Favorite places, Favorite things

Not much energy, today, and so I have finished up with cooking the week’s meat, but now have curled up in bed, trying to get warm, again. For the time being, not much thought of writing. Maybe I will feel rested when I wake up.

For a while I have been tucking photos into a folder—favorite places, favorite scenes. Tree branches in my home town, my parents out for a Thanksgiving Day buffet with the family, a few neighbors playing football in the street in front of our house….


My mother, who was from Iowa, bought the double lot with her severance pay when she separated from the Navy after World War II, in Minnesota, in the town where Dad was born and raised. Most of my childhood, on the other side of our back fence was a pasture with horses in it. Now there’s residential development the width of the original size of the town, I think. My dad was also stationed in the Pacific Theater, but with the Army.

On the street in front of our house, there have been lots of motorbikes and skateboarders in the summer and more football in the fall. Lots of kids and lots of noise, parents out and doing things with their children. Backyard barbecues and fires, company invited for the evening, people sitting around talking. A lot of music. I’m allergic to combustion byproducts, but when the wind is right, I can sit outside in my gazebo with the windows open on the lee side and enjoy the sounds of people who are happy spending time with one another.

And for myself, both winter and summer provide beauty in their own fashion.

In the wintertime, on a sunny day, I can sit in warmth in the gazebo with quilts behind me and over my lap. Al made the gazebo with double windows all the way around, and there is a space heater to take the chill off and a utility light so that I can read a paper book, if I choose, instead of using my tablet. He built the gazebo in the first place because watching thunderstorms sitting on folding chairs in the open doorway of the utility shed ended up with our getting soaked to the knees (and farther up than that, if the thunder was loud and the dogs needed to sit in our laps). Also, from the shed, we could only look to the northeast, which isn’t where the storms come from.

Once we had quit going out into the countryside (Skywarn volunteers with our ham radio club), we still can sit out there and listen to the weather net on our handhelds. We’ve got a nice, tall antenna out back, otherwise, and we have the other radios hooked up to it.

Al’s back home, again, from his shopping, and we’ve decided that we really don’t want to go out for supper, tonight, so I can take a nap, now, or see if I can get another stanza written on that sonnet. (I wonder if I still have a copy of “On the Stupidity of Poetry,” which is one of the most recent sonnets I’ve written. Sometime in the 1960s.)

Updated to add: And then I took a 5+ hour nap.

Updated Special Interest Areas Links

To the Sticky at the beginning of the blog, I have added my posts from the Facebook Art/Poetry Challenge for which I was nominated by my good friend Deborah P Kolodji, one of the Regional Coordinators for the Haiku Society of America. We got to know each other initially through our volunteer work with the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She’s a very special person. Thanks, again, Deborah!

The Facebook challenge (aside from recruiting another nominee each of the five days to pick up the challenge) was to post three of one’s own art works or poems (mix or match) for five days.

I enjoyed digging back into my archives.

“Like Fireflies” – a ballad

“Like Fireflies”

Like fireflies at eventide
You light my dark’ning way
And when at last full night has come,
please lead me home, I pray.

Your love has ever held me.
My heart is in your hand.
I hear the heavenly chorus,
the full celestial band.

Like fireflies at eventide
You light my darkening way
And when at last full night has come,
please lead me home, I pray.

You’ve overfilled my cup with joy.
Now help me do your will.
Your peace is overflowing.
This heart of mine is still.

Like fireflies at eventide
You light my darkening way
And when at last full night has come,
please lead me home, I pray.

I’ve tried to love your children
As you would have us do.
Let judgment come from heaven.
Your love will see us through.

Like fireflies at eventide
You light our darkening way
And when at last full night has come,
please bring us home, we pray.

Written on 26 February 2015, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

Writing 201: Poetry. Ballad, Day 6.

Note: All of my assignments for Writing 201: Poetry can now be found on my Quilted Poetry blog. Check the drop-down menu for the pages: Week 1, Week 2, and the additional poem I wrote on the weekend.

Golden Clouds … Remember

Golden Clouds

“New Heavens and a New Earth”

Part I. Crisis
They came for them, today, the last trees in our town.
They stripped away the last remaining biomass…for energy
to run these trucks carrying the soldiers that keep us safe,
to serve the dwindling few and those they still command.

II. Exiles’ Journey
Is he downstairs, again, fallen asleep in his chair…
or did we bury him under Terra’s summer sun,
and I’ve forgotten once more
during the long, cold
night of space?

III. Memories
Lulled to sleep by weeping sands against the window,
mixed by winds with sleet and snow, I dream
of golden, glorious clouds racing before
that one last towering storm, the day the Earth
last heard our voices, felt our steps,
then was washed by rains
no more.

My “found art” is taken from my personal photo and poetry archives. I captured the title photo in July 2004; it later became the inspiration for “Endings” (Star*Line 2009, excerpts used in Part III), which was nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association‘s Rhysling Award. Part I comes from “Future Freedom”, a Judge’s Pick in SFPA’s 2008 Poetry Contest (Theme: Energy). Part II is taken from “Outward Voyage”, which was published in Star*Line in 2011.

*Mining your own poetry.

O Hidden Drawer

“O Hidden Drawer”

Secrets tucked away against tomorrows,
Life that’s not yet realized. Keeper of Mysteries,
You hold a cache of tokens that reflect
A different me, a stranger to close friends.

Three flash memory sticks that contain
Passwords for devices and accounts
I no longer own or which have sat in a closet,
Broken, for months or years or decades.

Keys are in the drawer. Relatives’ keys
To safe deposit boxes–I don’t know where–
Left to me for their safekeeping.
When they’re dead, I’ll throw away the keys.

Short-term hope! My husband bought
A raffle ticket for me, in case I should like
Another chance for him to win a prize
Without himself appearing spendthrifty.

And last: one extended bolt release, three thumb tacks,
And an old gift card with an expiration date
That makes it useful into the next decade,
Should I have to get out of town in a hurry.

“O Hidden Drawer”, Lizl Bennefeld, 2015-02-26

Written for day 8 of Writing 201: Poetry

Not a Foggy City Street (Day 5)

“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.

Sweet Dreams, My Love!

Every night, my husband wishes me “Sweet Dreams!” To which I occasionally respond with the wished-for contents of my night’s dreaming. And so, tonight…

“Sweet Dreams of Caterpillars”

My caterpillars are green and smooth and sport a little horn
in back that curls forward. As they saunter forth, left feet, right feet,
then left again, their horns sway up and down, and back and forth,
marching to the different beats of all too many drummers.

The remainder of the Writing201:Poetry poems are now on my Quilted Poetry (WP) blog.

“No Favors” – Prose Poem (Day 7)

“No Favors”
by Elizabeth Bennefeld

We did him no favors, keeping him alive beyond his time. All alone, now, safe from any germ or poison or dirt or grass or fresh, cold air and sun of an autumn morning, rays of light that caress, not treetops, now, but barren ground. It would be a kindness if keepers let him sleep one last time and let him never wake again. Or join him in that cage of glass that keeps him far away and yet so near to gentle touches, fingers running through his fur. Whisper sweet words of not-aloneness in his ear. The last animal on Earth that is not man lies dying. Do not let him die alone.



Where did the weekend go?

I’ve gotten a full night of solid sleep. A good sleep. And a couple of naps. Yesterday I did my share of the tax forms (the last year I will need to report self-employment income). Today I have gathered laundry, which is now in the dryer. I have taken my iron supplement, which it seems has been on the “I forgot” non-list for quite a while.

I am going to try to stay up, now, until midnight, so that I am not wide awake at two in the morning. I need to be getting things done, and it’s not happening.