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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wiggly, woggly, Harry Harris Set out to walk to Moscow. Wiggly, wobbly, giggly goggly. He got no further than the terrace. None of which did dampen his spirits. Harry Harris never serious. Wiggly, woggly Harry Harris.
Benita H. Kape (c) 18.1.2022
This time we are to take on some narrative nonsense. I can recall how great my brother was at this kind of narrative when we were kids. Just trying to get him serious for a family photograph was almost impossible. So I guess I’ll dedicate this one to him. It took me a little while to get here but glad Harry Harris got to be.