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, weeks.
weeks 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.
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. “
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
“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. “
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.
“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. “
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
“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?”
Shrug that paragraph cloaking your right shoulder.
Or your left shoulder; if that’s the hand you write with.
Stretch the neck of that word intent on strangling you.
Lick a word; more than once if it’s tasty, especially if it excites the hormones rather than the bones of it.
Spit out the words you cannot spell just remember you are neither a cobra or an alpaca; leave the spitting to them.
Eight is my lucky number.
I ate as many words as I could devour.
I can still see my toes.
Eleven is my lucky number too.
Benita H. Kape (c) 5.4.2022
“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.”
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.
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; pruning:
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.
exordium: opening portion of speech or writing
rorulent: covered with dew
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!”
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.
“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.”
Because at the moment, too many Rainy day for me, and yet more rain.
Some said it went on for twenty days: Others said only twelve. Well t’was day two began the flooding,
Bridges washed away. Forty seven Roads closed. The heavens just Wept and wept and wept some more.
Sometimes heavy, sometimes slow But it went on. The basket we call Earth slipped and slid and lake upon
Lake – we felt no justice. Until finally In April the rain eased. Though it was A weak – entrance – the sun made.
Emily, such heavy baskets we produced. It’s not by God, but human – climate change. & I – being human – as guilty as the rest.
Benita H. Kape (c) 1.4.2022
I think this poem is too pragmatic for Emily. But with the line I chose: first line of a second stanza poem number 352 this is just what came to me. Wrote it for Early Bird the 31st March but only now got to post.
NaPoWriMo 2022 – Early Bird
Dickinson is known for her elliptical style, unusual word choices, and mordant sense of humor. Over the past year, I’ve experimented with writing poems based on, or responding to, various lines from her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to do the same! Here are a few lines of Dickinson’s that might appeal to you (the slashes indicate line breaks):
“Forever might be short” “The absence of the Witch does not / Invalidate the spell” “If to be ‘Elder’ – mean most pain – / I’m old enough, today” “The second half of joy / Is shorter than the first” “To be a Flower, is profound / Responsibility – And if none of those inspire you, you can find many of her poems here.
I took the line “My basket holds – just – firmament – “