almost like normal

rising to an alarm
just like in the old days
waiting for the kettle to boil
morning sky’s a cloudy haze

gazing out at the garden
framed by lace & voile
drops of dew that dance on grass
before sinking into the soil

rubbing tiny crusts of sleep
from near-sighted eyes
loving that first cup of coffee
noisily the bacon fries

so comforting, it is
the return of this routine
it’s almost like the old days
peaceful weekday morning scene

copyright © 2020 KPM

blank slate

good morning
kisses
gentle press of lips
he grunts
when she musses his hair
with her fingertips

into the worn
sofa
he settles back
as she heads off to
the kitchen
to remedy caffeine’s lack

just another
Sunday
thankfully the sun is out
for the moment
her mind’s a blank
nuthin’ at all to worry about

copyright © 2020 KPM

imperfections

despite the faults
she loves it
it matters not at all
the outdated porcelain tub
the faded light shade in the hall

she’s not bothered by
the kitchen floor
that tilts just a tiny bit
‘n the small crack in the bedroom ceiling
troubles her not one whit

every day
she laughs
when the closet door gets stuck
knowing she’d be on the streets
were it not for prayer & luck

life – like people
is not perfect
this is why she does not care
cuz nothing’s guaranteed
imperfections are everywhere

copyright © 2020 KPM

 

the social compact has been broken

when time ceases to have meaning
it can be hard to feel at ease
shakin’ off the spectre of guilt
at havin’ hours to do as you please

in an effort to live life “normal”
you dress each day as if for work
endin’ up on the sofa with Netflix
troubled by duties you think you’ve shirked

can’t sit still, must do something
upscale a table, mop some floors
work sustained you, gave you meaning
now you spend time inventing chores

all this is new to you
years spent runnin’ that rat race
no guidelines on how to act
when languor stares you in the face

‘n our leaders offer naught
save platitudes ‘n useless blether
Big Brother is runnin’ amok
we’re not all in this together

thus we re-paint our kitchens
spruce up our garden greenery
as we hold our breath ‘n wait
on the political machinery

but we’re expendable to them
they’ve no concept of what is right
we can only depend on us
to build a future both fair ‘n bright

copyright © 2020 KPM

swappin’

right now, shit is complicated
cuz I’m bearin’ a heavy load
makes it hard for me ta decide
if it’s time for me ta hit the road

this country – this man I love
they’d both be hard to leave
& if I give them up
is it just because I grieve?

mah Daddy is long dead
& now, so is my Mother
yet there’s family that love me
I’ve two sisters & a brother

long ago I left them
for a love I thought would never die
more fool me,
cuz that turned out to be a lie

now that my beloved Mother
has been laid to rest
I’m thinkin’ I shoulda stayed
with those who loved & knew me best

that said, leaving Scotland
would make me unbearably sad
for the life I’ve constructed here
has not been all bad

my heart, my brain burn
lit by the consciousness molotov
I struggle with reality:
all life is a trade-off

copyright © 2017 KPM

speeding

“know how fast you were goin’?”
the officer said
while the music pounded
in her head

bemused, the officer moaned,
“you were way past 55
flirting, she smiled – she winked:
“ ’s a good day to be alive”

“cause when you’re my age
you don’t care one little bit
when you’re over 55
you cease to give a shit”

the officer stepped back
rapidly he blinked his eyes
his young & hairless face
wore a look of surprise

he was open-mouthed
stammerin’ & shufflin’ his feet
dude was like,
“you can’t drive that fast on this street”

to which she laughed, saying,
“ whatcha want: you want me to cry?
son, everyone gets older
you & me, we’re gonna die

I get you’re safety-conscious
that makes sense – it’s also sweet
but my blood is boilin’
in this summer heat

you look at me & see
another person growin’ old
but beneath this settin’ sun
sits a woman whose heart is bold

from trouble
I have never shied
I’m a woman joyous
I’ve laughed as I’ve cried

I have triumphed
I have lost
been true to myself
no matter the cost

life is fleetin’, son
hell, it’s downright scary
& surely you can’t blame me:
I’m entranced by Bryan Ferry!

so accept my smile
along with my prayer for you
do what you think
you gotta do

cause when you’re my age
you don’t care one little bit
 once you reach my age
you just don’t give a shit”

the officer was charmed
reduced to a young man meek
bowing, he tipped his hat
then shyly patted her cheek

he got into his car
nothing did he have to say
he never saw the kiss she blew
before they both drove away

copyright © 2017 KPM

under the full Cleveland moon

her childhood street
is oh-so-quiet
her heart is in turmoil,
brain cells a riot

options she has,
choices to make
what dreams can she keep?
which hopes to forsake?

a good life is not promised,
luck turns on a dime
the only certainty is death
& she’s running out of time

she knows one day she’ll return –
triumphant – & soon
these are the thoughts she thinks
standing beneath a full Cleveland moon

copyright (c) 2017 KPM

sittin’ next to Sylvia

Summers spent walkin’ by the railroad tracks
Young, smart, beautiful – they always had each other’s backs
Life’s torments had not affected them yet
Verily they’d both learn how to forgive & forget
In reuniting, they rediscovered their youth
And all the words & love came back, bathed by tears & time’s truth

copyright © 2017 KPM

undefeated

2016
has been one helluva year
lost my job & people I loved
I’ve shed many a tear
so many times
I felt a right cretin
but I marched on:
I’ve not yet been beaten

a long year it was
with nights I wished I weren’t alive
still I got up every day
fightin’ hard to survive
watchin’ helplessly
as my childhood faded
but with God’s mercy
I’ve been aided

I don’t know
what my future may hold
I can only do my best
as I watch each day unfold
disregard the fact that by life
I have sometimes been mistreated
next year I will conquer:
I will not be defeated

copyright © 2016 KPM

undefeated

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