NaPoWriMo: Day 1 (early poem)

End of the Line

I suppose it’s too late
to live in that old train station
that was being sold in that two-bit town
with the tourist-trap theatre.

Remember those dreams we had
of painting the rotunda white,
hanging nautical prints
from Scandinavia?

I’m sure, we could have
run a B & B.
We’d have redone those peeling walls,
damp-proofed the sagging roof—
filled every room with flat-pack IKEA,
shook out folksy chintz
onto the beds.

I’d have carted fresh-washed sheets
out back to that line that drooped
over the old rail-ties
buried under unkempt grass.

You’d have kept the books—
our hard-earned living on track.

We both know,
a loved one died.

Guess that’s why
we missed our stop.


This poem is in response to the first prompt at NaPoWriMo.


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.

Blog-traveller: If I only could, I surely would!

I had a notion the other day. I’ve become so connected to many of you in this blog world and I would so love to meet you in person. God willing, I may one day realize the dream of meeting at least one or two of you, but in any case, it got me thinking about what I would want to do if I were to get together with you. So, I came up with an itinerary of things that you and I could do together on our fantasy visit. Feel free to suggest something else and also to create your own travel plans.

I hope I haven’t missed anyone. There may be some folks who are actually in my sidebar or on my dashboard, but I don’t know you well enough yet. In time, I’ll update my itinerary and come and visit you too.


*note – my pronouns are “all over the map” in this post; there are some “yous” and “hers” and “hims”. I apologize in advance for that, but the links have taken ages and I’m ready for a nap in the backseat of the car.

Gramma Ann
– Sit in her reading corner and talk about our favourite books of all time.
Steviewren – Go to an art store and buy supplies, get some lessons from you on how to draw out my inner artist.
Isabel – Take the back-road drive to her daughter’s school and photograph along the way.
Elizabeth – Tour all the out-of-the-way places she knows best, stopping for coffee and treats
Anartistatheart – Watch the movie Basquiat and have her take me to her favourite inspirational spots.
Lavinia – Antiquing of course! Downtown hotspots, walks with the Bebbers, chatting about the 80s and our similar experiences – and a few episodes of “Morse” for good measure.
Blicky – Go to the local galleries and get some history lessons in the bargain. Hang out with the “kittens”, listening to cool music and playing fun games.
Coexist – Visit Mr. Penfield’s house and any other local spots of historic interest.
Brenda – Knit something useful, and discuss books, movies etc.
Marja – Visit all the tourist spots in NZ that she recommends.
Doug F – listen to him read his Dinothesaurus (watch Hitch-hiker’s Guide in HD)
SandyK – Go to Mass and a have a great romp with all her critters in the backyard!
Sandy – Go for long nature walks, peek into peoples’ houses, scour the thrift stores.
Winifred – Go to a Newcastle Sunderland (Black Cats) football match (my husband would kill me if I don’t!), watch eps of Auf Wiedersehen Pet (et al.)
Ribbon – First, make sure the snake is definitely gone and then throw a Year of the Ox birthday party for US!
Caryn – Well! There are so many things we could do together, but obviously, much of it would involve squirrels. I’d want to see your favourite haunts and visit with all your critters – and go horseback riding with you.
Jane Doe – watch “The Hunger” and discuss vampire-days and lots of poetry.
JenX – Relax in The Red Cup – go to a playground with Bridgy, and kids (watch a Gen-X movie of her choice.)
Peggy – rummage at our leisure through old bookstores and enjoy copious cups of tea and pastries
Willow – watch “The Widow of St. Pierre” in our jammies and eat Cheerios
Linda – cycle to the bakery – eat pastries and visit the beach, pore through antique books and shops.
Sharon – seek out hawks and take great photos – go for a motorcycle ride (I’ll pack a helmet).
Cameron (and James) Go for a long walk in the woods, listen to an impromptu concert, go for a ride in the Silverstream Airstream trailer.
Colleen – Go to any Floyd Festival that she’s mentioned in the past year (the summer one was nice). Do a poetry reading at her local, create on the spot, tea-poetry together.
Lydia, hang out in your kitchen and watch you create some of the fantastic organic recipes that always make me drool.
Miruspeg(Peg)– go to a spiritual meeting with an Aboriginal group and try to play the didgeridoo
Jeannelle – hang out in the barn with the cows, Buster and the cats, drive around town and take photos of interest.
Pat – Have her bake something fantastic and then drive into NYC for a grand tour!
Ida – cook some of her fabulous foods and read favourite poems together
Mizmell – Cook up something special, go for a walk with the animals – go to a garden show and pick out new plants to bring home (somehow).
Rachel Fox – Spend an evening at your local folk club, reading poetry and singing. It goes without saying, we will be having lots of chocolate biscuits!
Cynthia – Go to Starbuck’s and throw down that rubber snake!
Claire – Go to a road rally in Letterkenny (if they still have them), tour the upper town and snap photos along the way (under her tutelage), have cake and lemonade.
Karen – Read each other’s favourite poems and discuss the world at large. Go for a long nature-walk.
Nanatrish – spend the day with Trish and Avery, creating in the kitchen, drinking coffee or tea and having a good friendly chat – with a few prayers of thanks for us being together.
Neetzy – get all mucked up in paint and create something wonderful, go dog-walking.
Deb – go glass-collecting on the beach, take a ride in the mustang and sit and discuss her book, “Papa Do Run” bit by bit (over coffee).
Amanda – go thrift store hopping for really cool stuff.
Pamela and Edward – Tour the countryside with the dogs and visit local antiques, books and art shops (talk about Scotland, the home of our hearts.)
Shazza – dance to some old cheesy songs on vinyl, watch some Irish movies and drink Guinness or Irish Whiskey (do you drink, Shaz?)
Raph – Gorge (g-word) on custard slices at the G and G and do some gardening in the gorgeous Neckmann yard.
Sparky – Go for a long ride on our dream bikes (her’s is a Triumph and mine is a Nimbus – this IS a fantasy as I don’t have a licence to ride and a Nimbus is next to impossible to find!)
John Hayes and Eberle – Sing along with the Wonderband and then watch a screwball comedy (their choice).
Michael – Visit your dad and sing some Irish songs.
Andrea – have a spiritual discussion and just hang out with her darling kids.
Eleanor – sit out in her gorgeous garden, drinking lemonade, discussing films and playing with the dogs.
Michelle – bake and play with the cutest little children.
Julie – brainstorm an interactive poem. Visit her favourite places.
Christine – go for a long canoe trip with the strains of her and Matthew’s music for accompaniment.
Detroit Dog – go for a run with Quasar and Lily the greyhounds and visit some dog shelters (and maybe bring one home) visit some local art galleries.
RachelW – Dogsled? Hang out by the fire and let her coach me in the intricacies of appreciating headbanger music. Ha ha. Eat.
Carol – discuss the South and Southern authors, music – sing some country songs.
MichelleHix – drive up to Vail and have a whale of a time! Visit some retro clubs and dance the night away.
Valerie – Go for a massage, buy you some new fish and then chill and watch some vintage 70s tv shows.
Lyn – Watch “La Vie en Rose” and listen to old Piaf records. Watch the entire 14 hours of Brideshead Revisited together in a dark, quiet room.
Petra – go to a classic film-festival, eat lots of popcorn and enjoy ourselves immensely.

Early Morning Musings

Photo by Rossdu on Flickr

Pillow Talk

If I could catch
My breath
And hold it
‘Til I’m still–
No! I’d crack;
I know I lack
The power
Of will
To see
It through.
It’s not that I
Would want
To die;
It’s only
That I’m wond’ring
If it’s ere
Been done.
Has anyone
Filled up
His lungs
And let
Those beating wings
Inside his breast
So come to rest
That all just

Turn over now
And snuggle in
Bury your chin
The puffed-up
You must be mad!
Or dreaming,

Kathleen Mortensen©2008

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A spirited conversation

Photo borrowed from Flickr

If you’re just encountering this story for the first time, please see these posts first:

A Down-East Tale

Shortcut Home

The Soul Mate

By Kathleen Mortensen © 2008

Chapter Three

“I’m sorry, Alice,” the voice answered slowly, with a slight lilt, “I only wanted to feel a human being once more.” She sounded terribly sad, “It’s been such a long time since I’ve touched anyone. I’d almost forgotten what it feels like.”

I tried to take this all in. Here I was in the middle of a graveyard, talking to a ghost! “I must be dreaming,” I thought to myself and pinched my arm through my sweater to make sure. “Ouch!” I whispered sharply and then I knew it was all happening, for real.

“How do you know my name?” I was full of questions now for this bodiless voice. “Are you Eleanor?” I demanded. “Are you the person buried here?”

“Aye. That’s me,” she answered. “But it was a long time ago now.”

”How do you know my name?” I asked her again. I was going to get to the bottom of this.

“Your mother told me, Alice,” she replied. “She sent me to you. That’s why I’m here.” I felt the cold wet hand touch my face again, as if to console me. “She knows you need a friend like me.”

I pulled away. My mind was racing. My mother had sent this spirit to be my friend? How could this be happening? I had so many things rushing through my head all at once: How was my mother? Why didn’t she come to me herself? How did she find Eleanor? I needed answers to so many questions.

I settled in against the tombstone. “This is going to take some time,” I thought to myself. I might as well get comfortable.

Pulling my legs up to my chest, I slid the skirt of my dress down over my knees to keep them warm. I closed my eyes and suddenly I had a puzzling thought; what if the pinch I had felt had been part of the dream? I offered up a quick prayer to make sure:

“Dear Lord, please let this be only a dream,” I breathed. “Please let me open my eyes and find everything is normal.” I reconsidered my position, “Or if it is Your will for me to communicate with ghosts, give me the strength to cope. Amen.”

Slowly, I opened my eyes and looked around at the graves. Nothing seemed amiss. I was totally alone. I must just have taken a turn. There was no ghost, no spirit lingered beside me.

Somewhat disappointed, I whistled through my teeth and started to get up to head home. Grabbing the strap of my satchel with one hand, I grasped the top of the headstone with the other, for balance, when the voice came again,

“Must you leave so soon?” it intoned.

I stood stock still.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2008

(Come back on Friday for further developments in the story.)

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