on deaf ears

no longer
wanna be informed
so don’t tell me any more
I’d like to maintain the fantasy
that life’s the way it was before

don’t care to be
conversant
when the air’s this thick with hate
go along to get along
maybe the schisms will abate

breaks my heart
to watch
d’you think you can show less?
the tears that mingle with my own
leave my mind in a helluva mess

copyright © 2020 KPM

past the breaking point

my watch must be broken –
is it really just two o’clock?
was the weather forecast right,
the front door – is it locked?

sunshine toasts my skin
it’s baked a golden hue
a colour seen as threatening
small wonder I feel so blue

‘s bad enough to be in lockdown
virus lurking outside the door
since the ghosts have shed their sheets
hatred multiplies by the score

I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m worried
filled with dread when I think of November
best to give my fears to God
try to enjoy what’s left of September

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

on Sunday it stormed

is that just rain
or are they angels’ tears?
shed by souls who’ve carried burdens
for a number of untold years

always the tears of others
fill her heart with dread
but this wetness feels like blessings
bathing her troubled head

rain or angel tears, they’re cleansing
soapsuds in a washing machine
renewing hope & faith once more
keep that chin up, Nubian queen

copyright © 2020 KPM

needy

I need a day off

from the odd destructive thought
& the awful trackie bottoms I impulse bought

tryin’ to convince myself that everything’s “just fine”
when it’s obviously not; or why that 3rd bottle of wine?

I need to get away

from Daily Sun pics of people in breadlines
the BBC’s panic-inducing headlines

lyin’ to myself that everything’s “okay”
when fat-faced so-called leaders still hold sway

I need a hero

a person I trust to rescue me
to bolster my hopes with a firm “wait & see”

to laugh with me at my new lockdown girth
to hug me, to kiss me, to tell me my life has worth

I need someone
to help me defuse

these festering
these fiery
lockdown & protest blues

copyright © 2020 KPM

my new best friend

10 weeks into lockdown
tryin’ hard to avoid feelin’ blue
but every day it’s a little harder
tryin’ to think of stuff to do

frequently I’m on my laptop
composin’ these wee rhymes
cause I can only clean my house
so many times

I’m wary ‘bout a lotta things
like WhatsApp ‘n Snapchat
Zoom, Twitter, Instagram
I can’t get down with that

never bothered me overmuch
I like livin’ alone
but in these days of the pandemic
I’m often on my mobile phone

then there’s bad weather days
can’t sit out in my yard
stuck inside with a ticking clock
man, them days is kinda hard

I know everyone’s in lockdown
it’s the only sensible choice
yet I cannot help but yearn
for the sound of another’s voice

so much no one knows:
will this nightmare end soon?
it’s so not healthy for me
all this drinking before noon

so much uncertainty:
when will the lockdown end?
tears & over-thinking
I need a hug – I need a friend

I’m pretty sure these days
it ain’t only me
whose closest relationship now
is with their flat-screen TV

so all hail Netflix
give praise to Amazon Prime
for providing celluloid friends
with whom we can spend our time

let’s all give thanks to Netflix
StarzPlay – YouTube – Hulu
2020 has been a washout
I’d never make it without you

copyright © 2020 KPM

the day that DUSA closed

the alarm went off just after dawn
I got up
I made my bed
I put the kettle on
had coffee & a cigarette
while bad news screamed at me from the TV set
following a breakfast
of cheese toast & bacon,
I took a long, hot shower
to help me fully awaken
got dressed
did my face, arranged my hair
locked the door behind me
without thought or care
down Ward Road I walked
at a relaxed pace
approaching my job
with a smile on my face
Davy B stood by the doors
tanned & composed
as I walked past a sign that read –
wait, it says CLOSED

heart thumping
as I pushed through the door
mine were the only heels
clicking across the floor
WTF? I thought to myself
where’s the usual morning herd?
“Don’t clock in,” said Davy B
“I need to have a word.”
after 18 years in Scotland
that’s a phrase I’ve come to hate:
it means I’m about to be laid off,
made redundant – shown the gate
thus I made my face a blank
I tried to strike an unconcerned pose
as my colleague gently informed me
the Board had decided
DUSA must close
I tried to proffer an objection
insisting there were things
that needed done
before I could just close Reception
“you’ll still be paid for now”
he smiled at me as he said it
my brain heard the message
but my heart didn’t get it

there were emails to answer
spreadsheets to revise
packages to collect from
the delivery guys
phone calls to return
lost property to sort
was all of this to be cut short?
the printers needed toner
there were minutes to type
the desk & the Reception counter
needed a good wipe
there were hugs I needed
to give & receive
can I have time to say goodbye
before I hafta leave?
my heart would not stop pounding
I felt a trickle of fear
as from the corner of my eye
dropped that first salty tear
but dude was silent
not a lot was left to say
as he guided me through the doors
& watched me walk away
I took the long way home
trying not to cry
I wanted to pray
but all I could do was wonder why

copyright © 2020 KPM

unrealistic

I wanna go to Dobbies
drink whisky in a pub
kick back with my student friends
in their wee flats in The Hub

I wanna go to Broughty Ferry
walk barefoot on the beach
but busses ain’t a good idea
so that wish is out of reach

I wanna briskly walk
down a crowded Dundee street
hear the sound of other voices
the pavement taps of other feet

I wanna a girly night
with my Scottish bestie
four weeks of lockdown
has me growing testy

I’m tired of watching others
through a tenement window
lonely walks into town
in the cold spring sun’s glow

I miss my family
I wanna get on a plane
I need to see – I need to hug
my sisters & brother again

feel like I’m gonna I’m cry
feel like I’m gonna scream
how I wish I could wake up
& find this was all a dream

copyright © 2020 KPM

bottled up

it’s a sunny spring Sunday
my beloved has gone home
to keep busy, I clean the house
pretending I’m not alone

I try to tell myself, “he’s just gone
in the other room”
but I’m no master of deception
this does fuck all to dispel my gloom

although it’s barely noon
the wine bottle I uncap
it’s not like I have work tomorrow
so I do not give a crap

filling a bucket with water & bleach,
so I can mop the bathroom floor
I relive the joyous moment
when the buzzer rang at my door

such a beautiful sight to me,
in this moment, nothing matters
& when he puts those big arms around me
all my demons & fears scatter

but he’s gone home now,
so the bottle I turn up,
eschewing the fancy wine glass
or even a coffee cup

“but he always goes home on Sunday”
my rational side tries to remind me
as I vacuum the bedroom carpet
fighting tears that want to blind me

but we’re not in normal times
for this there are no paradigms
his absence may leave an empty space
but you are not the only one stuck in such a hopeless place

so I turn the bottle up
cause it ain’t shit else to do
I kill that bottle of Sauvignon
hearing the echo of “love you too”

copyright © 2020 KPM

bottled up