Saturday Morning

When I got outside, this morning, I took both cameras with me. The new one, also an Olympus (Tough T-4, with micro and ‘microscope’ settings), has a learning curve, but I am having fun experimenting with it. Fortunately, the last camera I got is still working pretty well. When I drop it (in the garden mud, a water puddle, &c.), it’s hard to get the lens cleaned off and everything wiped and dried. The Tough is better in that regard, and I don’t suspect that I will quit dropping things as time goes on.

May 1-5 is Spring Clean-up Week, and I am hoping that the large rummage sale at the duplex, three lots away, is in advance of that, rather than a weekly event. I dislike having cars parking and then moving on, again, with great frequency, from in front of our house. The Scampers go wild with barking, and my face mask does not help that much with exhaust/hot oil fumes. It is, however, fun to watch people on our block’s pick-up day, which will be this Tuesday, as they spot something interesting in one of the stacks and start looking through for similar items in deeper layers.

Only two more days to go in the National Poetry Writing Month exercise. I have two more to write, today’s and tomorrow’s. Technically, I did not write a new poem for each day. On a couple of days, I had a previous poem of mine that I posted instead. Something that fit the topic particularly well. One prompt was fitting in is hard to do. My favorite, however, was on Day 28, with the prompt ‘silence of falling snow’: “the lake in winter”.

What I Enjoy | Everyday Inspiration Day 2

Write a List

  • I love the sound of rain spattering against my window in the middle of the night as the winds come up and then die away again as the storm moves on.
  • I loved the night when gale-force winds bent our old, tall poplar tree nearly to the ground as my husband and I (and the dogs) sat in the garden shed, plywood board across the open door acting as a splash board to protect us from the muddy rainwater raining on us from below. I loved the poplar, branches bending, flashing in and out of view as the lightning strikes revealed them to us.
  • I loved coming out from work at midnight to find a massive rainstorm…and standing beneath the column of water pouring through the pipes from the high rooftops of the commercial buildings all around me. The alley and streets nearly empty and myself screened by falling water.
  • I love swimming in lake, river or creek in the nighttime, on a whim, all alone. The sounds of the loons calling across the lake, the frogs singing on river banks or in the nearby slough.
  • I love the sound of water pouring over the small dam across the river, where, when the river’s running shallow, one can sit in a crevice hidden by the falling water and watch the lights from up above and across the fields. It seems as though one could breathe water, the mist from the splashing fall rising up again.
  • I love looking out of the airplane, visioning not cold and fragile, but soft, supportive clouds, and wishing to open the door and walk outside, the cumulus become a gigantic, billowing trampoline just for me.
  • I love standing along the road as evening turns to night, the sky high overcast, watching tall storm cells march across the fields and hilltops many miles away. The cloud-to-cloud lightning illuminates the cell in slices, and the clouds become grey backdrops for the dance of lightning bolts, the music too far away to be heard.
  • I love the mysteries and beauty of life.

Lizl Bennefeld
Copyright © 2016-05-19.

Day Two in Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration, Blogging University.

I write because…because I write | Everyday Inspiration Day 1

Why I Write

I am a life-long writer/journaler. I write to objectivize the world outside of me; that is, the reality that is independent of my mind, which I intuit through the senses. I write to know and understand what I truly see and to determine what I feel about that reality, its physical shape, its human and other inhabitants, and the interactions among the not-living world, the combination of forces and elements, and the cause and effect of both that and the living things that depend upon God and the seemingly not-aware stage within which they live out countless generations in peace, avoidance, violence, altruism and self-destruction as species.

I write. I objectivize. I freak out a lot. And then I turn inwards and write some more. “I am not responsible in total or part for the path the future takes,” I write; “I am responsible for recognizing truth and doing what is right.”

Self-aware individuals have a great capacity for rationalization. They seek personal survival, personal gain. Few recognize the necessity for an all-encompassing altruism in order that somethings—someones—should survive to witness the end of all things. The Universe should not die alone.

Lizl Bennefeld
Copyright © 2016-05-17.

Day One in Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration, Blogging University.

End of January

Our weather, this week, was nicely warm. Today, however, was more chilly and crust formed over the remaining snow (which still is more than ankle deep). I made a gesture toward firming a path from the back door to the gazebo. If the week is sunny, I will take the laptop to the gazebo for a while each sunny afternoon to be able to spend my writing time out of doors.

I am quite tired of being ill, and I am sure that being out of doors will help me to regain my equilibrium and blow away some of the clouds in my brain.

In fun news, a friend thearanartisan.com and I enjoyed tossing haiku back and forth on her FB page, Friday night. I have consolidated our haiku in order here with a link to her WordPress site. And also to RonovanWrites, whose haiku challenge #81 got us started.

Beginning the third week, this week, of the Prose Poetry workshop under the guidance of Pam Casto. Fascinating stuff. I find that there are genre as well as literary pieces within prose poetry and that my interest in them divides along genre lines as well as (my perceived) quality of the writing.

I realize that some of the books I most enjoy are prose poems, almost front end to back. For example, William Least Heat-Moon’s PrairyErth: A Deep Map, a favorite of mine. I think also of the introductory chapter of Ivanhoe, which I admit to not having reread since shortly after college. (I first read it in late grade school or junior high, either before or just after Quentin Durward). Helen Saunders, my English instructor for the class on that particular period of English literature, was aghast at my statement that I did truly enjoy the writing style.

It seems fortunate, here in my 70th year, that I read nearly all of the “great literature” that  was assigned in college before I turned 18. The older I get, the less time I am likely to allot to any one piece of literature, and the shorter the reading segments for nonfiction (e.g., Francis Fukuyama’s “Political Order” books). Forty-five minutes or an hour here and there to read a cozy mystery or historical romance just for fun is not a great amount of time lost. I’ve become a lot more choosy about speculative fiction, quite often choosing to reread favorite series rather than spend time with new books that are not quite at the highest level of gratification. Often I find myself writing, instead. Or thinking…while petting the puppy dog in my lap.

 

Halloween’s Arrival | Vision Stalker

If I counted correctly…there are MP3’s of poems by 16 members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association on the 2015 (10th Annual) Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Online Halloween Poetry Reading. A small gallery of seasonal artwork and photos by members is also included to help set the mood. The Halloween Reading page: http://www.sfpoetry.com/halloween.html.

Cat on living room armchair cushion
Frozen in Time

“Vision Stalker”
by Elizabeth Bennefeld

Eyes glance at me as I enter,
then turn away, indifferent.
Where once I found acceptance,
I see polite, but vacant faces.
My words are spoken
in a newly foreign language.

You have not changed.
It’s I who have become a stranger
through choices not approved,
prowling along uncommon paths
beyond the borders of community.

I will not walk your narrow roads
another night or day
to reattain belongingness
or buy lost camaraderie.

Going my own way, I will stalk
the visions that cry out to me
in the night from distant places.

A solitary hunter, I will seek new voices
that sing in harmony with my heart’s song.

An alien in your midst, no longer.

Copyright © 1996, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld. Published in Reflections & Visions, a W.H.E.E.L. chapbook (Nov. 1996); in the same year, in an anthology; and later, on the Internet (Deviant Art) by permission. Audio edition published in the 2011 SFPA Online Halloween Poetry Reading.

My mood poem, “Halloween Awakening” (MP3), is included on the 2015 Halloween Reading page, and the text can be found at my QuiltedPoetry.net site under PERFORMED POETRY. (I was co-editor, this year, with Shannon Connor Winward.)

Halloween is coming | Alien Life (2010)

ladybug (inverted color) navigating a blade of grass
Navigating the Space-Time Continuum
In 2006, I worked with Karen Romanko on her new SFPA project, a virtual Hallowe’en Poetry Reading presented by members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. That first year, and for several years following, I also did the web work. From 2006 through 2013, I volunteered as the editor/curator of this ongoing project. I thought it might be fun to repost some of the poems that I contributed to the project over the years. I think I only missed one year as a contributor.

 

“Alien Life”
by Liz Bennefeld

They live among us,
only slightly alien—
their DNA so close
that some of them can breed
with some of us.
A cross-section of each
is close enough
to be the other.

And so, then, who is alien,
after all? You? I?

I won’t tell,
if you don’t.

– Elizabeth Bennefeld, 2 Nov. 2009. Audio edition published in the 2010 SFPA Online Halloween Poetry Reading. For more Halloween poems by myself (with links to SFPA’s annual Halloween Reading pages) see QuiltedPoetry.net. The current reading can always be found at http://www.sfpoetry.com/halloween.html