Haibun – Day 11 – letters

Sharing a Childhood Memory With the poet Issa

It is something we do as adults, Issa, squeeze under our houses to check the joists, the bearers. But did you crawl in the thin spaces under your parent’s house; that ghastly step-mother of yours? Did you check your father’s house? But of course you did.

under my house
an inchworm
measuring the joists
Perhaps you didn't need to crawl under the house. Perhaps you could hear the inchworm by not having to do that. But I have memories of my childhood Issa, and I have written so thinking of you.
under my parent's house
near the chimney
a nest of duck eggs
skinniest child
i am the one who must crawl
under the house for duck eggs

rich sultana cake ...
today my mother
bakes with duck eggs

Dear writer from a faraway land. The day grows short now.

well, well,
the day is foolishly long ... 
napped half the day
no one
punished me 
Perhaps you have read my words before. Today I will try to finish my letter to you but excuse me I have guests arriving.
the nighingale
not at all concerned
little gambling shack
Therefore excuse me from my far distant Prefecture. 
spring breeze 
even a samurai is blown
down the slope
Might my letter blow on seasonal breezes to you; writer from a faraway land.
Some people call me Chief Beggar of Shinano Province; others, Issa.
Benita H. Kape (c) 11.4.2021

Notes: All haiku by Issa are in Italics.

And now for our (optional) prompt. This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response. These can be as short or long as you like, in the form of prose poems, or with line breaks – and of course, the subject matter of the letters is totally up to you.


Petra as dragon fly (2)

Solitude – Haiku



Variegated Leaves (Haiga)


Erasure poem – NaPoWriMo 19.4.2018

Haiku: A Cloud

 The sun is going down. There is not a cloud in the sky. The leaves on the hedge next door glistens in the burst of the day’s last rays. This is a quiet street. The hibiscus has several buds almost ready to flower. If we have a frost tonight they may be damaged.


a cloud


frost damaged buds


Benita Kape © 19.4.2018


I have followed the prompt for today. Looked for a minimal response. Moved the word buds two places forward. Not seen this done with erasure poems. But then I decided to write the haiku backwards


buds damaged

frost glistens

a cloud


BK ©


Is there a third way I might do this? I don’t think so.



Our (optional) prompt for the day takes it cue from Brady’s suggestion that erasure/word banks can allow for compelling repetitive effects. Today we challenge you to write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.




Supposing the Mind – Day 11.4.2018 NaPoWriMo



Supposing the Mind


Which will have remained the same.


Marginalia of the mind: a snail’s pace.


My mind the next cloud that floats by.


Two clouds at the same time, my mind for the moment.


Wings for my mind. This is my future.


My mind is the old pond seeking haiku.


Light shaft, you are the rail train of my mind

thundering on to the next station at first light of day.


Campfire and adventures, ancient oratory

stored for the mind’s re-interpretations.


Mind, I retrieve you from the bottom

of the clothes basket, just when you felt cosy.


Clothesline: what have I pegged my mind to.


A fold of the mind, laying my thoughts aside.


Skull, meet mind. Too many weird

ornaments in the garden of the mind.


Tree rings, the long life of the mind.


A haystack of a mind. A message for horses

and suddenly my mind has made a unicorn

of this.


A box of raisins, the mind reveals itself

in fragments of fruit. A wedge of orange

does not make of itself a whole thought.


Drawstring of the mind; but the mind

they say, never sleeps.


That, I allow, is the future of my mind.


Benita Kape © 11.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image

Day Eleven

Our (optional, as always) prompt for the day is taken from one of the prompts that Kwoya Fagin Maples suggests in here interview: a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”


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


I'm up for measurement (2)

Interrupting Poetry for photo haiku



Thin Edge of the Shore