Drifting

Traceries of snow

have designed a landscape

upon my window:

The drifts below

make ideal ground

to hold the roots

of icy trees

that trickle down

from the tops of the panes.

Brightly coloured butterflies

pasted to the glass inside

to ward off birds

that might collide,

look out of place

behind the lacy intricacy

of H2O’s frozen veins.

It blows and wails outside;

the gusts of snow

do not subside,

the birds drop down

to no avail;

while I bide here

beside the fire’s glow.

 

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

Juncos

Little do they know
These eskimo-birds that pepper the snow
Outside my sliding door,
I wait for them to come every year.

The hardy tiny ones that dig at the snow
With their delicate feet,
Have nothing to fear from me.

Each morning before they appear on my deck
I throw seed on the snow that has fallen
While we all slept.

I’ve built them a place to buffet the blow
Of those winds that rise up from the deeps of the snow
To ruffle their tail feathers.

I keep them sheltered and fed,
Hoping that each day they’ll come back
And get me through the long days of snow ahead.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2016

For Edgar, love Annabel

It was many a year ago, ’tis true,
In a kingdom by the sea,
A maid was I, when right on cue
Arrived Mr. Edgar, A.P.;
And this maiden lived with no other thought
Than of this man to be free.

I was a child, and he was a man;
In this kingdom by the sea;
But he loved with a love—a possessive love—
This Mr. Edgar, A.P.;
With a love he claimed the angels of heaven
Envied of him and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago
In this kingdom by the sea,
I stayed out in the cold night, chilling
Myself, to shed Mr. Edgar, A.P.;
So that my “highborn kinsman” came
In order to set me free,
And shut me up in a sepulchre
Of this kingdom by the sea.

The seraphs, now twice as happy in heaven,
They soon befriended me;
Yes! That was the reason (but no one knew,
In the kingdom by the sea)
For the wind came out of the cloud one night,
And of Edgar I was free.

But his “love” was stranger by far than the love
Of gentlemen saner than he—
Of many more normal than he;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the devils beneath the dark sea,
Could permit the twit’s obsession
So they hood-winked poor Edgar, A.P..

For the moon never beams without filling my dreams
With the unstable Edgar, A.P.;
And the stars never shine, that I don’t hear him pine
Over poor interred little ol’ me;
And so, all the night-tide, he lies down by the side
Of his “darling”— “his darling”— his life and his “bride”,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
Unaware that they cremated me.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2016

Marmalade

I bought for my mother,
A marmalade treat,
To have with her breakfast
On toast for to eat,
But next morning
She never got up from her bed;
From her pillow,
She did not raise up her tired head,
So she never again will taste
Thick-cut orange spread,
That she so used to love
On her golden-grilled bread,
But forever, the memory of her
Will not fade,
When I spread my toast with
Her orange marmalade.

Kathleen Mortensen @ 2016