exordium – Day 2 – NaPoWriMo, 2022

praise to roses
rorulent in the yard
it is, after all, autumn;
the final flush
of such blossom
has the quietness
of colour
we can expect

fingers itch
for secateurs;

a little
like poetry

Benita H. Kape (c) 4.4.2022

To choose an obscure and interesting English word. Well I came up with two obscure, and to me, interesting words but then the third was unavoidable.

  1. exordium: opening portion of speech or writing
  2. rorulent: covered with dew
  3. secateurs: pruning sheers

“And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means “an inability to concentrate”? Or maybe something like “greenout,” which is “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time”? Whatever you choose, happy writing!”


Today’s Game 27.4.2018

The Charioteer


It was the thing, maybe least

to our notice, which caught my eye;

upper floating pupils of the Sphinx

on the left.


(I’m not good at this game.)


I do all I can to put aside all the –

in your face – Princely come-ons.

How annoying to always have a sword

close to hand! But, I like the honest eyes

of the sphinx I’ve already mentioned.

The heavy breasts of the other held

an honesty too.


Oh, please don’t make me

make a choice, one or the other.

They both seem so human.

It’s neither of them who

seeks an answer to the question;

to which shoulder will the Charioteer

raise his hand?  Whichever one;

one thing is certain. I am the

only one here who can make

that move. And so the game

was played.


Benita Kape © 28.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image

And now for today’s (optional) prompt. Following Lauren Hunter’s practice of relying on tarot cards to generate ideas for poems, we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.


At 25 Days – 25.4.2018

WARNING LABEL  –  at 25 Days

This woman is the couplet she writes,

Sonnet she sings or acrostics activated


Weaver of words coming with a warning

Acrostic poems on her radar, she’ll never be remedied

Rondels arouse her irrationally

Nonets make her nervous and nickered, she has cutting edges

Inverted refrains, her change of heart, the warnings grow huge

Newsworthy warnings, twenty-five days’ worth

Gargantuan the warning;  Gra Reformata a new form she found


The real warning:  this woman doesn’t get out of bed until noon.

And on the 25th day, she blames poetry.


Benita Kape © 25/4.2018



And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a warning label . . . for yourself! (Mine definitely includes the statement: “Do Not Feed More Than Four Cookies Per Hour.”

Happy writing!



Makariri te po – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 30 – translations

Makarri te po

Here a waiata tangi (a lament) written in collaboration with my dear friend Katarina Reedy. The title is part of the lament. Please go into the comments below where you can hear the beautiful rendition of Katarina sing this waiata tangi with the full resonance of the language.

Makariri te po
The Night is Cold

Ahiahi mārire
Quiet evening

Nga rangi hina
The grey skies

te whakararuraru i ahau.
Trouble me

Na reira

Āta puta atu ra
Proceed slowly (out into the weather)

Makariri te po
The Night is Cold

He mokemoke ahau e.
And I am lonely

Benita H. Kape & Katarina Reedy  © 30.4.2016

I feel awed and humbled by a language (Maori – te reo) which is the language of my country. This is the first time I have attempted a poem in te reo. Forgive me if I display any errors. I have taken care. (I have made corrections after consultation with Katarina Reedy.) Tonight we were to write in another language, or to attempt a translation of a poem in a language not our own. A shaky start to te reo but hugely satisfying. Many thanks Bubbles.

The Night is Cold

Quiet evening
the grey skies
trouble me
proceed slowly

the night is cold
and I am lonely

Benita H. Kape © 30.4.2016


Beach Drives – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 29 – memories


Beach Drives & Babies & the Time I Drove into a Bank

I want to remember how old I was when I first heard
the wind sigh in the pine trees across the paddock;
first recall I suspect! I feel I was a little older the first
time I can remember going down the hill into
the village: standing in the back, grabbing the car seat
in front; in awe of so many houses, so tidy, so close
together. But I knew the village well by the time our
family numbered nine and we packed into the Ford,
driven miles to the beach for a picnic. It was New Year.

I remember, my first full-time job, biking there and
being driven home with period cramps so bad I was
curled up. But on happier notes the boss drove me
into town to sing as a guest. It was just after the war
and the song was ‘I’ll Walk Beside You’. My father was
beside me on the birth of my second child as he drove
down Mt. Stewart. Keep driving I shouted as I slipped
forward and gathered the child in arms. But it wasn’t
until I was over forty that I finally got my vehicle license
and drove a car myself.

I remember each early adventure. The time I bent forward
to change a dismal tape that was playing and with my eyes
taken of the road I hit a bank. As luck would have it six cop cars
to my rescue in a remote spot; they had been detailed to
patrol the arrival of a celebrity (Princess Di and Charles)
in the city I’d just come from. I was headed to the bedside
of my dying father but I never told him about my numerous
heros and it never made the news. Apart from a dent above
a left front wheel, the worst of the damage was a massive
scattering of my favourite tapes. And apart from a brief
consideration (the mad things we do when recently divorced) –
of changing direction, going with my heros back to town. I
blame that silly moment on shock. I was half-way into an
eight hour journey and of course I carried on. I have lovely
memories of my truck driving father; that last sad week-end.

I can’t remember what it would be like not to drive here
and there, from one end of the island to the other, though
less now. But I love driving and memories of driving. Over
the years I had more than one Ford but now I’m into Mazdas.
That is, until my eye-sight a gathering problem, finally lets
me down.

Benita H. Kape © 29.4.2016

p.s We never did divorce, we separated for a time. But I’d always said I’d only ever have one husband.


What does a cat know? – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 28 – a poem telling a story, but telling it backward

What does a cat know?

What does a cat know of betrayals?
With a cat’s curiosity, as the sound dies, she
approaches as the sound plays and replays
in the still air.

In the morning air a sound so pure.
If clay has a sound supreme, a timbre;
a high pitched scream.
Arms aloft, nothing would stop
Too late; confide an agency of grace.
Rasping sounds of breathe to release.
A sound of wings?
A dive will be made.
A river of anger and despair.
The victim of cross-fire, some dark mantra.
Kingfisher lifting with catch caught in the
magic of clay. Chromatic conflicts, resolve, resolve.
The anguish, the regrets, the loss of harmony.
Sisters split apart by one small revelation.

Benita H. Kape © 28.4.2016

A poem telling a story, but telling it backward.


Children Take Shortcuts – NapoWriMo 2016 – Day 27 – longer sentences

The Bay 1

Children Take Short Cuts

It takes a very long line to say I live in a very short street.Children take short cuts down our street, in order, to cross the river bridge.Our island is narrow but we live near its widest point east to west. The city is on the shores of a bay, crescent moon, is its shape. Hills shadow the shape of the bay, Titirangi being closest to shore. On her slopes Tangata whenua seek to restore vegetation. A vegetation more appropriate to the environs of our land. Back in my street my own yard long overgrown, a punga stands tall. Tomorrow I will cross the bridge on my way to the beach and back home. Home; there are no more lines to add to a Whitmanesque sequence. But there might be yet another as I look onto a scene of our yard. How lovely, how young the grass inviting us in to take a seat.

Benita H. Kape © 27.4.2016

Backyard seat 2013

Titirangi – name of a hill on the city shore

Tangata whenua – indigenous people of New Zealand

Punga – a fern like tree


Yesterday – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 26 (2) – call & response


Rainbow trout 001.jpgYesterday

A soft word to you my yesterday
A soft word in reply

No tears for my yesterdays
Those we shed were a truth at the time.

Travelled miles in my yesterdays
Today is for home

Been through floods and had accidents
Today is unknown

Written poems and tossed them
Remembering those you rescued

Yesterday poems and todays
Are all that I am

Benita H. Kape © 27.4.2016

I just had to share my second response to call and answer. Perhaps I’m nostalgic for days when the kids were at home and badgering for lunch in town.


What’s for Lunch – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 26 – call & answer poem


School Holidays – What’s For Lunch

Are you hungry my darlings, my darlings?
Yes we are hungry, very hungry, mother dear.

Then whose turn is it to make lunch today, my darlings?
Whose turn? You ask mother darling; how about father?

Your father is out of town. He will be away all week I fear.
Is that mother, the reason you give us the scrapings, the scrapings?

The weather is cooler I suggest a light lunch of soup and toast!
Soup and toast mother? On soup and toast, we have long over-dosed.

Well, I give up. I’m not sure my cooking will ever please you my hungry darlings.
Quite right about that mother; can we go to ‘McDonalds’ or ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’?

Just for today, mind you my hungry darlings. Just, for today.
Oh we love you, we love you mother darling. And tomorrow can we try Wendys?

Benita H. Kape © 26.4.2016

Ok, it’s salad not soup. But I’ve never been keen on cooking and my kids will tell you that. Though tonight I have on hand a very nice steak!

2nd lunch s8.9.2014


Love is not- NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 25


Love is not a Bunch of Roses

You pushed the door and it opened
to transformation. It looked better
on you. It’s moments of silence
that have me in awe. Smother in
silver and braided, love is not
a bunch of roses. You think of
a girl who wanted to ride bare-
back in a story. And you lay awake.

But this is where I take over
while you walk around the block.
You pushed the door and it opened.

Benita H. Kape © 25.4.2016


* “You pushed the door and it opened” from a poem ‘The Visit” by Kapka Kassabova. Some of the lines came from lines of poems I may have used for this prompt, but not all.

And now for our (optional) prompt! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. This will work best if you just start with a line of poetry you remember, but without looking up the whole original poem. (Or, find a poem that you haven’t read before and then use a line that interests you). The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original!. For example, you could begin, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” or “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” or “I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster,” or “they persevere in swimming where they like.” Really, any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore. Happy writing!