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

it comes with age

long ago,
when everything was new & fun
she thought of herself as the chosen one
brains
beauty
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
lies
hatred
infidelity
a landscape altered by jealousy

was the mirror dirty?
mere soap scum & grime?
eye bags
wrinkles
jowls
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

song for old rockers

his eyesight’s dimmin’
yet he spends hours at that screen
peckin’ out a stream of words
as his thoughts careen

his hairline is recedin’
but about that he don’ care
he has visions, he has feelings
they’re important – he must share

so he ignores the creak in his knees
he laughs at the vagaries of age
his heart remains youthful
as he climbs onto the stage

his torn t-shirt is too small
to hide that middle-aged paunch
but his voice is strong & true
his guitar is ever staunch

his tattoos sag, now wrinkled
a road map mars his still long legs
yet his soul stays one with the crowd
they lend their life as they beg

so he ignores the ache in his back
ignores the critics who think it’s wrong
dude plans to dies onstage
beltin’ out that final song

copyright © 2015 KPM

old rock star

Aphrodite’s child revisited

thoughts both beautiful & obscure
a heart as dark as it is pure
the sum of everything she’s sown
is Aphrodite’s child full-grown

lost lovers like so much debris
the strong gnarled arms of her family tree
the reflection of tiny lines on her face
as she grows old in another place

without & within the doors are open
a little wiser & well used to copin’
at childhood’s demise she will not mope
yet loves & writes with childlike hope

she works / she cleans / she cooks / she eats
then dreams at night on crisp linen sheets
unspoken wishes in a brain that’s yearning
dark desires that keep her stomach churning

a woman alone without a womb
at peace in Eden’s grey & green room
where angels look down from the walls
& memory dwells in hallowed halls

she lives with the voices of the ages
& with the Magi regularly engages
no matter that her arteries harden
there is joy amongst the words in her garden

what care she for the grey in her hair –
she, who’s endured the black dog’s glare?
she’s happy with the witch doctor’s pills
& the damp embrace of the Scottish hills

there’s no fear in the mistakes she accepts
just anger & grief & ashen regrets
yet she will fight a wee bit longer
& every battle will make her stronger

rejecting the role, rejoicing in the place
her duelling done with style & grace
demons & tricksters & stealers of hearts
felled at her feet with poison-pen darts

no matter that her waist grows thick
her breasts remain firm & her mind is quick
immune to anybody’s taunts
serenely meeting her needs & wants

barely free, torn between two homes
inside her head she endlessly roams
divided mind with heart still wild
is aging Aphrodite’s child

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

Aging Aphrodite

before I die

gradually,
beauty departs
in erratic fits & starts:
hair becomes thinner,
dirty dishwater gray
lower is the ass
that once had a sexy sway
breasts that drew men’s eyes
are no longer firm
the first varicose vein appears
like some malevolent worm
if you’re lucky, you grow old
though this process one may hate
she views it amusement
continuing to celebrate

copyright © 2014 KPM

before I die pic