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


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

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.


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.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 9 – Fitting In

The prompt that I’ve chosen for Day 9 is “Fitting in is hard to do”, a prompt from the mailing-list group that I’ve been on during the current month. The poem I’ve selected in response to this prompt is “Roots”, a prose poem that I wrote in response to a Poetry-101-Rehab prompt (Mara Eastern’s group, then hosted by Andy Townend) on 18 January 2016.

a prose poem

My roots were firmly fastened to the books that I found in the many libraries in this and other towns surrounding my parents’ village. They brought me there (libraries). They fetched them to me (books). They presented me with new soil; the ground in which the writers grew and learned and wrote from. My roots went deep, are deep but mobile. Not fastened to the ground—to any ground, but nurtured by the soil that gave birth to those books I read, the people who wrote them. Good or bad. True or false. Or telling truth more strongly through their stories than through news reports.

And so I live today within five miles, still, of where I was born. Still asked, “You have an accent. Where are you from?” And when I answer, they respond, “Where have you lived, then?” or “That cannot be!” Here I remain, still a stranger to them all. All but a few. The roots that hold the tightest are not of my father’s village, where I was raised…or in this larger city, birthplace of my father.

I’m not born of, no, nor grafted to that stock, but to my parents’ real lives and home: their travels, loyalties, their loves, their dreams…the universe.

“Roots: A prose poem.” Copyright © 2016-01-18, by Lizl Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 8 – Sunflowers

Following the sun
from dawn to dusk, soaking in
energy to stop,

sunflowers face east when grown.
Morning’s bees love warm flowers.

Copyright © 2017-04-09, by E. W. Bennefeld.

I suppose that I could have stayed awake, last night, to write a poem, if I had concentrated on it, but I fell asleep with the lights still on, soon after I sat down in the recliner.

NaPoWriMo17, Day 7 – Who Am I?

“Who Am I?”

I am lightly anchored to the Earth,
drifting gently on my mooring lines
when the wind is strong … Or, when
the water rises, I pull in the lines
and ride the tide of river flood
or ocean until I stretch a hand
or foot to snag another point of rest,
and tie me down to sleep.

A rumor passed from mouth to ear
in almost silent confidence, saying
‘We were left here, still too young
to travel to the stars, to get back home,
before our parents had to leave. And so …’
they left us here to wait. What happened,
that no one returned to find us? All
the others of us ‘made the best of it’.

Who am I, on this strange ground? Writing.
Watching the sky at night. Listening
to the cries of ocean creatures also lost
and calling out, “I’m here! We’re here!
Come! Don’t leave us here to die alone!”
Where can I leave a cairn that they will find
when I can no longer see or hear or wait
for their final, longed-for landing?

Copyright © 2017-04-07, by E. W. Bennefeld.

NaPoWriMo2017, Day 03 – Allantide Dreams

The prompt that selected for today called for a poem about a holiday that I do not celebrate. Information about Allantide, also known as the Feast of Saint Allan,  can be found, among other places on the Internet, at Wikipedia, but also on a webpage about Allantide – The Cornish Halloween.

Allantide Dreams

At Allantide, as I did lie here sleeping,
I saw the apple-promised vision clear–
the face of him, my true love dear, appearing,
a ghost in mists of nearness–magic dream.

The face it was of him I loved in childhood,
who saved me from a drowning in the lake.
He beckons, softly whisp’ring, “Come and find me.
Come, join me now, my lover, in the wake.”

Alas, sir, you don’t lead where I can follow.
I cannot bear the water round my head.
I can’t forget the paleness of your features
as you lay there before me, still, quite dead.

I’ll eat this apple in your loving memory,
but stay here, safely kept upon the shore.
Each Allantide, I swear, I’ll give thanksgiving,
but a living love I’ll cherish even more.

Copyright © 2017-04-03, by E. W. Bennefeld.

NaPoWriMo2017, Day 02 | “Ghost Echoes” & “Trout and Water Strider”

I find that I am enjoying the writing process, so far, this time around. Even though I do not know more than one of the people in this writing group, I find it stimulating to write. Having the group also makes me feel accountable for getting something written to the deadline. A nice lot of prompts have been offered/proposed each day. The first day, I combined prompts and wrote one poem. Today, I chose and wrote in response to two prompts.

Prompt: Rain

ghost echoes
circles in the pond
a raindrop


Prompt: Write a “not today” poem….

“Trout and Water Strider”

six feet with hair and bubbles —
good to eat? —
stride across the silver-spangled
ceiling of the world

that moving shadow midst the ripples
of the quiet river bend,
a backwater buffet
of unexpected,
unsuspecting treats

but not today

today, I am a meditating presence,
not a predator or prey,
watching while the world
floats past, above my scaled head,

muted, as I hang suspended
in cool, shaded water

not thinking, now, not doing…
being, finally, ‘not me’

“Ghost Echoes” and “Trout and Water Strider”. Copyright © 2017-04-02, by E. W. Bennefeld.


NaPoWriMo2017, Day 01 | “Everything Is Gone”

Several of the provided prompts led me to writing the poem “Everything is Gone”. The first suggestion to appeal to me was to write a poem in a couplet style called the “landay”, with 9 syllables in the first line and 13 in the second. The second suggestion was in the form of a question, basically, “When did you become aware of your own mortality?”. For me, that was age five, the first day that I came home from school to discover that no one was in the house but me. My parents told me that when they got home and found me, I was beyond panic…shattered.

Employing the landay, I have taken liberties with it. I have not written a two-line poem, but a poem consisting of four couplets. I have let sentences run on from one couplet to the next. Also, I have begun a new sentence in the middle of the first line of a couplet.  I have a hope to jar or shock the reader with a disjointed or awkward feeling.

“Everything Is Gone”

There are no more towels left to trade.
Two last scraps hung from a dead branch, near the dry bucket.

The larger is mine, since Father died.
Mother’s is covering my baby sister’s face, now,

one corner wet, where I spit on it,
for her to suck on, the rest to keep flies off her eyes

until she’s dead. Then I’ll walk away
with cloth to trade for a bite of food before I die.

Copyright © 2017-04-01, by E. W. Bennefeld.


National Poetry Writing Month 2017

I have tried upon occasion to write a poem for each day of the month, sometimes for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) and sometimes during NaNoWriMo. I haven’t always done really well. In the best years, I have generated a lot of notes for poems, which I’ve repaired to over years and created poems from them. Usually not my best work, but…

This year, I have teamed up with a writer whom I have known for years, and some of her friends, to write poetry each day during April, at least inspired by something in the provided prompts.

I am planning to do a separate blog post for each poem that I write during NaPoWriMo. For now. And using the tags #NaPoWriMo and #NaPoWriMo2017.

Alternately, I may post a previous poem that I wrote years ago, or a poem written by someone else.