Orson Swells



With every peanut that he’s found,
Orson swells.
With seed that’s scattered on the ground,
Orson swells.
He’s rotund as a vat of wine,
His butt’s the biggest in the line.
Each time he dashes in to dine,
Orson swells.

With every snack he snatches up,
Orson swells.
With tidbits tossed from plastic cup,
Orson swells.
Of ravenous rodents waiting for,
The click that signals opening door,
He seems the squirrel who munches more;
Orson swells.

In greedy maw he stuffs them in,
Orson swells.
I swear, he’s got a double chin,
Orson swells.
His ears are short, his tail is long,
His appetite is ever-strong.
I hope you have enjoyed my song,
Orson swells.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008


A Bird In The Hand

A sparrow, my window,
With velocity hit,
Sunlight was so bright,
That it saw not a whit.

It failed to divert,
From pane, it did bank,
The bang made me jump,
My heart slowly sank.

So hopeful, I bounded,
With alacrity, raced,
To find it lay broken,
On my patio, placed.

I saw at a glance,
To one side, its head loll,
Knew that the impact
Had taken its toll,

Then, carefully picking
It up in my palm,
I softly caressed its
Warm breast to becalm,

As if it were living,
Though eyes were shut tight,
No breath was expiring—
He’d flown his last flight.

I wrapped it in paper,
Lay it down on the floor,
Of my shed to await,
A swift burial, poor.

We laid it in earth,
Near Francis, in stone,
Trusting its soul,
To the heavens has flown.

Kathleen Mortensen©2008

I am bereft. Despite having put up a birdfeeder back in the early days of December, we have had nothing more than a trio of juncoes who stopped by around a noon for a few days. At my old house in the city, we had countless birds of endless variety. They made my winter more bearable. I am bereft.

The Stars on the Other Side of the World

There is a sky
so far from here
where stars like sequins
light up the night and glow—
spangled, blinking
above the seas
that flow.

I want to be there
to stand on a rocky
fearing not,
the abyss below.

Eyes up!
I want to feel
the emerald grass that
lies beneath my feet— and know
the shamrocks
will prevent me
from demise
and Sirius will
guide me
as I go.

Kat Mortensen©2010