In response to Sethsnap’s Your Story photo/writing prompt: Keep Out

Keep OUt

by Kathy Larson

Who was it
first uttered those
words? Keep out.
They’re not nice.
No way
how you say them,
how you dress them up.
They’re loneliness
like a bare-branched-tree-lined
lane in winter.  with a
sign crucified lopsided
neat black letters on
hunter yellow:  KEEP OUT!
It catches the eye, draws you on,
draws you in, begs your attention.
Keep Out?
Who was it first
uttered those words?  What
was it they needed
they craved, they suffered
so much for
they couldn’t connect,
couldn’t say
couldn’t tell
they were
only with:
Keep out.


All Rights Reserved
No copying without permission of the author.


Starry Night

In response to Viewfromtheside’s weekly prompt.

Starry Night

If there was a way to touch the sky,
Would I?

Those stars that shine so bright
From where I stand gazing
in rapt wonder, would their brilliance
hold once captured?

To walk a million lifetimes gone
beneath the light of the unknown
breathes magic into my day,
makes treading earth light, fantastic.

That light I see, I’ve been told,
does not exist; was extinguished eons
ago.  Is nothing but a trick
of time and space.

I prefer to be bedazzled, to hear music
in the stars, to believe that winged horses
and star-crossed lovers live enchanted lives,
That for one brief and shining moment

So can I.


©KLarson 2012

All rights property of Kathy Larson

I’d Bake You a Cake

Just something to celebrate the past week, and well, because it’s Friday.

I’d Bake You a Cake

To see a smile
On your beautiful face,
To catch a glimpse
of the stars in your eyes,
To hear the dance
That is the rythym of your heart,

I’d bake you a cake.

It’s such an easy thing
To pour love in a bowl,
To mix it with laughter,
To infuse it with joy.

And, it’s a small thing, I know
And certainly not lasting,
But, with each bite that you take,
With each indulgent sigh,
I hope my secret ingredient,
The abundance of my heart,
Goes straight to yours.

©Kathy Larson 2012
All rights reserved.

If I Were a Bear — a poem for a winter morning

If I Were A Bear

If I were a bear
I would pay no never-mind
to the rolls of fat around my middle,
to the graying, un-ruly hairs upon my head
or the wiry, scratchy ones sprouting
on my legs and beneath my arms.

No, if I were a bear
I’d snuffle out a place
warm and cozy, full of all the smells
that bring me joy and comfort,
and then I’d wrap my heart in pictures
of those I cherish so that my dreams
would be nothing but sweet.

And, if I were a bear
I’d stay snuggled down
inside my little cocoon until
the green smells of Spring tickled
my nose and my winter-claws
could no longer scratch through the matted
fur on my sun-starved hide.

If I were a bear
I’d emerge, blinking
into the bright sunlight of promise
and I’d go snorting and snuffing
looking for news of all those I left behind
while I slumbered and grew sleek
and hungry for life to return.

If I were a bear.


©Kathy Larson 2012
All rights reserved

Thanksgiving, a poem

©KLarson 2011

All rights reserved


It’s Thanksgiving weekend.
Here in Canada.

A quiet time of family
and turkey dinners,
table games and catching
the last glory of Fall,
pretending that the snow
won’t come, but feeling
its  icy kiss brush your cheek
as you kick through fallen leaves
while holding  tight to the hand
of someone you love.

It’s a time for last weekends
at the lake, last hikes on trails
gone to gold from green;
a time for Northern Lights
and sitting around a fire under
a big dark sky. It’s trail rides
and one more time out on the boat;
it’s driving dusty country roads
in search of one perfect tree,
one the winds haven’t
yet stripped naked of autumn’s splendor,
for that ever elusive family photo,
the one that there’s always
next year for.  And,
if this is not the year, no matter;
the heart will capture what
needs remembering.

It’s Thanksgiving.
Here, in Canada.

Feeling sorry for myself. . .

Today is the official last day of my summer holiday.  Sigh.  Huge sigh.

Such Big Plans
© KLarson 2011


The dappled days I dreamed of
Six weeks ago, weary from work
From stress and from a winter
So long and cold we despaired
To ever see an end to misery
And snow and wind and lethargy,
Are all gone now.
Scattered like dandelion fluff
On wild winds blowing
Wicked out of the West.

My aspirations of a summer
Spent lounging in a chair, book
And beer always within reach,
Seem, somehow to have hitched
A ride with the constant wind
And gone joy-riding with
High-scudding clouds somewhere
Far beyond my grasp.

There were other plans, too,
For novels and short stories and
Poetry all to be penned and
published.  All it needed
Was a vein to be opened
While days of leisure
Stretched out before me
Immeasurable and vast
and never-ending.

The truth is six weeks
Is barely enough time to squeeze
In obligations left too long.
Friendships, like gardens,
Need tending, and visits with family,
Planned deep in the heart of
Winter when summer
Hovered on the horizon
Like a saviour, take the
Lion’s share of mid-summer days.

So, bedroom walls will remain marred
And splotched, my new deck
A vision.  Sandpaper and caulk
And rust-remover, all still in the bag
I carried them home in, have no
Shelf-life.  I think.  Anyway, they
Will be there, I’m certain,
Next summer, when, like my eyes
My intentions are too big
For such a tiny treasure of a season.

Alberta Summer sky


It looks like it’s going to be a lovely day here in Bon Accord.

And so inspired, I offer this:

Some Thoughts on Summer, or, A Simple Ode to Summer

©KLarson 2011

The sun was shining at 6:30 this morning.  A rarity these days, when rain and clouds, or, rainclouds have been the norm.
No rolling angry booms of thunder to shake the eaves or flashes of sheet lightning to bruise the morning sky.
It’s a clear day, with a beautiful sky, a mild breeze that just might help dry up the puddles in the road.
(Wouldn’t that be nice?)

“Summer’ is half over and we’ve barely had any.  Temps in the high teens and low 20’s on those days the sun prevailed.
Still, we’ve made the best of it — we’ve camped, festivaled, ate greasy side-cart food and even
gone motor-biking (in the rain, of course).  The gardens should be lush, but with no heat
they’re simply water-logged.

The chickweed, though, is healthy.  Were I intrepid enough to make a salad!  Perhaps if I had planted some nasturtiums?
To see the positive in this rape of our shortest, our most favorite of seasons is at times, at best, difficult.
So, it’s shorts and sandals, pretty summer dresses, hair tied up loosely in imagination.
(Sweat tickling the back of a bared neck.)

The overhead fans are on in protest against humidity and venetians clatter wildly in patio doors flung stubbornly wide.
I will have summer!  I will pad naked through the darkness for a glass of cool water and then, shivering
dive back under the warmth of my down duvet only slightly grateful that here, at the end of July
we are not sweltering and sticky in our sheets.

Wind chimes play melodically in the constant breeze and lilies nod their heads in pretty unison.  The colours of summer;
and the sounds, too, are present.  Hammers and saws — the building of trellises and  decks, roofs being re-shingled
(in fits and starts these projects take two and three times as long) — thanks, always, to the rain.
Today, though, we’ll bless the sun.

And sit outside with a cold beer in a lounge chair and kick off our sandals and turn our faces to the full glare of the sun
beaming in defiance of UV rays and the possiblility of skin cancer.  We deserve this bit of warmth, this bit of
risky business.  In no time at all the trees will be turning reminding us that cold, real cold, is returning.
But not yet, not this day.

This is a SUMMER day and we will revel in it we will soak it up like medicine like memory like music like poetry like love.
It will be the spark that ignites the rest of the days we have left into a glorious bonfire around which we will dance
in our barefeet and, delirious in our joy, pretend our joy will not and can not ever end.
That is the magic of summer.

The bruised and darkened morning sky -- summer in July.

Good Friday morning

Sunrise, Sedona

Morning Has Broken

Cat Stevens’ falsetto
on a loop playing inside.
My eyes flutter, open wide.

Please, a half-hour more;
but the sun gently peeking
tempts, and I’m up seeking,

Meaning and coffee.
The latter, black and strong,  first,
because — well,  I guess I’m cursed.

There is no black bird,
no new-day song spoken;
It’s just me who’s awoken

To greet the new morn’.
Cat’s gentle refrain
now a whisper as day begins again.

© Kathy Larson 2011

View from the Side’s weekend challenge — January 22, 2011

My contribution to The Challenge this weekend:


©Kathy Larson
All rights reserved


No Pity


I am a very proudful person, she said

So much so, that I have lost my sight.

Now, as I stumble in the darkness

I wonder: what good is this silly pride

I cling to?  The bruises on my heart

and on my body are not badges

Of honour, they mark me as a fool.

I, who would not bend

Am broken.  Had only my hearing

also been taken I would

Not have to suffer your pity.


In response to Viewfromtheside’s weekend challenge

I just thought I would try this after visiting TheOnlyCin’s blog and seeing the challenge and her response to it.

Thanks to Viewfromtheside for the opportunity.

© 2010 Kathy Larson

September 17, 2010

The Beat of My Heart

As the years slide on by

I question it more and more

This pulse, my life force.

What once felt trapped

And often raged, blindly,

Now feels caged. . .

. . .from time to time

There is a flutter within,

A pounding of fists,

And moments of joy

Of sorrow of anger

Swell the dams and burst

Through to memory.

And I, remembering why

Place a trembling hand there

And smile.  This is mine,

This uncertain beat.

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