And Who Stirs the Waters — Day 6 NaPoWriMo)

We look at it with no expectation.

Who leads, the artiste or the tool?

We look at it with no expectation.

To be taken on a journey.

Where colour goes to clever lengths

when it comes to shading the jewel.

When it comes to shading the jewel;

darker and darker it grows.

To be taken on a journey

when colour goes to clever lengths

to find the magic in stirring the waters.

Stirring the waters, and closing the eyes.

What now the default?

Who leads, the artiste or the tool?

To be taken on a journey.

Where colour goes to clever lengths.

Benita H. Kape (c) 6.4.2021


Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

The line I took was “an angel gave me this crayon” from the poem “Isolation Notes” by New Zealand poet Bill Manhire and from his recent book “Wow”. I have taken a repeating pattern often used by Mr Manhire.


It Helps If I Know (Day 5 NaPoWriMo)

It helps if I know

what direction to follow

composing a new song to sing.

Leading me onward or back

Image and sound

brushing by me

a heartbeat, a message,

a ring of roses.

Relive or relinquish:

loquacious the melody

roves in my mind

over a bottle of wine.

Benita H. Kape (c) 6.4.2021


I took as my example (not exactly after therefore) Elizabeth Smither’s poem “To a Friend With Osteoporosis”: which is a condition I myself have. However, I found myself wanting to take a happy, positive direction. Hence lots of scratching out, especially in the middle stanza. An exercise I thought would flummox me left me a little deflated at how quickly I got there. But I like. But looking back I am a bit short on line length as per ES. I’m short on time for close of Day 5. And I do like to go within that 24 hour timeframe.

“And now for our prompt (optional, as always). I call this one “The Shapes a Bright Container Can Contain,” after this poem by Theodore Roethke, which I adored in high school – and can still recite!

This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. If I used Roethke’s poem as my model, for example, the first line would start with “I,” the second line with “W,” and the third line with “A.” And I would try to make all my lines neither super-short nor overlong, but have about ten syllables. I would also have my poem take the form of four, seven-line stanzas. I have found this prompt particularly inspiring when I use a base poem that mixes long and short lines, or stanzas of different lengths. Any poem will do as a jumping-off point, but if you’re having trouble finding one, perhaps you might consider Mary Szybist’s “We Think We Do Not Have Medieval Eyes” or for something shorter, Natalie Shapero’s “Pennsylvania.” “