A Neediness Unexplained

A Neediness Unexplained

Aganpanthus and Jasmine had overtaken the front fence line.
Then one day, a woman offered to help rid me of these pests.
And she worked very hard at it. But suddenly she encroached
into my space every bit as much had the plants. I never knew
when she would be in my yard or stooped out there on the
footpath. From ten am until nigh on dark she worked. She
worked so very slowly and I paid her well. To me it was a
business arrangement. And then the job was done and still she
flustered around the yard encroaching now into areas where not
previously arranged. In the house! Could she help here, could
she help there?

A long way from London but still I had thoughts of Elliot!
“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of
this stony rubbish?”

Benita H. Kape (c) 13.10.2021

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Mary is the name on all our lips today (Mary Oliver)

benitakape

backyardOn the Loss of a Poet who said:

“the tree is my sister”

                        Mary Oliver

Mary is the name on all our lips today;

those who love nature,

those who love poetry,

geese and ponds, snow –

     things that are gentle

like all things in nature.

She gave us a thousand mornings

in but one poem

in many; spring mornings

or snow. She knows the sea

will go on doing its work.

And she is with Molly now.

Benita H. Kape © 19.1.2019

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Directions – Day 30

Journey: The Part I Love

Move across the kitchen to the back door.
Ooops, the cat under my feet.
She’d open the door if she could.
She has this habit of when it comes
time she wishes to go outdoors
she doesn’t actually scratch, she
paws at the door in a little knock,
knock sound. (I know, she’s clever.)


Now she is nosing at the security door.
How many times a day do I open it
just for her? But a Kitty Latch Door!
No, we have strays who have seen what
a good wicket this little cat is on.

Down a couple of steps, cat not sure and tries
to herd me in the opposite direction.
Round the side of the house we go:
walk the metaled metres down the path.
Past hibiscus, roses and Japanese anemones.
All I see of cat is a tail among the day lilies.


Past the orange tree, then the lemon tree
and then push aside the jasmine I’ve
been meaning to cut back: how can the
post-person even see our lovely ceramic
street number screwed on the post under
the box? But he seems to. (Been known
to put mail in that’s not for me. I re-direct.)


I lift the tight closed flap of the letter box.
Today’s mail in hand I stop to smell the roses;
wave to my neighbour out for a stroll. Mail
deliveries cut back to three times a week.
(That was gonna happen Covid or no.)

And this is the part I love; when cat comes
galloping around the corner, comes
to an abrupt halt —
and waits for me to take the steps.
Holding back the security door
I turn to her saying, “Coming?”
And just like that we are back in
our warm kitchen.

Benita H. Kape (c) 30.4.2021

Note: I couldn’t seem to get started on this prompt and really contemplated doing a haiku or tanka. They weren’t working for me.

Notes: “And now for our final (still optional!) prompt. Today’s prompt is based on a prompt written by Jacqueline Saphra, and featured in this group of prompts published back in 2015 by The Poetry Society of the U.K. This prompt challenges you to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. It could be a real place, like your local park, or an imaginary or unreal place, like “the bottom of your heart,” or “where missing socks go.” Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like. “

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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.

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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?”

Note:

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 Pexels.com
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Garbage? – Day 28 (questions)

Garbage

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.

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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 Pexels.com

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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

Notes:

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.”

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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

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