Monday Poem (In preparation for the re-launch of TFE’s Poetry Bus)

Not Mystery, but Imagination


In the semi-waking hours,


The gnawing on the wires

Between the walls:

A mouse’s mandible—


Is the trapped ghost

Within those inner walls, waiting

To be released?



The croaking outside my door

And on the stair:

A feline’s faculties—


Is the demon

Above the chamber door, waiting

On pallid Pallus,

Once more? For Lenore?



Wake up!


Kat Mortensen©2010 
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*Be sure to visit Totalfeckineejit for updates on the re-launch of the Prestigious Poetry Bus.


Theme Thursday: Whoops!



(Red topples an energy-efficient bulb)


We didn’t mean to make that whomp!

We were having such a romp

When we tore across the bed

Shortly after we were fed.


It was really Daisy’s fault

She produced a Nadia-vault

Onto the tiny table with the light

–It gave us such a fright.


Are you scrunched up on the floor

We can see you from the door

With your rubber yellow hands–

Garbage bag and rubber-bands.


You’re taking this quite hard

And the yelling’s got me scar’d

When it crashed how could we know

It would freak you out quite so?


You calm down, I’ll be glad

I don’t like it when you’re mad

Come and tug my tail again.

I’ll be good—are we still friends?



Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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The origin of a poet?

stuffs29 003 

Is it presumptuous of me to title this piece such? I’m not an acclaimed or acknowledged poet by anyone of consequence. I don’t have books published with my works.  I don’t even have a chapbook, and yet…and yet, I choose to deem myself so. 

What makes us artists? What differentiates us from those others? What makes ME a poet?

I think in rhymes.  I am constantly looking at things and thinking, how would I convey that on the page? I wake with words swimming in my head, forming stanzas as I sip my tea, or brush my teeth.

I don’t write every day, but I think every day and I plan every day and read every day.

What started it all?  I sometimes wonder about that and usually I attribute it to the marvellous world of Dr. Seuss. The other day, I came across something that led me to reconsider that assumption.

I was in a second-hand bookstore in London, Ontario and happened to wander over to the children’s section.  A very narrow spine caught my eye.  It was a tall book – a  Golden Book and it was entitled, “Tell Me, Cat”.  Something deep inside me jolted at that name.  I reached out and drew the book from the swamped shelf.  As I revealed the cover, I gasped.  I recognized the book right away.

Greedily, I opened the book and my eyes scanned the inside of the cover where a cross-stitched cat looked back at me with familiar woollen eyes. 

stuffs29 004 stuffs29 005

Carefully, I turned the large pages and unfolded a page of my own history – a piece of my childhood. With a whoosh, it all came flooding back. Suddenly, I could anticipate what was on the following page…I knew the images of kittens and cats I would find.  The words of the verses struck my heart and made me a tousle-haired tot again.

Here are a few samples:  

(From the photo on the left):

If we could just read

All the stories inside

Of these books, we’d have fun

But we can’t – though we’ve tried.

Are there books that are written

With words for a kitten?

(From the photo on the right):

I’m a tough old seagoing cat;

They call me Captain Jack.

I’ve sailed to England, Spain, and France,

To Singapore and back.


I’ve walked the decks of many a ship

and guided many a crew.

Tomorrow I sail for Zanzibar….

(I like to pretend, don’t you?)


I called to my husband, whose nose was buried in a social exploration of the world of soccer.  I brought the book over to him and presented it as if it were on a velvet cushion.  The excitement in my voice could be heard from one end of the store to the other although I was quiet enough. 

As I read a few of the verses to him, he smiled (he loves the little girl in me).  I said, “It’s only $7.50.  I’m going to get it. I can’t believe I’ve found it again.”  I had completely forgotten this book existed.

I feel as if I’ve discovered that missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.  This book is one of the reasons I AM a poet. The style, the whimsy and the rhyme is so like mine today.

I am ecstatic to have rediscovered it.


Andy Warthog, I mean, Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, proved no prig,
In Beatnik ‘necks and white fright-wig,
That gave him glam to look the part,
While doodling up, his pure Pop Art.

Hung with Reed and pal Nico;
Printed screens of Jackie-O,
And Marilyn – the one known best;
Mao, and Jesus– who’d have guessed?

Kitty cats, he also painted;
Sauce, tomato, ‘fore it tainted;
Flowers and figures from cartoons;
Wicked Witch, sans monkey-goons.

If I could gas with Warhol’s group,
I’d ask, Did Andy eat the soup?

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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P.S. If you’ve not seen it already, scroll to down to find your spot on my “Blog-traveller” itinerary.