NaPoWriMo, Day 30 – “Tulips at Springtime”, “The Future”

Prompt: Something that happens again and again.

“Tulips at Springtime”

One year soon after I was married,
my mother ordered tulip bulbs
to be planted in the fall,
sent all the way from Holland,
from the farm on which they grow.

She planted bulbs and gave us some.
We placed ours near to those
my husband’s mother planted
many years ago to complement
the lily tulips favored
by the folks who’d come before.

My mother’s gone, his mother, too,
but still the tulips grow.
I wonder if the children of
the folks who lived here
half a century ago remember,
too, the blooms that grew,
planted by their mom and dad
and maybe them.

first flowers
the last memories
tears…always

“Tulips at Springtime”. Copyright © 2017-04-30, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Prompt: The (blank), replace “blank” to make the poem’s title.

“The Future”

My father’s final worry,
which he took to his grave,
was his children’s children
and their children living
in a world in which
there would no longer be
clean air or water,
healthy food or crops–
a world in which the haves
would eat the have-nots
when the time had come
that nothing else was left.

“The Future”. Copyright © 2017-04-30, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Note: This poem is loosely based on a description of one of the last conversations he had with his oldest son, before our father died in February. My father had strong convictions about the expanding effects of climate change and what it would mean for the next generations. At age 100+, with no health problems to speak of, Father decided, one evening, to take a nap, and didn’t wake up, again.

 

NaPoWriMo17, Day 26 – Regret

Robert Lee Brewer, Writer’s Digest:
For today’s prompt, write a regret poem. Most people regret some action they’ve taken over the years, whether it’s saying the wrong thing, making the wrong choice, or putting off something for a tomorrow that never comes. Write about your own regrets, or the regrets of others (this is a great opportunity to write a persona poem).

“Her Death”

Angry, still, she would have said,
Just keep away from me!
You ruin everything you touch,
speaking out…butting in.

Let, at least, my dying be
about me, with my friends.
I only care about my own.
My death belongs to me!

Copyright © 2017-04-26, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

 

NaPoWriMo17, Day 25 – Survival

I love enumeratio poetry! I decided just to have fun with this, and made a numbered list in response to the prompt. As an aside, here: I have been writing (and referring to) survival lists/guides ever since I started journaling sometime in the sixties, while I still was in high school. As I finished each journal, I would copy my list into the new one, go through the old one to pull out the “creative writing” pages, and then shred or burn the old journal. I quit doing paper journals around beginning of the century.

 

Write yourself a survival guide as a list poem: What are the things you need to know to survive? What should you have known? What do you need to remember? What do you know that only you can tell yourself? What items do you need? What actions do you need to take? [Sarah Tatro, Poetry Super Highway]

Survival Guide:
Things I decided, at one time or another, that I knew and needed to remember
(most recent edition)

1. Nobody knows the answers. Everyone is making it up as they go along.

2. It’s better to screw up making your own mistakes than making someone else’s.

3. Make a list of what you know and, if possible, why you think you know it. Then make decisions on the basis of that list, not on what you want to be real when you’re going crazy.

4. God understands your messes, and they don’t bother Him. He doesn’t confuse them with what or who you are, and neither should you.

5. Gain or loss, pleasure or pain, discovery or routine, sickness or health, friends or isolation, life or death. There are no guarantees or promises concerning these, life’s incidentals. And, they don’t count.

6. You are not alone. You are always loved. You are loved and valued neither more nor less than any and every other living being in creation. You are cared for. Always. No matter what.

7. Act justly, observe appropriate opportunities to perform acts of loving kindness, walk discretely with God and everyone else. As one among all the others.

8. We are all equally responsible. God is the One who’s capable.

9. You will never come to the end of things you do not know, or, knowing, things you do not understand. Not in your job description. You are responsible to give and receive love.

10. You have a profound purpose in life. You achieved it sometime before you turned twenty (or ten … or thirty), and you’ll never know what it was. Everything since then has been gravy.

Copyright © 2017-04-25, by Lizl Bennefeld.

 

NaPoWriMo17, Day 23 – Horizon

I chose the “horizon” prompt from nahaiwrimo and wrote this poem in consideration of the weekend’s wet and windy weather.

a day of rest

on the horizon
the sun peers through heavy clouds
forecast, partly wet

frogs take heart in the damp dawn
I stoke the fire, heat the tea

“a day of rest”. Copyright © 24 April 2017, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 21 – Shooting Stars (a Georgic Poem)

The NaHaiWriMo prompt was “shooting star”, but the “write a Georgic poem” (“a poem dealing with practical aspects of agriculture and rural affairs”) was taken from day 22’s list of prompts for our small group.

Jeweled Shooting Star flower

Jeweled Shooting Star

“Planted from Seeds”

Jeweled Shooting Stars
take three or more years to bloom,
planted in dry soil.

Copyright © 2017-04-23, by Lizl Bennefeld.
Photo is located at www.wildflower.org.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 20 – God of the Suns

Prompt: Typically we can only see the moon and stars at night; however what if inexplicably the stars were visible in the blue sky of the middle of the day? How would a poet (such as yourself!) describe this phenomenon? [Silano, Martha; Agodon, Kelli. The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice, Two Sylvias Press.]

I didn’t describe the phenomenon. Instead, I wondered, what if there were a lot of stars close enough to a planet to be seen in daylight in addition to the primary sun? Just for fun, I considered how that might be expressed in the context of religious verse.

 

“The God of the Suns”

While stolid Sol o’ersees the day-to-days
and helps the world go on in myriad ways,
pay your close attention also
to the farther suns that show,
glittering streams of sparkling light
across the sky in day and night.
They touch the long-term course of time
and bring about life’s gifts sublime.

Copyright © April 2017, by Lizl (Elizabeth) Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 18 – Cluttered Timelines

Cluttered Timelines

The cobweb that grows in my head
makes changes that disregard thread.
I remember tomorrow,
but to my great sorrow,
I don’t know when I went to bed.

Copyright © April 2017, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

The prompt was “Cobweb” from #NaHaiWriMo, but I hadn’t written a limerick for a while.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 16 – Management System

Prompt from Brewer: ‘For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) System,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.’

Management System

Understanding is at the roots of management,
but first one comes to understand the nature
of the one who understands.

Clear the body, first, of tension.
After, clear the mind of thought
and strip desire from the soul.

Ask, then, for what worthwhile purpose
the system must be managed, or if
by nature, it might manage better
on its own.

Management System [a prose poem of sorts]. Copyright © 2017-04-16, by E. W. Bennefeld.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 15 – Feather

NaHaiWriMo’s prompt (as offered on our small NaPoWriMo writing list) for April 15, was “feather”. I now have a photograph to go with my poem.

birds' nest beneath the roof

Occupied

feathers, twigs and grass
sparrows, each spring, build a nest
home’s where children are

Home, Sweet Home. Copyright © 2017-04-15, by Lizl Bennefeld.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 14 – Out Walking (2 poems)

“Afternoon Walk”

Fair weather forecast—
From beneath my umbrella
I watch the rain fall

Copyright © 2017-04-14, by E. W. Bennefeld.

And from a previous challenge, here is a poem about a longer walk with mist and fog.

a narrow, dirt road in farming country, grass growing down the center past the crossroad

At a Crossroad

“From Past to Future”

A misty path, the past, behind me,
the future’s foggy road ahead,
at this clear crossroads
I’ll abide a while,
light a fire and warm
three cups of tea
to welcome passersby,
inviting them to rest
and be at peace
in this moment,
this now.

Copyright © 2016-07-31, by E. W. Bennefeld.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 13 – [untitled]

text of poem

A Poem
written 13 April 2017

 

failing light
along the dark path
fireflies

at star rise
fish dance in the light
of moonbeams

night sounds call
my head nods over my teacup

[untitled]. Copyright © 2017-04-13, by E.W. Bennefeld.

I have tried to do the bare minimum, and still I feel overloaded, and I want simply to lie down and do nothing at all until at least February of 2022. That not being feasible…I think that I will fix a large salad and reread a favorite book.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 12 – Fog

The prompt is the one given to our group from NaHaiWriMo, but I have not written a Haiku. Instead, I am sharing a poem that I wrote for the February 2015 Blogging U Poetry 201 writing course/event, which was a lot of fun. This poem was written for day five of the first week.

“Not a Foggy City Street”

When people and penguins pass through doors, they leave
their short-term memories where they no longer are.

This is why penguins, having deemed primordial ice sheets least likely
to sprout city center architecture that would block the view

of morning sunrises and tow’ring clouds that carry snow–
forever multiplying amnesia’s doorways and confusion–

have settled in there permanently. At least until
those they eschewed have blacked ice and snow

and ushered in the age of
no-cost heating.

Not a Foggy City Street“. Copyright © 2015, February, by E. W. Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

 

NaPoWriMo17, Day 11 – Wonder

a view of a lake inlet from the top of a hill

 

From the hill nearby
one can spy blue lakes, wonder
at nature’s lush green

a cup of tea, a blanket
the afternoon sun brings warmth

“Wonder”. Copyright © 2017-04-11, by Lizl Bennefeld.

I wrote the three-line haiku for this week’s #RonovanWrites #Haiku Poetry challenge. The NaHaiWriMo prompt given to our group for the day is “tea”.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 10 – Frost

I wrote this poem while thinking of the photos that I have taken of frost that often decorates my windows when the temperature and humidity cooperate. Much less in recent years as the winters are warmer and the most recent central air heating/cooling system discourage frost ferns.

frost

winter’s fingers paint
white murals on the windows
intricate and fine

sunlight reflects the colors
that tint nature’s works of art

“frost”. Copyright © 2017-04-12, by Lizl Bennefeld.