Millions and Millions of Stray Tears – Day 24

Millions and Millions of Stray Tears
Ode to Cats

My tears, the domestic species.
Only one in the family? We have wild tears.
There are house tears, farm tears. We have feral tears:
about sixty different breeds. (But truly I’d say many
thousands more.) Tears are so social. Oh dear, tears;
secreting; showing signs she perceives pheromones.
Giving birth to infant tears from spring to late autumn.
An estimated 480 million stray tears in the world.
And our failure to control breeding of pet tears, results
in large number of feral tears. Tears which contribute
to the extinction of birds, mammals and other species.
Vocalization from this, my tears; you should hear
tears meowing or purring, trilling and yes hissing.
My plea: be careful how you breed tears.

Benita H. Kape (c) 24.4.2021

Today’s (optional) prompt is a fun one. Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.



Poem at 4.43 pm

I’m ready now to leave the house.

My dressing gown

thrown on the bed.

I knew she’d go for that

and make her own bed.


And she knew I was watching her closely.

Nearby lay my Sunday best clothes,

just as tempting to her. Her claws

go out to them. It was not

easy to do; shoo her away.

And relenting she went back

to her favourite anyway.


Here is her church of thankfulness.

I go to commune with my friends

knowing she’ll stay here the rest

of the day. And we’ll both

have made prayers of gratitude.


Her devotion is unbearable.

It is now late in the day.

How favourite can my

dressing gown be

to my little cat?


Benita H. Kape © 20.1.2019




Influence for this poem from the lines “Do cats pray when they sleep?” Mary Oliver

Poem I Happen To Be Standing


Phrases upended – Day 13.4.2018 NaPoWriMo

Today, we challenge you to write a poem in which the words or meaning of a familiar phrase get up-ended

Flipped Slippers


Elvis (and the cat) Has Left The Buiding


My cat, who edits my poems

has only one life, mustering a cut,

knocking over one stool and then the other;

cracking the eggs she hadn’t counted

as she welcomes The King, disguising

this as a bridge ready to cross (if he’s

going home).


She knows I despise clichés and she

dislikes the dresses laid out for the lamb:

(this cat wants her sleeper owner still

in her dressing gown at noon.) And, her

life, so salubrious, forget the other eight.


She saw the deck was full of party goers

and  soon the roof would be too snow covered

even for a cat, so she slipped away

under the fence leaving me to chew

on this perfectly excellent steak (the

best thing) because the bread, not sliced

and not baked.


Benita Kape © 13.4.2018



An extra for line breaks 6/7.2.2018

Bright Day Haibun


I rise to let the cat out. She is lethargic and resists. I push her out the door anyway. I don’t want her scratching at my bedroom door in another half an hour or so. She disappears briefly and now that I am ready to throw myself back into the sack, as they say, she is ready to come back in. I say a firm “no”. She understands every word I say but just stands there anyway.


As I head back to the bedroom I can hear other late risers gathering on the deck next door. Coughs and goofs commensurate after a late night. I see most of them are wearing dark glasses. They must have been sitting there half an hour or more. Now they head to their cars. The street becomes itself again, quiet, sleepy, urban. The cat has already settled on the bottom step ignoring me. I again test the flick lock.


blindfold raised

bedroom door closed

earplugs adjustments

I shut out

the bright day


Well, that was what I intended. But I can never resist a peek at the computer. Emails and projects draw me in.


cold porridge, first meal of the day

lunching in the sun

sometime after noon


Benita H Kape © 7.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image


Warm Up to NaPoWriMo 2018 – 31.3.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image

Write a poem of love for an object.


A   Cake   or   a Sandwich


Cups lose their handles.

A disc round and shiny:

it being battered carries

no sound resounding and

nothing there to attract me

I could perhaps say.


It speaks to the pragmatic;

and why not the sentimentality of years,

so long in the past but the first

memories are those most remembered.

Like how difficult it was, that small plate

to dislodge, from a Christmas stocking

reluctant to spill its contents. It stays with me

that sharp eager battle and always since then

we have been friends.


How easy the cup, lodged penultimate

in the stocking’s heel, and lastly

the orange; the gift of one item of fruit

such a luxury, so that I set it aside for later.

Turned then to that weak handled cup

and it’s accompanying saucer which

to me in those most meagre of years

was awesome.


But the most cherished remains the bread

and butter plate. The set of three made of tin.

First to go was the cup and then perhaps

the saucer was used for the cats and their food:

both now lost. But the plate, small as plates go,

has remained useful. It keeps company with

my flour sifter; its own stand upon, and that too

is about to be replaced. But the little plate

goes on and on. I, who am not much of

a cook, have had much joy and use of it. We

long gave up hope of its ever holding for me

a cake or a sandwich , my little tin plate and me.

It is sweet and it is useful as it is.


Benita Kape © 31.3.2018



Brother Number Two – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 20 – keening poem


Brother Number Two

face – puller
sister – teaser
chalk – thief  ( a deskfull)
clayball – biffer (goodies & baddies)
kitten – drowner
parson – impersonator (mute layer of kittens to rest)

whare – builder (to give the boys a room of their own)
wood – turner
donothingmachine – designer
finger – slicer
trick two – finger stapler (industrial)
canoe – canoer
super yacht – builder                                                                                                                                         ski bunny – chaser
shawl – knitter
But for me brother number one.

Benita H. Kape © 20.4.2016

*whare – said f o (as in orange) ree. A Maori word for house dwelling  as apposed to Marae which is a meeting house. This was a small sleep-out as a room for the boys (large family). I changed it to that from the word bach (much used in NZ for similar dwelling, usually though a bach is seen as a holiday dwelling. Unusual to have used such a word before the Maori renaissance of recent years.

And finally, our prompt (optional, as always)! Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who suggests a prompt very much in keeping with our poet in translation, a “kenning” poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas. Basically, they are ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of clever, off-kilter description — for example, the sea would be called the “whale road.” Today, I challenge you to think of a single thing or person (a house, your grandmother, etc), and then write a poem that consists of kenning-like descriptions of that thing or person. For example, you might call a cat a mouse-stalker, quiet-walker, bird-warner, purr-former, etc. If you’re looking for examples, you can find one that Vince wrote here and a different example here. Happy writing!


The Witch’s Messenger – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 16



The Witch’s Messanger
(Poem: made up from replies
to an Almanac Questionaire)

Dull and cloudy, green and lush,
here in my secret garden with
a view of the harbour where seals
fetch up as autumn sets in. My stucco
cottage, paths for dragons, and one black
cat asleep under the hibiscus. Down in
the harbour pine logs, harvested from
our great forests, are loaded onto ocean
going vessels. And I dream of going back
to Canada so I set up a trust, Panama-esk.
(Who thought of that?) Still it’s there so
they use it. I’m about to meet with
someone, but I can’t say whom, at
a café I love. However, they did not
then appear and I heard there had been
a road accident. One of the injured
was wearing a blue tee-shirt. Oh,
help that was me I say to my sister,
reliving a recurring nightmare. Now
we are both in tears as I reply to
the text you sent asking me who
wrote that graffiti about Panama, and
what time will you arrive, and no –
I don’t believe you are The Witch’s

Benita H. Kape © 16.4.2016

This was more fun.


NaPoWriMo 2015 – Day 12 – Describe a room. – A Room of Rainbows

Willow st fireplace.

A   Room   Of   Rainbows


French doors open onto rainbows in the late afternoon,

crystals hanging at a leadlight window. The mantelpiece

is cluttered, the collection eclectic, antique glass vases

rub shoulders with a tiny birds’ nest, a sweet gift

from child; a mosaic by another. An onyx swan from

another. A small Wedgewood plaque, (this from my

mother-in-law) exquisite Pegasus and goddesses

delicately chiselled in white onto blue. On the walls

art and a stopped clock, kept for its colourful appeal

rather than my necessary reminder of time. Time falls

away here in my sanctuary.


Familiar faces on the wall; a scattering of small tables

around the room, each with a cargo of books. Hidden

behind a chair, a basket of embroideries, works in progress.

Squeezed there also canisters of CDs, discs and tapes

of anything from opera to country music. And at certain

times of the day the cat will be lolling on the carpet, or up

on rugged chairs, avoiding that expensive leather cushion: (whew!

so thankful for that.)


If you feel an aura in the room, I call it love. Sorrow has had

its moments here though more often the everyday comings

and goings I cannot take for granted, a life worked hard for.


Take a seat, delve into the bookcase as autumn begins. I’ll

be sitting here taking up my embroidery recalling nights

of love making on the rug before the cosy fire. And the dirty

little secret, again hidden behind another chair, is a box filled

with magazines I continue to finger through wasting yet

another afternoon.

Benita H. Kape © 13.4.2015


All Cretans are liars should be the title of this poem. I’ve never actually had the pleasure of making love on this particular carpet which I can’t quite add into the poem. Don’t want to spoil it.


NaPoWriMo 2015 – Day 6 – to write an aubade

Flipped Slippers

Aubade   for   Cat

As I open my eyes, the door is now slightly ajar.

Today, as most days, she is first up, stealthy;

intelligent, alert, and sometimes a jolly nuisance.


This cat, my precious, my bête noir.

Dashes through the door to her Shangri-La:

to bound, not, as you might expect, onto the bed,


but the desk, stepping gently over a bizarre

muddle of journals and pens, the repertoire,

the stockpile that is my life at the desk,


and having hurdled some, and nudged others aside,

sniffing out any overnight changes; reaching around her

I blearily feel for the window, (there’s a built-in window


next to that) so that I go to the next, lift the handle; both

now open to her slight size and she makes of this her cat

roundabout, back and forth: acting the newly arrived (via


window.) Who? Not me, who scratched at the door, her steady

eye through the curtains now seems to say. How reassuring, for

whom, puss or me? Sun on her back or a little rain I know with her

to greet me, this, or any other,  it will always  be a good day.

Benita H. Kape © 7.4.2015