the visitor (for LCL)

when my doorbell rang
my face broke out in a smile
cause I knew it was my friend
whom I’d not seen in awhile

Bryan Ferry was spot on:
love is the drug
so I met her with open arms
Covid be damned – I gave her a hug

into the lounge we went
so she could have a wee rest
there I read her a speech I’d written
for the next BLM protest

then, armed with iced tea
& the usual bottle of wine
we moved into the garden’s
warm afternoon sunshine

the morning rain had vanished
an unexpected treat
joyously we bared our skin
to the early evening heat

together in the garden
we spoke of everything
retaining optimism
for what the future might bring

a girl who’s entered womanhood
a woman near the end of her life
both unmindful of race or class
making plans for a world with no strife

copyright © 2020 KPM

afternoon chat

one Sunday Jessie told me
“you know, your life’s amazing”
it was uttered seriously
bright Bellini eyes blazing

these words weren’t new to me
I’d heard this sentiment before
today I understood its meaning
I welcomed that opened door

for many years I sought
the kinda life I’m livin’ now
not bein’ the kinda woman
to bow, to scrape or kowtow

mistakes I may have made
but I own them – they’re all mine
guilt? regrets? mostly banished
all things get sorted in time

cause I’m happily livin’ a life
some folk may not understand
a life that gives me all I need
in a country good & grand

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

sometimes you gotta laugh (for Lucie)

Lucie’s eyes are luminous
as we dance to Fever the Ghost
the fly on the wall can’t tell
which of us is laughing the most

both our eyes grow serious
as we speak of the state of things
voices pained & indignant
sunlight flashing off earrings

Lucie’s eyes are delighted as
she plays for me a Brazilian song
“do you really like it?
“yes I do” legs dancin’ tanned & strong

both our eyes are shining
sippin’ Sauvignon with dinner
as we jokingly agree
lockdown’s not made us any thinner

Lucie’s eyes are loving
music fills the smoky air
we dance in homage to us
laughing freely, without care

copyright © 2020 KPM

ladies in lockdown

11 weeks of lockdown
has made Annette’s hair long
her eyes are a blue sky
legs shapely & strong

Gail’s hair has grown, too
she’s annoyed by its length
but we all think it’s lovely
& in our agreement there is strength

Marjory’s a blonde bombshell
her hair & her smile outshine the sun
& if she decides to hug you
then half the battle’s won

I’ve chopped my hair off
rockin’ the Angela Davis ‘fro
me & my Scottish crew
meltin’ racism like dirty snow

copyright © 2020 KPM

on the last night in Cleveland

on that last night in Cleveland
it’s the engine’s roar that calls
Bob Seger & the 5th period bell
that echoes in JFK’s halls

she’s safe with her friend in the Nissan
encased in a blue cocoon
out-running Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”
chased by a full spring moon

271 North to 90 West
a road she knows so well
racin’ through the night
speedin’ away from this new hell

Coventry is all lit up
tequila keeps misery at bay
the bar’s filled with cheering people
watchin’ the Indians play

he is silent at her side
they feel no need to talk
neither asks “what are you thinkin’?”
as through shared memories they walk

time to reverse the process
90 West to 77 South
radio volume’s cranked louder
speakers blastin’ Bush’s “Mouth”

she makes him stop on the corner
she walks to the Gregory house alone
she doesn’t look back or wave goodbye
thinking of her mother’s love, which shone

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

merica

for love she crossed an ocean
enduring much pain
well over a decade later
she crossed that same ocean again

in this place she once called home
she is a foreigner – a stranger
first fatherless, now motherless
she feels naught but loss & danger

outside her mother’s apartment
she stands at the end of the drive
bathed in surreal sunlight
thinking of reasons to stay alive

“go back to your own country”
yell teenaged voices from a passing car
her grief morphs into rage:
who do these assholes think they are?

she’d seen all the news reports
in the Times, on the BBC
now, the day after her mother’s death
she’s faced with the ugly reality

“I so don’t wanna be here,”
is what she thinks as she wipes her eyes
“I don’t wanna be in this place,
where such behaviour’s been normalised”

escape to her is granted:
her friend pulls up in the car
relieved when the car moves forward
she tries to process this newest scar

heart shattered by grief
brain dead with shock
she longs for her red front door
with its tarnished, old-fashioned lock

“what happened?” asks her friend
“you all right – you okay?”
sadly she recounts events
as her friend drives the car away

for the moment, she is safe
she sits in the seat & she cries
“what a messed-up thing to happen,
& the day after your Momma dies”

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

the man in the rainbow sweater (for my friend DH)

‘twas long ago when I met him
in the wilds of cyberspace
a lucky day for me
right time, right place

for behind the fearsome beard
hid the face of a gentle man
a humanitarian soul
he helps anyone he can

accepting of other cultures
delighting in far-off places
his mind & heart are open
to all people of all races

a generous guy –
with his time he’s not a miser
working through the night
to repair a synthesizer

he loves old tape recorders
mixing boards & amps
a child of sixties love
who danced his way through hippie camps

I’m proud to call him my friend
this cool dude with his rainbow sweater
though miles apart we’re joined
by the hope that that world will get better

copyright © 2017 KPM

dave

whistle

she grew up near the railroad tracks
there she & her friends would wander in packs
in jeans with holes that revealed scabby knees
they’d count train cars in the summer breeze

the tracks led to another place
where she had a friend with a smiling face
two dreamy kids, outcasts who didn’t care
finding joy in the secrets they would share

to the tracks she’d often go alone
delighting in being on her own
there to write a lengthy epistle
a childish homage to the train’s whistle

each day the sound awakened her
like sunrise, she knew it would occur
she loved the melancholy song it sang each night
as she lay in bed in the glow of a single light

almost hazy now are those days of her youth
& she’s had to learn many a bitter truth
though life is sunshine marked by stormy rains
comfort can be found in the whistle of passing trains

copyright © 2016 KPM

whistle

an angel says goodbye (in memoriam for RB)

this morning in the sky
I saw a beautiful rainbow
I followed it with my eyes
as far as its arches did go

its colors were so vibrant
liquid love in every hue
it filled me with a sense of peace
that reminded me of you

and then I got the email
it said that you were gone
yet another grievous heartache
but somehow I’ll carry on

I raise my glass of wine to you
and I smile instead of cry
cause I know this morning’s rainbow
was you telling me goodbye

copyright © 2014 KPM

angel says goodbye pic