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—

Munching.

Is the trapped ghost

Within those inner walls, waiting

To be released?

Infortunato.

 

The croaking outside my door

And on the stair:

A feline’s faculties—

Fading,

Is the demon

Above the chamber door, waiting

On pallid Pallus,

Once more? For Lenore?

 

Quick!

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.

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Theme Thursday: Whoops!

friends

Haz-cat

(Red topples an energy-efficient bulb)


Whoops!

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.

Well,

It was really Daisy’s fault

She produced a Nadia-vault

Onto the tiny table with the light

–It gave us such a fright.

Why?

Are you scrunched up on the floor

We can see you from the door

With your rubber yellow hands–

Garbage bag and rubber-bands.

Whoa!

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?

When

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?

Signed,

Red

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.

Kat

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.