Pedestrian – Photo Challenge

I like this one a lot, and so decided to put it here, also. This is the last week of “Introduction to Japanese Poetry”, and I’m really enjoying it.

asian lady beetle

Pedestrian at the Crosswalk

cross-branch travel
Asian lady beetle on foot
a common sight

air travel has appeal
but no snacks are served

Copyright © 2017-10-04, by Elizabeth W. (Lizl) Bennefeld.

Written in response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian.

 

Everyday Inspiration: Poetry Workshop

Beginning on Monday, 11 September, and continuing for four weeks, I am taking part in an online poetry workshop: Introduction to Japanese Poetry. It is a “hands-on”, writing workshop, which I expect to enjoy immensely. I’ve a book by the instructor, Naomi Wakan: Haiku: One Breath Poetry, which I have put aside for the time being, while I am working the workshop exercises.

 

Finding Everyday Inspiration, Day 13: Play with Word Count

thick snowfall partly obscuring windblown tree branches

Snow Before the New Year

 

Mostly, I write short verse. What SFPA refers to as “Dwarf” poetry (10 lines or fewer). Writing a longer poem than usual would qualify, I think, as playing with the word count. On a whim, I also upended habit by employing a different technique and structure, as well as a change of topic. This was written on a whim, once through, so please forgive any fumbling in the writing.

 

Lapse Into Winter Sanity

Trees grow along the road
Hiding fields and gardens
In shade and shadows
Safe from brutal winds

Aside the bales of hay
Lurk deer and cattle, mingled
Snug behind the thick, dried straw
Open to the warm midmorning sun

Winter snows pile up
Inside the windbreaks
Leaves insulate foundations
Last service by dormant trees

Peace covers the countryside
As the winter wears on, isolating
Sleeping towns and villages
Spared floods and fear and fools

Copyright © 2017-09-05, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

 

Finding Everyday Inspiration, Day 4: In Transit

In Transit

In Transit:
Nth Dimension Travel

the perfect place, filled
with people going somewhere—
step aside from them

picture one unnumbered world
where green, vibrant valleys wait

cross over, mindful
to watch your step–don’t look up
and lose the pathway

two stations, many journeys
may you new tomorrows find

Copyright © 2017-08-24, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

 

Finding Everyday Inspiration: A WordPress Course

Everyday Inspiration, Day Three: One-word inspiration

Select one word from this list as your post inspiration. Have you always wanted to write about the decision that changed your life? Are you a long-term traveler looking for a place to settle?…

Or, one can look at the list of six words and realize that as a group, they are a poem that wants to be discovered:

  • hope
  • regret
  • home
  • choice
  • secret
  • abundance

 

‘children, after
loss of parents’

home is no more
with grief
comes an abundance
of regret

in secret, our hope
each makes the choice
to outrun death
and mourn alone

Copyright © 2017-08-22, by E.W. Bennefeld.

 

 

To Turn Back the Tide

edge of town, looking south

The Edge of Memory

“To Turn Back the Tide”

…and when the tide had turned,
when waking from long sleep, I found
that all was swept away
or reconfigured
beyond memories

Who am I in this new world?
If there are paths
I cannot see them … yet

If I should go to sleep, again–
if I would sleep–
until the tide rolls in, once more,
would the safe, familiar world
that I once thought I knew–
believed I lived within–
be here before my eyes,
my heart,
to welcome me?

And if not? Then…?

“To Turn Back the Tide”. Copyright © 2017-06-28, by Lizl Bennefeld.

 

Transition points feel foggy … nebulous … like standing on a piece of ground that cannot be seen or felt. Like wading at the edge of an unknown body of water, depths and currents still to be discovered, with morning mist cloaking the past and future in white and shadows. Memories, the only solid ground.

Inspired by The Daily Post’s photo prompt for this week: Delta.

Getting It Right

blue wild flax flowers, shadows and light

“Getting it Right”

I write the story of my life
one day at a time, taking care
to leaf through previous pages,
editing events, adjusting
back stories, tidying errors
and casual mistakes
that I would not have made,
had I known then what I think
I know today…subject
to further alterations
as seem prudent at the time.

There is time. There is always
time to get it right. There is
an eternity to get it all right.
Written out finally with no mistakes.

Copyright © 2017-06-10, by E.W. Bennefeld.

I had at one time, encouraged by others, considered writing an autobiography. As I go through the process of adjusting to my parents’ deaths, I realize that that would be the wrong avenue for me to take in grieving. Better, bits and bites in poetry and limited explorations in prose.

I have other things to do with my time, and I most probably will not have time to get it right. Not in this lifetime, anyway.

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.

 

NaPoWriMo – update

I’ve gotten a bit behind in putting my daily poems onto the net. As I may have mentioned, (maybe not here; maybe just elsewhere), my husband is building a workshop in the back yard (18’x24′ — lifelong ambition), and I have, of course, been helping out a bit. (Heavy lifting and such. Yes! Really!) I have yesterday’s poem ready to add, and I’m going to do that before I dig around and find the others. I do not know what happened to a couple of them, and so must do some searching.

In the meanwhile…snow!

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.