Traceries of snow

have designed a landscape

upon my window:

The drifts below

make ideal ground

to hold the roots

of icy trees

that trickle down

from the tops of the panes.

Brightly coloured butterflies

pasted to the glass inside

to ward off birds

that might collide,

look out of place

behind the lacy intricacy

of H2O’s frozen veins.

It blows and wails outside;

the gusts of snow

do not subside,

the birds drop down

to no avail;

while I bide here

beside the fire’s glow.


Kathleen Mortensen © 2017



Little do they know
These eskimo-birds that pepper the snow
Outside my sliding door,
I wait for them to come every year.

The hardy tiny ones that dig at the snow
With their delicate feet,
Have nothing to fear from me.

Each morning before they appear on my deck
I throw seed on the snow that has fallen
While we all slept.

I’ve built them a place to buffet the blow
Of those winds that rise up from the deeps of the snow
To ruffle their tail feathers.

I keep them sheltered and fed,
Hoping that each day they’ll come back
And get me through the long days of snow ahead.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2016


The death of summer has me desolate.

Verdure goes gold, then turns  to tinder on the ground;
warm-weather birds have blown away
with the winds of autumn.

I have put my dear friends to bed—
sheared off their heads and abandoned them
to their sleep.

The first snow falls, leaving me cold;
a crow’s call cracks the sound
of silence.

Winter creeps in.

I have no illusions;  I am housebound,
until spring comes back.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2016

Snow Day

It’s grey and foggy here today;
There’s a haze on the hill across the way.
I hear shrieks of delighted kids at play,
As they fly down the hill on their plastic sleigh!

Remember the hill on a snowy day,
Pushing and pulling your favourite sleigh?
Then you’d all pile in—everyone could play!
And you’d run right down what was in your way.

A small dog barks as it makes its way,
Through the haze on the hill where the children play.
Oh! what fun it sounds to my ear today,
As he keeps in time with the plastic sleigh.

I’m outside too, but not on a sleigh.
Dogged ice sticks, as I make my way.
Pushing plastic spade, I am not at play;
How I’d like to be on that hill today!

Kat Mortensen©2011


At 8:00 a.m. today, I was in the kitchen getting stuff out of the fridge to feed my cats (again), when I turned and happened to glance out through the drapes to the sliding doors that lead outside. I was rather surprised to see snow on my deck, and nearby rooftops.  We were out last night for choir practice and it was pretty cold, but even then we weren’t assuming that snow would fall.

Silly us! This is southern Ontario, in Canada.  Of course it can snow—any time after Labour Day!

I grabbed my camera, which I haven’t done in some time, and snapped a couple of shots.

Here’s one, of our fall mums, getting a bit of a shock:

This photo seemed a nice juxtaposition of seasons.  The plastic butterfly is one of a few designed to keep the birds from banging into my windows in the summertime.

And lastly, here’s a different kind of snow.  It’s a costume-jewelry pin that belonged to my grandmother.  I always called it the “snowflake” pin.  Here you see it entangled with a silver chain attached to a Miraculous Medal.  My mother asked me to disentangle this and it only took me a few hours with some coconut oil lubricant and a straight pin.

I am very persistent.

Have a lovely day – snowy or not.

Life At Landsbyhus: March 2012, Week 2

What’s Outside? 

Snow is flying yet again!  This is punctuated by glaring sunlight that dazzles us from the snowy counterpane. I just have to keep reminding myself that it is only March.  Here in Southern Ontario, blizzards in April are no big surprise.

What’s in my head?   

A mad mix of genealogical statistics – predominantly Danish and concerning my husband’s father’s family.  I have recently uncovered the information on him that I have been seeking for three years, and it is startling! (I’m still hoping to find a connection with Viggo! So far, nothing concrete on that front.)

What am I grateful for:

I don’t have to go out in this weather.

What’s cooking?   Today, I’m taking it easy.  Last night, I cooked up a special spaghetti sauce with yellow peppers, cremini mushrooms, red onion and tomatoes done with fennel, chili peppers, basil and oregano and a dash of red wine.  It was delicious and had a nice “kick” to it.

What’s in my glass/cup?

“Rio-Red Grapefruit Juice mixed with a little O.J.  It helps the supplements go down.

What’s my “get-up”?

Grey track pants, grey hoodie, navy cardigan and white t-shirt plus, three layers of socks! (It gets cold in my office-corner!)

What’s on the monitor?  

Still Kev’s smiling face in the foreground of a photo of the Royal Hotel in town.

Where am I off:

Today, nowhere, if I can help it!  The snow is really flying now!

What’s in my library?

I’m just getting into Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” for the second time.  I read it 28 years ago while I was at university.  I remember liking it, but of course I was preoccupied with other things in those days.
I was living away from home for the first time, a few months after my father had just been seriously injured in a hit-and-run bicycle accident.  Actually, seeing him in the emergency ward of a hospital, all bruised and bloated from the head injury he incurred, was rather similar to what Dr. Frankenstein must have seen in the monster he created.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t pay much attention to the novel.
My dad had been in a coma for a couple of weeks, and then there was a very long road to recovery.  He was never the same man.

What’s that noise? 

The low hum of electronics and the periodic click of the furnace going on.

What’s happening here?

Mercifully, the cats are all asleep and not on their usual crusade for food.  Gilbert, the senile old boy of 18 will make an appearance in about an hour, stand in the middle of the room and bellow like an old bull on heat.

Gotta love this!

We’re working our way through all of the “Who Do You Think You Are” episodes from Britain.  We can watch most of them online, although the quality of the picture is not the greatest in some cases.  We find the show fascinating even when we don’t know who is researching his or her family.  The history behind the life-stories is what makes the program so captivating.  If you haven’t seen any of these programs, I encourage you to look for them.  The American version is on tonight, Friday, at 8:00 p.m.  I believe it’s NBC, but don’t quote me.

What’s up this week?

I went to choir practice on Wednesday night and it was a good run.  We’re working on the music for the liturgy for Easter and our young choir director, Nicole has us spitting our words and trilling our “rs”.  It’s sounding quite good, considering we are a very small choir.  I do enjoy every minute of it!

Today’s ear-worm:

Sinead O’Connor’s, “I Am Stretched On Your Grave” with it’s military-snare backing and the manic uillean pipes finale.
I decided to listen to the “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” album as I prepared my spaghetti sauce for last night’s supper.  I hadn’t listened to Sinead with any concentration since the late 1980s when I used to grab my boyfriend at the time and make him slow-dance with me to “Nothing Compares 2U” (turns out, something did, by the way).
I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this album, but of course my mind kept wandering (as it will do) to the whole tearing-up-the-Pope’s-image on Saturday Night Live, and also, her recent supposed advertisements for a sexual liason.  She must be a fairly troubled individual.

Even if she refutes the faith she was born with, there’s no denying that God graced her with a most exceptional voice and I still love her early music.  It reminds me of when I was limber on the dance floor,  and liked to fancy myself a bit of a punk, as well.  I never shaved my head though.

Enjoy this video of the “Irish Princess”.

A picture from today’s report:

This cover image reminds me of  photos of Shackleton’s expeditions by photographer, Frank Hurley.