Posted in Poetry, Writing

Poem a Day – 5 November 2020

dry well blocked with stones
shattered pieces of brick walls
paths that led us home

yet the trees still offer fruit
in the grove where cows now graze

Copyright © 2020-11-05, by Liz Bennefeld.

Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

And, yes, I did need a different blog for writing these sorts of things. A place for me. Another of those quiet spaces in which to write, looking up to see in my mind’s eye the pasture in the distance, the creek and slough and the cottonwood and plum trees and lilacs beyond them. I can/would hear the red-winged blackbirds calling as they hung onto the cattails at the edge of the water, accompanied in the background by a high-pitched chorus of frogs.“Starting Out”, 7 March 2017

Posted in Life through my Windows, Poetry, Writing

Fairy Winter — Poem a Day – 1 November 2020

Fairy Winter

night’s moonbeams reveal
visions hidden by daylight
vanished with dawn’s mist
wee fairies in their snow boots
gathered round a glowing coal

some swing from dead stems
into snowdrifts thrice their height
some gathered flower petals
layered thick for cushions
their fragrance fills the air

on the shortest day
the longest night of winter
cling close for the warmth
after all the winter storms
it will once again be spring

Copyright 2020-11-01, by Liz Bennefeld.

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Posted in Uncategorized

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.

Posted in everydayinspiration, Life Happens, Life through my Windows, Miscellanea, Photography, Poetry, Writing

Day 29 – On the occasion | Poem a Day (NaNoWriMo)

dragonfly on a Sweet William flower
dragonfly


BIRTHDAYS

measuring time—
twenty-five or thirty-some years
yet to go … or less
looking at past records
of family births and deaths

my dad felt a hundred years
was too long to stick around for
my mother thought that ninety-four
was quite a bit too short
neither was pleased

don’t know what I’ll think
when my world and I transform
when time becomes eternity
maybe I’ll notice, or perhaps I’ll
forget what came before

Copyright © 2019-11-29, by Liz Bennefeld. All rights reserved.


Posted in Miscellanea, Poetry, Writing

Day 17 – Extended Conversations | Poem a Day (NaNoWriMo)

Out in the Country

“Catching Up With Mother”

I woke up thinking, “I should call Mom, today”,
forgetting that she died three years ago this week.
Forgetting that she had not taken a call from me
at least half a year before I got called to have
the ambulance tear her from her only home.

I still want to call her and ask about her week
and the previous years since we last caught up.
I don’t know where she’s sitting, or if she wants
to walk with me along a pasture fence
in a place not new to her…or one not new to me.

If I go ahead and start a new conversation,
should I pause between my sentences?
to see if she will answer me or make
a comment of her own? She liked to talk to me
but she didn’t always listen. Now, I wouldn’t care.

I have looked through all the emails. Of course,
none are new, and the last that were coherent
were sent a year before she died. I hadn’t,
really hadn’t noticed how far things had gone.
Or feeling bewildered, I didn’t want to see.

When Mother wasn’t panicking, she took me
as she found me, loving me all the while
she wondered why I wanted to be me
and not the daughter that she’d wanted. But
she still trusted me to do what must be done.

I can feel her arms around me, giving me a hug.
I can’t hear her voice, but she knows when I cry.
She can hear me talk to her and read what I write.
I know that she and God are always present to my life.
The separation that I feel is just an odd notion in my mind.

Copyright © 2019-11-17, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.

Posted in Miscellanea, Poetry, Writing

Day 15 – In the Middle | Poem a Day (NaNoWriMo)

edge of town, looking south
The Edge of Memories

Recognizing the inevitable loss of friends, family members, and mentors over the years.

mourning once again
the loss of those who loved me
who brightened my life

locked themselves away from me—
walked away . . . I stand alone

Copyright © Liz Bennefeld, 2019-11-16.

Day 15 prompt: a “middle” poem

Edited to add: Another in the previous generation of relatives just died this morning; he was 95 years old. Alert and lucid to the end; a low blood oxygen level for a couple days, and then his heart just stopped beating.

 

Posted in everydayinspiration, Miscellanea, Poetry, Writing

Day 1 – Growing Up, Learning | Poem a Day (NaNoWriMo)

View of Village Cemetery
Hawley Cemetery – 2008

what’s the capitol
of the Peace Garden State?
where’s the garden at?

we learned all the answers there
working for Dad, clipping grass

Copyright © 1 November 2019, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

When we were children (there were seven of us, and I am assuming that others got roped into this, each in their turn), Dad hired us during May and as needed during summer school vacations to maintain the grounds of the village cemetery where he was the groundskeeper and sexton. He didn’t retire until he was in his 90s. There was particular need for us children to prepare the cemetery for Memorial Day and to refurbish things after the influx of visitors during the following months. My brother Tim and I worked together, being close in age, and we would pass the time by challenging each other with such miscellanea as state and country capitols and other interesting trivia.

My mother died three years ago, this month, and my father followed her three-and-a-half months later. Their ashes are buried next to the family monument, near two siblings whose lives were measured in days.

Posted in everydayinspiration, Miscellanea, Poetry, Writing

Warming up for NaNoWriMo, Day 2

Cold Beauty

and why would I live
beyond all kin and kindness
absent to their eyes

so, one leaves a friendless warmth,
braving winter’s storms, to die

Copyright © 2019.10.31, by Lizl Bennefeld.

 

The many deaths of those most dear

within the past three years… Suddenly, I’m homesick

for a place I’ve never seen.

 

Mourning seems to come in waves. In the midst of happiness, remembered losses beg not to be forgotten. That’s a trap, I think. The insistence of the mind on revisiting those intense emotions, long after one has moved on. The bittersweet taste of loves and friends and family set aside until time ends, or else, renews all things.

Posted in everydayinspiration, Miscellanea, Poetry, Writing

Warming up for NaNoWriMo

I am once again planning to write 30 poems during November (NaNoWriMo)—hopefully, more than one a day, but we’ll see. November and December are cluttered months. Nonetheless…

Today’s and tomorrow’s poems are warm-up exercises. During this poem-a-day exercise, I am hoping not to resort to canned prompts, but to find poems in life as it happens.

P9199208 Waterdrops
Drop of Eternity

the years and the days
ephemeral, but endless…
looking for the end

Copyright © 2019.10.30, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Posted in Life through my Windows, Lifestyle, Miscellanea

More often, more present to my mind

As the years go by, I find myself thinking more frequently about staking out more formal times for solitude. Initiating rather than reacting. Turning inward. Perhaps I am more easily distracted, these days, and troubled more by externals that interrupt my thoughts. And then I review the proclivities of my past and recognize that there always has been a struggle for more isolation…for fewer interruptions and broader perspectives. I like the quiet that allows thoughts and images to flow together. The currents and their directions, the coming together and the divergence. Spontaneity, the mind at peace.

Waiting

 

 

Posted in Finding Everyday Inspiration, Life Happens, Lifestyle, Poetry, Writing

Memorial Day Memories

photos of my parents in the 1940s
In Memory

I found myself
wondering why my parents
haven’t phoned, today

I’m caught up short, remembering
they’re on Heaven’s direct line

Copyright © 2019-05-27, Memorial Day, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Memorial Day was “our” family holiday. It’s now my remembering. After my parents were discharged, they returned to Father’s home town to realize their life’s long-held dream of raising lots of children, together. (Eventually, there were nine of us, seven living into adulthood.) My father was groundskeeper (one of many jobs) and then the sexton, of the village cemetery, and we children, while growing up, worked with him to get the grounds ready for the Memorial Day observances. Mother was in the Navy, and Father was in the Army, separated overseas, but both serving in the Pacific Theater. (In uniform).

Posted in everydayinspiration, Life Happens, Life through my Windows

Retasting realities

bookshelves beside my rocking chair
Rewriting the World

So many years, to notice I’ve returned to the place from which I started. A journey not yet ended, but which will end in an hour … or months … or decades from this day. A journey not taken?

streams of thought

and kindnesses not looked for

barely noticed

I saved gratitude for the end

but, thinking now, it should not be left too late

to speak through silent words

written on a screen…a sheet of paper

or the sky’s clouds

gentle rain

tracks

in dust

before the earth is wrung dry

and cries for tears

to dampen it, again

 

perhaps there is a time…a moment

to stop the flow of thought and reason

to feel what is and mourn

what might have been—

to acknowledge the gaps

measures underweight

until the world’s too light

not to blow away

[Rough draft].  Copyright © 2019-05-22, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.