she lives in hope

I wish I knew if others
were like me:
haunted, chased
by memory

slain by a smell that triggers
images of a past wrong
battling tears when the DJ
innocently plays that song

surely there are other
wounded souls like me
seeking a better future
as past wreckage they flee

I try my best to be happy
it’s not an impossible task
& I don’t want your false acceptance –
I don’t need it, nor will I ask

I know I’m not the only one
in life to feel this way
luckily I’m not alone
as I head toward a better day

copyright © 2016 KPM



the calendar says summer is over

today I’m feelin’ sad
an’ I’m unsure as to why
could be the unwelcome knowledge
that all those I love will one day die

could be the arrival of autumn
a season I’ve come to hate
as dead leaves dance through dark nights
I’m reminded of my loved ones fate

maybe it’s the simple fact
that my mirror says I’ve grown older
possessor of eyes that water
as autumn winds blow ever colder

those who were my idols
heroes, friends & family
cancer, heart attacks, accidents, old age
kidnap all those who once loved me

an’ yet I’m not much bothered
by the thought this’ll happen to me
my death will come as a relief
at last the black dog will let me be

copyright © 2016 KPM

the calendar says summer is over



autumn approaches
the sky changes its hue
& from her kitchen window
she sees a different view:
falling geranium petals
a slower growing lawn
petunias that have died
the later arrival of dawn

she dislikes autumn
mornings where she sees each breath
the chill that kills the ivy
harbinger of summer’s death
the sun now sets much quicker
(though it’s not the dark she fears)
she’s a faithful summer baby –
its end always brings her to tears

she cares nought for football
bonfires & Halloween
in love with the heat shimmer of sidewalks
cloudless skies crisp & clean
to hell with all the colors
of the ‘pretty’ autumn leaves
without the heat of the summer sun
her soul curls up – it grieves

autumn’s approach brings unwanted reminders
of those once loved who left
the loss of sunshine’s extra hour
is a crime – it feels like theft
she loathes the sight of bare tree branches
etched against the sky like stained gauze
when autumn starts to stalk her
she locks all doors & withdraws

copyright © 2016 KPM

end of august

bleach (for Alton Sterling & Philando Castile & all the others)

bleach whitens clothes ‘n teeth
it doesn’t whiten skin
coffee, chocolate & mocha
are the colors my people come in

my skin is the colour of sand
my beloved’s skin is white
oblivious to my colour
he holds me close in bed each night

black skin feels just the same
as our white counterparts
but many cops don’t realise that –
they leave black mothers with broken hearts

5 shots or 11
17, 41
the black death toll keeps rising
but true justice is never done

Ghandi, Martin, Mandela
I can hear their calls for peace
but justice endlessly denied
will seek violence as a release

this evening I’ll add bleach to my washing
so my favourite blouse stays white
‘n at bedtime I’ll pray for those 2 black mothers
who’ll cry themselves to sleep tonight

copyright © 2016 KPM


June (elegy for Fletch)

there’s this CD in my CD rack
that you gave to me way way back
we’d play it while we washed our cars
drinkin’ beer & smokin’ weed
sure that life would always give us what we need

your sister was my friend, even though we sometimes fought
& in the middle you were often caught
but in the end it was always okay
& everything was good
cos that was the way we rolled growin’ up in the hood

so much history we had – how can you be dead?
this makes no sense to my heart or my head
yet I know this to be true,
& my life must get along
I must have faith that the Lord will keep me strong

but there’s this CD in my CD rack
that you gave to me way way back
tonight I’m gonna blast it
loud enough to shake the trees
& I’ll cry as I remember the good memories

copyright © 2016 KPM


it comes with age

long ago,
when everything was new & fun
she thought of herself as the chosen one
people to love
a plethora of blessings raining down from above

life intruded
like Job, times got tough
she began to doubt if she was smart enough
a landscape altered by jealousy

was the mirror dirty?
mere soap scum & grime?
eye bags
what looked like a liver spot
no longer would she be branded “hot”

but it’s cool
she’s reached a perfect plateau
she’s mastered goin’ with the flow
her beauty may have faded
but her brain is still there
reminding her daily of all those who care

copyright © 2016 KPM

it comes with age

dreams under the duvet

come back to me, my baby
let’s do this over, please
cause now that we’re both older
this shit’ll be a breeze

you will not get jealous
our life won’t be so fraught
an’ I won’t be so angry
cause you’ll have my back the way you ought

come back to me, my darlin’
let’s do this again, please
we can be more together
than frozen carrots ‘n peas

I swear I’ll make an effort
to be more spontaneous
‘n we’ll dispense with all the crap –
those peeps who’re extraneous

come back to me, my sweetheart
let’s try this again, please
we’ll get it right this time
we’ll live ‘n love with perfect ease

you can come home at night
instead of hauntin’ all the bars
‘n Sundays we’ll lie late in bed
soothin’ each other’s scars

‘s time to come home, baby
I’m standin’ by the gate
we can do this over
love should not have to wait

copyright © 2016 KPM

dreams under the duvet

Ziggy Stardust doesn’t live here any more

Ziggy Stardust doesn’t live here any more
he got on that ship with Major Tom
they closed the hatch an’ locked the door
reckon Ziggy was fed up with this place
he might even be happier, among the stars in space

but I can’t believe I won’t see Ziggy any more
for so many years I loved him
his loss leaves me heart sore
I’d play his music LOUD – how I’d dance & laugh!
(an’ my daddy threatened to break my phonograph)

Ziggy Stardust understood me
if I raged or if I cried
to him I was no oddity
he saw through all my angst & pride
this fellow traveller who dwelled Outside

No, Ziggy Stardust doesn’t live here any more
he left me vinyl, two new CDs
& memories galore
my life will continue, though Ziggy’s gone away
in my head, in my heart, his guitar will always play

copyright © 2016 KPM



ain’t never liked any kinda peas
an’ I refuse to eat macaroni & cheese
like to eat whatever
whenever I please
reckon that makes me different

I never wanted kids, even though I like them
like my milk fat – to hell with this skimmed
gimme the darkness
I need all the lights dimmed
suppose that makes me different

I like rap music – the hardness in its flow
I see nuthin’ charmin’ in winter snow
I can be seduced by hard winds that blow
but mess with me once an’ you’re forever my foe
out the door & out my life you go

I’m versatile, speakin’ posh or slang
love bad boys unafraid of the jail door’s clang
forever loyal
to the peeps in my gang
guess that makes me different

happy to give those I love whatever they need
definitely not a follower – I’d rather lead
brutal honesty
has always been my creed
that’s why folks see me as different

don’t give a shit about your station or race
or if your CDs are in order on your bookcase
I’m not bothered by an ugly face
or if your family thinks you’re a disgrace
I prefer people who carve out their own space

the world’s grown dangerous – chaos runs rife
safety is non-existent – no place is free from strife
so I’ll make my own peace
live my own life
don’t think that makes me so different

copyright © 2015 KPM


a long way from the rock [for SZ]

I remember those youthful days
hangin’ out in my backyard
before we entered life’s oft treacherous maze
before the choices we made grew hard

I remember diaries
those girlhood secrets we would share
you admired my daring
I worshiped those curls in your hair

although our lives were defined
by a vastly different clock
each day our friendship grew stronger
afternoons by the rock

an unlikely pair we made:
your nature was sunny, while mine was like night
you were blessed with tact
I was bullish & forthright

two disparate souls were we
folks were surprised that we were friends
but we ignored them, traversing through life
closer than siblings or twins

we told each other everything
with no worries that we might shock
our friendship was solidified
in those afternoons by the rock

from Barbie dolls to boys we laughed
cryin’ through marriage & divorce
I tried to keep you anchored
as you struggled to keep me on course

eventually we learned the hard way
that all we thought we knew was a lie
children were born, then they grew
together we watched our fathers die

we’ve grown old & wise together
payin’ no mind to that clock
drawin’ strength from our love for each other
& all those afternoons by the rock

copyright © 2015 KPM