Starvation Diet?

The new trend towards eating within 100 miles of where you live is an admirable one, and one I would love to participate in. I consider myself a “friend of the environment” and want to help any way I can. Thinking deeply on this has given me pause.

Miles To Go Before I Eat

I’m thinking about the new “100-Mile Diet”
It can’t be that hard. Can it? Nah! Sure, I’ll try it.

Let’s see, if I look at the distance they say,
I can buy from as far as the grand GTA!

That isn’t so bad. Now, where else can I go?
All the way down to Erie, and, wow! Buffalo.

I hope in Kincardine there’s fresh cheese to fill ya.
Does “Joe”, fairly-traded grow up in Orillia?

Avocadoes must rise in my radius somewhere;
I mean, no guacamole just wouldn’t be fair!

Please tell me the rice called basmati springs forth
In a field in Niagara or somewhere up North.

Will I have to press pasta and freeze fruit and veg?
I’m sure living sans chocolate will put me on edge.

And what of my felines? Their grub’s from the States.
They’re fussy enough about what’s on their plates.

I could possibly do without catch from the coast,
But I know I’ll just die without P-B on toast!

I’d like to help out the environment cause,
Erasing my footprint of carbon, (Applause!)


If I’m forced to relinquish my cherished cuisine
I’ll have to eschew — it’s so tough “going green”!

Kathleen Mortensen © 2007


Clean Sweep?

When a woman sold an odd item at her yard sale, she had no idea what she had just handed over! Fortunately, she was able to retrieve it a few days later. Here’s the story:

Grave Decision

Just another Saturday
Trying to make some bucks.
Her husband’s sleeping soundly
Out of the house she trucks
Dusty, scratched old records
Faded paint-by-number,
Quietly she hauls it all–
Mustn’t wake his slumber!

Dragged out into the driveway,
A slew of useless things:
The matador on velvet,
Some mismatched curtain rings.
Here comes someone eager
To snatch a treasure up.
There goes a battered bureau
And chipped-lip, china cup.

“How much for that old turtle?
Ceramic isn’t it?
It’s perfect for my cookies.
–The lid won’t budge a bit.”
Yet still, the lady takes it.
Deal’s done for fifty cents.
And off she carts her booty
Not knowing the contents.

The morning goes by quickly
She makes a goodly sum.
And proudly she is counting
Her well-deserved wampum.
‘Til hubby, he emerges
Alert and eagle-eyed
But suddenly, goes ashen
What is it he has spied?

A gaping hole exists where
The terrapin once was
Slowly does he crumple
In desperate heap because;
Turns out a precious cargo
Lay inside the gold-glazed urn
She’s only sold the cinders
Of the wife he had to burn!

Kathleen Mortensen © 2007

Thoughtful Piece

A few weeks back, I read about a cat in Providence, Rhode Island who seems to be divining the death of patients. After mulling the information over, I was moved to write this piece.

Oscar’s Gift

Two years ago they found him
In a shelter down the street
And brought him back to Steere House
The guests to meet and greet.

But as he grew from kitten
To handsome house-feline,
It soon became apparent
Lap-cat was not his line.

No fussing over this guy,
Nor rubbing of his head.
Aloof, was this cat’s nature;
A different path he’d tread.

Then one strange day it happened;
A patient on Third Floor
Was rapidly declining–
The cat came in the door.

And softly, he alighted
Upon the bed beside
The one who lay there resting,
And Oscar, he did bide.

To some it was surprising,
And others paid no mind,
Until, the cat repeated
His ritual in kind.

Now Oscar’s got a record;
His forecasts have come true,
Over five and twenty times–
His actions are the clue.

And so the family’s called in
When he enters in the room
Of someone who’s been failing–
Though Oscar brings no gloom.

No, this angel’s there to comfort
As shadows cast their pall.
This kitten once was rescued
To heed the Master’s call.

Kathleen Mortensen©2007

This One Stinks!

This is the original “Dorothy” poem that started my new career as a working poet. Thanks to a humble, odoriferous creature, I found my true calling.

Dorothy’s Adventure

Of who’s who in the hinterland
There’s beaver and there’s goose.
Of origin, Canadian,
And others on the loose.
One animal that springs to mind
Surrounded by a funk,
The ill-reputed, much-maligned
Highway-traversing skunk.

Recently, I happ’d upon
A hubbub in The Post
Concerning just such creature
Shipped from the U.S. coast
It seems inside a pipe she curled
Intent to hibernate,
And woke up in a strange, new world
Toronto was her fate.

A contest was set up that day
To name this beast and so,
“Dorothy’s” the stowaway
To me, it’s apropos.
Now, no one wants to let her stay
It’s down to anal glands.
In turn each group was heard to say
They wished to wash their hands.

Send her back the long way home
To thence from which she came.
Extradite, don’t let her roam
The poor girl gets the blame.
And hearing of this “tail” of woe
I could but only think,
That Dorothy just had to go
Because she raised a stink!

Just when it seemed that she was froze
In land of beer and hockey,
Form out the blue her saviour rose–
An L.A. radio jockey
Who, with his partner, he does choose
To drive this continent.
How glad I was to hear the news
He’s surely heaven-sent.

Despite this seeming cheery end
A codicil, I warn ya’;
It’s not so black and white
When she returns to California.
An irony indeed would be
“Dot” makes it home alive,
Then ventures out in early Spring
To cross “I Number 5”.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2007

Companion Piece

A bizarre photo in The National Post of an exceedingly large frog caught my eye. After some serious digging, I produced this piece. (Published in The Daily Gleaner)
Frog Prints

It started in Killarney Lake,
A saga some dispute.
But to this day the tourists
Come to gawp –it’s just a hoot!
Way back in 1885,
Fred Coleman set afloat
To catch some fish for supper,
When a frog jumped in his boat.

Now Fred maintained his story
Until the day he died–
Said he fed this frog on whiskey
Buttermilk, and bread beside.
And this amphibious creature
Beyond belief it grew–
Was said to race with tomcats
Even tow the odd canoe!

Then one day something happened–
No fish were to be found.
So they went and blew the lake up
And the frog he up and drowned.
But Fred just couldn’t part with
His underwater chum
He had it stuffed and mounted
Himself to feel less glum.

The frog he sat in honour
In lobby of hotel
But patrons put their butts out–
On his back and head as well.
A group of local experts
Called the frog a “patent fake”.
And others thought that science
Was the route that they should take.

Well, Fred died some years later
The frog it found its way
To a Fredericton museum
Where it’s glassed in from the fray.
McGill scoffs that it’s nonsense
No “Goliath” have we here.
Discovery Channel did a bit
For kiddies just last year.

Today it’s known as “Coleman’s”
No-one’s taking DNA.
Perhaps they’re scared of
Scraping off some papier mâche.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2007