Kate Bernadette Benedict


"The Very Rich Hours" was written during a spell of what is sometimes called Book Buddhism; hence, it describes the perfection of an ordinary morning, of being here now in a state of heightened yet serene awareness.  The loose dimeter and capricious rhyme scheme arose naturally and seem a good match for the subject matter; the quatrains serve nicely as "containers" for the various in-the-moment observations.  Or anyway, I hope they do.  Sometimes one plays by ear.

In "Occlusion," from my dream series, the scenario is somewhat surreal, as dreams are, yet reality has impinged upon this dream.  The terse, closed triolet form, with its repetitions, seemed an ideal form to express the trapped plight of these road people, who can be said to represent the actual refugees of the world, or inner aspects of the personality.





The Very Rich Hours

Rightness at eight.
A second cup.
A whoosh of traffic,
hum or roar.

Higher up
a mourning dove
coos from a rafter.

how it mourns more,
how it mourns less.
Beyond the door,
someone’s laughter.

Slowly dress
then slowly comb.
Cleanse a cup,
platter, spoon—

lemon foam.
Scoop the catbox.
Generous stinks,
general purrs.

Clack of locks
as neighbors leave.
Plump a pillow,
snap a spread.

Finches weave
from branch to sill
and back again.
The cat’s entranced

and glares until
a nap charms more.
Contentment: mine.
Rightness at nine.



Police have blocked with barricades.
We the people cannot break through
the yellow ties of these blockades.
Police have blocked with barricades
the shock victims, the nurses’ aides,
the amputees, the able few.
Police have blocked with barricades.
We the people cannot break through.







Kate Bernadette Benedict is the author of
Here from Away, a collection of poetry, and the editor of a new online journal, Umbrella.