Window (2) – Day 29

Window 2 poem Day 29 NaPoWriMo 2021

Space; Breaking a Ceiling
to: Mother

Neighbour stands near the window, bent
over, absorbed in what she is doing. I used
to watch the two of them. Now there is
only her; and the grandson who comes
in at odd times to replenish her empty
woodbox. He lives next door.

Set close to the window, she checks
her new acquistion: the arm, the needle
of a second-hand gramaphone. Almost
child like listening to musicals, opera,
orchestrations. Innocent smiles, as she
masters this beast; this beast.

And it will be a beast to her. Where
once a devoted DIY husband took
charge. (Not today. But she’ll be thinking
of him. It hits her, this new adaption
to her own space.) While he might have
found a reason not to play, or indeed, not
have his wife play her new acquisition.
Not that he wasn’t a kind man.

I say “Make the most of it.” Yow, such
quality of sound issuing forth, is not quality
at all. But to the leaves of the hedge,
again I say “Make the most of it.”

There she is, eyes shut working her way
through a little guilt! Out of her comfort
zone! Back and forth. Back and forth.
I hope not. But that’s her nature.
Will this be as far as it goes
with any new steps in her widowhood?
Even to walk up the road is a challenge for her.

Then grandson arrives to set up that woodbox.
How hastily she moves to lift the gramophone’s
arm; knocks over her pile of records spoiling
her moments of joy.

Before I return to my gardening I see the lad’s
made his Nan a cup of tea. Not the best
way to distract her attention. I must
have a word with him.

Benita H. Kape (c) 30.4.2021

Notes: Notes: “And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?”

Second poem on the same Day 29 prompt.


Window – Day 29 NaPoWriMo 2021

(WARNING: adult material, no swearing but reveals a distressing scene – see note at bottom)

Stretch Marks

Easy man, to step up onto that veranda.
Saw that sash window pushed up. Such a
stinking hot night. Someone wanting some air;
or maybe forgot to close it. Such a stinking
hot night. Not much dew on a night like this.
Don’t usually come this close to the inner
suburbs. Main road, is my route out of town.

Most yards have a fence; always
one or two that don’t. A low garden verge,
and then quick jump over that lawn and up
on that veranda like I was dancin’. Curtains
is drawn, though this, the only room with
the lights on. And again I see a flicker
of a shadow other side of those curtains.
Curtains I’m so close to now. And edge
a curtain corner back. I see a man fast
asleep on the far side of a bed. She; the
shadow I saw as I came ‘cross the lawn;
is stepping close to the dresser, her back
toward me, naked as the day she were
born. I could touch her, even as she turns
and I see stretch marks on her belly. Hot
nights do strange things to people.
Lookin’ at herself wearin’ nothin’
but a smile.

She’s turning now; my way. She’s seen
my hand and she screams. I’m gone from
there, over the lawn, the garden even;
almost before that front door opens.
I’m back on the main road by the time
the cops and their dog sniffed me out.

Benita H. Kape (c) 29.4.2021

Notes: “And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?”


I was crying by the time I finished writing this poem. I hesitated about bring it to the web. But poetry is about taking risks. And I took the risk.

Photo by Masha Raymers on

Garbage? – Day 28 (questions)


and why do I have to wheel

the garbage to the gate

on a night as bitterly

cold as this?

You don’t want the garbage

left to fill the yard; bring in

rats maybe.

Why did my daughter buy me

this bright yellow garbage bin?

Because it’s the just right size

Because it has a tight lid!

No rat could ever make its way

in; into this lovely, just

the right size garbage bin.

Why do I have to lay aside

my warm slippers; push

my toes into dark

mucky gumboots?

Gumboots are best

for walking the frosty night

grass. Crunch, crunch, crunch!

Why is my cat Slippers

out at the gate taking her time?

Slippers is out at the gate

to let all the other street cats know.

This is the garbage for Number 8.

She’s a superior cat.

But has no one told her

all garbage is garbage?

It’s the bright yellow bin

we ask no questions of.

When will Slippers learn that?

Benita H. Kape (c) 28.4.2021

Notes: “Our prompt today (optional, as always), is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The questions could be a mix of the serious (“What is the meaning of life?”) and humorous (“What’s the deal with cats knocking things off tables?”), the interruptive (“Could you repeat that?”) and the conversational (“Are those peanuts? Can I have some?”). You can choose to answer them – or just let the questions keep building up, creating a poem that asks the reader to come up with their own answer(s)

Slippers in the sun. I wont go so far as to make it moonlight. But I think I could have. The night is absolutely glorious. Too lovely to think of the cold.


Snapa-abulous – Day 27

Snapa-abulous is a made up word of the like of the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and after a frightening incident 2 years ago.

Snapa-abulous 1 and 2: 3

Few people see my snapa-abulous,
very few, being as it’s in so delicate
a place. A few times it pulls; that’s
not the rule though, the few times
it makes itself felt.

Picture a stent insertion, a screen:
little twiggly movements up there
on the screen; stent insertion very near
the heart. I felt safe, interested. Then
voices around me grew quiet. The screen
shuts down: the nurse talking quietly
in my ear: something about another
Team. The moment of snapa-abulous!
Snap; no sound; snap; somewhere
deep in my body.

Four hours Team 2, to whom I owe everything.
When I awoke the horrible pain. My shoulder;
the way I had lain, and possible moved
to odd angles as Team 2 with tremendous
skill, found and removed twice broken wires.
Snapa-abulous. My wound took a long time
to heal. I couldn’t see inside the body where
snapa-abulous had occurred. For weeks
I was tended in hospital, and then
in my own home. The possibility of stents
now abandoned. Stent Surgeon standing
next day at the bottom of my bed.
“I may never touch you again,” he said.
I kept my thoughts to myself.

How often my mind traces the journey,
from my groin, up, up the body to near
the human heart.

Nerves cut in the groin.
I waited for that too to heal;
but I am numb, inner right leg,
from my groin to my knee.
Snapa-abulous 2. Two for the price
of one. Three, Snapa-abulous 3 actually.
My mind still struggles with all this.

Benita H. Kape (c) 29.4.2021

Notes: “In today’s (optional) prompt, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The entries are very vivid – maybe too vivid! But perhaps one of the sorrows will strike a chord with you, or even get you thinking about defining an in-between, minor, haunting feeling that you have, and that does not yet have a name.”

Photo by cottonbro on


Timothy Spence – Day 26

Timothy Spence

Timothy Spence climbed the fence
As school was about to commence.
I must go to school said Timothy Spence.
To go to school makes a good deal of sense.

Timothy Spence learned his past tense.
And learned, when told, not to be absent.
But his Mum and Dad were not convinced
Their Timothy should be climbing the fence.

At the beginning of each week; over the fence
Came the Nerd we call Timothy Spence.
Now for his Dad a growing expense.
Argue as he may, his Dad had no defence.

So Timothy Spence said: “Father it makes sense,
And though I know you grow daily more tense,
I will not stop climbing the fence
As school is about to commence.”

Benita H. Kape (c) 26.4.2021


Today’s poem for me is a parody on the poem Michael O’Toole which was written by Phil Bolsta.

It begins …

“Michael O’Toole hated going to school,
He wanted to stay home and play.”

“And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content. Just find a poem – or a song – that has always annoyed you, and write an altered, silly version of it. Or, alternatively, find a poem with a very particular rhyme scheme or form, and use that scheme/form as the basis for a poem that mocks something else.”


ANZAC DAY 2021 – Day 25

Two years in a row, April 25th:
the crowds in our small country
could not gather. One year due
to terrorism (the Christchurch
massacre:) and in Twenty Twenty,
no gatherings due to Covid- 19.

But this year, again the crowds
come out to honour
all service men and women
who have been there
for our country in war.
World War 1, World War 11,
Vietnam, Korea, Malaya,
and Afghanistan. Old wounds
are opened for ‘The Land Wars,’
once called The Maori Wars.

Red poppies are worn.
And in another beautiful
autumn April, New Zealand
along side Australia reflects
on those who serve and those
we lost. ‘We will remember them.”

Benita H. Kape (c) 26.4.2021

Notes: Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is to write an “occasional” poem. What’s that? Well, it’s a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion. This past January, lots of people who usually don’t encounter poetry got a dose when Amanda Gorman read a poem at President Biden’s inauguration. And then she followed it up with a poem at the Superbowl (not traditionally an event associated with verse!) The poem you write can be for an occasion in the past or the future, one important to you and your family (a wedding, a birth) or for an occasion in the public eye (the Olympics, perhaps?).

Postcard my beloved Uncle Paul, my godfather sent from Passchendaele to my father in New Zealand and who was only eleven years at the time in 1916. – Dear Brother Benno


Millions and Millions of Stray Tears – Day 24

Millions and Millions of Stray Tears
Ode to Cats

My tears, the domestic species.
Only one in the family? We have wild tears.
There are house tears, farm tears. We have feral tears:
about sixty different breeds. (But truly I’d say many
thousands more.) Tears are so social. Oh dear, tears;
secreting; showing signs she perceives pheromones.
Giving birth to infant tears from spring to late autumn.
An estimated 480 million stray tears in the world.
And our failure to control breeding of pet tears, results
in large number of feral tears. Tears which contribute
to the extinction of birds, mammals and other species.
Vocalization from this, my tears; you should hear
tears meowing or purring, trilling and yes hissing.
My plea: be careful how you breed tears.

Benita H. Kape (c) 24.4.2021

Today’s (optional) prompt is a fun one. Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.



For a Moment – Day 23

Sister, will the land remember You?
(First line of poem Tai Pari, Tai Ope
by Michelle Ngamoki)

You ask a big question, Sister.
Who am I to ask the same?
Small letters to her I leave.
I leave them for my daughters, sons.
For all my descendants.
Remember the land for more
than a moment.
As I remember her for all she
has given me; and you, and you.

We must do more for her now
than we have ever done before.

Benita H. Kape (c) 24.4.2021


Michelle Ngamoki is a New Zealand writer. Her poem Tai Pare, Tai Ope is her contribution to “tatai whetu” seven Maori women poets in translation. “Tai Pari” means “high tide” and “Tai Ope” means to bail out. This then is a last resort poem to the land.

“And now for today’s prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem. You might use a favorite …

Mt Hikurangi


The Beehive – Day 22


Not everything that comes from
our Beehive in Wellington; seat
of New Zealand Government;
goes down well. But in the main,
over recent years, citizens have
shown some faith in the work
that goes on in The Beehive.

Though it’s not all honey, step up –
Bees; make sure you are always

Benita H. Kape (c) 22.4.2021


“But at the same time, the “staying power” of the mango underscores the strength of metonymy in poetry. Following Poets & Writers’ prompt, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.”

The Beehive – Wellington, New Zealand

This is the Song – Day 21

This is the Song

This is a song for a sunny day
This is a song for greeting
There is another song for fare-welling
This is a song for many countries
This is a song for the ocean
This is a song for the sky
This is a song for my home and my land
This is a song for the birds that sing
This is a song for the cataract gone
not just from one eye, but both eyes now
This is a song for the music I see
This is the song for a good cup of tea
This is a song and I love to sing

Benita H. Kape (c) 22.4.2021


And now for our (optional) prompt. Have you ever heard or read the nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed?” It’s quite creepy! A lot of its effectiveness can be traced back to how, after the first couplet, the lines all begin with the same two phrases (either “When the . . .” or “Twas like,”). The way that these phrases resolve gets more and more bizarre over the course of the poem, giving it a headlong, inevitable feeling.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like this one, uses lines that have a repetitive set-up. Here’s an example I came up with after seeing this video of . . . a bucket of owls.
Bucket List
Several owls can fill a bucket.
Several buckets can fill a wheelbarrow.
Several wheelbarrows can fill a truckbed.
Several truckbeds can fill a song.
Several songs can fill a head.
Several heads can fill a bucket.
Several buckets filled with heads and owls
Sing plaintive verse all night long.