Directions – Day 30

Journey: The Part I Love

Move across the kitchen to the back door.
Ooops, the cat under my feet.
She’d open the door if she could.
She has this habit of when it comes
time she wishes to go outdoors
she doesn’t actually scratch, she
paws at the door in a little knock,
knock sound. (I know, she’s clever.)

Now she is nosing at the security door.
How many times a day do I open it
just for her? But a Kitty Latch Door!
No, we have strays who have seen what
a good wicket this little cat is on.

Down a couple of steps, cat not sure and tries
to herd me in the opposite direction.
Round the side of the house we go:
walk the metaled metres down the path.
Past hibiscus, roses and Japanese anemones.
All I see of cat is a tail among the day lilies.

Past the orange tree, then the lemon tree
and then push aside the jasmine I’ve
been meaning to cut back: how can the
post-person even see our lovely ceramic
street number screwed on the post under
the box? But he seems to. (Been known
to put mail in that’s not for me. I re-direct.)

I lift the tight closed flap of the letter box.
Today’s mail in hand I stop to smell the roses;
wave to my neighbour out for a stroll. Mail
deliveries cut back to three times a week.
(That was gonna happen Covid or no.)

And this is the part I love; when cat comes
galloping around the corner, comes
to an abrupt halt —
and waits for me to take the steps.
Holding back the security door
I turn to her saying, “Coming?”
And just like that we are back in
our warm kitchen.

Benita H. Kape (c) 30.4.2021

Note: I couldn’t seem to get started on this prompt and really contemplated doing a haiku or tanka. They weren’t working for me.

Notes: “And now for our final (still optional!) prompt. Today’s prompt is based on a prompt written by Jacqueline Saphra, and featured in this group of prompts published back in 2015 by The Poetry Society of the U.K. This prompt challenges you to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. It could be a real place, like your local park, or an imaginary or unreal place, like “the bottom of your heart,” or “where missing socks go.” Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like. “


Window (2) – Day 29

Window 2 poem Day 29 NaPoWriMo 2021

Space; Breaking a Ceiling
to: Mother

Neighbour stands near the window, bent
over, absorbed in what she is doing. I used
to watch the two of them. Now there is
only her; and the grandson who comes
in at odd times to replenish her empty
woodbox. He lives next door.

Set close to the window, she checks
her new acquistion: the arm, the needle
of a second-hand gramaphone. Almost
child like listening to musicals, opera,
orchestrations. Innocent smiles, as she
masters this beast; this beast.

And it will be a beast to her. Where
once a devoted DIY husband took
charge. (Not today. But she’ll be thinking
of him. It hits her, this new adaption
to her own space.) While he might have
found a reason not to play, or indeed, not
have his wife play her new acquisition.
Not that he wasn’t a kind man.

I say “Make the most of it.” Yow, such
quality of sound issuing forth, is not quality
at all. But to the leaves of the hedge,
again I say “Make the most of it.”

There she is, eyes shut working her way
through a little guilt! Out of her comfort
zone! Back and forth. Back and forth.
I hope not. But that’s her nature.
Will this be as far as it goes
with any new steps in her widowhood?
Even to walk up the road is a challenge for her.

Then grandson arrives to set up that woodbox.
How hastily she moves to lift the gramophone’s
arm; knocks over her pile of records spoiling
her moments of joy.

Before I return to my gardening I see the lad’s
made his Nan a cup of tea. Not the best
way to distract her attention. I must
have a word with him.

Benita H. Kape (c) 30.4.2021

Notes: Notes: “And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?”

Second poem on the same Day 29 prompt.


Window – Day 29 NaPoWriMo 2021

(WARNING: adult material, no swearing but reveals a distressing scene – see note at bottom)

Stretch Marks

Easy man, to step up onto that veranda.
Saw that sash window pushed up. Such a
stinking hot night. Someone wanting some air;
or maybe forgot to close it. Such a stinking
hot night. Not much dew on a night like this.
Don’t usually come this close to the inner
suburbs. Main road, is my route out of town.

Most yards have a fence; always
one or two that don’t. A low garden verge,
and then quick jump over that lawn and up
on that veranda like I was dancin’. Curtains
is drawn, though this, the only room with
the lights on. And again I see a flicker
of a shadow other side of those curtains.
Curtains I’m so close to now. And edge
a curtain corner back. I see a man fast
asleep on the far side of a bed. She; the
shadow I saw as I came ‘cross the lawn;
is stepping close to the dresser, her back
toward me, naked as the day she were
born. I could touch her, even as she turns
and I see stretch marks on her belly. Hot
nights do strange things to people.
Lookin’ at herself wearin’ nothin’
but a smile.

She’s turning now; my way. She’s seen
my hand and she screams. I’m gone from
there, over the lawn, the garden even;
almost before that front door opens.
I’m back on the main road by the time
the cops and their dog sniffed me out.

Benita H. Kape (c) 29.4.2021

Notes: “And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?”


I was crying by the time I finished writing this poem. I hesitated about bring it to the web. But poetry is about taking risks. And I took the risk.

Photo by Masha Raymers on

Snapa-abulous – Day 27

Snapa-abulous is a made up word of the like of the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and after a frightening incident 2 years ago.

Snapa-abulous 1 and 2: 3

Few people see my snapa-abulous,
very few, being as it’s in so delicate
a place. A few times it pulls; that’s
not the rule though, the few times
it makes itself felt.

Picture a stent insertion, a screen:
little twiggly movements up there
on the screen; stent insertion very near
the heart. I felt safe, interested. Then
voices around me grew quiet. The screen
shuts down: the nurse talking quietly
in my ear: something about another
Team. The moment of snapa-abulous!
Snap; no sound; snap; somewhere
deep in my body.

Four hours Team 2, to whom I owe everything.
When I awoke the horrible pain. My shoulder;
the way I had lain, and possible moved
to odd angles as Team 2 with tremendous
skill, found and removed twice broken wires.
Snapa-abulous. My wound took a long time
to heal. I couldn’t see inside the body where
snapa-abulous had occurred. For weeks
I was tended in hospital, and then
in my own home. The possibility of stents
now abandoned. Stent Surgeon standing
next day at the bottom of my bed.
“I may never touch you again,” he said.
I kept my thoughts to myself.

How often my mind traces the journey,
from my groin, up, up the body to near
the human heart.

Nerves cut in the groin.
I waited for that too to heal;
but I am numb, inner right leg,
from my groin to my knee.
Snapa-abulous 2. Two for the price
of one. Three, Snapa-abulous 3 actually.
My mind still struggles with all this.

Benita H. Kape (c) 29.4.2021

Notes: “In today’s (optional) prompt, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The entries are very vivid – maybe too vivid! But perhaps one of the sorrows will strike a chord with you, or even get you thinking about defining an in-between, minor, haunting feeling that you have, and that does not yet have a name.”

Photo by cottonbro on


The Beehive – Day 22


Not everything that comes from
our Beehive in Wellington; seat
of New Zealand Government;
goes down well. But in the main,
over recent years, citizens have
shown some faith in the work
that goes on in The Beehive.

Though it’s not all honey, step up –
Bees; make sure you are always

Benita H. Kape (c) 22.4.2021


“But at the same time, the “staying power” of the mango underscores the strength of metonymy in poetry. Following Poets & Writers’ prompt, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.”

The Beehive – Wellington, New Zealand

This is the Song – Day 21

This is the Song

This is a song for a sunny day
This is a song for greeting
There is another song for fare-welling
This is a song for many countries
This is a song for the ocean
This is a song for the sky
This is a song for my home and my land
This is a song for the birds that sing
This is a song for the cataract gone
not just from one eye, but both eyes now
This is a song for the music I see
This is the song for a good cup of tea
This is a song and I love to sing

Benita H. Kape (c) 22.4.2021


And now for our (optional) prompt. Have you ever heard or read the nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed?” It’s quite creepy! A lot of its effectiveness can be traced back to how, after the first couplet, the lines all begin with the same two phrases (either “When the . . .” or “Twas like,”). The way that these phrases resolve gets more and more bizarre over the course of the poem, giving it a headlong, inevitable feeling.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like this one, uses lines that have a repetitive set-up. Here’s an example I came up with after seeing this video of . . . a bucket of owls.
Bucket List
Several owls can fill a bucket.
Several buckets can fill a wheelbarrow.
Several wheelbarrows can fill a truckbed.
Several truckbeds can fill a song.
Several songs can fill a head.
Several heads can fill a bucket.
Several buckets filled with heads and owls
Sing plaintive verse all night long.


A Google ads. & Bums on Table Rant – Day 19

A Google ads. & Bums on Table Rant

using some Shakespearean insults “plus”

My pale head having small thought for insults.

But I who wretchedly day by day in April

act upon prompts; am prompted to rant.

I must tell you friendly in your ear,

sell when you can, you are not for all markets.

Even as I search, Google advertisements assault

at every turn.

I scorn you, scurvy companion.

And on through my search Google ads., I tell you:

There’s no more faith in thee than a stewed prune.

Now that was a strange insult because I’ve never

lost faith in a stewed prune to move things along:

if you get my drift.

Google ads: you are like unto bums on a table;

and that, in my country, is an insult. More so

than Shakespearean insults a step further by

uttering the supreme insult thus. Pokokohau ma.

A literal “cooked heads.”

But that last curse I will leave for politicians.

I heard one pronounce this insult such

a short time ago. Both Maori, they know

the full extent of their insult exchange.

I’m not sure the matter was settled. An

hundred and forty years ago they’d have

bought on the war parties.

Benita H. Kape (c) 204.2021


Insults to Maori (New Zealanders) =Bums on tables and pokokohau ma

“And last but not least, our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves. Perhaps it’s people who tailgate when driving, or don’t put the caps back on pens after they use them. Or the raccoons who get into your garbage cans. For inspiration, perhaps you might look to this list of  Shakespearean insults. Or, for all of you who grew up on cartoons from the 1980s, perhaps this compendium of Skeletor’s Best Insults might provide some insight.”


Be Careful What You Wish For – Day 18

Chapter title from: Mythos by Stephen Fry

Be careful what you wish for!
Too many sweets.
And your teeth will rot.

Be careful what you wish for!
Too much sun.
Remember the sun can burn.

Be careful what you wish for!
Eos, wife of Tithonus
who requested Zues grant a wish
that her husbandTithonus
have immortality. Of course
she’d made no request
as to ageing and he ended up
with; horror of horrors,
a grey hair. Eos had not
considered ageing. She had
not requested eternal youth.
She was left with what she
had wished for. And Zues
the sod just left them to it.

Benita H. Kape (c) 19.4.2021


“And now for our (optional) daily prompt! This one comes to us from Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s  table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature. Will you choose “the poem squash?” or perhaps “grocery weeping” or “the blue socks”? If none of the 60 rather wonderful chapter titles here inspire you, perhaps a chapter title from a favorite book would do? For example, the photo on my personal twitter account is a shot of a chapter title from a P.G. Wodehouse novel — the chapter title being “Sensational Occurrence at a Poetry Reading.”


Decisions – Day 14 – NaPoWriMo

Never Any Question

What are the statistics that a child;

bearer of a parent’s first name;

might be up for adoption?

What are the statistics for a child;

bearer of both parent’s first names;

might be up for adoption?

First names or no, for a child of this
man adoption was never going to
happen. Fostering, he had done 
his best for an ill spouse.

But a decision would have to be made

and it took nigh on two years before

health was restored and two families

come together, could move on.

Fostered for a time: mother and siblings

unwell – heart-breaking whooping cough.

Benita means blessed. I saw my father

in his namesake as blessed also.

Helen is a torch; some say the moon.

Dear mother: father too was my

torch. But you mother, are my moon,

my poetry. In remaining as family;

carrying my maiden name; what

could be more blessed for me.

First names or no, for a child of this
man adoption was never going to
happen. Fostering, he had done 
his best for an ill spouse.

Benita H. Kape (c) 14.4.2021

Notes: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that delves into the meaning of your first or last name.


A Turnaround Declared – Day 13

A wish news article for tomorrow


news of a turn around

scientists tell us
they have evidence

“we cannot yet reveal
the secret to reversal ...
Climate change in decline”

Benita H. Kape (c) 13.4.2021

Notes: Write a poem in the form of a news article you wish would come out morrow. I am tired today so I have written my biggest wish with the short poem for known as a Cherita. First stanza one line, second stanza two lines and third stanza three lines. Of course I could have written a series but I feel I have all the news I would wish in this one poem.