Sijo for a recovering eye – Day 20

not even looking like a rock, not even feeling like a rock
a long time, something solid has made a home in my eye
it took a steady hand that I might see autumn flowers again

Benita H. Kape (c) 20.4.2021


Today I’ve continued with what is going on with my eye. Yesterday as the ophthalmologist completed a longer than expected cataract operation he remarked that the cataract was solid. Today in review, his assistant referred to that cataract as a rock. But I’m amazed at how quickly the expected fuzziness is clearing. The autumn flowers are a reference to age as much as our current season.

“Our (optional) prompt for the day is to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise. For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.”


A Google ads. & Bums on Table Rant – Day 19

A Google ads. & Bums on Table Rant

using some Shakespearean insults “plus”

My pale head having small thought for insults.

But I who wretchedly day by day in April

act upon prompts; am prompted to rant.

I must tell you friendly in your ear,

sell when you can, you are not for all markets.

Even as I search, Google advertisements assault

at every turn.

I scorn you, scurvy companion.

And on through my search Google ads., I tell you:

There’s no more faith in thee than a stewed prune.

Now that was a strange insult because I’ve never

lost faith in a stewed prune to move things along:

if you get my drift.

Google ads: you are like unto bums on a table;

and that, in my country, is an insult. More so

than Shakespearean insults a step further by

uttering the supreme insult thus. Pokokohau ma.

A literal “cooked heads.”

But that last curse I will leave for politicians.

I heard one pronounce this insult such

a short time ago. Both Maori, they know

the full extent of their insult exchange.

I’m not sure the matter was settled. An

hundred and forty years ago they’d have

bought on the war parties.

Benita H. Kape (c) 204.2021


Insults to Maori (New Zealanders) =Bums on tables and pokokohau ma

“And last but not least, our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves. Perhaps it’s people who tailgate when driving, or don’t put the caps back on pens after they use them. Or the raccoons who get into your garbage cans. For inspiration, perhaps you might look to this list of  Shakespearean insults. Or, for all of you who grew up on cartoons from the 1980s, perhaps this compendium of Skeletor’s Best Insults might provide some insight.”


Be Careful What You Wish For – Day 18

Chapter title from: Mythos by Stephen Fry

Be careful what you wish for!
Too many sweets.
And your teeth will rot.

Be careful what you wish for!
Too much sun.
Remember the sun can burn.

Be careful what you wish for!
Eos, wife of Tithonus
who requested Zues grant a wish
that her husbandTithonus
have immortality. Of course
she’d made no request
as to ageing and he ended up
with; horror of horrors,
a grey hair. Eos had not
considered ageing. She had
not requested eternal youth.
She was left with what she
had wished for. And Zues
the sod just left them to it.

Benita H. Kape (c) 19.4.2021


“And now for our (optional) daily prompt! This one comes to us from Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s  table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature. Will you choose “the poem squash?” or perhaps “grocery weeping” or “the blue socks”? If none of the 60 rather wonderful chapter titles here inspire you, perhaps a chapter title from a favorite book would do? For example, the photo on my personal twitter account is a shot of a chapter title from a P.G. Wodehouse novel — the chapter title being “Sensational Occurrence at a Poetry Reading.”


Autmn Moon – Day 17


How could I draw the curtain!
It was early evening
A generous blue the sky.
And there, for us,
A slither of moon.
A slither of moon in the west.
Perhaps, visible most of the day.
How could I draw a curtain on this!

I stood a while in respect
Of a moon slither.
Autumn in the clear, clear sky.

Benita H. Kape (c) 17.4.2021


And now I’m caught up again. And it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

“And now, our (optional) prompt. I’ve seen some fairly funny twitter conversations lately among poets who are coming to terms with the fact that they keep writing poems about the moon. For better or worse, the moon seems to exert a powerful hold on poets, as this large collection of moon-themed poems suggests. Today, I’d like to challenge you to stop fighting the moon. Lean in. Accept the moon. The moon just wants what’s best for you and your poems. So yes – write a poem that is about, or that involves, the moon.”


Tumbling With The Swan/s – Day 16

Suppose I make verse
Begin and not curse
Lines short and diverse
Their midwife, their nurse
Some lines roar aloud
Syllables must not crowd
To which I have vowed
Line sing and be proud
With a prod, there a prong
Quick, sing a tumbling song
And, while wearing a sarong
Not in the country of Peron
Set to hand over to Sean
But will Sean be drawn?
Short rhymes and thereon
Thereon a swan on the lawn

Benita H. Kape (c) 17.4.2021


I’m a day or two or three late (due to an eye Injection for wet macula) but am going to keep writing the daily prompt anyway.

“And last but not least, our (optional) prompt. Because it’s Friday, today I’d like you to relax with the rather silly form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. In this form, there’s no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it, and then move on to another sound. Here’s a short example I came up with.
                             A toad beneath a log
                             Cares not for storm or fog.
                             He’s not a bee or frog
                             Or a naïve polliwog.
                             No! He’s wise and bumpy.
                             His skin is thick and lumpy.
                             He doesn’t work for money.
                             And his disposition’s sunny.

Skeltonic verse is a fun way to get some words on the page without racking your brains for deep meaning. It’s a form that lends itself particularly well to poems for children, satirical verse, and just plain nonsense.”


Romance and Realism – Day 15

Romance and Realism

to: mother

blue paper –

love stories

your small writings

stories and poems

sad stories

so different from mine


that urge

to get it down

I caught it

from you.

Benita H. Kape (c) 16.4.2021 (almost a day late)


And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt comes to us from Juan Martinez. It asks you to think about a small habit you picked up from one of your parents, and then to write a piece that explores an early memory of your parent engaged in that habit, before shifting into writing about yourself engaging in the same habit.


Decisions – Day 14 – NaPoWriMo

Never Any Question

What are the statistics that a child;

bearer of a parent’s first name;

might be up for adoption?

What are the statistics for a child;

bearer of both parent’s first names;

might be up for adoption?

First names or no, for a child of this
man adoption was never going to
happen. Fostering, he had done 
his best for an ill spouse.

But a decision would have to be made

and it took nigh on two years before

health was restored and two families

come together, could move on.

Fostered for a time: mother and siblings

unwell – heart-breaking whooping cough.

Benita means blessed. I saw my father

in his namesake as blessed also.

Helen is a torch; some say the moon.

Dear mother: father too was my

torch. But you mother, are my moon,

my poetry. In remaining as family;

carrying my maiden name; what

could be more blessed for me.

First names or no, for a child of this
man adoption was never going to
happen. Fostering, he had done 
his best for an ill spouse.

Benita H. Kape (c) 14.4.2021

Notes: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that delves into the meaning of your first or last name.


A Turnaround Declared – Day 13

A wish news article for tomorrow


news of a turn around

scientists tell us
they have evidence

“we cannot yet reveal
the secret to reversal ...
Climate change in decline”

Benita H. Kape (c) 13.4.2021

Notes: Write a poem in the form of a news article you wish would come out morrow. I am tired today so I have written my biggest wish with the short poem for known as a Cherita. First stanza one line, second stanza two lines and third stanza three lines. Of course I could have written a series but I feel I have all the news I would wish in this one poem.


Minerva & Metis – Day 12

Minerva, you arrived with weapons 
so let's keep up with the story.

I was singularly unimpressed
with your birth, other than
you beat Jupiter at his own game.
But it was then, Metis, your mother
who kept up with the forging of tools
during your gestation in Jupiter's belly.
Because of her, you made entrance
fully prepared for your life and times.
A full grown maiden, you had 
already gathered wisdom. Ovid
called you “goddess of a thousand works”.
Medicine, arts, handicraft and poetry.

But, I ask, is Metis still around?
Something tells she might be.
Did she have a hand in forging
a vibroblade, a new weapon
that I, in this poem, choose 
to put in your hands? Not that
I want to set you to old wars,
or new ladies. Let us be done
with that and with wisdom,
better things to do. I beg of 
you a great deed. Wave that
vibroblade as sisters in arms
to the new pestilence. In the
service of medicine for all-kind.
We would welcome it as yet
your greatest battle.

But rather, keep you both 
a steady hand as vaccinations
go on. This is our future
and beyond.

Benita H. Kape (c) 12.4.2021


For me Minerva is a goddess of weapons, but only after her wisdom, medicine, arts, poetry and handicrafts. Perhaps there were items in the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction for arts and handicraft but this is what my eyes lighted on:

vibroblade  =  a weapon or tool having a blade that vibrates rapidly: not something Jupiter could have coped with very well at Minerva's birth. So better an axe for that event than a vibrating blade.

"Finally, our prompt (optional, as always). I’m calling this one “Past and Future.” This prompt challenges you to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction. A hat tip to Cathy Park Hong for a tweet that pointed me to the science fiction dictionary and to Hoa Nguyen for introducing me to the Classical Dictionary. "

Haibun – Day 11 – letters

Sharing a Childhood Memory With the poet Issa

It is something we do as adults, Issa, squeeze under our houses to check the joists, the bearers. But did you crawl in the thin spaces under your parent’s house; that ghastly step-mother of yours? Did you check your father’s house? But of course you did.

under my house
an inchworm
measuring the joists
Perhaps you didn't need to crawl under the house. Perhaps you could hear the inchworm by not having to do that. But I have memories of my childhood Issa, and I have written so thinking of you.
under my parent's house
near the chimney
a nest of duck eggs
skinniest child
i am the one who must crawl
under the house for duck eggs

rich sultana cake ...
today my mother
bakes with duck eggs

Dear writer from a faraway land. The day grows short now.

well, well,
the day is foolishly long ... 
napped half the day
no one
punished me 
Perhaps you have read my words before. Today I will try to finish my letter to you but excuse me I have guests arriving.
the nighingale
not at all concerned
little gambling shack
Therefore excuse me from my far distant Prefecture. 
spring breeze 
even a samurai is blown
down the slope
Might my letter blow on seasonal breezes to you; writer from a faraway land.
Some people call me Chief Beggar of Shinano Province; others, Issa.
Benita H. Kape (c) 11.4.2021

Notes: All haiku by Issa are in Italics.

And now for our (optional) prompt. This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response. These can be as short or long as you like, in the form of prose poems, or with line breaks – and of course, the subject matter of the letters is totally up to you.