observant skies

from the tops of old buildings
mossy gargoyles grin down
graffiti on the sides of fences
head constantly swivelling round

old finials and spires
mix with ancient weather vanes
hills in different shades of green
house heather borne of cold spring rains

she walks the cement pavements
tap-taps on cobblestone
followed only by the shadows
in a town where the sun once shone

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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

miracles to spare

in these current troubled times
sometimes faith comes hard
it can be all too easy
to feel life’s handed you a red card

but I hold on to the thought
that evil & darkness cannot last
cause the God I believe in tells us
“this too shall pass”

so I check in on my neighbours
cause that lets them know I care
give spare change to street people
small miracles to share

times are hard for everybody
mankind’s spent all their bargaining chips
better to greet each day
with open heart & prayerful lips

sometimes I’m scared – I’m anxious
angry the world’s now upside down
blessed nights when I dream of my Mom
help restore me to steady ground

Allah, Buddha, Nkosi, God
whatever name you wish to call
prayers are heard – they’re guarantees
the Lord will catch us before we fall

so whether I look without
or whether I look within
I find miracles to spare
I know love is sure to win

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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

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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

locked down on Nelson Street

the sun has not been cancelled
it rises every morn
birds sing outside her window
the world has been reborn

her bed must be made
there’s coffee to brew
she gazes at her garden
drenched in April dew

sausage for breakfast –
or maybe bacon?
she lights a cigarette
ignoring a heart that’s aching

she eats, does the dishes
opens curtains & blinds
books & CDs she realigns

she wanders through the lounge
high-ceilinged blue & green
sunshine on earth-toned highlights
a picture-perfect scene

next door is her kitchen
brighter than a summer day
a man stands at a counter
powerfully built, with hair of gray

he bathes her in safety
deals with her fears
makes her laugh
until she’s in tears

how she loves it:
that hug, the kiss hello
& how when she acts stupid
he’s quick to tell her so

a memorable first date
meals, weddings, death
sleeping & awakening
to the sound of his breath

bowls of fruit, flower bouquets
a Valentine’s card
the reassuring steadfast presence
whenever life gets get hard

life in lockdown – still, she’s happy
with the choices she has made
spooning, they fall asleep
in the cruel pandemic’s shade

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

quarantine: day 19

she gets up in total silence
before the sunrise
empty is the space beside her
unconsciously, she sighs

in the kitchen she stands at the window
her garden awaits the sun
she puts the kettle on
another morning of coffee for one

she has 2 cups of coffee
she has 2 cigarettes
showers, throws some clothes on
this is as good as it gets

in the living room
she overfeeds her fish
her mind is far away
her heart beats out a wish

the room fills with gray light
the sun has risen once more
the mantle clock ticks loudly
she longs for his knock at the door

copyright © 2020 KPM