groundwork

brain cells busy cooking
always she is looking
far beyond what her hopes might be
in search of golden opportunity

she’s not just idly dreaming
constantly she’s scheming
no time to be depressed or blue
doggedly doing all she can do

tomorrow’s horizon she is scanning
for her future she is planning
throwing caution to the wind
as she lays the foundation for starting again

copyright © 2017 KPM

groundwork

a word from your sponsor

We’re four days into this New Year. The sky outside my living room window is grey and heavy with clouds; behind me, outside my kitchen window, the sky above my wee garden is that shade of blue that can only be found in Dundee, with shafts of bright sunlight illuminating the cloud shapes.

The flat is still and clean. I have the TV on for company. My fish swim gaily in their watery home, indifferent to the outside world. In keeping with my love of order, I cleaned the flat thoroughly the day after New Year’s, taking down all the Christmas decorations and storing them in the loft for another year (the tree came down on 30th December in keeping with my culture’s superstition that it is bad luck to leave the tree up into the New Year – if you leave it up, you’ll drag all the bad shit from the old year into the new year with you). I did allow myself two small indulgences: I decided this year to leave the Christmas wreath on my door until Epiphany, and I kept the poinsettia plant my partner gave me, as it’s still perfectly healthy and anyone who knows me knows I love plants.

I feel calm and peaceful…even happy, though I am still unemployed. Somehow, all the angst and anxiety and stress I felt over that situation has magically vanished. I continue to submit applications online, and I have two interviews scheduled over the next two weeks. Most importantly, realising that I have a wealth of skills, I made a huge leap and went into business for myself as a free-lance writer and editor. I have registered the business with HMRC and am joyously looking forward to receiving my first client.

This profound change in attitude and general outlook has been going on for a fortnight now. I don’t know where it came from – perhaps God has granted me His strength and His favour. I only know that I feel an unexplainable joy – I am certain that everything will soon be resolved for the good and for the first time in well over a decade, I am at peace with everything.

I wish all the followers of my blog a Happy New Year. May you all enjoy good health, the absence of monetary worries and much love.

With affection,

kate58

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

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

helpless

once again last night
(though I didn’t want to)
my subconscious betrayed me:
sending me a dream of you
it dragged me, unwilling
back into the past
the bitter ending of a love
I was so sure would last

growing older brings more
than the unexplained ache
it brings unwelcome memories
scenes I’d rather forsake
I have moved on with my life
travelling rocky & joyous ground
yet the ghost of you
persists in hangin’ around

your death nigh destroyed me
deep depression I’ve endured
clawing my way out of darkness
I’ve grown & I’ve matured
I’ve learned how to bend
with wind that blows through summer grass
Corinthians was correct in saying
“this too shall pass”

perhaps I didn’t love you
in the way you thought I should
maybe that causes these dreams
(to be fair, some are good)
I’ll always love you in my way
but a better man I have found
so please, be happy for me
sleep well beneath your burial mound

copyright © 2016 KPM

helpless

in praise of cowboys & angels (elegy for George Michael)

I can see him as a cowboy
I imagine the plains he rides
as he lopes around the ranch
with sexy, long-legged strides

a light shines from his eyes
unshielded from the sun’s glare
revelling in the summer heat
the Santa Ana wind that loves his hair

in my mind’s eye there’s an image
of this cowboy in his saddle
doin’ what he loves
as he fights a private battle

he tends his sheep & pigs
around the cattle he rides in rings
his muscles throbbing pleasantly
as he composes the songs he sings

so angelic was this cowboy
with love stamped upon his face
that the Lord could not resist
taking him to a better place

gone was this cowboy, this angel
a flawed & human soul
composer of the background music
which made so many people whole

& those who loved the cowboy wept
they pulled their hair, they cried
aghast & unbelieving:
surely their muse had not died?

his music had been a crucial part
of my most formative years
I freely admit the morning after
I awakened covered in tears

but these tears I shed are quiet
aloud I will not weep
I’ll celebrate Jesus & Christmas
& pray for the cowboy’s restful sleep

copyright © KPM 2016

george-michael

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

Fairmount Boulevard

she remembers driving down
Fairmount Boulevard
back in the good old days
before her life became so hard

to her office she would go
each & every day
where she’d do the work she loved
in exchange for massive pay

she remembers driving
the way she used to sing
& how the trees on Fairmount Boulevard
would all bloom in the spring

the double-click of the key
as she unlocked her office door
at her desk she did work that mattered
her days were never a bore

she’d drive down Fairmount Boulevard
in summer heat, in winter snow
happy thinking of the job
to which she had to go

16 years later
she has no office key
middle-aged & unemployed
she faces a future she cannot see

no more can she delight
in her manager’s high-fives
down Fairmount Boulevard
she no longer drives

copyright © 2016 KPM

fairmount-boulevard

personal space

do I really need to ask you again
to get out my ass while I enter my PIN?
I’m tryin’ to be kind & cut you some slack
but Jesus H, you need to step back!

you’re way too near – you gonna kiss my cheek?
or are you just some kinda freak?
ain’t nuthin’ here you need to see
so why you standin’ so close to me?

it’s too much for me to bear
your funky breath in my freshly washed hair
so listen up, cause I’m tryin’ to be nice
take a step back – in fact, do it twice

I don’t wanna get all rowdy in this place
but you’re seriously invadin’ my personal space
why you all up in my transaction?
back up bitch, or I’ll hafta take action!

copyright © 2016 KPM

personal-space

nightlights

right now my life
is kinda rough
the duvet’s warm embrace
is not enough
each night now
my brain cells riot
stealing my peace
disrupting the quiet

concerned about
the dark thoughts I think
I leave my bed
to stand at the kitchen sink
staring out
the wide window
at tenement lights
shining all aglow

there are others like me
who cannot sleep
do they worry? I wonder
all alone, do they weep?
are they anxious
about paying their bills,
or just lost in reveries
of youthful thrills?

the man on the sofa
sitting with shoulders slumped
is he fearful, or heartbroken
because he’s been dumped?
the woman on the bed
whose hands cover her face,
does she feel like she’s trapped
in a precarious place?

there are other folks with problems
people just like me
who hope & pray for an end
to their current misery
this nightly ritual comforts me
it’s familiar, it’s known
those lit windows reassure me
that I am not alone

copyright © 2016 KPM

nightlights

never too old

the little flat
is always clean
plants a-bloom,
lush & green

it appears
that everything is fine
no one sees
the chaos in her mind

Christmastime & she’s homesick
far from the land of her birth
middle-aged & unemployed
she questions her self-worth

sale signs & Christmas décor
as far as her brown eyes can see
she job hunts every day
battling against misery

interviews galore
they pass in a blur
is her age the reason
no one has hired her?

she works hard to stay cheerful
in her heart hope keeps hummin’
benefits help some
but the bills keep comin’

she’s a woman used to standin’
firmly on her own two feet
who dearly wants her life to return
to its familiar & orderly beat

she’s a strong woman, too
with adversity she can cope
she is not too old to work
she refuses to lose hope

loving, skilled & experienced
loyal, brave & bold
some smart company will see this:
they’ll recognize she’s not too old

copyright © 2016 KPM

African American woman instructor demonstrates program on desktop computer to African American seven year old girl with braids in classroom in New Orleans