Time On My Hands IV

I wake and stretch;
fingers resist, insisting
on their preferred curl—
reluctantly along with
tired limbs.

There’s black dirt
trapped beneath short nails—
residue from mulch
hand-spread on parched ground.

We are both drying up,
the earth and I.

This organ, this skin
is burnished by the sun,

Its network of fine lines
weaves organic leather
preserving the underneath.

These hands,
God willing,
may serve—’til my death.

Kathleen Mortensen @2016


Please visit the below links to read the first three poems in this series.  Thank you.

Time On My Hands III

Time On My Hands II

Time On My Hands I


Nine. Eleven …

In The Shadows

Somebody was standing by the water cooler,
when it happened;
Someone was hustling to work in his power suit and wing-tips;
Somebody was clicking along on the bustling streets,
waiting at a light.
Somebody reached down to douse a squeegee.
Someone squealed, Daddy! Look at the plane. It’s just like Superman!
Someone yelled, They better turn that plane!
Someone looked at the big, silver shadow in the sky, and cried, Holy Shit, man!
Someone (on the phone) said,
Hey! Turn on your T.V.!
Somebody rushed to a window,
Someone ran out a shop-front door.

OMG!!! (all thumbs)
Someone must have been praying,
Our Father and Hail Mary,

While somebody else was white-knuckling it on a joystick—
buckled in at the flight deck;
singing, in vindication—justified…going to his god—going to see his god…

everybody turning to their gods,
and paper shadows breaking through the choking smoke—
floating down,



       to the asphalt below.

 Kathleen Mortensen©2009

How does YOUR garden grow?

My gardening philosophy is in the message of this imagined exchange between God and St. Francis of Assissi.  As you can see by the above photo where the grass is long and the weeds abound!  All for the creatures who stop by, like “Rusty”, the rabbit.

Conversation between God and St.Francis. It is hilarious because it is so true.
GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is
going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets,
milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance
garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand 
drought and
multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts
butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast
garden of colours by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

St.FRANCIS:It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They
started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them
and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract
butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to
temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep
it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any
other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast.
That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut
it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow.
And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on
the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a
lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops
growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they
can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer
stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring
to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the
ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect
the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new
circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay
to have them hauled away.

GOD: No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter
and to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something
which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of
the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re
in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Lord. It’s a story about….

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

The yards may look a bit messy at times, but the pay-off is enormous! All of God’s creatures are welcome!

An American Goldfinch is a regular
A meadow vole made her home under our fence. Can you see her?

Palm Reader

LM Flyer with notes by Kat copyright 2012 (ha ha!)

Palm Reader

Lying here,
on my bed,
with this device,
in my hand —
pondering some banjo man,
wondering at the magic
of it all.
Not the plucker—though he’s grand—
this little reader in my hand,
that clicks on, so
in an instant, I’m in
other lands—out there.

It’s as if I’m looking
through God’s eyes
at the universe in its entirety
held in my palm.

it requires some
ignorance to stay calm
in this age of miracles.

(Thank heavens! I have no
paper sheet; I’m forced
to write this on a flyer,
telling me the price of meat!

Red approves, and plants his
furry seat on my piece,
bringing me back to earth.)

Kat Mortensen©2012 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker

A poem on deception


Lies roll
       off your tongue  
              like the tides run
                     under a lunatic moon.

You can’t control them anymore
         than the sun can cease to burn
                ’til the hand of God snuffs it out.

How many more will you tell, to protect
your secrets?


Kat Mortensen©2011 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker


Lies roll
       off your tongue  
              like the tides run
                     under a lunatic moon.
You can’t control them anymore
         than the sun can cease to burn
                ’til the hand of God snuffs it out.
How many more will you tell, to protect
your secrets?

Kat Mortensen©2011 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker