Black Magic

I am drawn to your intoxicating aroma,
as if you were my lover, come to me each morning
with a hot, dark kiss.

You arrest me—hold me captive;
in seconds, I am yours.

You fill my pillowed head with notions,
as I swallow each gulp of you;
your potion unstops my tongue.

Again, you have unleashed the tumble of madness,
I mistake for genius. I should shun you.

Too late! I have shared this flow of
idiocy with the world.

You are culpable.

Even so, I am your willing sidekick;
I shall return to this ritual—
drink from your duping-cup again.

For today, the spell is broken—
I am free of you once more.

Kat Mortensen©2011


The Real Thing

Charlotte Gainsbourg AnOther Magazine 2009

Doing this sort of thing,
demands that I be bare-foot,
as I root through these sleeves—
make my mind up.

Your coffee’s getting cold.

I told you, I’m a novice—
with these vinyl stacks
(I left my iPod in my backpack).

Hmm, but I like
the way the scratchiness.
matches with the sound,
coming from the leather case;
it overtakes the room—
in a good way.

You don’t get that with a cd,
do you?

Oops! Sorry, I bumped the table
with my knee,
and spilled your coffee
on the rug …


Pass me my smokes, will you?

No, wait! On second thought,
I’ll just have this Coke.

Kat Mortensen©2013Creative Commons Licence

The above poem was prompted by the above image posted at THE MAG. Visit the link. You’re welcome.

River of Stones: Days Seven and Eight (Saturday and Sunday)


~ a distant shoreline of lavender clouds at the edge of a salmon-pink sea

~a mellow shot of hazelnut in a hot coffee, rescuing my freezing extremities

~icy air, wind in hair, warm sun shining on the snow-covered hill

~snow-suited toddlers on old-time toboggans, shrieking with glee


~the moon, surrounded by a rainy-day oil patch

~snow crunching under my black plastic boots  en route to the back door and the warm foyer

~coats, hats, scarves and gloves, grocery bags dropped

~ dripping wet boots, unzipped on a salt-encrusted tray— home at last!


Kat Mortensen©2011 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker

The hurrieder I went, the behinder I got…


Or something like that.

This (para)phrase has sort of been my lot recently.

On the weekend, I signed up for Theme Thursday (see photo at left – click for link), full-knowing I had to write a personalized poem for a friend by today in order for her to have it in Australia in time for a Saturday (her time – which is Friday, my time) event.

Fortunately, I got a head start with my Blasts From the Past post this week and got it up on Tuesday. We had spent Monday taking mom to see ‘West Side Story’ at Stratford – Great show and we loved it! We haven’t seen dancing like that performed onstage since the last season of “So You Think You Can Dance”. We recently watched, “Easter Parade” with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland (thanks Willow, for reminding me!) and we’ve been singing “A Couple of Swells” ever since. We plan on watching or going to any musicals we can in the future. Mom really enjoyed the day and I’m sure will be up for any trips to Stratford again, in the future.

Unfortunately, Kev had some bad nights of insomnia and by Tuesday he was really over-tired and frustrated and only got about 2 hours sleep. That translates into a really bad night for me as well – worrying about him and sitting up at 2:00 a.m. eating bananas for potassium and drinking warm milk. He stayed home on Wednesday.

Yesterday, I had planned on writing the poem, but I was totally brain-dead and my time was not entirely my own what with my husband in the house. I drove Kev to a dentist appointment at 4:30 and managed to scrawl some notes based on the information I’d been given — plant some seeds in my sub-conscious mind, but that was all I could do. I knew that I had to take control and clear the path for some leeway in my schedule. First, I notified the Theme Thursday folks that I would not be participating after all.

Next, I called Mom and told her that I wouldn’t be available to walk her through using the computer we set up for her last weekend. She has my old laptop, keyboard, mouse and a new widescreen monitor, but keeps thinking somehow she’s going to break the computer and it will “need to be reprogrammed”. I assured her that the only way she could break it would be to throw it over her balcony to the ground. I think that eased her mind, but you never know with my 80 year old mother.

Then there’s my niece who’s writing her university exams in the next town over, finishes this week and wants to leave some of her things here before she moves into a house for the summer. No problem, say I, it’s just another thing I have rattling around in my head —must make room in the back office for L’s stuff.

Thankfully, we both had pretty decent sleeps last night, I was raring to go with the poem this morning, but needed a kick start, so I had 2 cups of organic, French-press coffee. I felt like Amelia Earhart on her 1932 solo transatlantic flight.

After my ritual prayer before poetry-writing, I launched into the piece and before long I had a whole page of stanzas developed from memory of the notes I’d made the day before. With a little more coffee and lots of fine-tuning, I tweaked until I was satisfied and sent it off to her. I’m waiting for her to wake up and read it.

The thing is, I am still so seriously behind with blogging and visiting and responding to comments – even more than when I posted the little bear down below (he’s not mine, by the way – it’s a Flickr photo).

I’m going to slow down and attack things one at a time. Thank you for your patience.

As ever,


How do you take your (Irish) coffee?

Irish Coffee

Kat’s Irish Coffee Pie

This delectable pie is easy to make and even easier to make disappear!


1-9 inch chocolate pie shell (I use Keebler’s – closest thing to leprechaun’s right?)

1 package (92 g) vanilla instant pudding

2 tsp. instant coffee granules

1/2 cup cold milk

1/3 cup water

3 Tbsp. GOOD Irish Whiskey

250 ml (1 pint) of whipping cream, whipped stiff

Chocolate shavings*

*To shave chocolate:Warm a wrapped square of unsweetened chocolate in your hand just for a bit. Unwrap and shave with long thin strokes. I use a vegetable peeler, but a lemon-zester gives an interesting effect too. If the chocolate breaks, it is not warm enough. Shave the peelings over waxed paper and then shake them onto the top of the pie.


In mixing bowl, blend pudding mix, coffee granules and milk. Beat on high speed until fluffy, for approximately a minute. Add water and whiskey and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes more. Fold in all of the whipped cream except a bit for garnish.

Fill pie shell with the mixture and chill until it sets. Garnish with reserved whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Watch it vanish!

My Hooker, Calliope

Photo borrowed from Flickr

Red Hot Poker

I want to scrawl on widest wall–

coffee must be talkin’.

what’s deep in me, unleash, be free!

my wares I must be hawkin’.

fire inside is burnin’ low

time and again, I’m stokin’.

diggin’ ashes—raisin’sparks

stirrin’ embers, smolderin’–

with my red-hot poker.

Words wedged deep

keep me from sleep

towards the break of day.

find the missin’ piece

that pulls me apart–

reveal it at my core

let me sing for you

so you may see

what my words

are meant to mean

when I’m off the damn caffeine.

Muscles all are taut,

givin’ all I’ve got,

not enough, but still

comin’ down,

or soon I will

when my blood is clear

once more–

Inspiration’s just a whore!

comes once in a while

bringin’ service with a smile

‘til she goes

and slams

the door.

Kathleen Mortensen© 2008

Carefree high-way

This piece came about as the result of two observations at two entirely different times. The first half took place early last Winter some time before Christmas. I was stopping in at Starbuck’s for a tea and a relaxing, enjoyable spell of just sipping and thinking. I had my laptop and was a bit disappointed to find out that I couldn’t connect to the internet, so instead, I took the opportunity to clean up some of my files and take some notes. When a gang of young girls wandered in, the atmosphere was filled with laughter and chatter. I made note of it in poetry.
Just this past week, I was in my living room, tidying up some old cassette tapes(!) and happened to look out the front window, where I noticed 5 young girls sitting Indian-style on the trampoline in the backyard. The house is on a corner lot and the yard is wide open except for a low hedge.
I saw right away that the girls were passing something around and I could see the clouds of smoke emanating from their device. I was like the proverbial curtain-twitchers behind their net curtains, spying on the youngsters and shaking my head. Actually, I was mesmerized, but in a way, I was also envious of their youth and naivete. Today, I have added them to the first observation and it all seems to fit. Let me know what you think.

Giggly Girls

Giggly girls, sit down in the sun
Of Starbucks store windows; they’re having their fun,
Laughing and joking at everyone–
The toddler a-running, their honeybuns, sweet,
Coffee they’re quaffing, the new girl they greet,
Party they’re planning, his phone call last night;
The giggly girls are filled with delight.

Ponytails jiggling, as sugar-rush hits;
Those giggly, jiggly girls are in fits;
Laughing at nothing, grinning with glee;
I watch and recall when the giggler was me.

Giggly girls on the trampoline,
Since Mommy’s not home, it’s just not a good scene,
Passing and sucking their pipe of glass, clean–
They’re out in the open, at height of the day,
Bouncing and jumping, like children at play,
Choking and smoking and grinning with glee;
The giggly girls, so young and so free.

Pleated skirts lifting, as wind blows them high,
Those giggly, jiggly girls reach the sky.
Laughing at nothing, grinning with glee;
I watch, but cannot crush the mother in me.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2008