Corned Beef

Corned Beef

to: my mother who made the best CB ever

Katherine Mansfield paid tribute 
to the Corned Beef;
well browned. But red is the true Corned Beef.
(Brined by the butcher or yourself.)

She mentioned plenty of gravy
so I doubt KM's was brined.
and horseradish sauce along with baked(?) Potatoes.

My best version Corned Beef: white sauce,
be it a horseradish or mustard, but
make it white
along with mashed potatoes (plenty pepper
and butter.)

Here we go from simmer
to a near two hour slow boil,
and what a good cook must add.

One tablespoon of golden syrup 
(if you haven't got golden syrup, honey will do.)
half a cup of malt vinegar.
Then sprinkle in a dozen or so cloves.
My friend sprinkles in peppercorns and bay leaf.
(She says start with cold water and bring to a slow boil.) 
Add sliced carrots:
peel a brown onion,
quarter and add to the water
along with the 3 c's Corned Beef, Cloves and Carrots.
Place in an own pot, sliced cabbage:
which must not be over-cooked.

May twenty-twenty-three be the year of Corned Beef.

Benita Helen Kape (c) 18.1.2023
(Helen: also my Mum's name.)

Another World

An elite couple
dancing on the beach.
Raindrops cannot
dampen spirits.
Nor show they a care
to butler and maid
whose umbrellas
attempt to shield them.
Selfishly the waltz

Little maid, as I muse
so like my mother.
Did you get a chill?

Benita H. Kape (c) 11.1.2022

Notes: This poem is based on a famous Scottish painting
by Jack Vettriano named “The Singing Butler.”
Self taught Jack Vettriano faced much snobbery.

Today for: We are to write a quadrille incorporating the word “muse.” I muse often on my mother and the very different life she had.


Yesterday’s Poem

This is the; ‘Should have

been written yesterday poem;

how lucky to be written at all

poem.’ It is also, ‘The I’ll write

straight onto the computer poem.’


‘This is the little bit grateful poem;

I’m coming alive poem: early in

the morning poem; a little bit

bleary eyed poem’ – but hey ‘Going

quite well poem.’


It could be, ‘The I don’t have to be

a very long poem.’ or ‘How did I get

this long poem?’


And now it becomes ‘The I’m getting

hungry poem; what’s for breakfast poem;

avocado and bacon on toast poem.’


‘Sorry, I have to go; my mouth is full poem.’

Yesterday’s poem; Happy New Year poem. Haeremai.

Benita H. Kape (c) 8.1.202


Haeremai – Maori; greetings, welcome.

For me the syntax of the word haeremai

sits more comfortably than the word greetings.


Lamb and Bear (2)

Teddy Bear for the Whole World


Companion Planting – Day 19

GloPoWriMo 2019

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet.

Backyard seat 2013

My garden

Companion Planting 


Allelopathy: growth inhibition as the consequence of the influence of one organism on another; seldom found word, but it’s there in that one in seven dictionaries.

Banana skins to tickle the toes of a rose.

Cabbages make easy friends with thyme, rosemary, dill, onions and celery.

Dill was well known by the Egyptians. It attracts the bees.

Earwig with his two fierce pincers; he’ll make a mess of those plants.

Frogs are a must for your garden; they eat so many pests.

Gladioli will never make friends with your strawberries.

Hyssop leaves provide a ‘tea’ for bacterial disease.

Kohlrabi, a good companion for your beetroot.

Lacewings, ladybirds, lavender, leek, legumes, lemon balm and lettuce, lizards and lily-of-the-valley.

Marigold they say is everything for companion planting.

Nettles and newspapers are useful in your garden.

Oregano is no friend for the beetle: companion planting.

Potato and pumpkin have a clear and mutual animosity; no companion planting here then.

Quassia chip spray will do no harm where there are ladybirds.

Rue, ‘this herb of grace;’ pretty little lover of the sun.

Spiders: two thousand different species in our islands alone; a few, or many in our garden.

Turnips; if all else fails grow them, says the farmer.

Virus disease; milk powder made up as a spray could be a solution.

Wallflowers, wasps, water and woodchips; all in a good gardeners alphabet.

Yarrow works her magic through the element of copper.

Zucchini, Zucchini; aphids never let in with nasturtiums in your companion planting which costs nothing and does no harm.

Benita Kape © 19.4.2019

 Nature is the boss says Brenda Little in her book Companion Planting and to whom I give credit for the information here.




A Good Home for our Trusty Pack-Horse

GloPoWriMo 2019    Prompt:  Day 3.    A poem that takes time.


A  Good  Home  for  our Trusty Pack-Horse


The one thing we had at that time was a little

extra money. And I just happened to be

passing the local car-sale yard when this car

just happened to catch my attention: a big green


Mazda 626. If we pooled our resources; your

compensation monies; and my savings, we could

just about manage this; though first I would

deal.  Why not? The dealer knew I was looking


for a good sized boot in which to transport

your wheelchair and/or your walker: the things

you needed when you went between home

and respite care. Yes, it would suit us well


and he was a fair dealer letting me take it home

for you to view. To view was to make you smile.

We completed on the deal. How many times

I took you to appointments, a ride in the country,


visiting friends. Then when you were admitted

(and that was after several years) to special care,

sometimes I drove “The Green” up the road

and across the river to visit you as often as


three times a day. “The Green” was a big empty

car after you were gone, but I was not about to

swap her. I continued to call her “The Green”

even though there was your big green Lazy-boy chair


as well. Then water somehow got into “The Green” (car)

after days of rain. She ceased to go. I sent her to the garage

and waited, and waited for the necessary work

to be done. It took two months, and a bad job at that.


Now she only fired if the temperature was about

eighteen degrees or warmer. I found a way to

warm her up. I pulled out a long cord and plugged

a smaller heater into the nearest plug, set the heater


in “The Green” and then, when warm she fired. I put

up with that for some years until, without disposing

of “The Green” I negotiated for “The Grey”, smaller

and automatic where “The Green” was a manual drive.


At last, I said to my lawn-mowing man, “You want

to buy this Mazda for $500?” Previously, he’d only seen

a dust-covered car set aside; but this day I’d just washed

her down. She always had a good green coat to catch the eye.


At first he said no, but as he was about to leave that day

he said, “You don’t mind if I give her a try do you?”

And up the road he drove. By this time I knew the

answer to “The Green’s” troubles was the replacement


of costly condenser and I knew it would be someone

else who had to source it, get things moving and so on.

We worked our way through that and I also pointed out

the touches of rust; but he was keen to take her. I let


her go with a heavy heart; he was happy and if he

got it sorted, which he did, he’d gift it to his sister.

Seemed like a good result to me until, as the story

goes, a barney they had had so that she refused him.


But all long stories come to a good end. He found

for her a good home; some lucky teenager now

goes to college in “The Green”. And though I’ve got

“The Grey”. I still hanker for my lovely green Mazda.


Benita Kape © 3.4.2019


Wind In My Tail; Self Portrait – 2019 – 31st March

GloPoWriMo 2019          Prompt: To write a Self Portrait


Wind In My Tail, Self Portrait


I wear the colours black and white

with nothing in between.  My black

leather lips reaching high, hoping

for my mistress’s kiss.


I have never borne a kitten. I see little

company other than my own; and hers.


Food set out, the run of the cottage;

I long ceased to bring a near dead

mouse to her door.


She has set the boundaries. But I must

break out for play, and flip the mat

or creep beneath; and now I rush

from room to room.


She only laughs and says “You got

wind in your tail?” The evening agenda

ruined again.


Can she not jump from chair to chair?

slide across a slippery floor and flip

to fully reveal the whitest of white bellies.


Though I may sit on her warm knee,

and yes, close to her clothed belly;

I know it no match for mine.


One day will she not change places with me

while I write a poem about her?


Benita Kape © 1.4.2019 for 31.3.2019 NaPoWriMo 2019



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





The Touch & Taste of Grace

Greatford church 1. 1510801_716339275067600_1553918831_n

The little organ still the same. The photo was taken in 2015


The Taste & Touch of Grace


Just as it truly is, a small and wondrous worshipping place;

Remove all artificial growth. Leave no trace –

So that I may fill in all past and precious detail;

The sound, the smell; the taste and touch of grace.


The door was never locked, no key to turn.

A child, I’d enter there, an eager, tender heart affirm.

On a stool, I’d sit quaint organ keys to test.

This after-school sunset hour, a joyful hour for my return.


I’d kneel at the altar and make a little prayer.

No one ever entered and found me there.

Oft’, rather than enter I’d sit on the nearby bridge.

Neighbours listening: at dusk, I sang in the evening air.


I just happened to be living close, that church not mine.

Seldom used now, though not through the years left in decline.

This painting on my wall holds sweet sights I recall,

A row of trees extremely tall; the musky smell of pine.


I dream of that little church I see so seldom now.

Again fresh painted, when down that lane my slumbers slow.

The old red cottage demolished, an ugly grain barn built.

But church and those dear memories through my dreams and senses flow.


Benita H. Kape © 16.2.2019

Greatford church (2)

My nephew, a joiner, makes repairs to the pews


sand deeply insistently

Winged Wind