Shore Lines

Photo borrowed from Flickr

Getting Ducked

I remember, whipping off,
our sweaty clothes so fast,
wriggling into taut swimsuits,
salt-faded from the past.

Down, down to the ocean, went we,
childish laughter floating out to sea…

Summers that we dove and dove,
through rushing wake and wave,
plunging from the wharf of stone,
we fancied ourselves brave.

Flying out the old screen-door,
bang!, it slammed behind,
feet met fire on wooden steps,
so swift, we paid no mind.

Tripping, tumbling down the bank,
just one goal to reach,
limbs bruised up with stains of grass,
couldn’t keep us from that beach.

Rolling tides on sun-baked shore,
we dipped our toes and screeched,
ankles, calves, then knobby knees–
Atlantic depths were breached.

“You go first!”, “ No, you!” we’d yell.
“It’s too cold!!!!” (Our fears we’d have to quell),
“Hen, rooster, chicken…duck!” above the din,
of warming winds-—then we were in.

Down, down, to the ocean went we…
childish laughter
floating out
…to sea.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008


Svengali Approach

Oh, Nymph!

He called me Calypso

Of course it was to lure me
Into a false sense of security–
Give the virgin an exotic name,
Mercilessly entrap
In a veil of deceit,
Convince me of
My uniqueness–
That fascinating quality
That failed to exist.

He called me Calypso

A master stroke
To use myth against me
Play on the puny
Ego resting in my breast
Hold me to his conceit
Spoonfeed me
And let me gorge–
Being a student
Of literature

He called me Calypso

Full-knowing I would fall
Into his arms
And into his bed
Or rather, onto
The crushed-velvet couch
In the green room
Of the radio-station
On campus

He called me Calypso…
Until his Circe came.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2008

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The Tooth of the Matter: Brushing Kitty’s Teeth

This is Blanche…she’s never had her teeth brushed. She’s 15 and I can tell that she may be having some tooth problems – after she eats, she sort of does this imaginary chewy-thing from side to side, so I believe she’s got some dental issues. I’m freezing some Greenie tartar treats as I write so I can get her to do some serious crunching. Judging by this photo, she may have even lost a tooth.

In my day (I sound like I’m 90), the idea of putting a tooth-brush anywhere near your cat was unheard of! The cats were outdoors all day, not allowed on furniture and locked up in the basement at night.

Our (very fortunate) cats are indoors, fully-clawed, go where they please and take up half the bed at night, but we’ve never brushed their teeth. Now people are buying meat-flavoured pastes and starting when their pets are only kittens. We bought the paste and the tiny brush, but the cats just laughed behind their paws. They did like the taste of the paste, but when it came time to actually inserting a brush in their mouths, well, let’s just say they had objections.

Some other cats apparently even grow to like the procedure – see video below:

But some don’t:

Now if she could just get him to rinse and spit!

Clothes-shopping is fun?

(breaking all the rules!)


Invited to 1st boyfriend’s, 2nd wedding.
Nice! But now it’s dress-buying I’m dreading.
My usual attire is jeans and shirt.
Once in a while, to church, I’ll wear a skirt.

Those hemlines hold me hostage from the start.
Too long just drags, too short–I look a tart.
To sleeve, or not to sleeve, the question sits–
Must hide the flabby flesh beneath my pits.

The fabric is a feature pondered long,
Cuz clingy stuff enhances all that’s wrong.
Each bump and roll’s revealed, rather than hid.
I stick to stiff, of jersey I’m well rid.

Next, collar issues get me in the neck.
Too deep – we get E.T., too high – Star Trek.
Yet boobies bared don’t matter, mine are small–
Décolletage on moi’s no thrill at all.

Lately them that’s there are southward bound.
The cleavage that once was cannot be found
Without a push-up from the waist below,
Which every day, appears somewhat to grow.

So ladies if you’re shopping here’s my tip:
Don’t try to be a model or look hip.
The dress-designers haven’t us in mind.
Choose a smart suit and hide that big behind.

Kathleen Mortensen©2008

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Rule Britannia once again!

Here in Canada, the holiday that commemorates the longest-reigning British Monarch is upon us. Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years. Canadians typically, (at least where I’m from, here in Ontario) head north to the cottage and shoot off fireworks. Although never one for showy displays or loud bangs, I too am northward bound this weekend, not only to celebrate Victoria Day , but also to mark the occasion of my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday on May 26th.

I shall return on Monday and undoubtedly will be anxious to get back to my laptop and my fellow-bloggers. I will try and squeeze in some poetry-writing while I’m away (hiding in a cabin, trying to escape the fray). You see, I’m already at work!

Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!


Where I’m From – in poetry

My Great-aunt, “Big Clara” (the tall one),as opposed to “Little Clara” (the shorter).

Colleen, of Loose Leaf Notes left a comment on my blog yesterday and I found myself at her blog, thanking her and having a nose around to see what she is all about. She is a brilliant writer, who writes from the heart and writes in such a way as to immediately draw you into her world. I have added her to my links in the sidebar.

At Colleen’s blog, I read a poem entitled “Where I’m From”. Upon reading it I began to wonder if she would think it too bold of me if I should attempt a similar type of poem since it was such a wonderful expression of who she is. I was pleased to notice that she actually attributed this poem to another person’s blog and that there is in fact a template for anyone who wants to write one like it. I can see Michelle Hix of Sont les mots… taking this on, or perhaps Fenny . Here is the link to the template and a bit of the history of the origin of the piece. You can read Colleen’s memorable poem here.

Here’s my version of “Where I’m From”

Scraps of Me

I’m from sixties’ suburbia,
pb & j and cheese-spread
in the canteloupe kitchen
of the brick bungalow
on Pyramid Crescent.

I‘m from blown dandelions
plucked daisies, and the buttercup test,
from pixie stix, pop rocks,
Dickie Dee bells
and candy cigarettes.

I’m from best-suit Sundays,
candle-lit Masses
and my father’s tenor tones
carrying each hymn
from memory.

I’m from the seventh one
of the twelve bastard-spawned
Catholics of Rodney Drive, Belfast —
the son who crossed
the Atlantic.

I’m from corned beef and cabbage,
Feis Eirann and the Clancy Bros,
Murphy-jokes and miracles,
clay pipes and pots of gold
at the end of the rainbow.

I’m from the middle daughter
of the shunned ex-Baptist–
the Dominion Coal Company clerk
of Glace Bay, Cape Breton
Nova Scotia.

I’m from bloodsuckers, seaweed,
and salt-water… “out East Bay”,
the house on Cottage Street
with the “Aren’t they gorgeous?”
sweet pea-beds, and tiger-lilies.

I’m from, “Who’s like you
since Leatherarse died?”
and frequently:
“What do you think this is,
your Father’s yacht?”

I’m from the roll of the sea
and the rise of the hills,
from blueberry pie,
“Big Clara’s” strawberry jam
and outdoor lobster feasts.

I’m from the nun-chase
across the Santana schoolyard
and the tear-stained
train-station farewell
at the age of 15.

I’m from acid-free albums
of corner-pointed pictures
and pinked photographs
of British army days
and “the old country”
in the footed tin box.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008

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Miley Cyrus – Exposed or Exploited?


When Miley had her photo took
Ms. Liebovitz, she needed hook
From other side of camera’s vue–
So stripped she down, the ingénue.

No Hannah now, with fresh-faced smile
Or Daddy’s girl–does this defile
The Sweetheart, new, of U.S.A.–
Has Disney’s darling gone astray?

In satin, white, of bridal gown,
A bed-mussed sheet, set to slip down
With trailing tress – not ponytail–
The trap is set–the bait, for jail.

In light of Zion, Bountiful –
This child’s nubile, and naked pull
Is out of joint, and upturned now–
Transforms the babe, to cold-cash cow.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2008

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