(after Glenys’s request
made known to me)
A spring day,
what’s to reply to!
The sun is shining.
I speak between clouds.
The wind is chill.
Chill wind or no
the washing will dry.
Words come to me.
Poets and lovers of poetry;
there will always be poetry.
Benita H. Kape © 15.8.2017
Marianne has chosen a rengay I wrote with my friend Leslie MacKay as one of her choces for her Best Of The Net. You can go straight to it with the 2nd link below.
Thank you Maranne.
Rhapsody for Courage
And as I sat reading Billy Collins
all through this beautiful autumn morning,
I listened first to the lawnmower next door
struggling through an overgrown lawn.
And as I did so the clouds, which have
only just come on the scene, scudded by.
I was, though, in the middle of thinking
about this when disturbed by the cat,
who, as she washed, did so
with a particularly raspy sound and shifted
a little with the sun; a sound I may not have
heard had the mover not ceased its strange music.
The cloud movement increased and I thought
about the music of the morning. How the music
of clouds scudding was so pure, so high above me
and yet so beautiful as to make something within
me sing. And now the cat who may or may not
be aware of this has slipped further into sleep;
the sky now a total blue and silence give me
its beauty, its own very special sound. And the
cat stretches one lone paw toward that shifting
span of sunlight.
The cat is still sleeping, the sun has shifted into
a corner of the room and begins an afternoon ascent
up the wall when the phone goes; a sibling with news.
And what would be the music in that you may ask (as
we see you have come back to the poem:) though yes
I did leave the poem for a long conversation. I left off
reading Billy and carefully, sadly wrote the final stanzas.
Our youngest sister begins her radiation treatment today,
another is having a hip operation. So, I come back for both,
but especially for the sister who is in and out of chemo or
radiation treatments saying, every time; “No long faces here.”
That’s so god-damn difficult because the music of the morning
is now so different and yet she makes it so necessary to write on
into the late noon with No Long Faces Here and she can, and she
does make this sound both musical and courageous. This is the music
I now hear. A rhapsody of courage. Then on request, No More Visitors.
And this is when silence is at it’s most strange. But for you
No Long Faces.
Benita H. Kape © 4.5.2017
This One is for You
Who would do that?
Well, I have to tell you
that my ophthalmologist
does it, but only because
we don’t just talk about eyes,
we talk poetry. I write the poems
he is the one who files them.
And, it goes like this.
For the past four years
he performs on me, a procedure
which is fodder for my pen.
The more remarkable moments
in the continuing course of injections.
Yes I said injections and they are to
the eyeballs (both of them.) Though
I have now had twenty eyeball
injections, on four of these occasions
I have written poems for his team.
It happened with the very first visit
and I thought that would be it. But
it intrigued, sometimes frightened,
me so that I continued to write about then.
Each one is different.
Things could not have been worse,
when on one occasion at that critical
moment of needle entry to eyeball
someone knocked the chair, Connie,
I wrote one for her to set her mind at rest.
It’s to the patients’ advantage to keep
the team cool and relaxed. If I can
do this so can you, is the approach
I take. And when they jab I have
already put my mind into the ancient
practice of ‘nothingness’. It works.
Two more poems have followed;
four for the team but this one is
for you because you asked me
to write a poem about something
I do again and again. So I started
afresh on the subject. This one is
for you about something I do again
and again. My ophthalmologist recently
said, “this is getting boring”. I think soon
he will try something new. Let’s hope
whatever it is it will be a once only thing.
Benita H. Kape © 20.4.2017
And finally, our final prompt – at least until next year! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that happens again and again (kind of like NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo). It could be the setting of the sun, or your Aunt Georgia telling the same story at Thanksgiving every single year. It could be the swallows returning to Capistrano or how, without fail, you will lock your keys in the car whenever you go to the beach.
Petals: Now Let Us Engage Her Elsewhere
Somewhere in the poem
there will be a small child.
She is always talkative, and busy.
Sometimes she is deeply engaged.
We must explain everything at
her level so that she may
more fully understand.
Today her animation centres
around flowers. But wait,
she goes back for leaves;
another flower, or part thereof,
plucking so quickly she brings
little in her hand. She is running
back for more but we must call
her in from the rain.
When she comes, her warm hands
brush mine with a single petal
and staring back at the blank, barely
discernible, space, certainly not
a half plucked bloom, she begins
to cry and cries the more
on seeing that the oblong petal,
having been singularly plucked
can never be put back whole.
When the rain stops we show her
this happens to plants anyway.
Flowers drop petals, drop flowers.
She pulls back unconvinced.
Now let us engage her elsewhere
lest our/her small timeframe is lost.
Benita H. Kape © 29.4.2017
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.
The poem I chose was by Brian Turner, Otago, New Zealand “Flowers”.
Petal was my key noun. Petal, in that poem, was used in a way one didn’t quite expect. There was definitely no child in Brian’s poem.
Tease and Torment
Every awful wet day
the cruel month of May
will heavily out-weigh
the short and the stray
of autumn’s fresh breeze.
winter’s cool auxiliaries
chasing us all overseas;
we love the Hawaii’s.
Or we might travel on
to China or Taiwan.
Come with me, Juan,
I wish to prolong
a happy arrangement;
promising it well spent
tease and torment
cancel every dissent.
I see you are willing
Our hearts spinning
place of good feeling.
Good times are building
our cup is over-brimming
Nothing is missing.
Nothing is missing.
Nothing is missing.
Benita H. Kape © 27.4.2017
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Here is a good explainer of the form, from which I have borrowed this excellent example: