on the cusp

earlier ‘n earlier
the light in the closey comes on
less ‘n less does she need an alarm
now she awakens well before dawn

more ‘n more
she works to subdue worries in her head
harder ‘n harder
it gets, leaving the safety of her bed

scarier ‘n scarier
the world grows day by day
later ’n later it grows
redemption is fading away

copyright © 2020 KPM

every penny counts

see the woman in the garden
on a hot ‘n humid day
chain smokin’
guzzlin’ pinot
tryin’ to chase the black dog away

seated at an iron table
with steno pad & favourite pen
wonderin’
worryin’
‘bout how to pay who when

watch her with her calculator
her tablet, her spreadsheet
broadband
electricity
pay the council tax or eat?

three hours spent online
at G-O-V dot UK
feelin’ helpless
ashamed, defeated
at havin’ to ask for help today

copyright © 2020 KPM

the Strathmore Hotel

on the edge of the town centre
in a tiny Scottish town
lies a derelict hotel
of battered stone all mossy brown

a once grand place
central to the town’s life
now sad and neglected
with ghostly squatters it is rife

people hurry past the place
it seems to fill them with dread
when you ask about its history
everyone averts their head

no records of these walls exist
in town hall or ancient book
so armed with pen and camera
I entered alone to have a look

the faded foyer was resplendent
with a dusty chandelier
the fireplace mantle bore a statue
of a Venetian gondolier

toward a spiral staircase
my eager footsteps were spurred
seeking the owners of the voices
whose tearful whispers I’d just heard

80 steps I climbed
rotting handrail cautiously grasped
and at the top I saw a sight
so frightening that I gasped

a seemingly endless corridor
with 10 doors on each side
in the middle of the hall
stood what was surely Satan’s bride

her body was built for seduction
dark eyes and hair aflame
nude and rotting she strode toward me
without any fear or shame

“Greetings,” the apparition said
“We’ve had nae visitors for many a year
I’d be delighted if you stayed,
but others may not want you here.”

“What is this place?” I asked her
“What life did you forsake?
“I must be going crazy –
Is this a dream? Am I awake?”

“No dream is this,” she cackled
“You’re in the home of those who fell
“Too wicked are we for heaven,
too evil are we for hell.”

then the doors which lined the hallway
opened wide with rusty shrieks
spilling forth the damned and fallen
all blank eyes and decayed cheeks

“Ahhhhh!” they cried as they capered
“Fresh meat for the hotel grinder!
“So much for curiosity –
no one will ever find her!”

on my knees I cried and swore
that their secret I’d never tell
but they believed me not:
now I call home the Strathmore Hotel

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

strathmore hotel pic

urgent

ashamed
afraid to show her face
she’s drowning
in a deep dark place
Lord,
she needs your grace
O Lord,
bestow on her your grace

terrified
of the numbers that dwindle
frightened
of hopes that refuse to rekindle
Lord,
she needs your peace
O Lord,
grant her your peace

downhearted
as all she’s worked for disappears
depressed & dispirited
she cries endless tears
Lord,
she needs your love
O Lord,
show her your love

copyright © 2014 KPM

urgent pic