asking for a friend

such a lovely autumn day
yet it brings no relief
anxiety comes creeping in
a loathsome sneak thief

the queues for food banks grow longer
every day their numbers rise
still those in power ignore us
to them we are no prize

office cleaners, wait staff
the people who raise your kids
they follow the rules you set
do you care that they’re on the skids?

teachers, medics, store clerks
bin men, doctors, nurses
too many people with too much knowledge
with ever-dwindling purses

on the street all is quiet
are we in stage three or four?
is the vaccine coming soon?
there’s no clear answer anymore

copyright © 2020 KPM

every penny counts

see the woman in the garden
on a hot ‘n humid day
chain smokin’
guzzlin’ pinot
tryin’ to chase the black dog away

seated at an iron table
with steno pad & favourite pen
wonderin’
worryin’
‘bout how to pay who when

watch her with her calculator
her tablet, her spreadsheet
broadband
electricity
pay the council tax or eat?

three hours spent online
at G-O-V dot UK
feelin’ helpless
ashamed, defeated
at havin’ to ask for help today

copyright © 2020 KPM

benefits blues

ah’m unemployed at Christmasbenefits-blues
mah pockets gots no bucks
jobless at Christmas
man, dis really sucks
every day I struggle
not to cry
when ah thinks of all da presents
ah cain’t afford ta buy

ah’m outa work
for da holidays
ah tell mahself
dis is jes’ a phase
ah been on countless
interviews
ain’t got hired yet
so ah got da blues

hadda go on the dole
fo’ dis festive season
‘n right now mah life
got no rhyme or reason
bein’ unemployed at Christmas
ain’t no fun
but ah take comfort from da fact
dat ah’m not da only one

ah may be outa work for now
mah self-esteem may be shot
but dis shit won’t last forevuh –
ah know dis ain’t my lot
cuz soon da Lord will bless me
wit dat “you been hired” letter
& 2017 will be so much better

copyright © 2016 KPM

 

in the real world

a coffin-like claustrophobia
is suffered by the working-class
theirs is a tenuous existence
with all the fragility of glass

mortgages, rent and children
consume their every waking thought
while the endless spectre of unemployment
leaves their nerves flayed and fraught

the wealthy have no such worries
privileged are the Powers That Be
with their drivers and their yachts
and holiday homes beside the sea

armored with their art collections
and the stocks that they amass
the rich enjoy immunity
from the cares of the working class

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

intherealworld pic

a life of squalor

tis a sordid life they live
in this aging Scottish scheme
where most of the inhabitants
have lost sight of the dream

all the paths are garbage-strewn
graffiti covers the outside walls
cursing children run in packs
angrily kicking old footballs

an idle teen sits in a garden
of dandelions and dying grass
tracing patterns on his arm
with a bit of broken glass

in the filthy flats behind him
9 out of 10 are on the dole
and he wonders if he’ll ever escape
this housing scheme’s black hole

where all the closey’s smell of urine
and nightly drunken slatterns holler
joyless junkies and ex-convicts
living side by side in squalor

the shard of glass is bloody now
he’s exorcised his foolish dream
so up the crumbling stairs he climbs
imprisoned by life in this squalid scheme

copyright © 2011-2014 KPM

alifeofsqualor pic