goin’ down

again the rabbit hole is calling
she’s trying vainly not to hear
but those desperate screams confuse her:
who do you trust when the rules aren’t clear?

she knows the rabbit hole is real
no urban legend – no fantasy
ever deeply it travels downward
farther than her eyes can see

‘n this is not a place
she ever wanted to go
but since sanity has vanished
she’s lost the strength to just say no

so the rabbit hole keeps calling
‘n who can rightly say
that it’s not the road to hell,
but the path to a better day

copyright © 2020 KPM

this is madness

dear Doctor G
d’you think you could gimme a call?
at 3am when I wake up to pee
I see monsters in the hall

sometimes in the mornin’
as I remake my rumpled bed
I could swear that I hear voices:
are they only in my head?

Doctor G, I’d hate to think
that you’re sittin’ there ‘n grinnin’
I’m in need of an appointment
help me stop the demons from winnin’

no longer can I bear
these odd sensations
I gotta see you face-to-face:
let’s review these medications

am I crazy, Doctor G?
is this shit real, or in my mind?
am I losin’ it because
the world’s grown hateful ‘n unkind?

copyright © 2020 KPM

5 months & 3 days

overhead
the Dundee sky
resembles pond scum
pullin’ weeds outdoors
botchin’ the lyrics to Zero 7
a skip – a swivel – a hum

when
a lone ray of sun
escapes from a cloud
God, is that you?
Mom, are you there?
perhaps joy is still allowed

life
is so unstable
death by Covid or racist hate
all blood’s red – all shit stinks
wake up people
before it’s too late

copyright © 2020 KPM

depression confession

is that my black dog talking?
or is that the way I truly feel?
with the death of normalcy
sometimes I can’t discern what’s real

recently I had a birthday
which – surprisingly – was swell
thanks to my partner, my friends & neighbours
I dodged a lockdown birthday hell

so it’s hard to understand
why I now feel so bemused
why I’m so desperate for sleep
why my heart feels sorely bruised

it could be that I’m homesick
God knows I miss my family
perhaps I hurt because my homeland
is now a total calamity

I admit I’m worried about money
I imagine others are, too
living off my overdraft
is never a thing I wanted to do

the daily headlines are horrendous
too many innocents are dying
what with folk with fucked-up priorities
‘n racist politicians lying

or maybe I’m just worried
about what is yet to come
for the many marginalized
who’ve yet to hear the freedom drum

I give a shout out to those folks
who tune in here each day
but when I’m sad or fearful
all my words just fade away

so apologies for my silence
I do not mean to be a jerk
writing is usually my solace
but just now, it does not work

copyright © 2020 KPM

depression confession

weary

it went away
the poem I meant to write
it vanished
with today’s sunlight

it’s gone
a poetic door now closed
like the blood of protesters
scrubbed ‘n hosed

they disappeared
words I thought were so profound
no one wants to hear
pleas from the urban ground

I lost them
all those words I wanted to say
probably wouldn’t have helped
any old way

copyright © 2020 KPM

harder

it would be a hard task
ripping off that mask
unsure if she’s ready to share
certain that no one would care

new lines in her face point down,
down
grief makes her tired
it makes her frown

there’s no one
to apportion blame to
she’d ask for help
but she’s ashamed to

is she mad? she wonders,
are strangers really staring?
such a burden this is,
a load she’s tired of bearing

how long in the ground
before a body grows cold?
sorrow seductively questions
the point of growing old

lines deepen around her eyes,
eyes
that saw a bright future,
now dimmed by daily cries

copyright © 2019 KPM

mornin’ prayers

naked I stand
before my father
‘s another dreich day
‘n I’m wonderin’ “why bother?”

in the shower
I try to pray
will this soap & water
will wash my sins away?

naked before my father
I dress to the sound of rain
do they make clothes to cover
heartache or pain?

Springsteen blarin’
from the speakers
as I try to decide
between boots or sneakers

heavenly,
the sound of that saxophone
my heart throbs
with memories of home

in front of my father
naked I stand
gazin’ into the mirror
I behold a jungle land

copyright © 2017 KPM

lost

still grieving,
worried about her overdraft
she feels unsettled,
in need of a life raft

she’s drinkin’ too much
hours she spends, sleepin’
awakening to discover
in her dreams she’s been weepin’

tormented daily
by Satan’s inquisitor
all alone she longs
for someone to visit her

it’s been a week
since her mobile rang
& everyday she jumps
at the mail slot’s clang

copyright © 2017 KPM

unglued

I keep waking
my hands shaking
getting dressed,
button holes defy me
time speaks a new language
as days fly by me

feels like my soul
is no longer whole
& it keeps raining
3 days of endless night
a bottomless pit
where I can find no light

off I trot
face wet & hot
all my meds
my doctor has doubled
but they heal nothing
my heart remains troubled

just one more touch
I’m smoking too much
so unconcerned
if I should die
all cares, all sorrows
away they’d fly

feels like I’m failing
flailing
one foot in front of the other
through air that’s foul & dense
trying hard to come to terms
with a world that makes no sense

copyright © 2017 KPM

conundrum

chest no longer thrust proudly out
like that of a pouter pigeon
bit by bit each day
she’s losing her religion

a long dreaded loss
has reduced her to a wraith
28 years later,
once again – she’s lost her faith

is God in heaven, laughing?
she’s certain He’s decreed
that she’ll forever be denied
anything – anyone – she might need

the worst has finally happened
yet the Lord keeps her alive
what deity would do this?
she’s not sure she will survive

32 days in
& by sobs she’s still wracked
faking smiles for all those people
who want the “old Kath back”

well, grief is messy, folks
have you never suffered a loss?
& she has yearnings of her own,
for your opinion she gives not a toss

alone in bed, she hugs her pillow
clad in her Mom’s t-shirt
watchin’ shite on telly
tryin’ her best to deal with the hurt

asleep, she dreams of returning
to the land of her birth
but how’s she’s supposed to live in a country
where skin colour dictates ones’ worth?

copyright © 2017 KPM