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!



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!



Sweet As – phrases local (NZ) – 23.4.2018

Things I Hear Every Day


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             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, TuMeke,       Sweets As


Benita Kape (c) 24.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image 

And now for today’s (optional) prompt! Kate Greenstreet’s poetry is spare, but gives a very palpable sense of being spoken aloud – it reads like spoken language sounds. In our interview with her, she underscores this, stating that “when you hear it, you write it down.” Today, we challenge you to honor this idea with a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language. Perhaps it could incorporate a song lyric in some way, or language from something often heard spoken aloud (a prayer, a pledge, the Girl Scout motto). Or you could use a regional or local phrase from your hometown that you don’t hear elsewhere, e.g. “that boy won’t amount to a pinch.”


Elephant? NaPoWriMo – 22.4.2018

Slippers 022

Look, I’ve found an Elephant’s Leg?


She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not


Cat’s don’t find daisies and sit stripping petals,

asking silly questions about love for instance.


My cat is in no doubt – she’d eat an elephant for me;

that is, if she really had to.  And even if it took her

the rest of her life she’d do it. And she’d get up before me

in the morning; lasso the sun and get him started from

west to east. Something she’s been wanting to do for years

to surprise me with a poetry of her own.


But we’ve no elephants in our garden, only this;

one cat and I suppose, a couple of strays,

who steer clear of me. They, poor creatures, know nothing

of a love that is never in doubt – in which a cat eating an elephant

could possibly figure, and it does. Don’t ask me why it just does.


…………………….. And I’m just

thankful they (meaning the strays)

keep the yard free of rodents.


Well, I believed it was them – but this morning, here

on the bottom step was a tiny mouse, lying on its side,

eyes closed, looking soft and sleepy. And it could

be no other than my cat who presented me with

the next best thing to an elephant; this mouse:

which puny gift I gathered into a wrapping of newspaper

and binned. It was stiff and very dead.                    Imagine

if that had been an elephant. By the time the cat had noshed

her way through at least one stumpy leg, (not two, or four even)

the house would most surely have been overrun with several

families of mice. And the sun might have got back to his old

ways of arriving from the east.


Best not put ideas in her head. But by noon today, I had a feeling

I was going to write a poem about the gift of a mouse because

I’d found this one on my doorstep. I just never knew my poem

would include an elephant, plus a sun un-direct –

ional. The person responsible for the inclusion of an elephant,

a strangeness in the skies as well, is someone called Maurine.

She must know how huge my pussycats’ love is for me.

Yes, Slippers Cat would do anything for me. At the moment she is

twitching in her dreams. I think, dreaming of chasing

the flying pigs who arrived when the elephant didn’t

quite make it. Such is her guilt at poetry.

Benita Kape © 22.4.2018


And now for our daily prompt (optional as always). I’ve found this one rather useful in trying to ‘surprise’ myself into writing something I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise. Today, I’d like you to take one of the following statements of something impossible, and then write a poem in which the impossible thing happens:

The sun can’t rise in the west.

A circle can’t have corners.

Pigs can’t fly.

The clock can’t strike thirteen.

The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.

A mouse can’t eat an elephant.



Novel Feeling – Novel exercise. NaPoWriMo 18.4.2018

Take a poem, preferably one not known to you. Cover all but the last line. Write out that line and then write a line to correspond or in response. Then take the penultimate line and do the same and so on back to the first line of the poem. First the poem I got from this exercise, followed by the poem which inspired it.


Novel Feeling


But nothing is as it seems

Is much more difficult than dreams.

Weaving into a wider awakening

To where and what and how

For now this was their chosen byway – for now

Cliff drops; let’s go for the southern cliff.

Changed road signs! Which way to go?

And you: I hand the wheel over to you.

As if you need a licence in an unreal world.

Or reliving life at such a pace.

Slow, works ahead sign.

Spacious the car’s trunck spilling with flowers.

Too late to ask how we got here.

It was that novel feeling; another wrong turn.

Benita Kape (c) 18.4.2018



The following poem (black lines) and written from the bottom of the poem back to the top line is by Bolton Street Cemetery 1 by David Beach from his book Abandoned Novel. The reason I named my poem “Novel Feeling”.


Seemed cinematic, indeed heavenly

But nothing is as it seems

Itself along with a vividness, which

Is much more difficult than dreams 

Oblivious to its fate the traffic chased

Weaving into a wider awakening.

They were really going. Spectacularly

To where and what and how

Destinations. Of course this was the place.

For now this was their chosen byway – for now

Shades and shade, watching the rush to vital

Cliffdrops; let’s go for the southern cliff.

Disapprove of death. I stood amidst the

Changed road signs! Which way to go?

Of motorists almost as much as I

And you; I hand the wheel over to you.

Nor a motorist, in fact disapprove

As if you need a licence in an unreal world.

Grand Prix. I felt out of place, neither dead

Or reliving life at such a pace.

Light the motorway was putting on its

Slow down, works ahead sign.

As mushrooms under the trees. Back in the

Spacious the car’s trunk spilling with flowers.

Instant gloom the tombstones looking recent.

Too late to ask how we got here.

Above the bridge there was a path in and

It was that novel feeling; another wrong turn.