no thunderstorms in Dundee (for Ellie G)

in Eleanor’s bed
I lay safe ‘n warm
peacefully listening to
a Cleveland thunderstorm
though my heart is heavy
I feel a touch of glee,
as I listen to the thunder,
so rare in my Dundee

cause there’s no thunderstorms in Dundee
thus I snatch this moment of glee
it’s a fact that often bothers me,
no thunderstorms in Dundee

in Eleanor’s room
there’s nothing frightening
I’m content under the covers,
watching the lightning
my heart may feel a touch of gloom,
but I’m lovin’ those flashes –
the way they
light up the room

cause there’s no lightning in Dundee
so I revel in this glee
it’s a fact that often disturbs me
the lack of lightning in Dundee

in Eleanor’s room
with its cool green walls
I’m comforted knowing
Miz Gregory’s across the hall
the bed might be unfamiliar,
but I’ve got my Eeyore,
so I just listen to the thunder,
knowin’ there’s love outside that door

all too soon I’ll be on that plane
carryin’ my photos & my pain
takin’ back the love of many friends & family
hopin’ for a thunderstorm in Dundee

copyright © 2017 KPM

we are the Patton kids (for my brother & sisters)

four adult children
born of one father & one mother
a brother & three sisters,
we’re unlike any other

four children born from love
we were no accident or mistake
my brother & my 3 sisters
deeply bound by heartache

he makes everybody laugh,
my brother, the only son
whenever he is present
everybody has much fun

my middle sister can be quite bossy
& she’s the one who keeps the peace
she dimed us out when we were younger
but her love for us will never cease

last but not least is the youngest
everybody’s baby girl
watching her grow has been amazing,
seeing the young woman unfurl

I am the eldest child
Mommy called me her “firstborn”
her curious child, the one who left
once I was happy, now I’m forlorn

we are the Patton kids
we’ve endured many a childish spat
forever bound by grief & love & blood
time & distance can never change that

copyright © 2017 KPM

on the last night in Cleveland

on that last night in Cleveland
it’s the engine’s roar that calls
Bob Seger & the 5th period bell
that echoes in JFK’s halls

she’s safe with her friend in the Nissan
encased in a blue cocoon
out-running Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”
chased by a full spring moon

271 North to 90 West
a road she knows so well
racin’ through the night
speedin’ away from this new hell

Coventry is all lit up
tequila keeps misery at bay
the bar’s filled with cheering people
watchin’ the Indians play

he is silent at her side
they feel no need to talk
neither asks “what are you thinkin’?”
as through shared memories they walk

time to reverse the process
90 West to 77 South
radio volume’s cranked louder
speakers blastin’ Bush’s “Mouth”

she makes him stop on the corner
she walks to the Gregory house alone
she doesn’t look back or wave goodbye
thinking of her mother’s love, which shone

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

under the full Cleveland moon

her childhood street
is oh-so-quiet
her heart is in turmoil,
brain cells a riot

options she has,
choices to make
what dreams can she keep?
which hopes to forsake?

a good life is not promised,
luck turns on a dime
the only certainty is death
& she’s running out of time

she knows one day she’ll return –
triumphant – & soon
these are the thoughts she thinks
standing beneath a full Cleveland moon

copyright (c) 2017 KPM

sittin’ next to Sylvia

Summers spent walkin’ by the railroad tracks
Young, smart, beautiful – they always had each other’s backs
Life’s torments had not affected them yet
Verily they’d both learn how to forgive & forget
In reuniting, they rediscovered their youth
And all the words & love came back, bathed by tears & time’s truth

copyright © 2017 KPM

merica

for love she crossed an ocean
enduring much pain
well over a decade later
she crossed that same ocean again

in this place she once called home
she is a foreigner – a stranger
first fatherless, now motherless
she feels naught but loss & danger

outside her mother’s apartment
she stands at the end of the drive
bathed in surreal sunlight
thinking of reasons to stay alive

“go back to your own country”
yell teenaged voices from a passing car
her grief morphs into rage:
who do these assholes think they are?

she’d seen all the news reports
in the Times, on the BBC
now, the day after her mother’s death
she’s faced with the ugly reality

“I so don’t wanna be here,”
is what she thinks as she wipes her eyes
“I don’t wanna be in this place,
where such behaviour’s been normalised”

escape to her is granted:
her friend pulls up in the car
relieved when the car moves forward
she tries to process this newest scar

heart shattered by grief
brain dead with shock
she longs for her red front door
with its tarnished, old-fashioned lock

“what happened?” asks her friend
“you all right – you okay?”
sadly she recounts events
as her friend drives the car away

for the moment, she is safe
she sits in the seat & she cries
“what a messed-up thing to happen,
& the day after your Momma dies”

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

the road to Edinburgh

cool morning mist embraces
my beloved Scottish hills
I try not to think of what’s coming:
it makes me sick,
it gives me chills

lights glow in scattered farm houses
they shine like alien eyes
I’m tryin’ hard to turn my thoughts off,
cause they’re all scary –
oversized

each mile covered takes me further
from favourite familiar sights
I’m entering unknown territory,
approaching many
dark nights

the morning people have awakened
to a new cycle of joy & pain
I can feel his silent watching
as I walk tearfully
towards the plane

copyright © 2017 KPM

reclaiming Glasgow

in the car
she loves to ride
craning her head
from side to side
pleased by this country’s
wide open spaces
& the expressions she sees
on other drivers’ faces

for another adventure
she is ready
watching his beloved hands
hold the steering wheel steady
as they ride through the rain
on their way to Glasgow
Springsteen encourages them
from the radio

it’s overcast in Alba
today there’s not much sun
but this doesn’t spoil her mood
she’s not deterred from having fun
safely seated next to the person
whose presence is most dear
hypnotized by Scottish skies
& a road ahead that’s clear

once Glasgow was synonymous
with much stress & pain
a solicitor made a mistake
& her life headed down the drain
thankfully she’s entered
into a happier season
so every day she thanks God
for the judge who saw reason

thus for this new adventure
she is more than ready
glancing at her boyfriend’s hands
as they hold the wheel steady
she sings along with Springsteen
on the car radio
rocketing through the rain
she’s set to reclaim Glasgow

copyright © 2017 KPM

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

escape route

when misfortune appears
with its unwelcome shape
that’s when she finds
she needs an escape
the comfort of
a celluloid hug
a technicolour
high-definition drug

she can only handle
so much stress
so on those occasions when things
dissolve into a mess
when her life is as bad
as life sometimes gets
she takes a mental health break
with her beloved box sets

since childhood
she has loved TV
it’s a fact she admits
honestly
there are those who’d argue
that the boob tube is bad
but she loves those memories
of watchin’ telly with her dad

the Fisher family
on Six Feet Under
restore to her
a sense of wonder
she can laugh at their exploits,
which banish her doubt
reassured that everything
will work itself out

she shoves away
all thoughts of defeat
when engrossed in
Homicide: Life on the Street
inspired by the way
Frank always gets his man,
she resolutely develops
her own new & better plan

still, there are those times
when she’s suffused with dread
when the darkness invades
her heart & head
at those times
she takes to her bed
& fights her demons like the crew
on The Walking Dead

she resists the temptation
to wallow in self-pity
with help from the girls
of Sex & The City
by their trials & triumphs
she is transported
restored in her belief
that her problems will soon be sorted

so she’s unemployed just now –
it’s a temporary state
she refuses to fall for
the black dog’s bait
she has God,
she has friends, she has family
soon her life will return
to what it ought to be

for now, she’ll keep submitting
those job applications
sure she’ll soon be successful
in achieving her aspirations
& for all those times
she’s beset by fear in the night
there’s always a box set
to set her mind right

copyright © 2016 KPM

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