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

somniculous

restless
sleeper
one leg out
kick left, punch right
moaning in doubt

sweaty
sleeper
behind closed door
tossing, turning
covers on the floor

hard
sleeper
dresser fan croons
accompanied by
nasal night tunes

somnolent
sleeper
darkness swirls
drooling lips
spit-bubble pearls

solo
sleeper
night-time dance
sweet dreams? nightmares?
c’mon, take a chance

copyright © 2020 KPM

wind

I listen to the wind
as I lie in bed
ill positioned pillows
propped beneath my troubled head

it speaks to me, this wind
voice a distinctive hallmark
evoking myriad memories
as I shiver in the dark

it’s a drunk dude cursing
a shrieking CSX freight train
a woman loudly screaming
giving birth in blood & pain

howling at my window
swirling dust at the backstairs
the cries of all the demons
which reside in my nightmares

the wind sings to me
my foe & my friend
I listen to its voice
as I wait for night to end

copyright © 2020 KPM

the colours of my silence

it’s comfortable
dusty black
like my favourite gardening shoes
slipped on
or kicked off
whenever I choose

shot through
with green
blades of grass from my garden
before
the winter wind
causes each blade to harden

highlights
of purple
lavender, Scottish heather
strong, hardy plants
withstanding
whatever

violent
red
that burns through the night
forever dancing
behind my eyes
when I squeeze them tight

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

suicidal

so young they are
each in their high-viz vest
she can see their concern
how they’re both struggling to do their best
an anonymous phone call
from someone who wants her to live
their assistance is unexpected
but it’s all they have to give

so young these PCs are
firmly entrenched in their belief
they still have faith in law & order
what do they know of grief?
do they know about obituaries,
the goodbye glance in a mother’s eye?
have they any knowledge of guilt so heavy
it makes one want to die?

yet now, here they sit
in the Sunday sunset’s gloom
non-judgemental as they admire
her tidy living room
“have you seen your doctor?
is there someone you can phone?”
so earnest in their desire
not to leave her all alone

she dries her tears & smiles
(she’s been here before)
reassures them both
as she walks them to the door
“thank you for your time,”
she says, gliding across the floor
“so sorry for all the bother –
you don’t need to come back anymore”

copyright © 2017 KPM

nightlights

right now my life
is kinda rough
the duvet’s warm embrace
is not enough
each night now
my brain cells riot
stealing my peace
disrupting the quiet

concerned about
the dark thoughts I think
I leave my bed
to stand at the kitchen sink
staring out
the wide window
at tenement lights
shining all aglow

there are others like me
who cannot sleep
do they worry? I wonder
all alone, do they weep?
are they anxious
about paying their bills,
or just lost in reveries
of youthful thrills?

the man on the sofa
sitting with shoulders slumped
is he fearful, or heartbroken
because he’s been dumped?
the woman on the bed
whose hands cover her face,
does she feel like she’s trapped
in a precarious place?

there are other folks with problems
people just like me
who hope & pray for an end
to their current misery
this nightly ritual comforts me
it’s familiar, it’s known
those lit windows reassure me
that I am not alone

copyright © 2016 KPM

nightlights

alone at the end of the world

snatches of old songs howl through her head
some sorrowful
some joyous
some reminders of dread
bound by memories
of a life that came to naught
in God’s final joke
she is firmly caught

abandoned houses, vacant lots
empty landscapes
empty eyes
that leave no tear spots
humanity has faded away
sunlight
moonlight
have both gone astray

no calendars or ticking clocks
stripped out stores
stripped down cars
the world’s been reduced to a cardboard box
no more a life of everything
no holidays
no flat-screens
no birds remain to sing

copyright © 2015 KPM

alone at the end of the world

atonement’s nightmare

on a dank, dark street corner
crowded with grimy buildings high
a dreamer stands uncertainly
beneath a threatening sky

shadow figures pass her
with casual malice they do stare
an evil wind spits gritty tears
that settles on her perfect hair

she can’t remember where she’s been
or where it is she’s going to
she thinks she’s meant to meet someone
though she’s not sure this is true

a drop of rain assaults her cheek
just before the man appears
with a cry, he clasps her knees
his upturned face is wet with tears

his voice reeks with anguish
as he recounts a hateful tale
of a love he did betray
and a woman he did fail

the dreamer is appalled
yet she is touched by his remorse
her kiss is a benediction
allowing nature to take its course

their bodies battle time
pores secreting bloody sweat
she seeks the one she loved & lost
he vainly tries to escape regret

a roar of thunder coincides
with an orgasm to shatter stone
and as the dreamer fades away
the man learns again he can never atone

copyright © 2014 KPM

atonement

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

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