Posted in Poetry, sijo

Early Morning | Ronovan Writes Sijo Wednesday Poetry Challenge #7

Sunrise Dawn by Kristine Weilert
through the fragrant mist of daybreak 
          promise of clear morning skies
waking birds murmur soft greetings 
          as they stretch their wings to fly
while the birds of the night
          sink into rest and lullabies

[sijo.] Copyright © 2022-04-28, by Liz Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

Ronovan Writes Sijo Wednesday Poetry Challenge #7

“Sunrise Dawn Photo” by Kristine Weilert (Stocksnap) is marked with CC0 1.0..

Posted in Poetry, sijo

Forest glade

forest glade in spring
how gracefully the new leaves
  flutter in the morning breeze
shadows dance along the path,
  fade and disappear again
noon arrives but does not stop,
  allowing room for twilight

[sijo.] Copyright © 2022-04-21, by Liz Bennefeld. All rights reserved.

Ronovan Writes Sijo Wednesday Poetry Challenge #6

Forest glade in spring” by sunsju is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Posted in national-poetry-month, nature, Poem, Poetry, tanka, Writing

Lightning Strike | Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge 353

lightning branches out
its particles swift to find
short paths to the ground

as bolts inflame the treetops
the earth trembles at the sound

Copyright © Lizl Bennefeld, 2021-04-13

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 353 BRANCH and Swift

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Posted in Life Happens, napowrimo, national-poetry-month, Personal, Poem, Poetry, Writing

Forgiveness | #NaPoWriMo Day 30 and possibly Day 29

This poem wound itself through two prompts. The first, a prompt for Day 29, began with “What is one childhood activity you particularly hated…?” and  followed up with “What would you rather have been doing instead?” Since the activity in question is “school”, I let that prompt rest. The prompt for Day 30, from the same source, was Forgiveness in four-line stanzas.

So, this rough draft (so as not to lose the idea, in case I should someday want to write a poem or two on the subjects) is what appeared.



I forgive myself for not being perfect,
not understanding all of what I see,
or knowing what you’re thinking
without one word from you.

I forgive myself for all I’ve learned
and for not knowing answers to
all the many questions others say
I should have sought out first.

I forgive myself for being an eccentric
(midst the cookie cutter worlds of labeled brands)
in a quiet world of wonder embroidered
with snow or flowers, soft winds, silent nights.

I forgive myself for being me,
for submerging in an inner world
that gathers in sights and sounds not
filtered through a million minds.

I do not need forgiveness for not
being who or what you need
at the moment of world crisis
or at any other point in time.

I was created to be unique with
my own desires and fascinations.
We explore without guilt, not yet sure
of all that’s here for us to find.

[rough draft, 1st rev.] © 2020-04-30, by Liz Bennefeld.

Image by Lee_seonghak from Pixabay

Posted in napowrimo, Personal, Poem, Poetry, tanka, Writing

apropos of nothing | poem for a middle day

Reduced in size
raging ocean waves

Inspired by RonovanWrites and the Décima or Espinela style.

my thoughts are too small
to encompass ten whole lines
they’d run out of breath

they would fall through the spaces
to the bottom of the sea

[tanka.] Copyright © 2020-04-15, by Lizl Bennefeld.



Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash,


Posted in napowrimo, Personal, Poem, Poetry, Writing

NaPoWriMo Playing Catch-up

Here is a poem for Saturday, April 11. Not inspired, but enjoying the hay(na)ku form. The prompt is from April 7th: Breakfast. However, I recall no favorite breakfasts from childhood. I was not a “morning person” until much later in life, after there was no need to wake up early. Now, I sometimes greet the birds who greet the dawn.


cup of coffee balancing on an impromptu shelf outside the back door
Coffee with Birdsong


Breakfast Under 20 carbs

coldbrew coffee
1 oz pecans

[hay(na)ku.] Copyright © 2020-04-13, by Lizl Bennefeld.


My recipe for Toddy-style coldbrew coffee can be found here.

Posted in napowrimo, Personal, Photography, Poem, Poetry, Writing

Should there not be… | Brewer: Day 4 — A Wish Poem

alyssum flowers and bee
Sweet Alyssums


if there should be no open windows
if there should be no trees outside
if no longer there be birds to sing
or owls fly on whispering wings
shadows across the summer moon

if there should be no seed or harvest
or no steps or songs or windows
due to blindness, plague or pain

inward I will turn my vision
walking through past years of flowers
smelling sweet perfumes and pollens
hum and dance with dreaming bees
until all fades…or we are one

Copyright © 2020-04-08, by Liz Bennefeld.

Posted in life through my windows, napowrimo, Personal, Photography, Poem, Poetry, tanka, Writing

Spring art | day 8

Last autumn’s leaves lie
on frozen ground, dried by spring’s
winds and distant sunlight


photographs of clouds
over oceans I won’t see—
beauty secondhand

dried leaves on still-frozen ground
complex designs in my hands

Copyright © 2020-04-08, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Brewer, Day 8: Write a “future” poem.


NaPoWriMo prompt for day 7: Ordinary Objects

Last autumn’s leaves lie on frozen ground
dried by spring winds and
distant sunlight

[haiku.] Copyright © 2020-04-07, by Liz Bennefeld.

Posted in life through my windows, napowrimo, Personal, Photography, Poem, Poetry, tanka, Writing

Nobody knows | #RonovanWrites #Weekly #Poetry #Challenge Grit/Quit

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #300 Grit&Quit

photo taken in the early 2000s at an informal Unisys employee gathering
Pebbled Beach

simply walked away
from the troubles I had known
left them far behind
now I dream ‘neath summer clouds
counting pebbles on the shore

Copyright © 2020•04•06, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge

Substitutions: grit=pebbles; quit=walk away

Posted in Personal, Poem, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Awake at midnight

I have idled away my time, while waiting to take my next dose of medication on schedule. I have written one of the three poems I need to complete the 30 poems for April’s Na/GloPoWriMo challenge.

hybrid tulips

as I slept, the sun
appeared and warmed the ground
I woke to tulips

Copyright © 2019-05-02, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Prompt from Na/GloPoWriMo, Day 29: Write a minimalist poem.

Posted in life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Personal, Poem, Poetry, senryu, Writing

Day 27 Late-Season Snow #NaPoWriMo

Thaddeus, caked with snow
Late Season Snowfall


Prompt: “Take one of your poems and, in three places, insert a parenthetical comment…” I used only this much of the prompt found at Cuyahoga County Public Library website.

late-spring storm
{by now, I shouldn’t feel surprise}
snow on puppy legs…face…tail
{how did he get snow plastered THERE?}
don’t sit in my lap!
{ah, well! there’s towels}

Copyright © 2019-04-27, by Lizl Bennefeld.

First published today on my Quiet Spaces Journal: Day 27 Late-Season Snow #NaPoWriMo

Posted in everydayinspiration, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Poem, Poetry, Writing

Day 26 | Everlasting Pause #NaPoWriMo

Prompt for Day 26: Write 10 one- or two-line poems on one subject, however loosely related to the subject. Put them together, arranging and rearranging, and title them as one poem.

An Everlasting Pause

Only eternity lasts forever

              Be still and know

There are many mansions

              and the perfect one is set aside for you

Passage of time and distance of place…

              all is present in the Now

I cannot conceive of a moment of perfection

              that never ends or varies

One thing that puzzles me is whether eternity is

              a continuity, an instance of existence, or an object of art

Clarity persists in haunting the mind of the bemused

The eternal Here and Now overlooks the ebb and flow

              of distance and time, not counting minutes or the miles

Satisfaction is a state of mind independent

              of circumstances or the company we keep

Experiencing the tides of now, the gentle inflow and recession

              of being and not being

Hypnotized by sensation and waiting for the feeling

              to come again

Lost in the eternal pause between nothing more

              and everything

Copyright © 2019-04-26, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Originally published on my Quiet Spaces blog, HERE. I used irregular HTML codes, and so the format may not work, here. Will try to get a graphic representation to link to.

Posted in everydayinspiration, life through my windows, NaPoWriMo2019, Poem, Poetry, tanka

Transformation | #RonovanWrites #Haiku #NaPoWriMo

raindrop splashing into water puddle

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #250 Action&Friction

action of raindrops
friction of waves on the shore
dry winds across stone

nature—micron by micron—
reshapes oceans and the land

Copyright © 2019-04-22, by Lizl Bennefeld.



View my NaPoWriMo 2019 poem-a-day collection in progress at


Posted in everydayinspiration, kimo, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Poem, Poetry, Writing

Day 16 – In Hiding: An Ode to Anonymity #NaPoWriMo

river photo from unsplash

‘An Ode to Anonymity’

I live underwater, away from all
there’s a turn in the river
I’m shadowed by its banks

the river’s in my mind
my mind safely sheltered, here…
here I’ll remain to the end of all time

Copyright © 2019-04-16, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Form: kimo and kimo, reversed

The complete Poem and and a larger version of the photograph (with credit) are on my Quiet Spaces Journal: Day 16 – In Hiding: An Ode to Anonymity #NaPoWriMo

Posted in kimo, life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Photography, Poem, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Springtime thoughts

Leaf lost on concrete


I found myself considering the sadness of leaves and seeds that fall where they can neither decompose nor have the opportunity to germinate and grow. And so, on a (serious) whimsy, I promised the residue on the garage floor that when I was finished with taking their photographs, there, I would gather up them all and return them to the outdoors, where they may decay, or sprout, and live again.

mourning for the leaves on the garage floor
thrown out in new plastic bags
not renewing the soil


Copyright © 2019-04-15, by Lizl Bennefeld.


I used a kimo instead of a haiku for this haibun.




Posted in Haiku, NaHaiWriMo, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Poetry, Uncategorized

April’s Blow | #NaPoWriMo2019, Na/GloWriMo2019

Text of poem with author and copyright information

March comes in as a lion … and April buries the road by which it leaves.

January’s cold
is sharp but somehow peaceful
unlike April’s storms

like cyclones over water
Spring adds fury to its snow

Copyright © 2019-04-10, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Source: April’s Blow on my Quiet Spaces Blog

National Poetry Month banner

Posted in Haiku, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Poem, Poetry, Reflections, Writing

April 4: And yet | #NaPoWriMo/#GloPoWriMo

Prompt: Write an animal poem. I have written animal poems for both day 3 and day 4.


evergreen tree in winter storm
Day 4:

puppies at my feet
pine trees swayed by rising winds
yet stillness

Copyright © by Lizl Bennefeld, 2019-04-04

cocker spaniel climbing onto snowdrift
Day 3:

a walk in the garden
snow deeper than me, head and tail…
no rabbits

Copyright © 2019-04-03, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Posted in napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Poem, Poetry, Reflections, tanka, Writing

April 2: Quietly | #NaPoWriMo/#GloPoWriMo

Prompt from Brewer at Writer’s Digest: And today is actually a special day: Two for Tuesday! Pick one prompt or use both…your choice! (1) Write a worst case poem. What’s the worst that could happen? (2) Write a best case poem. Take the worst and reverse it!

death of oceans
anaerobic luminescence
deserts without breath

bright colors on the water
moonlight’s dance on silent waves

Copyright © 2019-04-02, by Lizl Bennefeld.


Cross-posted from my Quiet Spaces Journal.

Posted in napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2019, Poem, Poetry, tanka, Writing

April 1 : What do you hear? | #NaPoWriMo/#GloPoWriMo/#RonovanWrites

Written for #RonovanWrites #Haiku #Challenge 247 (Kind & Mind) and Cuyahoga County Public Library‘s Read and Write 30 Days of Poetry (What do you hear?)

scampers at the window
Watching for Birds

elements of sound
flowing water far away
growls close at hand

flowing water soothes my mind
puppy growls scare the birds

Copyright © 2019-04-01, by Lizl Bennefeld.

synonym swap: element = kind

Posted in Art, Life Happens, life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Photography, Poetry

Day 14, Open Air Dining | #NaPoWriMo2018

I decided to go back to yesterday’s poetry prompts list and write a poem to go with my favorite grasshopper photograph.

Brewer: “For today’s prompt, pick an insect (any insect), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Praying Mantis,” “Ants,” and “Grasshoppers.” I’ll even except other creepy crawlies, like spiders, slugs, and leeches (shiver). Sorry in advance if this prompt gives you the heebie-jeebies; feel free to use insect repellent in your verse.”

Suave Photo Subject (Photo © by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld. All rights reserved).


one warm summer day
a debonair grasshopper
dines on a flower

spotting a street photographer
he grins between bites and bows

Copyright © 2018-04-14, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Originally published on The Moments Between blog.

Posted in everydayinspiration, life through my windows, Lifestyle, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Day 26, Life-long learning | #NaPoWriMo2018

flower seed packets scattered on a desk
Next month’s flowers

nahaiwrimo:April 26 LEARN

Real life-long learning doesn’t have to be profound or deep or even long-lasting. Doing so keeps us young! While in Boston this last weekend, I learned that I love lobster rolls. I also learned that I love the warm welcoming people I met. Learning something new blesses us all in one way or another and perhaps only in hindsight. Onward!

a water pail
moist dirt between my toes
sunlight’s warmth
after a lingering winter
it’s time to plant flowers

Copyright © 2018-04-26, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Posted in everydayinspiration, Finding Everyday Inspiration, life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Day 30, A Closing Poem | #NaPoWriMo2018

Today’s prompt, write a closing time poem.

I had thought there would be more feelings about…more active involvement in the act of my dying. Interaction with this new experience. Not simply waiting in the not-silence, listening to my breath in- and outing…all other sounds too far away. I slip into sleep. When I wake, I listen for the sound of breathing, check to see if it’s really mine. Somewhere along the line, it won’t be, anymore.

solitary room
sounds fade away, approach again
listening for forever

Copyright © 2018-04-30, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.


Posted in Finding Everyday Inspiration, life through my windows, Lifestyle, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 24: Growing Up | #NaPoWriMo2018

hometown cemetery

Prompt for the day, Cayahoga library: List all the jobs you have had, including volunteer work and other unpaid jobs. Turn the list into a list poem by rearranging, repeating or just titling it. /Or/ write a poem about one of them.

I thought I’d stick to the jobs during grade school and high school, leaving out the gardening chores, since that really was free labor for the common good.


“It’s good for you”

My first jobs, tedious but
character- and muscle-building
picking rocks at springtime
in farmers’ fields
kids’ time is cheaper than repairs

Father rented us out by the day

The second summer job lasted
much shorter than it seemed
which was always and forever
clipping grass around stones
mowing the cemetery grounds
setting traps for ground squirrels
who spoiled painstaking work—
lugging pails of well water
to drown the pests or
drive them out

Should have stuck with the rock picking

The best job of my childhood
was selling door to door
in a small town every household
finds the need for more stationery
cards for none or all occasions
so their children find buyers, too

Pay-off was a week or two
each August far away from home
for private and group lessons,
ensemble, band and choir rehearsals

Brass ensemble work cost extra…
Worth the miles walked to get there

Copyright © 2018-04-24, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.


Posted in napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Rewriting the World – April 21

nahaiwrimo prompt for Day 21: PRINT

bookshelves beside my rocking chair
Rewriting the World

Bring Your Own Plot

Print has gotten smaller
in books as years go by
and letters crowd the line
with two or more ascenders
where only one should be, and
below the quivering baseline
the descenders stub their toes

I do not know what choice to make
to maximize these story times—
read very fast for fleeting joy…
or memorize my favorite lines
to savor when the light fades
and shadows darken all

We will call up treasured stories,
the characters and I, and we
will plot out better endings
in which none of us will die

Copyright © 2018-05-02, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Posted in napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Day 19: Origins | #NaPoWriMo2018

Prompt for Day 19 is from the Cayahoga Library:

An “origin story” is the backstory of how a character became a protagonist or how superheroines (or -heroes) received theirsuperpowers. Write a poem that imagines your backstory as either a poet or a superhero(ine).

The Vicissitudes of Childhood

I learned to talk aloud
by learning how to read
line by line, books read—
two pages, pointing out
each word and saying it,
and when I’d read them back
I’d open up my mouth again…
to eat a bite of baby food
while Mother turned the page

Copyright © 2018-04-21, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Posted in life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 29: Whatever it takes | #NaPoWriMo

spring clouds behind barren tree branches

Brewer: “For today’s prompt, write a response poem. Respond to whatever helps you get your poem written…”

dry leaves dance above—
leaping higher than treetops
stripped by April winds

green shoots kissed by dirt and rain
pledge autumn one more harvest

Copyright © 2018-04-29, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

This poem is in response to a poem not from this challenge, but one that I wrote for the 2008 SFPA poetry contest; the theme was “Energy”. The poem’s title is “Future Freedom”. It’s the second poem on this page of my blog.

Posted in napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Story Poem, another Day 27 prompt | #NaPoWriMo2018

Brewer: For today’s prompt, write a story poem. Think of a story, could be a long, complicated, winding story, but for a poem, it may make more sense to make it a short, direct story.

Sort of a plot summary of a book that I wrote, many years ago, and then put aside. I have no suitable photos to go with it. Comes to mind, again, every once in a while, morphing over…nearly 4 decades.

“Blood to Blood”

Not who he thought, his father,
not he who was seated as chairman
in his grandfather’s boardroom.

His true father, not by name, but blood,
one who labored in his mother’s gardens,
holding his hand as he took his first steps,

sharing carrots with him from those gardens.
Eating green peas nested in their pods,
they watched koi fish swim among the lilies.

As he grew, listening to rain and
painting the colors of the wind,
he came into his heritage and ran.

Not a heritage of wealth,
but fear, fleeing to the one
who taught him how to run.

Copyright © 2018-04-28, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Posted in everydayinspiration, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 27: Wind and Water (final version) | #NaPoWriMo2018

waves beat on the shore
playing footsies with strangers
then slipping away

wind and sand party along
the beach … Catch me if you can!

Copyright © 2018-04-27, by Elizabeth Bennefeld, final version.

Prompt: Ronovan Writes Haiku challenge of 23 April 2018: Beat and Party.

Posted in everydayinspiration, life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Day 22: As Far as the East Is | NaPoWriMo2018

For April 22, I selected this prompt from naprowrimo:

And now for our daily prompt (optional as always). I’ve found this one rather useful in trying to ‘surprise’ myself into writing something I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise. Today, I’d like you to take one of the following statements of something impossible, and then write a poem in which the impossible thing happens: …” But the phrase that immediately came to mind was “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12.

As Far As The East Is

the sun rolls along
west is ahead—east, behind
just a glance away

In bright sunlight, all shadows
are behind me as I face the sun.

Copyright © 2018-04-25, by Elizabeth Bennefeld. [Playing catch-up.]


Posted in everydayinspiration, life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 15 – If I were a garden | #NaPoWriMo2018

late-spring garden

Cayahoga library: Katerina Stoykova-Klemer has written, “Often I Wish I Were// a potato.// Eyes opened/ in all directions.” Begin a poem with “Often I wish I were” and complete the  stanza with…” and  see where that takes your poem.


I sometimes wish I were a garden
filled with roots, berries and such
I would renew both dirt and harvest
sending seeds throughout the Earth

I always wished I had big shoulders
broad and strong to share life’s cares
I’d wrap my arms around the crying
help transform their tears to joy

I often wish I were a spirit
floating high above the world…
I’d watch closely for the hurting
act to foster hope’s rebirth

Copyright 2018-04-15, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.

Posted in everydayinspiration, life through my windows, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Photography, Poetry, Writing

Day 12 Prompt: Natural Landscape | NaPoWriMo2018

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Today, we’d like to challenge you specifically to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.

A Late Spring

Rabbits have eaten the bark from low Cotoneaster branches, leaving them bare to lingering cold, icy winds, and snow storms. Again this year, the bushes are at risk to dry and die when the heat does come, searing tender leaves. There will be no warm rains to waken grass seed strewn in hope, six months ago. Birds eat the grains, finding no new growth.

dormant flax seeds hide
beneath last autumn’s bent stalks
waiting for summer

Copyright © 2018-04-13, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Posted in life through my windows, Lifestyle, NaHaiWriMo, napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Day 9: Who We Were | #NaPoWriMo2018

I decided to go back to April 9, to the Pilgrimage prompt, and wander a bit through the family tree. My mother was a genealogist, among other things, and we kids got to do research, each in our turn.

Who We Were
[still a rough draft]

Our people came from Iowa
by way of the Norman invasion,
Mayflower I and II, the Winthrop Fleet
by way of rivers on diverse craft
neighbors with neighbors
towns moving together

They arrived in the Firelands
then settled in Iowa and
opened South Dakota—farms
were lost behind the dam, so
back to small-town Iowa

Penneys went into retail, catalog sales
A connection of “our” Bennetts sent
Stanley to find Livingston
the Deans made sausage, and the
Gallops (Kolopp, from Alsace) took polls

The grocery store owner in
South Dakota patented a plow
the Carters served in India
as Methodist missionaries
Evangeline Ink wrote an exposé
novel about TB camp swindles

My generation and the next have been
lawyers, executives, freelancers, clerks
writing and publishing books,
poetry. textbooks, and many stories
nurses caring for the injured and elderly,
builders, handcrafters, quilters,
artists, musicians

Myself, I grow wild flax
in the backyard garden, take naps
with the puppy dogs, make up recipes
and do the laundry, play piano, and
hold my husband close to my heart

I read only as many books in a week
as I write poems, a photo for most
no children, but a library
gathered over a lifetime
determined to leave no book unread…
always buying more

There’s always time to write a poem…
time to read a book

Copyright © 2018-04-10, by Elizabeth W. “Lizl” Bennefeld.

Continue reading “Day 9: Who We Were | #NaPoWriMo2018”

Posted in napowrimo, NaPoWriMo2018, Poetry, Writing

Day 7: Sound | #NaPoWriMo2018

The prompt for today called for a poem involving one (or more) of the senses. I find that I still miss hearing those voices in the night, singing me to sleep.

bedclothes, folded down

“Night Sounds”

in the apartment where I lived
before I married, a quarter century past,
late at night through air ducts
the building sang to me
deep, rumbling chants
basso profondo choir

I recall the voices—
vibrations in my bones—
rocking me to sleep
wrapped in

Copyright © 2018-04-07, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.