habitual solutions

she does her best
to come to grips with this pandemic
so she’s developed 2 new habits
now second nature – endemic

once a devotee
of total silence
now she finds she needs noise
else her thoughts turn violence

when she first awakens
she needs to hear another’s voice
certain movies work quite well
some films just make her heart rejoice

she needs loud music
old rock ‘n roll works best
she can close her eyes ‘n dance
in time with the heartbeat in her breast

then there are the days
when the black dog is near
sucking the air from the room
staring at her with a hateful leer

days when she’s so depressed
she can’t bear any sound
beneath the duvet she hides
she’s safe here, underground

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blank slate

good morning
gentle press of lips
he grunts
when she musses his hair
with her fingertips

into the worn
he settles back
as she heads off to
the kitchen
to remedy caffeine’s lack

just another
thankfully the sun is out
for the moment
her mind’s a blank
nuthin’ at all to worry about

copyright © 2020 KPM

breaking point (part 2)

hail Mary
full of grace
would you be so kind
as to show me God’s face?
or Allah’s
or Buddha’s
I’d even accept Zeus
need to see someone in charge
so please don’t give me no excuse

hail Mary
full of grace
can you make me an appointment
so I can state my case?
we’re plagued by Covid
we’re plagued by racism
so many things are wrong
‘s not my intention to blaspheme
but I been waitin’ for so long

forgive my impatience
I’m no MLK or Elie Wiesel
I’m just seekin’ reassurance
of an end to this planet’s hell

so hail Mary
full of grace
don’t tell me
I should “know my place”
I’m losin’ hope
I’m losin’ faith
we sorely need the deity’s care
too many souls are dyin’
no one can breathe in this hateful air

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this needs to STOP
the headlines
the videos
another brother
shot by cop
more blood
in the street
more traumatized kids
for some psychiatrist
to treat

and the QAnon troops
will rally – they’ll cry:
“he ain’t dead”
“dude didn’t DIE!”

41 shots
and Amadou died on the ground
Jacob Blake took just 7
should we be grateful,
cause the number of
bullets used went down?

I think not
I think not
my skin feels hot
thoughts afire
tears scald, they burn
my anger
collective hopelessness
when will these people learn?

Black Body Count
our lives are not a game
we don’t want to
we can’t afford to
say or add another name
with each death
3-4 generations lost
it’s humanity
who pays the cost
but do you see?
do you care?
is anyone
paying attention out there?

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gone (top floor boyz 2)

where’d they go,
those top floor boyz,
who used to watch me in the garden?
the smiles ‘n shouts they sent through lockdown
helped a scared heart not to harden

so sad,
I never learned their names
they’d laugh when I would ask
yet they were present every day
overseeing each green task

what happened to
those top floor boyz?
who so cheekily would flirt
while I pulled weeds in the garden
or dug holes in the dirt

where’ve they gone?
are they hiding?
have they gone on holiday?
their crowded windowsills are now empty –
sure hope they haven’t moved away

young boyz,
they were social
mates in every Friday night
smoke clouds waftin’ from their window
as I sipped wine by sunset’s light

guess my top floor boyz
are gone now
‘n though I wish them well
I miss those smiles – I feel abandoned
left alone in lockdown hell

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come August

so complicated
the relationship she has with
this particular swathe of days
love in the morning
mistrust in the afternoon
a butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling
that signals the monsoon

time cannot
be trusted
a trickster it has become
spilling wine in the evening
erasing sun from sky
early comes the darkness
on the wings of a seagull’s cry

copyright © 2020 KPM


despite the faults
she loves it
it matters not at all
the outdated porcelain tub
the faded light shade in the hall

she’s not bothered by
the kitchen floor
that tilts just a tiny bit
‘n the small crack in the bedroom ceiling
troubles her not one whit

every day
she laughs
when the closet door gets stuck
knowing she’d be on the streets
were it not for prayer & luck

life – like people
is not perfect
this is why she does not care
cuz nothing’s guaranteed
imperfections are everywhere

copyright © 2020 KPM


miracles to spare

in these current troubled times
sometimes faith comes hard
it can be all too easy
to feel life’s handed you a red card

but I hold on to the thought
that evil & darkness cannot last
cause the God I believe in tells us
“this too shall pass”

so I check in on my neighbours
cause that lets them know I care
give spare change to street people
small miracles to share

times are hard for everybody
mankind’s spent all their bargaining chips
better to greet each day
with open heart & prayerful lips

sometimes I’m scared – I’m anxious
angry the world’s now upside down
blessed nights when I dream of my Mom
help restore me to steady ground

Allah, Buddha, Nkosi, God
whatever name you wish to call
prayers are heard – they’re guarantees
the Lord will catch us before we fall

so whether I look without
or whether I look within
I find miracles to spare
I know love is sure to win

copyright © 2020 KPM

safety net

see, the thing about the keys
they symbolize ease

4 tiny tarnished tools
granting entry to the castle
low lights, high plants
escape from noise & hassle

items meant to be used
when heart & mind feel bruised

African statues to fondle
graduation gift from her brother
a now old & faded sweatshirt
mailed with love by her mother

a place with high-ceilinged halls
memory-covered walls

rooms lived in alone
sometimes shared with friends
wide windows to gaze out from
as each day starts & ends

copyright © 2020 KPM


worldwide, folks are watching
the chaotic descent of the US of A
& I weep as I watch with them
from my couch in Scotland, UK

like Bruce Springsteen, I was proud
to be born in the USA
now, fake news & a fake president
have swept that pride away

Scotland – though she’s better
remains a part of the UK
a watcher unable to help
as rights & fairness are eroded away

the relationship between the two countries
is intricate & intertwined
a global pandemic, enduring racism
both sides with people who act unkind

the pollution of hate & division
mar both countries’ skies so blue
I feel angry – helpless – scared
there is nothing I can do

my Stateside friends all ask me:
“why do you still care?
you don’t live here anymore –
you live waay over there!”

my Scottish friends all tell me:
“yeah, seems your government’s been overthrown
but why should that trouble you,
when Scotland accepts you as her own!”

I have good answers to both questions
they’re too lengthy to list here
but my answers are not solutions
hence the reason for my fear

I remain torn between two countries
two lands beset by strife
fear, hope, & endless prayer
is the reality of this immigrant’s life

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