The Ghosts of War

At Ease

Perhaps,
The Ghosts of War
annually arise
in camaraderie
to make a toast
to lost limbs and senses
and battles never won.
They raise a glass
of whiskey or stout
as they lie about on grass
between the stones
that bear their names.

Ten hut!

They march in time
(for old times’ sake)
as medals clink
like bottles
at a bar.
A few may even crack a smile
or laugh, but all the while
the haunted looks they
keep well hid
cannot be far.

Dismiss

And when the party’s done,
they slap each other on the back,
blow a kiss to one,
and all who miss them,
then sleep again.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2016

The Death of Me

Something is killing
My love of the printed page.
I try hard to delve
Into a good book,
And end up shelving it.

When did it go wrong? Did it happen
In stages, catch me unawares?
I long for those days of yore
When I waited patiently
For the book-filled truck
Bringing volumes by the score,
Every Wednesday.
When I would load my arms
With as many as I could,
Carting them home to pore through,
And take each word to heart.

Is it this device
I have afore me now?
These easy keys allow
The sharing of all my secrets,
Trying not to bore
With what might make
You turn elsewhere?

Is it brain-circuits, not
Firing as before, unable to absorb
Anything of length or strength
Or train-of-thought?

I ought to shut this down,
Pick up a tome that rests in dust
Upon the weighty shelf,
Or else, I’ll lose myself.

Or else,
I’ll lose
Myself.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2016

First Father’s Day without you.





My Inheritance

Now that you’re gone
I’m not who I was–
Can never be again.
My history henceforth
To be ever-tinged
With sadness
And visions of you
With your great big smile,
And twinkling eyes–
I yet hear, your laugh–
That came in chokes
And wheezes,
As if …
It could not
Be contained–
Especially in church.
How can I forget
That tale of broken-wind
In a pew
That sent you
And your brothers
Into snorting-fits–
Corked up,
Only to erupt again
After the calm?
True, there were rages too
Of course,
But who
Can hold your temper
Against you, being Irish
After all?
I’m the very same:
Your “father’s daughter”
That’s what they always say–
Always will–
In looks
And character.
You’ve given me
So many gifts
You do know, don’t you?
My vocabulary and voice,
My forthrightness
And my faith
All come from you.
Keep watching me,
Daddy–
Teaching me those lessons,
Calling my name,
“Get up, Kathleen!”
“God love ya, Darling!”
I know you’re there–
my Father, my Friend…
Take care,
And wait for me.

Sláinte!
Kathleen Mortensen© November 2008 Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Original Poetry Sunday: Wistful Thinking

sleepkidtoys Click for source.

Losing Sleep*


Oh! To sleep like a child again.
Those blessed nights, recall you, when ?
We wriggled into linen’s folds
Lay hot heads down on pillows, cold,
Flanked by bastions of fuzzy bears
Protecting us from unknown fears.

We drifted, swift into night‘s world
Of ice-creams, coned and sugar, swirled,
As blinking stars and lunar-eyes
Sifted through the clouded skies.
Our princess-fairies and cowboy-clowns
Battled, won and claimed their crowns,
Companions, all, ‘til break of day,
When, up and out, we’d charge for play.

What happened to those blissful rests
Why now is freshest sleep our quest?
No lifting off, to never-land,
Instead, we shift and squirm like sands
That run upon the shores of time;
No more the sweetest sleep, sublime–
Unquietness resides in mind,
To keep us captive ‘til we find
It’s nigh on new-born day, again,
And closer still to our world’s end.

Oh! To sleep like a child again.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

*Thanks to Lyn at Two Ghosts for the inspiration for this poem. Please visit her wonderful blog of original poetry and thoughtful posts.

For more of Original Poetry Sunday, visit these blogs:

Robert Frost’s Banjo
Amazing Voyages of the Turtle
Secret Poems From the Times Literary Supplement
Yes is Red

Love letter to my father


My Inheritance

Now that you’re gone
I’m not who I was–
Can never be again.
My history henceforth
To be ever-tinged
With sadness
And visions of you
With your great big smile,
And twinkling eyes–
I yet hear, your laugh–
That came in chokes
And wheezes,
As if …
It could not
Be contained–
Especially in church.

How can I forget
That tale of broken-wind
In a pew
That sent you
And your brothers
Into snorting-fits–
Corked up,
Only to erupt again
After the calm?

True, there were rages too
Of course,
But who
Can hold your temper
Against you, being Irish
After all?
I’m the very same:
Your “father’s daughter”
That’s what they always say–
Always will–
In looks
And character.

You’ve given me
So many gifts
You do know, don’t you?
My vocabulary and voice,
My forthrightness
And my faith
All come from you.

Keep watching me,
Daddy–
Teaching me those lessons,
Calling my name,
“Get up, Kathleen!”
“God love ya, Darling!”

I know you’re there–
my Father, my Friend…
Take care,
And wait for me.

Sláinte!

Kathleen Mortensen©2008

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape