Surprised By The Battleground

This is an old poem that went missing. I knew I had it somewhere on an external drive, but that had gone missing too. I had forgotten the title and yesterday, I pored through the tags for this blog in an effort to find it, but to no avail.  Today, however, I discovered the usb thingy in my kitty-cat pencil case that sits to the left of me all the time. *smacks head with heel of hand

It’s not that it’s a great poem, but I like it just the same. I wrote it after reading the book, “The Drowned World” by J.G. Ballard. That was a bit of a triumph for me, since I’m not a reader of fantastic stuff, but I persisted and ending up really liking the book.

Don’t ask me what this poem means, I haven’t got a clue.

(A recording of the poem will follow as soon as I get my office relocated – very soon.)

 

Surprised By The Battleground.

We were comrades when the ship
went down;
our spirits scattered to the winds
like soaring gulls.
You wore a shocking white suit
and I, a red silk dress,
as we danced to marimba
in the midst of horrors.

We heard the buzz-buzz of the
giant bee,
as it made its line towards the
hardened ground;
our bodies blasted to the winds
like dirty gulls—
your white suit, smeared with
coffee-stains,
my red-silk dress blown up
over my head.

And we never saw it coming—
though we held the divination sticks
in our shaking hands.

Kathleen Mortensen©2010

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Through the Looking Glass

Lost my looks
some time ago, at least
that’s how it feels,
despite appeals of protest
from the man in my life.

Gone more grey, recently
from the strife of just being alive.

Sure, I scrub up well,
and maybe only I can tell
my hair is thinning
and a thickness is winning
at the middle.

I’m not exactly an old biddy yet,
but there’s no surprise in eyes anymore
when I reveal my age.

I look in the bathroom mirror
and wonder when it happened?
There must have been a solitary day
where I crossed that line
between youth and … anyway,

don’t know where I’m going with this,
and then I think,
nobody’s waiting for it—there’s no deadline,
all these changes will still be here
to write about tomorrow …
unless I’m not.

*wink, wink

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

I Don’t Know What To Call This

my life is measured out
in cans of cat food
and empty toilet rolls
in flattened cereal boxes
and gnawed apple cores
it’s load upon load of laundry
glaucoma drops—twice a day
and 4:00 p.m. tots of sherry.

my life is pieced together
in yards of dental floss
man-handled tubes of toothpaste
cold tea bags and dumped
coffee grounds
it’s scads of used tissues
in purses and pockets along with
half-filled bottles of hand-sanitizer

it’s scooped out in pellet-litter
and cups of birdseed
handfuls of peanuts-in-the-shell
and jugs of water
ceramic pots with serrated silver spoonfuls
of marmalade or jam

my life is milk-stains
on a maple floor
dirt in corners, single cat whiskers
caught in rugs
it’s kitchen knives
ritually washed again and again
and plastic tabs from bread bags

Imagine if I could count all these things in reverse;
I’d return to the first moment
when I could measure nothing at all—

I would be unborn.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017