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Poems written by me in a former century

A retrospective

I am in the process of reviewing my folders and notebooks of prose and poetry written between 1956 and the end of the twentieth century. As I get it organized, I think I will copy sections to the blog I recently started. Trying to get things organized a bit.

“The Far Voyage”
By Elizabeth “Lizl” Bennefeld
Inspired by Andre Norton’s The Stars Are Ours (1954)

At rest at last upon a foreign soil
that never knew the step of man before.
beneath the rocket’s fins,
red sand and rock stretch forth
to undergird bright, glistening azure seas.

Beyond their landing place,
up gentle, rolling hills,
far travelers, lost refugees
from Earth’s perpetual wars,
survey vast, untouched fields of grain,
their purple tassels swaying in a breeze
that also brushes golden fruit,
which hangs, sun ripened,
from the bordering trees.

A welcome haven, this new world,
to shelter those who fled in fear
before the waves of senseless hate
for all that’s different,
those who would not bow
to serve untruth or cruelty.

With gathered driftwood,
fires are lit beside a newfound sea,
to warm the bodies and the hearts
of those who now are free.

And as the night descends,
moons race across the sky.
And, one by one, new stars appear
in constellations that will light
new nights, new hopes, new dreams.

Before their weary eyes,
new shapes they seem to see-
a lamb, a dove, an olive-sprig wreath,
all signs of eternal peace.

Are they the promise of a new beginning,
or just a cruel mockery?

My first poem, 1955/56.

this poet’s mind
is like a sponge
it’s empty
under pressure

1967-04-01

when I feel your hands
sweep over me
when I feel you, warm
against me
when I hear you
whispering
I love you
the dream becomes reality
reality, a dream
for just a
moment

1967-06-27

moon beyond the clouds
placed in its path by cold winds
winter’s thin-blown shroud

1967

Vision clouded, noise drifts in
to fill my picture of the world.
The drinks I’ve had don’t isolate,
but merely shift the focus to the sounds…
less easily avoided than the sight.

If I were sober, now,
I’d shut it out—that senseless murmuring
but here I sit, inertia-bound
and listen vainly
for the echoes of my mind.

1970-04-18

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In addition… from 7 July 2020

Getting ready for November’s Poem a Day activities in 2020, I discovered this post in the Drafts folder. I hope you’ll join me as I write and (usually) post a poem a day. I think this is the one I will be using, again. Perhaps use this as an archive copy.

In addition to the two poems that I wrote for this week’s Ronovan Writes Haiku Weekly Poetry Challenge (see my Quilted Poetry post of Monday, 6 July 2020: Stargazing), I found myself wanting to write a few more poems this morning during my 1-hour weekday “mandatory” writing time.

No photographs for these, but I may dig around for a Painted Lady butterfly in my archives, since we had two or three summers of a larger-than-usual population of them, here in the Red River Valley.

as evening’s lights dim
the mind drifts from thoughts to dreams
restless ripples gone

sleep in night’s gentle waters
cradled in sea lullabies

 
Copyright © 2020-07-07, by Lizl Bennefeld.

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Well, there is that

a dead leaf beneath a thin layer of overnight snow
Leaf Under Snow

Life seems to have come to a screeching halt as far as getting things done. I seem to be taking time off from…doing things on my list. And from making lists. Guess I needed a vacation during the holiday season.

May your holidays be pleasant and filled with all good things!

Sincerely,
Me

 

Posted in Life through my Windows, Miscellanea, Uncategorized, Writing

Up at 2 a.m.

November leaves, not my tree, not my house
November 2008

… and wondering how so much time could have gone by. I worked freelance for twice the number of years I was employed by corporations after college graduation. How did I come to be in my seventies? I don’t feel any different.

I take that back. I feel like I am a different me. Can’t remember, really, who I was before I became who I am now. The old refrain…my life is a short, red carpet that rolls up behind me as I continue on.

Perhaps this is a settling. A readjustment to whatever constitutes normal, following the deaths of so many of the people who comprised the framework of my life. And they’ll keep dropping off until such time as I beat someone else to it.

My father, in his later years, spoke often of having lived long enough, meaning, I suppose, that it no longer held attraction for him and he longed to continue on to what comes next. Bored, I think, having lost his context and having no driving incentive to be entertained and having passed the need, interest, curiosity, or necessity for acquiring new knowledge. I share his forebodings but have provided no hostages to fortune. I have reduced the level of external stimulation in my immediate environment. I think that has helped.

Ah, well! There is the matter of NaNoWriMo 2018. I and most of the usual suspects will be attempting to write a new poem for each day of November. Barb will be sending out some helpful (but not mandatory) writing prompts each morning during the month. Those of us who feel inclined will send each day’s poem to everyone on the email group.

I have decided to not clutter this blog with daily poems and pictures, this time around. I’ve done so previously and found it disruptive. What I have done is to wipe out my prior posts &c at theartofdisorder.blogspot.com (after downloading earlier posts) and made a trial run with picture-poem pairings for the last three days of October.

I also have gotten rid of themomentsbetween at blogger.com and am fooling around with ideas for Quiet Spaces with “lizbennefeld” as the URL. I am expecting that the improvements at WordPress may well make it unusable, and so I have discontinued the domain The Art of Disorder, reverting to a free/personal blog there. That should come about by the end of this year. I may also increase my hosting package here and drop the Quilted Poetry domain also, using this space instead for any overflow. Dreamwidth has not so far been a good substitute for LJ, but I am drawn back to it again and again, and I will continue my paid account.

I believe that  another cup of hot milk is in order, this time without the added coffee concentrate. I really do have to sleep, tonight.

o my dear!
the flowers refuse to fade
their fragrance cloys

a quiet room with filtered air
a comfy chair and puppies

Copyright © 2018-11-01, by Liz Bennefeld.

 

Posted in everydayinspiration, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Waiting for the silence

So many names, so many faces I no longer remember, voices muted by the overwhelming years. I threw away their letters. Burned their photographs. Drowned grief in nights of walking…days at the piano, my hands exhausted, my fingers worn. All is gone but for faded memories of having known.

no pretense… no dress rehearsal
letting go doesn’t get easier

familiar footsteps approach
pass by without a pause

Copyright© 2018-08-11, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.

 

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Sometimes…

Sometimes, at waking, the most odd and unexpected trains of thought roll through my mind.

time does not heal
all wounds, but only stretches out
the tepid stream

life—an endless river
immortality its death

Copyright © 2018-06-13, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.

Posted in everydayinspiration, Finding Everyday Inspiration, Life through my Windows, Miscellanea, Photography, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

No Regrets

the colors of springtime
the scent of autumn’s falling leaves
non, je ne regrette rien

© Elizabeth W. Bennefeld, 2018-05-31.

Written in response to Mara Eastern’s (maraeastern[dot]com) post on that date on the discontinuation of WP’s weekly Photo Challenge (among too many other things).

Posted in everydayinspiration, Life through my Windows, Lifestyle, Miscellanea, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing

Eventide

budding branches in a still evening against light cloud cover
Resting Winds

the wind rests quiet on the land
faint sunlight shrinks behind
tree branches and blue clouds
pasted on a blue-grey sky

birds sing summonings
then nestle into nests
for warmth throughout
a night with which the cold
returns too soon

cling to the cold, a shield
against the warming days

Copyright © 2018-05-11, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Posted in Miscellanea, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Uncategorized

Tidying up #NaPoWriMo2018 month

In the midst of all, I have misplaced text files for poems I wrote and meant to put here and/or email to my writing partners for this National Poetry Month challenge. I hope to have all gathered together (more poems written as necessary) before Midnight (local).

I’ve a number of them, I think, at QuiltedPoetry.wordpress.com. I’ll get those copied here, also. I like having these month-long challenges and class work gathered together in a specific spot. And then exporting the file WordPress files to save for a backup.

I hope that you’ve found something amongst these (rough drafts) poems that have intrigued you or been otherwise a good read.

 

Posted in Finding Everyday Inspiration, Life through my Windows, Lifestyle, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 24: Growing Up | #NaPoWriMo2018

hometown cemetery

Prompt for the day, Cayahoga library: List all the jobs you have had, including volunteer work and other unpaid jobs. Turn the list into a list poem by rearranging, repeating or just titling it. /Or/ write a poem about one of them.

I thought I’d stick to the jobs during grade school and high school, leaving out the gardening chores, since that really was free labor for the common good.

 

“It’s good for you”

My first jobs, tedious but
character- and muscle-building
picking rocks at springtime
in farmers’ fields
kids’ time is cheaper than repairs

Father rented us out by the day

The second summer job lasted
much shorter than it seemed
which was always and forever
clipping grass around stones
mowing the cemetery grounds
setting traps for ground squirrels
who spoiled painstaking work—
lugging pails of well water
to drown the pests or
drive them out

Should have stuck with the rock picking

The best job of my childhood
was selling door to door
in a small town every household
finds the need for more stationery
cards for none or all occasions
so their children find buyers, too

Pay-off was a week or two
each August far away from home
for private and group lessons,
ensemble, band and choir rehearsals

Brass ensemble work cost extra…
Worth the miles walked to get there

Copyright © 2018-04-24, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

 

Posted in Life through my Windows, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 29: Whatever it takes | #NaPoWriMo

spring clouds behind barren tree branches

Brewer: “For today’s prompt, write a response poem. Respond to whatever helps you get your poem written…”

dry leaves dance above—
leaping higher than treetops
stripped by April winds

green shoots kissed by dirt and rain
pledge autumn one more harvest

Copyright © 2018-04-29, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

This poem is in response to a poem not from this challenge, but one that I wrote for the 2008 SFPA poetry contest; the theme was “Energy”. The poem’s title is “Future Freedom”. It’s the second poem on this page of my QuiltedPoetry blog.

Posted in NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Story Poem, another Day 27 prompt | #NaPoWriMo2018

Brewer: For today’s prompt, write a story poem. Think of a story, could be a long, complicated, winding story, but for a poem, it may make more sense to make it a short, direct story.

Sort of a plot summary of a book that I wrote, many years ago, and then put aside. I have no suitable photos to go with it. Comes to mind, again, every once in a while, morphing over…nearly 4 decades.

“Blood to Blood”

Not who he thought, his father,
not he who was seated as chairman
in his grandfather’s boardroom.

His true father, not by name, but blood,
one who labored in his mother’s gardens,
holding his hand as he took his first steps,

sharing carrots with him from those gardens.
Eating green peas nested in their pods,
they watched koi fish swim among the lilies.

As he grew, listening to rain and
painting the colors of the wind,
he came into his heritage and ran.

Not a heritage of wealth,
but fear, fleeing to the one
who taught him how to run.

Copyright © 2018-04-28, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

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Day 25: Warning Sign | #NaPoWriMo2018

The prompt that I chose for April 25 was from NaPoWriMo: 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.”

“Warning”

DO NOT ENTER
Life is Contagious
Death is Certain

Copyright © 2018-05-05, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Warning Label

Now, I have to look over my files and posts, again, to make sure that I’ve got everything on this blog.

Elizabeth

Posted in everydayinspiration, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 20 – Energy | #NaPoWriMo2018

Flowers in Rain (2014-08-02)

exuberant raindrops
keep time against the window
until the cloud-break

streams send water toward the sea
as shadows turn to light

Copyright © 2018-04-30, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Note: Finishing up with the missed/delayed poem postings for #NaPoWriMo2018. Searching for photographs to go with the poems.

Posted in everydayinspiration, Life through my Windows, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 15 – If I were a garden | #NaPoWriMo2018

late-spring garden

Prompt-
Cayahoga library: Katerina Stoykova-Klemer has written, “Often I Wish I Were// a potato.// Eyes opened/ in all directions.” Begin a poem with “Often I wish I were” and complete the  stanza with…” and  see where that takes your poem.

“Wishes”

I sometimes wish I were a garden
filled with roots, berries and such
I would renew both dirt and harvest
sending seeds throughout the Earth

I always wished I had big shoulders
broad and strong to share life’s cares
I’d wrap my arms around the crying
help transform their tears to joy

I often wish I were a spirit
floating high above the world…
I’d watch closely for the hurting
act to foster hope’s rebirth

Copyright 2018-04-15, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Posted in Lifestyle, Miscellanea, Uncategorized, Writing

Journaling: paper vs. digital

books, journals, and writing implements
The Written Word: here or there?

I find it interesting, how different the topics are for my online journal from the paper journal that I have returned to since the first of 2018. Things that I would only post, if at all, on my Patchwork Prose site, which still suffers little to no traffic in any given month. (I have not brought myself to write there much.)

I suspect that I am more secretive than I’d thought. Or, more accurately, how much a “private person” I’ve turned out to be, simply because I do not talk much about externals. Because I don’t live in the externals.

Often, a “thing” or “experience” seems not objectively real until I write it down somewhere. Or relive it to myself in words so that it will stick. I have found it interesting that I can go back through memory and reimage, should other events overtake me, and so file a happening in words in my mind or on paper afterwards. Not always, but sometimes. Enough.

When I look back through the written journals before I shred them (I have journaled since my high school years), I find that a lot of what I have puzzled over/pondered, surprises me. Looks unfamiliar. The same is true of my online journals. Excepting, perhaps, the poems that I write.

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

Posted in everydayinspiration, Life through my Windows, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Back in the Day (30 November 2017)

Brewer: For today’s prompt, write a “back in the day” poem. You might also
call this a “good old days” poem or a “bad old days” poem. To me, back in
the day is synonymous with history–but a kind of personal history (even if
shared among a community).

gold field…harvest time
footprints and downed stalks trail us
our shortcut home

— Elizabeth Bennefeld, Copyright © 2017-11-30.

In childhood, we wandered throughout the neighboring pastures and fields, afternoons and early evenings and weekend days. We swam in the creeks and marshes, rivers and shallow pond, often coming home soaked to the skin and coated with mud. When we arrived home in answer to Mother’s call, she often made us strip at the back door and sprayed us down with the garden hose until we were clean enough to come into the house, put on clean clothes, and help set the table for supper.

 

Posted in everydayinspiration, Finding Everyday Inspiration, Life through my Windows, Photography, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Season Transformation April 2013

Photographs from an earlier, very “weathery” year

tall snowdrifts in front of the garden shed door on 15 April 2013
15 April 2013 Blizzard

aftermath of freezing rain, gale-force winds, and subsequent snow as the temperature plummeted
20 April 2013 Wind-Driven Ice

brisk arctic winds
spring clouds from the south
wind sculpted ice

see-through teeth hang from branches
threatening spring tulips

Copyright © 2017-11-22, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Tulips in a Sheltered Spot
20 April 2013

WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

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And so forth

standing at the door
to the beginning, hand raised…
still, the second thoughts

I have stayed up too late, tonight, deciding which poems, written during the past three years, I want to share on these pages. I also wonder about what will happen to them when I’ve gone away.

At the moment, I am making WP pages for the poems, while thinking that I want to make regular HTML pages also, as I have planned to do with the Hallowe’en poetry recordings and photo art pieces.

I have, however, added pages under “Favorites” that display four of the poems I like the best of those recently written.

I am so very tired. And I keep seeing Mother and Father, in my mind’s eye, not dead but still at home, living out their days and wondering why I do not write or call. It was difficult in the last year particularly, because my mother’s sight and hearing were failing and my father was nearly deaf (which improved when he had the doctor clean the wax out of his ears during the last appointment with him, after Mother had died).

My mother had forgotten who I was, for the most part, and would not talk to me when I phoned. Now that they both can see and hear, again, I hesitate to write, not knowing how to forward the letters, and I do not know if either, unlike my mother’s mother, would care to listen and respond.