sunset o’er Scottish hills

the day’s last light is loathe to depart
it hides amongst the autumn-colored leaves
I’m safe in this cocoon with one dear to my heart
awed by the evenin’ tapestry God weaves

faint lights shine in the windows
of farmhouses nestled in the valley
I dream in not-quite-darkness
watchin’ the sky for the finale

scattered cows an’ sheep
stake their places in the fields
their eyes like mine raised skyward
toward the paintbrush that God wields

another day has ended
with nae fanfare or frills
an’ my soul is filled with peace
as the sun sets o’er Scottish hills

copyright © 2014 KPM

sunset oer Scottish hills

when she wuz two

when ah leave da room
fo’ a much-needed pee
a little voice comes through da door:
“aunty kaffie, come get me!”
when ah boot up mah laptop
to write a poem or two
a tiny voice demands:
“aunty kaffie, whut you do?”
when ah let slip a swear word
a mild one like ‘dayum’ or ‘hell”
da little voice bursts into giggles:
“aunty kaffie, ah’m a tell!”
whut when where
how why who
baby gurl is fulla questions
ah’m exhausted thru ‘n thru!
copyright © 2014 KPM

Modelling the earrings from Auntie Kaffie

in the arms of darkness

there’s a darkness in her mind
a darkness in her soul
then there’s that friendly darkness
that makes her heart feel whole

when he turns off the beside lamp
wrappin’ her in darkness black
climbs in bed beside her
an’ curls against her back

in darkness warm he holds her
her hand rests on his thigh
she dreams in the arms of darkness
his gentle snores her lullaby

copyright © 2014 KPM

in arms of darkness

when he leaves

every time he leaves
she struggles to understand
why the rooms in her tiny flat
seem to elongate and expand

all sunshine seems
to abandon the place
in protest at the absence
of his kind and gentle face

every time he leaves
she has a cigarette
replays their weekend memories
joy she’ll not forget

his departure leaves a void
that at first throws her off track
but she soon gets over it
secure in the knowledge he’ll be back

copyright © 2014 KPM

when he leaves

the lonely little pumpkin

there was once a lonely pumpkin
whose eyes burned bright ‘n wild
he’d been purchased by an old man
who was anything but mild
the old man carved the pumpkin brutally
a truly frightful face he styled
so hideous was this visage
it scared even the bravest child
“woe is me,” the pumpkin sighed
“I’ve no one with whom to play
cuz my face is such a nightmare,
all who gaze on it turn gray
an’ yet my face belies
a heart gentle an’ gay
if only some courageous child
would come an’ sweep me away!”
just then there came a little girl
she wore a mask of scars
with thin limbs pale as moonlight
an’ haunted eyes that shone like stars
“I like your mask,” the pumpkin said
above the noise of passing cars
“’s not a mask,” the girl said sadly
“my parents beat me with iron bars”
“that’s sucks!” the pumpkin gasped
“the pain that you’ve gone through!
I sense we’re kindred spirits –
we’re both outcasts feelin’ blue
I wish that I could somehow help,
but I dunno what to do
surely there’s a special place
for folks like me an’ you”
“maybe,” the child responded
with a deep an’ woeful sigh
“I tried to love my mom an’ daddy,
though they daily make me cry
“let’s just leave,” the pumpkin said
“somewhere there’s joy for you an’ I”
thus the little girl picked up the pumpkin
an’ they vanished with no goodbye
copyright © 2014 KPM

lonely little pumpkin

the love of her life

the love of her life
carried her books
chased her, laughing
along the banks of shallow brooks
gave her the best of
the cereal box toys
an’ let her into the fort
he’d built with the boys

the love of her life
held her hand in the hall
wrote their names in a heart
on his locker wall
defended her when other girls
sought to pick a fight
an’ called her after dinner
every night

the love of her life
proposed at the top of a Ferris wheel
the tiny car rocked
with her delighted squeal
both sets of parents
did approve
an’ soon they settled
into a marital groove

the love of her life
gave her many happy years
children, a home,
smiles, support, tears
his death seemed an
but now she is alone
which she does not want to be

copyright © 2012-2014 KPM

the love of her life

just desserts

the King of Cruelty
sat in his Castle of Despair
ripping out huge swatches
of his night-sky hair

bemused as he slouched
on his blood-stained throne
angry that his Queen had left,
for now he had to live alone

the castle was deserted,
for his slaves had bolted, too
“alas,” he muttered to himself,
“my Halloween is lookin’ blue.

“how dare that woman leave me,
the bitch! – ungrateful whelp!
I should throw a Halloween ball,
maybe that will help.”

he sat down at his desk
in a chair of bleached bones
while outside at his door
the townspeople threw stones

he found some ancient paper
& a cracked fountain pen
when a thought struck him like lightning:
he had not a single friend

his rheumy eyes glowered
his wrinkled face scowled
& he cursed & paced about
while outside the wolves howled

suddenly he shouted, “Wait!
my lack of friends need not be tragic –
for am I not a mighty sorcerer,
well-versed in all black magic?”

he removed his book of spells
from a drawer of his desk
& in the language of the damned
created friends that were grotesque

they were smelly & hunchbacked
with piggy eyes that leaked pus
one had bloody stumps for limbs
& wore a monstrous truss

the King of Cruelty was delighted,
he reveled in their awful din
then he raised his crooked arms
shouting, “let my Halloween ball begin!”

but his friends were soulless creatures
obeisant to a darker whim
they fell on the King of Cruelty
& ripped him limb from limb

copyright © 2008-2014 KPM

just desserts pic

may I have this dance?

I tried to dance with death last night
beneath a sky with no moonlight
although I felt a tinge of fright
I asked him to dance & he said “all right”

I tried to dance with death last night
gazed at him with eyes devoid of light
but his eyes burned with fire bright
as he spun me around with all his might

I tried to dance with death last night
though he joined me just to be polite
at last I’ve found a place that’s right
embraced by cold cruel arms so tight

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

may I have this dance

a hole in the wall

is she awake?
is it a dream?  

is that really a shadow flitting down the hall?
an’ what’s that bangin’ noise behind the bathroom wall?
tiles shatter on the floor in the midnight gloom
the gaping hole in the wall reveals another room
the walls of this room are made of dead bugs
a table set for two bears a bowl of squirming slugs
in a corner of the room is a sloppily made bed
with a dirty pillow that boasts a dismembered head
she spares not one thought for her immortal soul
she’s curious now, so she wriggles through the hole
with a bone-rattling thud she hits the dusty floor
to fall endlessly through an unseen trap-door
landing in the backseat of a cab with a crash
she’s greeted by a ghostly driver with a face of grey ash
rusty doors close with a screech an’ a slam
as the driver cackles “where to, ma’am?”  

I’m asleep, she thinks
this has to be a dream
the car rockets towards a fiery tunnel
and she awakens with a scream…  

copyright © 2014 KPM

a hole in the wall

(sub)urban nightmares

hell is bein’ forced to see
dat which causes misery:
     racks o’ new clothes
     dat ya got no money ta buy
     handcuffs on yo’ man
     cain’t do shit but wave – bye bye
     heavy snowfall
     when yo’ landlord’s cut off da heat
     a baby boy in raggedy shoes
     too small fo’ his growin’ feet
     folks comin’ out de grocery store
     when you ain’t et in 10 days or more
     da banker dat denies yo’ loan
     dere goes da house you’ll nevuh own

hell is bein’ forced to see
other folkses misery:
     strung-out hos on corners
     endless homeless faces
     unemployed peoples
     wit’ sad defeated faces
     no pre-natal vitamins
     for dat baby in yo’ womb
     got no health insurance at all?
     bettuh start savin’ fo’ dat tomb
     men whut live in boxes
     asleep in fetal positions
     ‘n others dat you know
     strugglin’ ta survive in awful conditions

hell is when ya realize dat don’ nobody care
hell is da fear dat you could end up dere

copyright © 2014 KPM

(sub)urban nightmares