You Again

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Of course.
It had to be you.
I’d recognize the nape of that neck,

You were always duplicitous,
so it comes as no surprise
that you’re reflected

You, with your pompous books,
and pristine collars—the I-just-brushed-some-dust-
off-my-shoulders look.

I’d bet a dollar,
You set up a tripod
and photographed yourself.

You haven’t changed
a bit.

Kat Mortensen©2013Creative Commons Licence


A Poem For My Father on St. Patrick’s Day

My Father, as a young man, in the British Army

I wrote this poem for my dad back in 2003. I’m sure he’d be pleased to know that I’m sharing it with you all now. He passed away in 2008, but his memory lives on, and we never are remiss about celebrating the St. Patrick’s as he would have done.  Here’s to you, Daddy! Erin go Bragh!

On St. Patrick’s Day

 I know what will happen St. Patrick’s Day
 As soon as the music fills the air,
 And the greenery is everywhere;
 my father will sit in his old, worn chair,
 And fight back the tears as the bagpipes play—

 I know what will happen St. Patrick’s Day …

 He’ll be singing “I’ll Take You Home Again—
 Kathleen, I remember way back when”—
 His voice will grow soft and I’ll lose him then;
 His eyes will mist as the bagpipes play—

 I know what will happen, St. Patrick’s Day ….

 The whiskey will flow and we’ll eat so well;
 There’ll be cabbage cooked despite the smell;
 We’ll joke and laugh, you might never tell,
 But Daddy will sigh as the bagpipes play—

 I know what will happen, St. Patrick’s Day …

 If only I could take him home,
 To the “old sod” from which he roamed,
 I know that I could bring a smile—
 A tear of joy, e’en for a while,

 And when he’s gone, the pipes will play …
 I’ll be the one crying, St. Patrick’s Day

. Kat Mortensen©2012 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker


Inevitability is our companion; we co-exist
with aged parents; ancient pets; we resist
the fear that looms.

There comes an end to anticipation;
the time is here.
We mourn, as we draw closer
to our own mortality.

We layer our remembrances
of all we have lost—
a father, a friend—an animal we loved;
we continue as incarnations of those
who have lived before us.

Our store of memories is an engine
that moves us forward to the points of our own destinies.
Without it, we would cease to be.
Our dead, mean, we are alive.  You see?

Kat Mortensen©2011 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker

Listen to a voice-recording of this poem:

Gilbert Grieves

Left Behind


Do I imagine that

                 the line of your spine



                                     the weight

                      that hangs upon your black


can it be tears that well in those

                              eyes of gold-green?

does your tail fail to flick—

                                                          your pace, not race—

                      show no trace of glee

                                  because you can’t find your queen?

when you nudge the edges

                where once she smiled

                              and left her scent

                                               do you subsume the memory

                of she who was—your

                            ever-present companion—

your yang or yin—

                           the din of her gurgling cry

                                      do you wonder why

it can’t be heard

               (or perhaps it can

                           from some distant plane—

some sphere),

she’s no longer here,

                                                 and yet

              the ghost of her


Kat Mortensen©2010 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker

Ode to a lost friend


For Mirjana

Baltic beauty, your wide smile,

always full of fun and fate.

You filled up the cabin of that dusty

brown Camaro with the clouds

from your Dumauriers.

Lusty language

spilled off your tongue—

a trailer-trash imposter.

To look at you was to feel envy in ones bones—

those lips, those eyes, a voluptuous body,

silked in voluminous violet.

Luminous on the dance floor;

you were coveted by all.

Clink-ice Chivas, in your glass,

as you mesmerized the boys who dared

make a pass.

We’d laugh all the way home in the car

while your smoke, poked through the window—

cracked to appease me.

We’d say G’night! knowing those times

were so rare—

you weren’t really my fair-weather friend—

we were just there as conveniences

for each other: a ride, another voice in the car,

someone to share the exploits—

to be real with sometimes

we’d go weeks without a call,

but always we could fall back on

each other for the company

when others failed us.

One time, we stretched it out too far—a few missed calls

and no messages

on the machine; ‘til no machine at all

prompted my persistence,

to learn your existence

had met its end

in a motel shower-stall.

I was K.O’d—

held the phone at arms length, looking

down at my lap,

listening to the foreign voice

the receiver was making.

No reasons were there to reassure.

(I had my own theories and scoured the pages

of the library periodicals for a crime-blot with your name.)

I’d missed it all—

the death, the funeral, the sad scene at a cold February grave,

but now whenever

I hear “Hot, Hot, Hot!” I see

a flash of purple,

and note the ice clink

in my glass.

Kat Mortensen©2010 Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Checker




Sometimes, at mid-night

I awake to recall that you’re gone

For good. No down the road

Or through the wires. There’s

No card in my mailbox with

Your chicken-scratched love.

It is then my body tingles

With the memory of how you

Held me from Day One until

The Last. Your soft kisses on my

Forehead, your soothing hand

To wipe away my tears.

I tried to tell you, Finally

The words I thought you had

To hear: “We’re saying our prayers,

We’ll take good care

Of her.” I hope you heard.

I hope you’re listening now.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009 Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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,
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.


Kathleen Mortensen©2008

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