The Ghosts of War

At Ease

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.


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


Theme Thursday: “bread”

bin 001

Photo by Kat

Wonder Bread


Tucked inside this treasure chest,

A stash of dough delights—

Local bakery multi-grains

Are treats we toast on nights

When settled sleep’s eluding us

And slice of warm loaf beckons;

A carbo-crust and peanut butter

Plus warm milk, doc reckons,

Is just the thing to put us

In that mental  Morphean mood,

So to naysayers shunning toast

We say, “But, bread is good!”


Kat Mortensen©2010 
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Visit the Theme Thursday website for more worthwhile post experiences.

Original Poetry Sunday


Percale: A Sunday Poem

Cool breeze blows across the bed and wakes me from my sleepy-head

the tangle of 300 count sheets the ginger feline loves to mount

and beat down with his feathered feet as I languorously roll and stretch

in the 300 count sheets with sticky crumbs at lashes tip I rub with fists to

loosen the debris the damp pillow from my open maw through the night

on the 300 count sheets the patch of damp where my body gave off heat

now cooled by the breeze on the 300 count sheets where I try to rouse my

mind with the mental tempts of caffeine that I spill on the 300 count sheets

crumbs from my toast with the drips of manuka and butter blend with the

sweat on the 300 count sheets I place my feet on the cool wood floor and

out the door I go trailing the 300 count sheets.

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

***Note: Please see the podomatic podcast in my sidebar at top left to listen to this poem. Thanks.

Other participants in Original Poetry Sunday:

Robert Frost’s Banjo

Amazing Voyages of the Turtle

Apogee Poet

Yes is Red

Premium T

Secret Poems From the Times Literary Supplement

It’s getting hot in here!

Click for source

Heat Wave

Last night it was hot
as heck,
which meant
I got to check
my e-mail
at 3:00 a.m.
to the 2 people
from Africa
who sent me something
so I was not totally

I kept the drapes,
and the windows,
all day,
but that helped
not a jot
upstairs got
so hot
even the cats
refused to sleep
in their customary
on the bed–
flanking my legs
like those scraggly
old mink stoles
cast on the heap
of coats at a soiree.

Ever have those moments
where you awake
from sleep, so deep
to find the slightest thing
gets under your skin
like a snort, or
a clicking of the vent
or a pillow that refuses
to cool off?

Then you reach
that point
–you know the one
where your brain says,
“Ah ha! That’s what’s
been nagging at me.”
and now there’s no way
it’s going to shut off
(the brain)
unless …
unless I move my arse
out of the bed
go down and turn on
the a.c.,
feed the cats (because
you know they’re all going
to be right there)
with their mewling lingo:
“Fill the bowls, fill the bowls”
and I’ll give in–dump
some slop in their dishes,
change the water,
put the spoon in the door
and the book in front
of the cat-hole,
shut off the light,
trudge back upstairs,
put the drops in
my eyes,
bang into the door
of the slightly less
familiar room
across the hall,
feel for a spot
to lay my glasses,
flop onto
the narrow bed
pull down the mask
and wait
for the cat
who always comes
even when it’s
hot as heck.

Good night!

Kathleen Mortensen©2009  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

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,