Companion Planting – Day 19

GloPoWriMo 2019

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet.

Backyard seat 2013

My garden

Companion Planting 


Allelopathy: growth inhibition as the consequence of the influence of one organism on another; seldom found word, but it’s there in that one in seven dictionaries.

Banana skins to tickle the toes of a rose.

Cabbages make easy friends with thyme, rosemary, dill, onions and celery.

Dill was well known by the Egyptians. It attracts the bees.

Earwig with his two fierce pincers; he’ll make a mess of those plants.

Frogs are a must for your garden; they eat so many pests.

Gladioli will never make friends with your strawberries.

Hyssop leaves provide a ‘tea’ for bacterial disease.

Kohlrabi, a good companion for your beetroot.

Lacewings, ladybirds, lavender, leek, legumes, lemon balm and lettuce, lizards and lily-of-the-valley.

Marigold they say is everything for companion planting.

Nettles and newspapers are useful in your garden.

Oregano is no friend for the beetle: companion planting.

Potato and pumpkin have a clear and mutual animosity; no companion planting here then.

Quassia chip spray will do no harm where there are ladybirds.

Rue, ‘this herb of grace;’ pretty little lover of the sun.

Spiders: two thousand different species in our islands alone; a few, or many in our garden.

Turnips; if all else fails grow them, says the farmer.

Virus disease; milk powder made up as a spray could be a solution.

Wallflowers, wasps, water and woodchips; all in a good gardeners alphabet.

Yarrow works her magic through the element of copper.

Zucchini, Zucchini; aphids never let in with nasturtiums in your companion planting which costs nothing and does no harm.

Benita Kape © 19.4.2019

 Nature is the boss says Brenda Little in her book Companion Planting and to whom I give credit for the information here.




Self – Day 17

GloPoWriMo 2019


Prompt Day 17:  a scene from an unusual point of view. Confession – I wrote this poem an hour or two before seeing today’s prompt. Seems surreal, but it is the poem I will use for Day 17 as it fits with the theme.




The old woman

does not undress

herself as you may

see it. She undresses

the stuff of other;

anything that

is not herself.


Being old in this way

is beautiful.

I am not the babe,

the teenager,

the middle-aged of me

made new.


I am the new old self.


Benita H. Kape © 17.4.2019


Here’s to Your Good Health – Day 16

GloPoWriMo 2019


Picture ex Pexels


Here’s to Your Good Health 


Since you are a weary traveller who will soon recover

Since you are a singer  relating tender messages

Since you are a warrior teaching survival skills in a modern world

Since you are a writer, don’t give the plot away: here’s to your good health.


Since you are the failed, yet know this will not always be your place in the group

Since you are a dancer spread your arms to the sky

Since you are a quilter, stitch roses and beans, flying ducks and lakes

Since you are a beachcomber; another beach to rid of waste:

here’s to the health of beaches worldwide.


Since you are the actor, you too need your stamina and maybe a late night tipple

Since you are a deep-sea diver but you no longer dive for the oil companies

Since you are a teacher, the young are the ones who will teach us how to live

Since you are the lovers; weary, singing, surviving, writing, failed, dancing,

quilting, beachcombing, acting, diving, teaching – lovers, lovers, lovers.


Here’s to your good health.


Benita Kape (c) 16.4.2019


Prompt Day 16: Today, I challenge you to write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.


Ode to Frosty Mornings – Day 15

GloPoWriMo 2019

Prompt Day 15: write a monologue – please note this is the Southern Hemisphere and April for us is Autumn



Ode to Frosty Mornings      


O frost, must you come knocking on my door

so early in the year. I have memories of you,

every year, time and again; walking barefoot

to school. When from the hedge (a prickly

hedge) the plaintive cry of a kitten. She was

too young to have known any days of a warm

summer, but warmth for a  kitten is always

what she seeks.


‘Why kitten,’ I called, ‘has your mother not

come back for you? Has she been struck by

a vehicle as she crossed the road taking

another of her infants to safety? I can’t go

looking for her when your cries ring in my



So I jump the ditch slipping back more than once

but I reach in – and there you are. Remember how

I made you safe, then: and only then, continued

on my way to school arriving oh so late. Kitten

be thankful you are not a human child who in

such times and circumstances having an explanation

as did not satisfy this hard spinster teacher. Sometimes,

I had been her pet; but not today. O frost, I hope you

are listening. I blamed you. I thought our teacher was so very

crotchety that morning because of you and your early chill.

I remember too that I’d had no warm coat and how when

sitting in front of the stove I’d rather have had your

sweet kitty-kat fur for warmth.


Teacher spanked my half-curled fingers and then set me down

in front of the school stove to thaw. Such thawing frost

is cruel – double trouble upon that cold day’s spanking.


‘Little kitten, I don’t recall the end of that day or even

if I ever saw you again.’


‘Hey frost, I think it is to you I chasten this story every April.

And you go on proving it makes no difference. But if there

is a kitten in need of rescue I could not continue on my way

without a hard word in your ear, be it spring, summer

or early autumn.


Frost are you listening; my bones ache today?’


Benita Kape 16.4.2019



Rumour – Day 14


GloPoWriMo 2019



Roomer has it

I chews to write poetry

Boulder and boulder

I franc it out

Ewe say I am butt

a flee in your ear

Hoe, hoe, hi on my hoarse

I have little hart for wrap

Thyme and tied weight

on homophones

Chased as they are

Claws following claws

The quire overdew

Herd in the hall, paws –

I have no him for them

Did they not here

It is only a roomer


Benita Kape © 14.4.2019

Prompt Day 14: Homophones


Do Not Get Jumpy or Spooked: Day 13

GloPoWriMo 2019

chandelier-clean-clear-905690 (1)


Do Not Get Jumpy or Spooked

(to: Dianne)

 I witness a woman who has gathered herbs,

essences from stone and tree and dragonfly;

she herself witnessing wisdom. She is oft-times

solitary in her preparations as she makes good

her essential oils; consults the crystals which call,

embracing nature and rock mysteries. Her cat

is of her household. Never has she owned

a black cat: her aura which signals each to each.

Do not get jumpy at primal energy, only a fool

would call that out for power:

full moon energy

embracing nature

the energy beneath

the energy above.

Do no harm to the earth.

Knowledge! What is to be feared?  Nothing,

when by compassion the Good Witch is directed.

Perhaps by meditation, her enlightenment

says to you ‘ask questions’. Then ask the Good Witch.


Benita Kape © 14.4.2019

Dragon Fly Essence

Prompt Day 13: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something mysterious and spooky! Your poem could be about something that is mysterious and spooky in a bad way (like a witch), or mysterious and spooky in a good way (possibly also like a witch? It depends on the witch, I guess!) Or just the everyday, mysterious, spooky quality of being alive.




Stiff Whiskers – Day 12

GloPoWriMo 2019


Stiff  Whiskers 

Weeks of detritus on the step

and you, you odd invention; part of which

a couple of springs; one for your neck

and one even stranger from which

your animal tail can swing. Your tin

body, your amazing ears and cheeks;

funny stiff legs. Your googly eyes:

knowing that a small flick and I can

make your head nod, nod, nod. (We are

in agreement then.) Whiskers, far too stiff

to be sensitive. I love your warped comedy

as much as I love any cat I have ever owned.

You’ll be around through the lifetimes of

the several cat lives this household has now

and will treasure in the possible future.

You are going nowhere. But I promise I’ll

sweep the step in the morning and water

the plants. And in spite of yourself,

there’ll be some nodding going on.


So why do I love you and love you

with a contrariness? Well, that’s because

my sister it was who shared your name.

She’d be appalled at that. I had hoped

you would have amused her. Not so.

But it goes without saying, you amuse me.

To give you away would be, in some strange

way, to give away a part of a very dear sister.


And nod, nod to that – no can do.


Benita Kape © 12.4.2019

Prompt Day 12: Write a poem about a dull thing you own and why and how you love it. Alternatively, what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object.      (I actually do not find my metal cat dull.)



The Missing Year/s – Day 11

GloPoWriMo 2019    Prompt Day 11: Why “you can’t go back home”


A Missing Year/s   


There you go, my tiny diary,

as if I could go home when

I am now so grown.


Or this diary, bigger though it may be –

written; one page only.

What did I do with that elusive year?

I made a note that New Years’ Day;

just read Peter Pan – again!


Benita Kape © 11.4.2019


There is the calm – Day Ten


GloPoWriMo 2019      Prompt Day 10:  to use a regional weather phrase.


There is Calm     


there is the calm

and we wait


there is the calm

a few clouds no breeze


there is the calm

the birds cease their singing


animals, a dog’s loud bark

then silence


and we wait

the day is calm


it could be mild

it could be lukewarm


or distant thunder

those were the

explanations we later heard


there is the calm

a cracker of a day


were it not for the small fear

a tenseness


an intuition

some say served well


the eerie calmness

of earthquake weather


a world no longer still

though we remember always


before this: the calm

and then day turned to hell


Benita Kape © 10.4.2019


earthquake 2006