speeding

“know how fast you were goin’?”
the officer said
while the music pounded
in her head

bemused, the officer moaned,
“you were way past 55
flirting, she smiled – she winked:
“ ’s a good day to be alive”

“cause when you’re my age
you don’t care one little bit
when you’re over 55
you cease to give a shit”

the officer stepped back
rapidly he blinked his eyes
his young & hairless face
wore a look of surprise

he was open-mouthed
stammerin’ & shufflin’ his feet
dude was like,
“you can’t drive that fast on this street”

to which she laughed, saying,
“ whatcha want: you want me to cry?
son, everyone gets older
you & me, we’re gonna die

I get you’re safety-conscious
that makes sense – it’s also sweet
but my blood is boilin’
in this summer heat

you look at me & see
another person growin’ old
but beneath this settin’ sun
sits a woman whose heart is bold

from trouble
I have never shied
I’m a woman joyous
I’ve laughed as I’ve cried

I have triumphed
I have lost
been true to myself
no matter the cost

life is fleetin’, son
hell, it’s downright scary
& surely you can’t blame me:
I’m entranced by Bryan Ferry!

so accept my smile
along with my prayer for you
do what you think
you gotta do

cause when you’re my age
you don’t care one little bit
 once you reach my age
you just don’t give a shit”

the officer was charmed
reduced to a young man meek
bowing, he tipped his hat
then shyly patted her cheek

he got into his car
nothing did he have to say
he never saw the kiss she blew
before they both drove away

copyright © 2017 KPM

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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

welcome home

single she is, no one’s wife,
happy with her solitary life

the rows of DVDs on shelves
old ceramic Christmas elves
memories of love displayed on tables & walls
a bed piled high with animals & dolls
fish swimming in their colourful tank
nestled by books in alphabetical rank

remotes on the coffee table in a military line
dust-free surfaces glowing in winter sunshine
window sills crammed with welcoming plants
wardrobes that house shoes, sweaters, pants
her favourite rooms have been freshly painted
& nothing in this space by hatred is tainted

middle-aged she is, no longer svelte
just handlin’ life, no matter what cards she’s dealt

copyright © 2016 KPM

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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

in days gone by

in days gone by
there was bright blue sky
& carolling clouds & sun that shone
amidst this beauty the Weaver walked alone
sometimes she sang, mostly she thought
& she was happy more often than not
watching everything with a wary writer’s eye
silently seeking an answer to the eternal question:
why?

in days gone by
lived an aging monarch
dying lion in a tower in a city out of place
& every day his mirror revealed
another line bisecting his face
vividly he recalled the taste of old dangers
as he grew old surrounded by
sycophants & strangers
who do not know him, who do not care
that he dreams of a Weaver with jet-black hair

in days gone by
the Weaver would dance
through streets & square
oblivious to point & stare
slanted eyes searching for those who knew
& weren’t afraid to join her retinue
but she was luckless, the city’s inhabitants pluckless
misunderstood, she was mocked & taunted
yet she danced & wove, undaunted

in days gone by
the aging monarch mourned
struggling vainly to recapture the kingdom
where love in him was born
he is moody & melancholy, wondering if this is all
groaning beneath the weight of the script
that orchestrates his fall
pleading & praying to the deities above
that at his life’s end he’s granted
one more chance to love

in days gone by
the Weaver lost heart
she could find no one who’d listen
to the tales she had to tell
the townsfolk sneered & scoffed at her
resistant to her spell
so she packed her poems & potions
& set off for distant lands
enraged but resolute she leaves, with ne’er a backward glance
for she is still the Weaver & her faith is still in Chance

in days gone by
the monarch’s eyes grew dim
his soul was cold
late one night he quit his kingdom
seeking someone warm to hold
he cast off his robes of ermine, & tossed aside his crown
tormented by terrible thoughts as he trod the stony ground
bewildered & bitter, his royal heart was in despair
then the wondrous words of the Weaver
floated to him through the air

she sang of ships that sailed the seas
& slaves that killed their masters
of love that brought one to their knees
& the squander of piasters
& creatures that did terrorize the Lost Boy of the bog
maidens with mesmerizing eyes whose lovers dwelt in fog
she sang of all these things & more
in a voice sultry & strong
& the monarch rejoiced that he had found
that which he’d sought for so long

with agéd voice he spoke to her, laying bare all his woes
how he’s hounded by fear & futility
as his useless life comes to a close
he’s lost the desire for food & drink
& fleshly delights are past
on Death he wastes neither thoughts nor fear
accepting those die as cast
“But I pray,” he pleads,
“Grant me one wish – to lie with you at my last.”

the Weaver’s gentle soul is touched, & her heart is kind
she takes the monarch by the hand, & leads him like one blind
to the center of the enchanted wood
tall trees with leaves like lace
on the mossy bed where they recline, she reveals her secret face
& he gazes on her glory, his old eyes red & bleary
& she sings to him & kisses him
‘til he’s no longer weary

in days gone by
an abdicated king &
a Weaver with jet-black hair
dwelt in an enchanted wood
& lived lives free from care
no thought they gave to the outside world
no wish had they to go back
pleased by each other’s presence
of love they had no lack
& they grew old together
untroubled by cold or storm
& when at last the monarch died
he did so in arms that were warm

copyright © 2014 KPM

the poet

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

childhood’s corrosion

a proud beige house
now colored rust
untended/unloved
Mommy’s flowers reduced to dust

the picnic table too
bears sorrowful scars
termites ‘n damp rot
leavin’ craters like those on Mars

familiar city streets
now shit splattered ‘n sway-backed
kingdom of the indigent
their faces tired ‘n cracked

childhood’s succumbed to decay
abandonment abounds
urban erosion’s evil echo
she’s haunted by corrosion’s sounds

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

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16 dreams

I dreamt I was 16 again
unburdened by weighty thoughts of sin
heart light as a feather
free from care
‘n brave enough
to accept any dare

I dreamt that I was 16 still
with many goals I’d yet to fulfill
idealistic
believing all mankind was good
a day-dreaming dweller
in my own Norwegian Wood

I dreamt I was 16 once more
when the whole world was an open door
caves ‘n mountains
secret spaces
a curious child
exploring other places

now over 50, my heart remains 16
‘n there is much I’ve learned ‘n seen
life ‘n death
some loss ‘n love
bathed in blessings
from high above

copyright © 2014 KPM

16 dreams pic

across death’s divide

across death’s divide
many battles she has fought
some she lost, some she won –
victories that were dearly bought

through countless days ‘n nights
she duelled with love ‘n hate
stubbornly denying
the existence of capricious fate

pages on the calendar turned
Mother Earth continued to spin
she grew older – more adept
at takin’ it on the chin

across death’s divide
she continues to handle her biz
squarely between who she should be
‘n the person that she is

copyright © 2014 KPM

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happens to all of us

almost over night
tiny wrinkles appear
the TV volume gets increased
cause it’s harder now to hear

twinges in your back
when you try to touch your toes
endlessly searchin’ for your keys
as the short term memory goes

all your favorite foods
now give you awful gas
you can scarce go out in public
lest people think you crass

finger joints are swollen
knees begin to creak
walkin’ to the store an’ back
leaves you bedridden for a week

hair starts goin’ gray
or worse, it starts recedin’
medicine cabinet overflows
with all the pills you’re now needin’

varifocals are now required
for numbers on a measuring cup
an’ you can’t sit on the floor
cause it’s too hard to get back up

gone are the days when I was
a sleek an’ sexy mademoiselle
why did no one ever tell me
the agin’ process would be hell!

copyright © 2014 KPM

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