Harry Harris Never Serious

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.


Trifle and Transport

It may be an understatement

to say I regard myself as no cook.

I will tell you of my mother; glorious

Christmas cakes and sucking her fingers:

several, (many) siblings also latching on.


Their eager faces also leaned with me

over the old iron baby tub as we all

tested the spices in our father’s massive

preparations of Liverwurst.


That’s history: Now Trifle Christmas 2021

and this is me. Trifle, came the requests

as I too grow old and move, stepping aside

from the dressing and glazing of ham;

the stuffing of chicken, roasting of vegetables;

The ubiquitous pea and potato salad

with Dad’s continental salad dressing. Again

I am delegated a salad. I up the plan and choose

lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions and cucumber

laced liberally with prawns; Dad’s continental

dressing in a provisional jug; a lighter indulge.

But anyone can make a salad I concur.


Back to the trifle! “Please make us your trifle Nan.”

This time I would make it their way. They all like

trifle swamped in jelly whereas I took the customary

custard as the binder. Jelly layer number one was red.

And on top of that came green jelly with subversive

dribblings of port wine, marking the bowl as to those

servings. Topped it all with a layer of custard. All

tastes catered for then. Cream and fresh cherries.


We gather at Martin’s house this year. What a

wonderful table he has laid out in the carport. And

as I approach Martin lifts both salad, secure

in a woven carry bag.


and: Trifle: in a supermarket brown paper-bag;

not so secure.


Glass made a wretched sound as it clattered on the

back step. Next year I will make “The Trifle” again.

But I will be much more careful as to it greater transport;

condensation and brown paper-bags.


Benita H. Kape (c) 12.1.2021

Today for “dVerse take a look. https://dversepoets.com/2022/01/11/tuesday-poetics-food/ we write on food. What could be more enjoyable. Thank you Sarah for the chance to tell of our trifle tragedy at Christmas.


Another World

An elite couple
dancing on the beach.
Raindrops cannot
dampen spirits.
Nor show they a care
to butler and maid
whose umbrellas
attempt to shield them.
Selfishly the waltz

Little maid, as I muse
so like my mother.
Did you get a chill?

Benita H. Kape (c) 11.1.2022

Notes: This poem is based on a famous Scottish painting
by Jack Vettriano named “The Singing Butler.”
Self taught Jack Vettriano faced much snobbery.

Today for: https://dversepoets.com/2022/01/10/quadrille-143-muse-cues/ We are to write a quadrille incorporating the word “muse.” I muse often on my mother and the very different life she had.


Yesterday’s Poem

This is the; ‘Should have

been written yesterday poem;

how lucky to be written at all

poem.’ It is also, ‘The I’ll write

straight onto the computer poem.’


‘This is the little bit grateful poem;

I’m coming alive poem: early in

the morning poem; a little bit

bleary eyed poem’ – but hey ‘Going

quite well poem.’


It could be, ‘The I don’t have to be

a very long poem.’ or ‘How did I get

this long poem?’


And now it becomes ‘The I’m getting

hungry poem; what’s for breakfast poem;

avocado and bacon on toast poem.’


‘Sorry, I have to go; my mouth is full poem.’

Yesterday’s poem; Happy New Year poem. Haeremai.

Benita H. Kape (c) 8.1.202


Haeremai – Maori; greetings, welcome.

For me the syntax of the word haeremai

sits more comfortably than the word greetings.


Tui: Bird of Adaption and Wit

There were three in one tree;

A banquet for a Tui.

Their beaks pushing through orange skin and juicy segments.

They did not expect a miracle.

But they made the most of it.


One sip and each a returnee.

Then another flew in.

Each bird ate in abundance and sang his happy clements

To the street: atypical,

None of them ready to quit.


They made of it a jubilee;

Their ample afternoon hui.

While we watched; marvelling at such different refreshments.

To your stories allegorical

The Tui’s adaption and wit.


Honey-eaters: what the Puriri?

Will Tui now be queuing

For their new-found, sweet dripping citrus indulgence?

Two voice boxes sing the oracle.

In an orange tree three Tui sit.


Benita H. Kape (c) 5.1.2022

  • Tui – a New Zealand song bird. These birds amazingly have two voice boxes; very melodious.
  • Hui – Maori word for meeting
  • Puriri – a sweet flowering New Zealand native tree
  • The did not expect a miracle. Line from “Black Rook in Rainy Weather” by Sylvia Plath.
  • We are so used to seeing Tui, honey-eaters, in our sweet flowering natives. It was a surprise to find them in an orange tree having a feast. Glorious singing birds.

“Rimas Dissolutas” French Literature.

I followed the example given of Sylvia Plath’s “Black Rook in Rainy Weather.”

Quote: “A poem that rhymes and doesn’t rhyme. For instance, each stanza contains no end rhymes but each line in each stanza rhymes with the corresponding line in the next stanza – sometimes employing an envoi at the end.

Here’s how the end rhymes would work in a Rimas Dissolutas with five line stanzas.

(1-a,2-b, 3-c, 4-d, 5-e) (6-a, 7-b, 8-c, 9-d, 10-e) (11-a, 12-b, 13-c, 14-d, 15-e)

There are no rules for metre, line length, or syllables – except it should be consistent from stanza to stanza.” ends quote.


Driving Into The New Year – a Haibun

I’ve completed on arrangements and now there’s a hold up. Nothing happens in some quarters when it is a public holiday. Celebrations are on hold for me. The banks are closed. Even on-line nothing happens. What I wanted, taking its time to activate. It’s as simple as not having entered my mobile number to my bank profile.

I’m not of fan of the ubiquitous mobile phone. Simple as that. Now I must wait for a vague and distant activation.

Then the celebrations will begin. The corks waiting to pop.


disappearing sleigh and reindeer

a new chariot

at my door

Benita H. Kape (c) 4.1.2022

Took possession yesterday afternoon. Yeah.


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


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


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. “