Aside · Coffee Break · Life Through My Windows · Nattering · Personal · Poetry · Weekend Coffee Share

From the archives #weekendcoffeeshare

Pull up a chair and help yourself to a hot drink! The temperature outside is 6°F/-14°C with a chance of snow flurries. (I won’t mention the wind chill temperature.) I have closed all the curtains, and it’s tolerable warm inside the house. During this past week, anticipating the activities of February, National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), I have been wandering through poems from previous years. Looking at where my mind was in earlier times.

While I do gravitate toward the shorter (mostly Japanese) poetic forms, there are poems I have written that “return to haunt me” (?). Moments versus lifetimes. Eleven syllables or however many stanzas sketch out recognizable (or unfamiliar) pictures of shadowed realities. A brief overview (I did not include, for example, song lyrics) of some of the longer (but not long-long) poems within my immediate reach are below. While I have been writing poetry since elementary school, I have saved only one poem that I wrote before I started college in 1964. And not many from my college years, either.

You will find our host’s Weekend Coffee Share blog and InLinkz app at January 2022 Reflections. Retrospection is a useful tool, I think.

Best wishes to you! I hope that the week to come will be enjoyable and quite satisfactory.

Hugs & much love,
Lizl

    "Nighttime Reassurances"

    I will not be remembered
    no one will know my face
    or hear echoes of my voice
    my words will not live on

    and so, with every gesture
    written words of mine, read,
    inspired…thoughtful…
    full of fun or joy or love

    my legacy will be reflected
    in the here and now
    gently leading, pushing
    guiding those who will

    in turn go on to shape
    tomorrows that I will not see
    nor they, who will themselves
    become the ripples in the stream

Copyright © 2018-08-29, by Lizl Bennefeld.
"Tempted to Silence"

    as the years move on
    as I move with them
    or we go separate ways
     
    I have less to say
    there is less to hear
    around me that inspires…
     
    I don’t know what I miss—
    words of kindness, uplifting
    without self-serving thoughts
     
    a different world, perhaps,
    outside the door…with hope
    for more than me and mine and yours
     
    If I were alone, again
    if there were no one to care
    if I were there or here
     
    I would take a lease
    on a cabin in the woods
    for enough years to die
     
    listening to rain and bird calls
    wind and ice and hearth fire
    pencil scratching paper
  
    the opening of a door

Copyright © 2018-04-18, by Liz Bennefeld.

RESILIENCE

remembering at the far
end of eternity
shadowed by
images of what came before
looking for lost pathways
in a web of visions
enmeshed in beauty
naming those who
came here, then vanished again
ethereal … dissolving … gone

fading colors
butterfly dust on dew
stuff of dreams

Copyright © 2021-07-03, by Liz Bennefeld.

    "Mother’s Cookbook”

    Look through tabs of Mother’s cookbook
    for french toast with cinnamon
    which we were used to devour
    when children on a rainy Sunday
    after church

    Only recipes, now, and memories
    of sticky hugs
    laughter
    warmth

    Search among the tabs
    just one more time
    for Mother’s recipe
    for love

    – Elizabeth Bennefeld, Sept. 2005.

Reprinted in the December/January (2011?) print edition of ARTSpulse, The Arts Partnership, Fargo, North Dakota.
“Going Home”*

In the next yard, swings
for children born, grown and gone
while we were away.

Where the ponies grazed–
came to the fence for nose rubs–
houses row on row.

There, Squirrel parents told 
stories of an old man who hand-fed
pancakes to them all.

We sit, the old man’s children,
waiting on the porch
as squirrels climb down from their trees
to greet long-lost friends.

Copyright © 2000 (rev. 2015), by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld. All Rights Reserved.
Aside · Coffee Time · Good Night · Nature · Personal · Poetry

Never alone

grassy meadow with water and rolling hills in the misty distance (Peter Oslanec, Unsplash)
laughter on the wind

Oddly, the poem below is part of my response to a poem, “Oneness”, published in Call Me by My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh (1993). Showed up in my FB feed, today. The lovely and frightening aspect of quarantine during a pandemic is the abundance of unstructured time available. Also, I imagine, it is one of the benefits of growing older and thriving in the current physical environment. Not a lot of people, but lots of books and quiet and dogs that fall asleep in my lap.

created by choice
to love and be loved forever…
absent from my eyes
for just a little while

never absent from your heart
and you, ever with me—
in my mind and my arms,
your laughing voice on the wind

Copyright © 2022-01-25, by Liz Bennefeld.

Photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash

Aside · Life Through My Windows · Personal · Poetry

Life, like a river

different shades and shapes  
shallow waters and broad banks  
ripples and bird song  
        ice and winds—summer’s warmth  
        ever changing…but the same  

© Lizl Bennefeld, 2022-01-15

“Birds near a Mountain Stream by Herman Henstenburgh (c.1683-c.1726). Original from the Rijks Museum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.” by Free Public Domain Illustrations by rawpixel is licensed under CC BY 2.0