just about nil

lookin’ for a little love
cause I’m hurt
I’m feelin’ down
seekin’ arms to hold me
but it ain’t no one around

lookin’ for that human touch
so longin’ for
another’s flesh
my heart, my soul – they’re breakin’
another’s skin ‘n I’ll refresh

lookin’ for someone who cares
cause I’m scared to fall asleep
need some help
to keep from fallin’
into hellish nightmares deep

copyright © 2020 KPM

burn

I’m FED UP
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
enraged
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?

copyright © 2020 KPM

torn

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

copyright © 2020 KPM

droplets of joy

a heart still fragile
a week after the protest
a soul that remains
in a state of unrest

so when the unexpected knock
hits the door
1st instinct is to wonder:
“is it time to hit the floor?”

black dog has been biting
crazy thoughts inhabit the void
what’s that’s noise? what’s that sound?
the word of the day is paranoid

eye pressed to keyhole
2 smiles floating in the hall
the solid flesh of love
come to bust depression’s pall

love that takes the form of food
burgers & potato salad
plates made up, drinks poured
the melody of friendship’s ballad

thus today there’s laughter
something not done in a while
an alfresco brunch with friends
beneath the summer sun’s warm smile

copyright © 2020 KPM

from an angry black woman

tell me where to put the hatred
that I feel for 45
the daily racism he evinces
makes it hard for blacks to survive

tell me why it’s wrong
this bitterness I feel
for folks tasered & clubbed at protests
where people peacefully kneel

tell me what to do
with my anger at your silence
it’s my nature to be caring
as a rule, I loathe violence

what are my people supposed to do,
when we continue to wrongfully die?
what recourse do we have,
when you ignore our righteous cry?

copyright © 2020 KPM

tan lines

look at ‘em:
linin’ up outside
the tanning salon
tryin’ to SPRAY
tryin’ to BAKE
my bronze beauty on

I laugh
(instead of cry)
at the hypocrisy of this
cause folks
who look like me
they’d never deign to kiss

listen to ‘em:
“but I got
a black friend”
so will you stand next to me?
MY RIGHT TO LIVE,
will you defend?

I’m so scared
I’m so ANGRY
too many emotions I feel
hearts & lives
are being broken
on racism’s wretched wheel

copyright © 2020 KPM

it’s complicated

some days she is confident
handling whatever comes
some days she feels listless
lost in the doldrums

some days she laughs & laughs
she’s a joy to be around
then the black dog rears its head
& she goes underground

there are days when she’s gorgeous
her smile lights up the room
sometimes she’s overwhelmed
by fear, by doubt, by gloom

one day she’s a lion
with a terrifying roar
other days she’s a lamb
in a flower-filled meadow floor

you can love or hate her
however you’re inclined
fact is she’s unforgettable
& not easily defined

copyright © 2020 KPM

 

blues for Mumma Kathy

well this mornin’ I wuz baffled
but I ain’t yet beaten
said this mornin’ I wuz baffled
but I ain’t yet beaten
least mah belly’s warm ‘n full
cause mah breakfast I’ve just eaten

the walk to work was chilly
crackling ice along the street
yeah, the walk to work was chilly
ice crackin’ all along the street
I’m holdin’ on to thoughts of home
& fuzzy slippers on mah feet

my heartbeat has slowed
gone is the feeling of dread
hands have stopped their shaking
just from picturin’ mah bed
I can see my cosy kitchen
smell the coffee & warm bread
& when mah man shows up on Friday
that black dog will have fled

well this mornin’ I wuz baffled
but I ain’t gone give up yet
yeah, this mornin’ I wuz baffled
but I ain’t gone give up yet
cuz mah man’ll be here Friday,
he’ll hug me tight & I’ll forget

copyright © 2020 KPM

rules for wraiths & other lost souls

no one knows you’re a ghost
your body they can’t see through
they wouldn’t believe it anyway
so there’s still stuff you hafta do

you gotta get up in the morning
get dressed, make the bed
put your smiley face on
quell the voices in your head

you gotta go to work
cause there’s always bills to pay
pretend to be a “normal” person
despite the grief that darkens each day

you must interact with people
though from society you’d rather retreat
& at certain times of day
you force yourself to eat

you’ve no need (or desire) for food
there’s no wish to dine or sup
cooking’s such a waste of time
when all you swallow comes back up

so you work & cook & clean
feed the fish & watch TV
& every show awakens guilt
from which you cannot flee

you’re a ghost of who you were
the old you has been erased
who is this crazy woman,
by memory constantly chased?

forward the time goes
marching through a winter gray
take it one step at a time
things just might turn out okay

copyright © 2018 KPM

defensive

suddenly
there’s a stumble
an unintentioned slip
paranoia has her
in its gleeful grip

suddenly
the joyous smile
has been wiped from her face
now she struggles to get free
of a mean & murky place

what happened?
why this fall,
her good intentions gone astray?
gone is the delight
she’d hoped to bring to someone’s day

copyright © 2014 KPM

defensive pic