Trying to find Borges 30.4.2018 – NaPoWriMo

I’m not at all familiar with Borges but I gave it a go on a few things that came to me. But, as always, I stand to be corrected. He doesn’t seem to go by the maxim, “All poets are Cretans.” I don’t either but I wear the hat when it fits. Having had a repeat dream last night which was weird this was what I started with. Early in the evening, I dreamed my dead brother and his wife were having a big sale to get rid of pure rubbish. I woke, went back to sleep and then dreamed a similar dream. The basics were the same but the background and people totally different.


The Decider

“But broken images of nights treasure”


Take your time, the broken images may come together again.

But it is unlikely they will be the same.

Each night puts a new face on what the broken image might be.

You are always asking questions.

You are always asking us to ask questions.

You never say this history might be personal.

You also wrote, “The door does the choosing, not the man.”

Do we get to choose which images of nights’ treasure are the broken pieces, especially if we have already fitted them back together again?

I believe that’s all been decided a long time ago.

I’m trying to keep up with the categorical and the uncategorical.

I tried to keep to what seemed a rule: one thought, one line.


Benita Kape © 30.4.2018



And for our final (optional) prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.


Nail Air and Bone: Day 29.4.2018 NaPoWriMo – nearly there April.

window seat


Sylvia Plath wrote a poem about cutting off the tip of her thumb and that poem appears in Ariel. I’ve used the style she used for that poem. My poem may seem long but the stanzas are very short; the best way to write such an incident.  I titled my ‘thumb’ poem “Your Baby Thumb”. Not the kind of poem one expects to write for a three-year-old. There was no hinge by which the lid, when raised, would stay up of its own accord. Plus such lids are a hefty weight to come down on a little thumb resting on an opposite ledge. Another reason I called my poem “Your Baby Thumb” is because this thumb never gained its full adult length. I’ve seen some weird analysis of Plath’s poem, which incidentally is named “Cut”. None of that there here. Straight forward narrative is what I’ve gone for.


Your Baby Thumb

for: Sue


A child at play

a window seat lid

a slam, a scream.


No blood!

My own body

seems bereft of it too.


Look. This is what

you will see.

A mother’s quick searching


for a nobble of flesh;

among the boxes and books

in the cavern of a window seat.


Wrapped in clean cloth

a small hand

all that is left


above the top knuckle

of the child’s right thumb

is nail, air and bone.


And it was

never straight to A&E

first the GP


quick examination

and his nurse’s phone call

for a taxi.


Limp child in my arms —

through  tears

I stand on the edge


of the footpath

troubled I’d not found

that bulb of missing thumb half


but I’d had

no time to lose.

Kindness now pushes


it’s face

in my direction;

a stranger on the street.


Could she help?

Thank you, thank you

I explained as the taxi arrived.


I seem like

the child now

fainted away.


My child rushed

to theatre;

and what remains


of that small thumb

is stitched to the padding

in the palm of her hand


under her third finger.

It was Christmas

and our little girl



thumb to palm stitched.

We visited.


Few children in the ward

that week,

but there was our


little accident prone,

survivor  daughter

defending herself


bashing any boy

who caused

her annoyance


with –

You guessed it!

Her roundly bandaged arm.


Whack, whack.


The tiny bulb

of dying thumb

was found.


Oh Sylvia.


I would never

let you write

about that.


Benita Kape © 29.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image




And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.

Happy writing!



Caption: prose poem edited – postcard 28/29.4.2018

postcard 4.jpg Warming Up

Warming Up To Meet You

 Dear my good friend,

Girls, what were you walking into so generously and bursting with fun? Warming!  A caption flows following a period of war: their giggles framed as a preparation of some importance

You were warming up for families come together again after the war to end all wars. And, this is how, in such circumstances, you begin: a new sense of freedom infectious. A time capsule, unique and tender don’t you think?

With hindsight we feel that sense of sadness which will have been worn on those young shoulders; this capsule of time replaced as the beach belles move on into the fifties where a small revolution would come to hand.

Something they will call the New Look. Though as hemlines got longer (Caption appro: the proper hemline is 2 inches below the cellulite) the swimwear would lift and alter in shape. But let me not get ahead of myself, and the girls. Until then, fashion suffered those uninspiring designs, fabrics like jersey (wool) that would sag and pull out of shape.

Someone somewhere was about to make new inventions. The new decade of nylons and lastex, acetate: fabrics to firm and hold, the employ of boning in swimwear. (Now that wasn’t exactly freedom.) And there were paddings and ruching (still a favourite for the cover up of folds, both flesh and fabric.) For the very bold, bikinis. There were piping and polka dots and removable straps. Princess Lines and panties.

N.B. Dear friend,

And it all comes around again. What fell out of fashion comes back in. Only the caption remains out of date. This is not on my bucket list, nor yours I would think. How can I dissuade my eager daughter from setting up this online outdated fashion business, a mistake as she seeks ‘in’? Could you replicate this card to her minus a paragraph or two? Thank you.

Benita Kape © 28.4.2018


This was Day 28 prompt

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Following the suggestion of our craft resource, we challenge you today to draft a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards? I’m particularly fond of this one.

Happy writing!


Prose Poem – Caption: 28.4.2018 – NaPoWriMo

postcard 4.jpg Warming Up

Caption: Warming Up to Meet You Here

Since that strange mention of temperature, who would have guessed these were belles on a beach? And though it is strange that it is framed as a preparation of some import they pull it off: that new sense of freedom and they draw us marvellously into the fun. It is only with hindsight we feel a sense of sadness; know these beach belles have yet to move on to the fifties. They were warming up for families together again after a major war. And this is how, in such circumstances, they begin.  Oh, how fashion suffered then; uninspiring designs, fabrics like jersey (wool) that would sag and pull out of shape when it got wet.

Someone somewhere is about to make new inventions. The new decade of nylons and lastex, acetate: fabrics to firm and hold, the employ of boning in swimwear. (Now that wasn’t exactly freedom.) And there were paddings and ruching (still a favourite for the cover-up of folds: flesh or fabric.) For the very bold, bikinis. There were pipings and polka dots and removable straps. Princess Line and Panties.

And it all comes around again. What fell out of fashion comes back in. Only the caption remains out of date.

Benita Kape © 28.4.2018


And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Following the suggestion of our craft resource, we challenge you today to draft a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards? I’m particularly fond of this one.

Happy writing!


ANZAC DAY – An elegy extra for April 25.4.2018


As I publish this it is early on the morning of ANZAC and in an hour or so hundred upon thousands of people in NewZealand and Australia, as far as the peninsular in Gallipoli and later in London they will gather to remember with sadness the men and women of all the overseas wars our personnel have served in. We will remember them.

My Uncle Paul, my godfather, served and suffered but came home to us the loving man he had always been. God Bless you, my beloved  Uncle. Benno in the poem is my father.


Dear Brother Benno

to:  Uncle Paul


My father, eleven years of age at the time, Paul

was twenty-three. A postcard from France, 1916.


Received mail from home some time ago.

Enquires of Benno new teacher, better

than the old                                And, I say

Benno have you grown any more since I saw

you last, or are you still as small as ever. Give

my best love to Mother and Father. I remain

your loving brother.


A curly letter  M – addressed to Mr Benno,

squeezed beneath which he wrote. I also received

a letter from Linda. Can you tell them that.

Again no question mark appears, though all

available space is used, taking care to show only

the face he most dearly wishes his family to see.


Turn the postcard over and on it embroidered


‘Greetings from the trenches’


Conservation work is needed here with flimsy

fabric and cardboard lifting. But in this small

card you confirmed us in the family of ANZAC.

You remain for me a hero, the kindest of men

and of the suffering you never spoke. I often held

the hands that from the outbreak of yet another war

never ceased to shake. For how long then could you

continue at your trade of carpentry? An old man

before your time. And, when yet another war began

in 1939 Benno, by then, soldiering in the Homeguard,

because he too past a prime for warring as Paul had done

in World War One: four long years Egypt, France, Gallipoli.


Benita H. Kape © 27.10.2013




Elegy (2) NaPoWriMo – 24.4.2018

Elegy (2)

After Twenty-four Years


You were so tired. I’ve never

seen rain like it when you went.

How often does it happen? The

undertaker had to take you

back. We would wait, and

tempers would flair before

the morning when finally we

laid you to rest beside Dad.

That waiting was such a shame.

I’ll bet it was the worst night

you’d ever,

or ever will have.


One thing I’m sure of:

the next morning it was you

who determined the weather.

In your slight, gentle Scots brogue

you put things in motion. You’d

had enough.


Last evening, I’d done my best,

singing as the hearse moved

not to the graveside, but back

up the street. I’d failed. So,

as I remember it; at the quiet

graveside that morning, only

the minister’s blessings. All

else was whispers. I heard

your fading voice in the wind.

From you, I’d learned forgiveness.

Others had too, and others had not.


Benita Kape © 24.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image

Today for NaPoWriMo we have for our suggested prompt Elegy.


Sweet As – phrases local (NZ) – 23.4.2018

Things I Hear Every Day

(This one’s is for Peter Gordon

who said I wasn’t to use Maori

unless I understood the words used.

Ka pai, nephew.)


Sweet As,         the day’s going well

Can’t you tell

Sweet As


Ka pai                         in the same frame

Sweet As                      for those bi-lingual


Ka Pai            (idiomatically – been a naughty boy!)  serve him right

                        to be hoped he won’t make

                        the same mistake again     Sweet As


I’m a box of fluffies      Sweet As


Crash Here     Sweet As           a good night’s sleep


Git Y’ laughin’ gear ‘round that           think mouth around this


Wachit Mate   Watch it, friend! Mind how you go!


See Ya Later    which, of course, I may not

                        or it’s to be hoped so


Sweet As


Tu Meke (Two MeKee)

Sweet As          awesome, good job


Tu Meke,  too much,       Sweets As


Benita Kape (c) 24.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image 



Narcissus Does Narcissus Selfies – NaPoWriMo 21.4.2018


Narcissus Does Selfies


Narcissus, your hair

has thinned and been replaced in part;

you check this on your reflecting mobile app.

Tweet yourself the night away.


Your stout insipid chest

sports a tie not yet removed.

Its long tongue could be


the tweeting finger, even your

fingertips are pretty. Beautiful to you –

right down to an up-pointing

wagging digit pointing to the stars

you see in the well. Traffic for you

going one way; each tweet

as if another selfie.


Benita Kape © 21.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image 

And now for our (optional) prompt. In her interview, Brim provides us with several suggestions for generative writing exercises, and we’d like to challenge to today to tackle her third one, which is based in the myth of Narcissus. After reading the myth, try writing a poem that plays with the myth in some way. For example, you could imagine that imagine the water is speaking to you, the narcissus flower. Or you could write a poem in which the narcissus berates the Kardashians for stealing their neurosis. Or a poem that comments on the narcissism of our time, i.e. beauty and body obsession, etc.




Rebellious 20 – NaPoWriMo 20.4.2018

Who Scared This Cat 😉


You’ll never get me

travelling in an aeroplane.

I’ll never take to the skies.


You’ll never catch me

stepping onto a rail train,

or marching;


neglected lines are re-commissioned

and maintained.


And I will never

get behind the wheel of a car.

I will only ever a passenger be,


I will never step into a rubber raft

and paddle three days

ninety-five kilometres             (aaaahhhh)

twenty-six rapids                     (yyyeeeekkk)     (Grades 2 – 6)

river flooded miles      (where are the helicopters to take us home)

to the sea.


I will never let such things

stir my blood

drive another adrenalin rush.

Not me.


Benita Kape © 20.4.2018

Now I don’t need to tell you what I love, do I!!


Our prompt for the day (optional as always) takes its cue from Notley’s rebelliousness, and asks you to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or stricture that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it (for example, a poem that starts out in iambic pentameter, and then breaks into sprawling, unmetered lines). Or if you tend to write funny poems, you could rebel against yourself, and write something serious (or vice versa). Whatever approach you take, your poem hopefully will open a path beyond the standard, hum-drum ruts that every poet sometimes falls into.





Family – Pop – NaPoWriMo 17.4.2018

Pop @ church door 001

Pop at Church Door

A Cycle Clip & the Queen


Here is a photo of Pop;

custodian at his local church –

after an earthquake, something

like forty years ago, rubble spread

down the front steps.  But

there he was hearth brush and shovel

about to sweep the spoil into a bin.


The family still talk about the day

the Queen attended service here

and at the bottom of these very steps spent

a moment or two speaking with our Pop.


This photo, taken just after the earthquake,

is how best we remember him.

That cycle clip holding his trousers:

(and what you cannot see, the string,

never a belt, around his waist holding

up those trousers) yes, that clip always just

above his right ankle: that, and the call

of a magnificent AMEN at the end of every

prayer, every hymn: the congregation

well remembered, and took his lead.


The many Sundays he was here is what

comes to me as I take my place in choir

so many years after he has passed away.


I doubt he would have worn the cycle

clip around the right trouser leg of his

very best suit, nor the length of string

at his waist, the day he met the Queen.


Benita Kape © 17.4.2018



Our prompt for the day (optional as always) follows Gowrishankar’s suggestion that we write a poem re-telling a family anecdote that has stuck with you over time. It could be the story of the time your Uncle Louis caught a home run ball, the time your Cousin May accidentally brought home a coyote and gave it a bath, thinking it was a stray dog, or something darker (or even sillier).