

– Write a poem of exactly 44 words, including the word earth.
– Put your poem on your blog and link back to this post.
– Link it up to our Mr. Linky.
– Visit other blogs. Enjoy some amazing poets. Comment. Come back later this week and write another one, and visit some more. Comment some more. Create as many poems as you please, including ones with all the words.



Bledisloe Cup

The Big Cup – Photo Credit David Rowland




We watch our All Black Captain

Kieran Read hug Jacinda.

(We were watching the Bledisloe Cup).

Can you imagine Theresa May

hugging one of the Lions?

We do things differently in N.Z.

And currently even the Aussies

(aka Prime Ministers) can see that.


They’re envious as all get-out.

Are they ever!!

And who can blame them?

Commiserations Aussie.

But I just want to put in a plug

for Beauden Barrett. What a record breaker!

(And a mention for Sam Whitelock

for his 100th AB game, and earning his cap.)

A few years back our dear Bub Bridger

wrote a poem.  She wanted a Whetton

for Christmas. Well I want Beauden Barrett

for my birthday next month. Just

his smile will do.


Ae, I have my envies as well.


Benita H. Kape © 26.8.2018