Basket – Emily – Early Bird 31.3.2022

holds – just – firmaments ….

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 – “


Crepe-Paper Dress

Crepe-paper Dress

There they bend;
crepe-paper spread
out across the kitchen
couch. My mother
and my brother
are struggling to make
a special dress for my
first fancy dress ball.

It didn’t go well. But
I never forgot their
endeavours. And
I love them for that.

Benita H. Kape (c) 22.3.2022

De Jackson is taking us through today’s PAPER quadrille (44 word poem.) To say I had a complex relationship with my eldest brother is an understatement. But I cherish this memory of my mother and my brother, neither of whom were creative in such matters. Both have passed away now. Bless them.


To Two Different Hats at a Christening

In the very top shelf of the wardrobe

I have several iconic handbags

from the seventies;

a soft lemon; a tan leather; embossed.

But have I a hat? I don’t know

if I kept a single one

from the days when hats were

the ‘in” thing. Though for nostalgia

and hoarding of memorabilia

I almost wish I had.


Looking back even further

Yep, year ‘fifty five’

a photograph with the in-laws.

Nan holds her cherished grand-daughter;

a child christening photo-op.

My dress has a seeping stain.

Need I tell you it was near (whisper)

her feeding time.


Oh, the hats.

Something like an upside down fruit

bowl with a wide sloping brim

makes Nan’s face look sterner

than stern. (Which she bloody well was.)

And being almost a recluse, it was most unusual

to have her accompany us that day.

Perhaps she felt a little less

revealed under that stern brim.


Yes, I too wore a hat;

a little shaped black; clapped close

over mid-skull and held in place

with a pearl tipped hat pin; minimal

for a hat even in those times.

Obviously I want

to show my curls,

so unusual for me.

(Like leaking milk, the curls;

another of the temporary changes

during child bearing years.)

But really I’m not a hat person.

Nan, I think, was.

I have few stories about hats.

But I’m about to raid the top wardrobe shelf

and check if I actually did keep the burgundy

robin hood with it’s small feather.


And talking of feathers,

I have a small fascinator

that I seek out from time to time.

I can hear Nan scoffing at that.

Benita H. Kape (c) 16.3.2022

A conversation about hats tonight. Thanks Mish. I got a little carried away when I started out thinking I could go nowhere with this. But that’s poetry. Meant to surprise us even as we write.


Essay On How To Make Stars Dance

Someone once said poetry makes nothing happen. But how can that be? Because of poetry I can tell you that today it is a moon in a brown paper bag which I hand you. That is not all I can tell you.

You might think my bag weighted but I assure you it is as light as a feather. Between us, the cat and I play ping pong with my visiting moon in a brown paper bag. Light shines so brightly from our make believe moon the room is lit up. That is all the light we will ever need for our new game.

And then we take our brown paper bag and bright shinning moon out to the yard. The universe relieved to see its return. The stars are dancing. They thought the moon on holiday behind a cloud.

A holiday of sorts.

Benita H. Kape (c) 15.2.2022

Inspired by my sister-in-law who is without power after a cyclone.

Today we write prose for

How I love these prompts.


Shadow Ventures

Shadow Ventures

Still me in the sweet presence of poetry, still.

Words of love, words of pain, gentle words.

‘Til little by little, by little, and ’til

Birds sing their morning sonnets for birds.

Say simple things about poetry, let poems alone say.

Heart or head; each turn toward a truer heart.

Portray a journey, a route; a rainbow display.

Chart a few lines in sonnets own chart.

Many are those who sing, and for many.

Longing for orchestras; a sole voice of longing.

Eddy the notes on the air; a river of song eddy.

Glossing; to what shall we turn of glossing.

Aurora, a new song; carry the full day aurora.

Venture into the wonder of poetry, again venture.

Benita H. Kape (c) 12.2.2022

For d/Verse today a Shadow poem.

I don’t know about wonder of poetry. Difficulty! But then that doesn’t sound too poetic.


Hard Truth

I cannot sleep
but thoughts
of you nibble
into my soul.
Every night
you are there
in my dreams.

Where shall
we go tonight
my love? Another
flight of pure fancy.

Yet again I wake
to the hard truth;
you are no longer

Benita H. Kape (c) 8.2.2022

Tonight for d/Verse We are given the word nibble to make a quadrille: a 44 word poem.


Child in Chair Gazing

Today in d/Verse a poem of our own choice. This poem originally appeared in ‘a fine line’ New Zealand Poetry Society’s bi-monthly journal. The little girl is my great-granddaughter. I’ll let the poem tell the story. She still looks at me like this. To me an old soul been here before. I adore her.

for Riria

It’s not just your red shoes
with their black soles,
your pretty tulle skirt,
gold embossed stars;
your little white top
with airy cap sleeves
so suitable for a warm
Christmas Day. Reindeer
head and antlers, sequinned
in red. Or your white,wide-
brimmed hat, (how come,
that at two years, you didn’t
throw it away) a halo surrounding
your dark curls, brown eyes.

It might be your serious
contemplative, kaumatua like gaze,
that fixes in our minds
the child’s wicker chair;
an antique sitting in Uncle’s house.
No great exertion to climb into
and there sitting so still, no smile,
hardly aware of us all. Even when
the other children ran in
and out of the room you’d
found your exact spot, you
didn’t nod off, nor did you
alter your gaze for such
a long time for one so young.

Sitting minus cushions
never bothered you, nor
did it call for adjustments
once you’d settled there;
Christmas Day portrait
of child in a chair.

© Benita H. Kape December, 2017/January 10? 2018


More Pork

This is both a bird story (whose high pitch I heard but once) and it is a winter story.

We lie in the cold late night hours in our little cottage. The river is not far away; at the bottom of the street. The fog moves up from the river. The frost will have covered the ground by morning. We don’t get snow. We get frost. And on other days we get heavy rain.

Down on the river’s edge, sitting in the tree branches, is the bird Maori call Ruru and others simply call this sweet small guardian, ‘bird of the night’; More Pork. Because that is how he sounds.

Poignant; the sound carries away from the river and we hear it. Well, I did. Most likely you were asleep. Moorre Poork. Neither fast nor altogether slow. But on, and on, the gentle repetition; never high pitched and piercing a yelp. That would sound ominous; forewarning grief and awareness. But sometimes I think how many more winters will I lie by your side gathering solace in the melancholy sound of a dear little bird down by the river doing his night work.

It was one winter: three! The very next winter, weeks of very heavy rain, and I lie alone in the late night hoping to hear the More Pork. You had gone to the rest home. And as it rained and rained you passed away.

night sounds …

was it time to go

after the rain

Benita H. Kape (c) 1.2.2022

It is Haibun Monday in d’Verse and time to write a winter poem.


A Roget’s Thesaurus Poem

I found a note in my Roget’s Thesaurus today.
It had lain there for nearly fifty years. Did that
make it venerable? Antiquated certainly.

The note detailed the workings which could
be called a tutor’s plan reduced down to an
acronym: TOMIPASTA. (You’ll have to look
that up.) I found it novel. You could call it modern.
I am going for an acrostic for you Mr Roget;
similar but different to the acronym.

So before I confuse us further:

    Rock on Roget:  they would have said.
    Oh, my Lord:  they would have said.
    Goodness, gracious:  that too.
    Extraordinary:  others exclaimed.
    Treasury:  said the man himself.

Benita H. Kape (c) 19.1.2022

for Poetics d/Verse today: Must say my Roget’s Thesaurus is stained and much used. It was part of a very big step forward in my poetic journey. But other than finding and examining that note I haven’t used it today.


Decisions, Decisions

Jack knew his roll to be the boring voice of reason. Looking at what he had written, still he hesitated. This might be what she wanted.

There was the other option. Go hard, go fast. He picked up the map and marked a cross. This was where the track moved inland. If they pushed it they would get there with a day to spare. That last day would make the difference. It would give them time to talk, to go over the why and wherefores. They had so many decisions to rake through this time.

On the other hand, to relax, to be idle, to give her a chance if needed. They could go hiking at a later date. Hiking was what usually took up their week-end.

Reason won “And bring no book for this one day. We’ll give to idleness.” His email said.

Benita H. Kape (c) 18.1.2022

Today for Ingrid has given us a couple of lines from poem by Wordsworth to incorporate into our “prosery” writing. No poetry allowed for this. 144 words only (not including title). Can be Flash Fiction, Creative non-fiction.