Monologue – Day 8 NaPoWriMo 2021

Helen Chalmers

Well, Helen Chalmers, where do we start?

The day you were passed

To the childless couple who never officially

Adopted this child, first born, born of a servant girl:

Whose (not officially) adoptive mother

Died when you were very young.

And that (not officially) adoptive father

Wrapped your curls in cloth every night.

Who then married a widow with children of her own,

And you learned very quickly what jealousy was.

And though you excelled in your schooling

They made circumstances to relieve your furtherance.

So now, here you were a servant girl yourself

At a young age. At a young age you fell in love.

Rejection followed; heart broken you made a decision

To go to the end of the world.

Came the first port of call, Panama;

You met an American to whom

You lost your heart once again. But you both

Went your own ways. He had to stay. You travelled on;

once again, to the ends of the world. And later, much later

I, your daughter would think, he was a go-getter anyway.

And you arrived at the end of the world, a wonderful new beginning

where you met a good man and fell in love. He gave you a good life.

Though the first love you never forgot.

Dear Helen Chalmers.

Benita H. Kape (c) 8.4.2021

Day 8 NaPoWrMo 2021:


Helen Chalmers is based loosely on the monologue of Reuben Pantier in Spoon River Anthology, the monologue is from the woman herself though, reflective which I suppose we can do in an after-life. The constraint I put on myself was to have the exact same number of lines (24) and parody lines 1 and 24.


And last but not least, our (optional) prompt. I call this one “Return to Spoon River,” after Edgar Lee Masters’ eminently creepy 1915 book Spoon River Anthology. The book consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.


Day 7 – Shadorma and Fibonacci

For my late husband whose 95th birthday is April 8th, 2021


only with
the one I truly love
will be ours
you are my angel waiting
for me as I dream




the past

in my heart

now you are gone love;

gone my love! I think not dearest.

Something that was will always be

part of us and deep

in our hearts

dear one



Benita H. Kape (c) 7.4.2021


Two forms (shadorma) A 26 syllable count going thus 3/5/53/3/7/5. You can make a poem with this using multiple stanzas.


(fibonacci) Syllable count thus 1/1/2/3/5/8 and/or work back thus 8/5/3/2/1/1 (which I have done above).


Birthday Letter Eleven Years On – Day 6 – GloNaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo 2019   (Prompt Day 6: Write a possibility poem)

Birthday  Letter  Eleven  Years  On  


If I could turn back the years

and have you here; your birthday

is tomorrow.

If I could talk with you again

and never talk of sorrow.

If you are still my first reader,

my editor; does that make this

any less a love poem?

If and what and where and when —

we had so much, the years rich,

if sometimes sad.

If I could turn back the years

And hold you in my arms again.

Not if, when, on your birthday tomorrow.

Benita H. Kape © 7.4.2019


Notes: Of course it is a complete impossibility. But memories are not.

Pat & Benita 40th anniversary (1993) 001

40th wedding anniversary


Rink On

Rock and rink

Nuptial Photoshoot


roller rink at the beach …

rock & roll, hand in hand,

wave after wave they get the balance.


the high shot

looking down on them,


and that high sweep


don’t turn to look

artfully netted rocks, beachside:


(a city setting itself against future storms.)


later, upon opening up the photograph,

choose “Paint;” and having chosen text,

font, size and colour, in a blue wave

write on that big sweep of the rink



ignore them

rink on

or swim for your life


Benita H. Kape © 26.3.2019





My poem for NZ National Poetry Day 2018 Te Aroha

Te Aroha

for: Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford


Two months and three days;

It’s time I wrote a poem just for you.


So far I’ve only seen you

cuddly wrapped and wearing

your little green hat. On Facebook,

your Mum has shown a smidgen

of the lovely gifts sent your way.

Te Aroha, the country has said,

and respects your family’s

right to privacy.


Two months and three days.

We wait patiently for the release

of your first official photograph;

other than the one as a family

as you left hospital and went home

and your Mum took her dedicated

six weeks maternity leave. It can

be done. Prime Ministers can

take such leave same as any other.

Paternity, Maternity, working parents,

all need a time of leave.


But until that official photograph of you,

and because I am celebrating

one of the many good things

to come our way this year,

doing that, as always, through poetry –


Te Aroha National Poetry Day Aotearoa 2018


Our love for our country

Our love for poetry

Our love for family


Benita Helen Kape © 19.8.2018


Mandala Floating into Poem – Poem Floating into Mandala

Mandala Aroha 2

Mandala Aroha


Zen Masters – GloPoWriMo 2017 – Day Six – Ways of looking at things

Flipped Slippers

Zen Masters


I look my cat in the eyes.

She looks back into mine.

It’s a mutual admiration.


I look at her feet, all four, individually.

I’ve read that cats would never let you

touch their pads and in between, tactile

and cushiony. Nice to prove the experts

wrong. I believed Adolf Huxley when he said,

“If you want to write keeps cats.” I think on

some counts he got that wrong; (more on

that later.)


One cat will do for me. One whose feet

fascinate me, the long hours she spends

on my knee. I caress each pad. She spreads

each claw, and as she feigns sleep I see in her,

delight. If her claws communicate sharp,

and grip in any way, it’s only to make clear

her ecstasy.


If I’m taking more notice of my writing desk

than her; (like now): she’ll let me know that too.

I look on her as she carefully, gradually scatters

my papers. And then she’ll walk across

the keyboard, nudge away the books

I’m piling on the printer.


Oh, yes, she looks me in the eye and smiles.

Smug, smug cat; perhaps she saw what I was

reading. Cat quotes, this one by Eckhart Tolle.

‘I have lived with several Zen Masters, all

of them cats.’


Benita H. Kape © 6.4.2017


Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view. The most famous poem of this type is probably Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. You don’t need to have thirteen ways of looking at something – just a few will do!


NaPoWriMo 2015 – Day 11 – Sapphic verse – Fragment Self Esteem


Fragment Self Esteem

 ‘less aware of love than fear’: from

Sapphic Fragments by Eliza Griswold


Once I could not have written so bold to fear,

although choosing not to work in couplets

Eliza, I shall repair to the classic

to tongue untied.


Some women shared only in their homes.

Blind-folded another, but not those who spoke

to a world that has now come to support us,

empower us more


in poetry, art, each creative mile stone

creating excitement, transcending the bad

reputation given woman through fear:

who was not to fear


but rejoiced, reclaimed, elevated;

sung in concert and academy, city hall.

Chase out that which was so often otherwise:

loose fear, stand in awe.

Benita Kape © 12.4.2015


Eliza Griswold was speaking to a different fear but a fear which is common to both men and women as is the fear I speak of here.