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


Theme Thursday: “Summer”



Ice-blooded, she birthed it

somewhere, in the vast Atlantic,

flint-finned, silent, steady;

it came a-calling in the Summer of ‘16.

Swept up by the Gulf Stream

to Jersey’s shore, where hordes had

learned to love a leisurely swim

in the open sea — it came.

Beyond the boardwalk

at ‘Lantic City, Beach Haven,

Spring Lake, Raritan–

(vacation spots to die for)

They came to dip their toes

in the chill of the tides

and race back to shore,

shrieking with delight.

All was right, with the

sun-blessed beaches,

the gentle breezes that

swept the water’s sparkle,

But a man with his dog

on this joyful, spree-filled day

would be torn with 50 teeth

and his life’s blood drained away.

None to save him and none

to save those who would fall prey

to the driven one ; blood, only blood

to sate the tiger of the sea.

Five more would bleed

No man, no woman, no child

safe – even in the calmest creek–

the strikes would land and kill,

Until, a big-game hunter

with ice-veins of his own

would net the Great White

and beat it with a broken oar.

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

*Photo borrowed from Wikipedia
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Autumn Reflection

Photo borrowed from Flickr

The Fall

Imagine all the leaves on trees
Are persons waving in the breeze
Of Spring and Summer–soon to Fall;
They live in harmony with all.
Through sun and rain they float on air,
Extend to others, kindness–care,
Opening themselves, to shelter wings
Without complaint or any strings.

Come Autumn and our dear ones drop;
The wild-eyed winds each stripling, strop;
Then we step up to rake them in–
Souls of the Dead, removed from sin,
And toss them on their funeral pyre,
To watch their flames dance ever higher;
Float up to Heaven’s Gate, unbarred,
And rightly claim their just reward.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008

Buried Alive!

In the hot summer afternoons of the early 70s, when we weren’t racing down the slip’n’slide or chasing after the Dickie Dee guy, my buddy Jane and I used to close the patio-door drapes, grab a pillow off the couch and lie on our stomachs on the rug in front of the t.v. set.

Happily, our hunger for the macabre, gruesome and eerie was satisfied by the airing of spine-tingling t.v. movies like The Victim with Elizabeth Montgomery (of Bewitched) and the extremely creepy Eileen Heckert, or Home For the Holidays with Sally Field and Julie Harris, or The Dead Don’t Die featuring Ray Milland and George Hamilton (he, of the ever-tanned face). There were many more to keep us gnawing on our pillows.

Now, I’m not saying these films were masterpieces of either acting or plot, BUT, to a pair of innocent, wide-eyed pre-teen girls, they were exciting, scary and mesmerizing.

Here’s one I shall never forget. Olivia de Havilland, Oscar-winning actress of The Heiress and nominated for her role as Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind, stars as a senior lady who makes a nasty discovery while on a carriage-jaunt.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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Take a look!

Summertime…and the blogging is lazy

It’s summer, I’m not as prolific as I’d like to be at the moment, so I thought, for the benefit of some of my newer friends and for some of you long-standing companions, I would post an old poem that I came across the other day as I was weeding out some of the crud in my documents files. Whew! My English teachers would definitely frown on that run-on sentence!

Anyway, they’re not here, so we’ll just ignore that!

This poem came about as the result of somebody’s meme with a series of random phrases that were meant to be finished by participants. I chose to do it in poetry form.

When you read this, you will know much more about who Poetikat really is. (If you dare!)


After six, it’s Corrie time
Hold all calls, leave the dish grime
When “Street”-inhabitants present
Their daily dramas, that’s our bent.

It doesn’t matter
we can’t afford
A flash, new car—we’re in accord;
As long as we have food to eat
And roof o’erhead; we feel replete.

In another life
, perhaps
I would have married other chaps
And lived in great, gargantuan home
But have no time to write a poem.

My mother always said
(and does so still)
“I’ve got news for you” which sent a chill
Up my spine (‘twas her intent),
Though her intentions weren’t ill-meant.

At the wake of my father
he’s asked to be propped
In his corner-casket, before he’s dropped
Into the grave, ceremoniously
And he wants a drink in his hand, for free.

Consideration brings the sense
Of humanness and recompense
For wrongs I’ve done–I’m doing right
And sleep comes faster in the night.

In 1986, my cares were few
With a new degree to hold claim to,
Yet my ambition held no sport
For sleep, and play held more import.

Don’t laugh, but
I’m truly scared of things
Like wasps and bees that bear their stings
In fact I even went so far
As to jump from out a moving car.

Without hesitation, I’d marry him again
Despite how he sometimes irks me so when
He leaves things around; but then, don’t they all?
That’s the worst I can say, and that’s pretty small.

Ordinarily I never, but in this case,

I have to admit, if I could, I’d erase
Some words I’ve had lately with my mother, dear;
It’s funny how afterwards, everything’s clear.

I was driving to nowhere…the other day
It’s way too darn cold, so enhoused, here I stay
Until the sun shines and the temperatures rise
I think that mobiling an auto’s unwise.

In my mind there’s a deep drawer
Filled with mental files and more
A word and image reference
Systemless with sometime-sense.

©2008 – Kathleen Mortensen

Shore Lines

Photo borrowed from Flickr

Getting Ducked

I remember, whipping off,
our sweaty clothes so fast,
wriggling into taut swimsuits,
salt-faded from the past.

Down, down to the ocean, went we,
childish laughter floating out to sea…

Summers that we dove and dove,
through rushing wake and wave,
plunging from the wharf of stone,
we fancied ourselves brave.

Flying out the old screen-door,
bang!, it slammed behind,
feet met fire on wooden steps,
so swift, we paid no mind.

Tripping, tumbling down the bank,
just one goal to reach,
limbs bruised up with stains of grass,
couldn’t keep us from that beach.

Rolling tides on sun-baked shore,
we dipped our toes and screeched,
ankles, calves, then knobby knees–
Atlantic depths were breached.

“You go first!”, “ No, you!” we’d yell.
“It’s too cold!!!!” (Our fears we’d have to quell),
“Hen, rooster, chicken…duck!” above the din,
of warming winds-—then we were in.

Down, down, to the ocean went we…
childish laughter
floating out
…to sea.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008