long time’ comin’

lassitude lies heavy
her own private laissez-faire
the fibre optics twinkle
tree’s pretty, but she don’t care

it’s that old song
about the tears of a clown
the smiles she shares are fake
all alone, she melts down

‘n the ache in her chest
is a banjo strummin’
hidin’ in the loo at work
wipin’ tears a long time comin’

there’s food in the fridge
(thanks to a boyfriend who’s too good)
all too often she’s not hungry –
she don’t eat the way she should

she’s a shadow; a woeful wraith
of her former self
there’s no Christmas card from Mom
so fuck a elf on a shelf

‘n the pain in her head is endless
neuralgia’s relentless thrummin’
all alone she weeps
bitter tears that just keep comin’

copyright © 2018 KPM

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on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve I woke up at ten past nine. And I felt pretty good, considering the fact that the first thought I had when I awakened was “it’s Christmas Eve and my Mom is not here.”

I’ve been struggling in the run up to Christmas this year. It seems unfair…it feels wrong, that Christmas should just go on when Ma is not here to enjoy it. My Mom loved Christmas. The tree, the lights, the decorations. The Nat King Cole Christmas album. She loved it when I was a kid – even now I can see the look of joy on her face as she watched me and my brother and sisters open our presents – and she loved it even more once she’d become a grandmother and then a great-grandmother.

So I decorated my wee flat the way I’ve always done, putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Adorning the fireplace mantle with the red and green tinsel garland, the dancing Santa, the Christmas Eeyore, the black singing angels and the lighted Christmas village my boyfriend John surprised me with two years ago.

I hung stockings for me and John and strung fairy lights over the tops of the bookcases; I even hung fairy lights on the palm tree in my bedroom. I found a place to display every Christmas card I received…they’re in the living room, the kitchen and my wee PC closet. In the act of decorating, I hoped to bring Mom’s spirit closer to me….I hoped that from her perch in heaven – reunited with my Dad at last – she would see all the decorations and smile.

This year, my first Christmas without my mother, I have received more cards and presents than I ever have in my life. And I get it: my friends, my work colleagues, knowing that this is going to be hard for me, have showered me with the next best thing to my Mom’s unconditional love: their love.

Thank you everybody, and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Ma. Love you….say hi to Daddy for me.

the tale of the little angel

there was once a little angel
who had a broken wing
sad because she could no longer fly,
she decided she’d no longer sing

so she left her heavenly home
waved farewell to the celestial choir
& wished herself down to earth,
to see if a new talent she could acquire

soon the angel found herself
on earth’s solid ground
where she wandered, open-mouthed
at all the chaos that she found

the people in the north
disliked the folks who lived east
they were denying their poorer brethren
a share in their Christmas feast

while the people of the west
scorned all those dwelling in the south
there was hatred & incivility
spewing from everybody’s mouth

& the angel was aggrieved
for God had created man for bliss
now it seemed as if all mankind,
in their greed, had forgotten this

they were worshipping money:
dollars, pounds & pence
people selling their souls for money
to the angel this made no sense

men & women in thrall to things
& the thrill of their acquisitions
wanting bigger, better, more
losing their once happy dispositions

rapes & murders & child abuse
destruction of the land
lines at food banks & homeless shelters
the poor angel didn’t understand

she’d come from a perfect place
where life was heavenly
surely this disorder
was never meant to be

so she cried unto her God,
“My Father, I feel so blue,
I’m one tiny angel whose wing is broken,
what would you have me do?”

& God smiled down on the angel
before he replied
gently asking her,
“Did you forget how my Son died?

greatness I bestowed on you –
I blessed you with the gift of song
but you bemoan your broken wing,
you chose to forget that you are strong

mankind is flawed, but you can help them
& it’s such a simple thing
unlock that power behind your jaws, child:
I bid you open your mouth & sing”

the angel realised that her silence
had been a major blunder
as closing her eyes & opening her mouth
she sang a song more powerful than thunder

a song of redemption & forgiveness
the joys of heaven above
soothing words that offered hope,
& a reminder of God’s eternal love

as she sang her strength returned
peace suffused her soul
& the little angel’s broken wing
was again made whole

so she flew back home to God
& her beloved celestial choir
there to sing endlessly
hitting notes that were ever higher

but what happened down on earth?
well, the hostility did cease
& for the first time in a long time,
all God’s children knew His peace

copyright © 2016 KPM

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putting up the Christmas tree

it’s just a small fibre-optic
Christmas tree
the first big present
he ever gave to me
a tree that he’d bought
for his mother
giving it to me
meant he saw me like no other

a tiny tree
with twinkling lights
it warms my soul
on cold winter nights
a gift from a man I think
was sent from heaven above
a special present that proves
I’m worthy of love

never has he come to me
with empty heart or hands
he’s always there to lead me out
when I’m trapped in the dark lands
gifts & love unbidden
he brings when I am sad
the only constant in my life
this stalwart Scottish lad

so I assemble my little tree
this gift you gave to me with love
& as I do I thank
whatever God exists above
for the blessings in my life
for all the good you do
most of all I thank the Lord
for yet another Christmas with you

copyright © 2016 KPM

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Afro Santa

what da hell is dat up in the sky?

it’s Afro Santa –

naw, you lie!

you mean you nevuh heard of Afro Santa?
fat dark-skinned dude, ass bigger ‘n Montana?

man, ah nevah heard ‘bout dis
ah think you’re tryin’ to take the piss

check this homie – have some gin & Fanta
while ah hip you to the tale of Afro Santa

like most a da brothas,
he grew up in the projects
jammin’ to Sugar Hill & readin’ Malcolm X
in class he always played the fool
‘n that shit got him kicked outa school
what he really liked to do was eat
which he did, til he couldn’t see his feet
his daddy said, ‘you greedy louse!’
then his momma put him out da house
fat boy cold felt like a jerk
so he tried to find some work
he worked awhile for Burger King
but they fired him fo’ eatin’ everything
at MickeyDs he tried burger flippin’
but the floors wuz too greasy ‘n he kept trippin’
then one day he had a ideah
to hisself he sez, ‘Christmas is almos’ heah
the thing po’ kids in the hood really lack
is a Santy Claus like them, one who’s black’

so he pawned his possessions to get some loot
bought a black Navigator an’ a Santy Claus suit
but dude (whose name wuz Chris) forgot he couldn’t fly
so over his dinner of KFC he had a good cry
as he cried in his chicken an’ various dishes
there appeared a homeless bum who promised three wishes
said the bum, ‘I’ll give you anything,
if you’ll share with me just one chicken wing’
Chris gave up the food, n’ soon he was singin’
in his black Navigator thru the skies he was wingin’!
now every year po’ folks gets their heart’s desire
from Afro Santa in his Navigator that belches green fire

man, to hell with Afro Santa –
you got any more of that gin & Fanta?

copyright © 2007-2014 KPM

Afro Santa

another Christmas with you

your presents are all wrapped
the flat is spankin’ clean
decorated with tinsel
of sparkly red ‘n green
I’m so excited I dunno what to do
at the thought of another Christmas with you

the fridge ‘n freezer is full
with all your favorite food
Christmas Eve I’ll make some eggnog
to get us both in the Christmas mood
I’m so excited I dunno what to do
at the thought of another Christmas with you

sometimes I can’t help but feel
you’re a man I’m undeserving of
‘specially when you make that face
as I try to declare my love
an’ you blush whenever I tell you
you’re my miracle from above
but in the end it matters not
cause to my heart you hold the key
you know you’re all that matters to me

got my nails manicured
my hair is newly done
hopin’ that to you I’ll be
a vision that will stun
I’m so excited I dunno what to do
I get to spend another Christmas with you

copyright © 2014 KPM

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the house in Aberdeen

there’s a house in Aberdeen that’s dressed for Christmas:
with fake snow in the yard – man, how cool is that!
& a snowman in a red Santy Claus hat
a giant Grinch sits in a rockin’ chair
& a voice sweetly sings “I’m walkin’ thru the air…”

there’s a house in Aberdeen that’s dressed for Christmas:
on the pavement out in front a dog goes ‘woof!
think he’s barkin’ at the mammoth Santa up on the roof
all the windows are ablaze with tiny twinklin’ lights
there’s even a huge toy soldier resplendent in dress whites

there’s a house in Aberdeen that’s dressed for Christmas:
gaily coloured gift boxes are scattered around the yard
& at the bottom of the steps sits a huge Christmas card
I wish that I could go inside & share their celebrations
but it’s enough to know I’m loved as I enjoy their decorations

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

house in Aberdeen

city centre, Dundee

the city centre’s all shrouded in mist
it’s struggling to awake
the tops of church spires by clouds are kissed
the damp chill makes me shake

rowdy schoolboys chase giggling girls
a newsman sets up in the square
all the streetlamps shine like pearls
as cold wind caresses my hair

my heels click on the cobblestones
while I dig in my leather bag
I hear two competing mobile phones
as I light up my first fag

the Christmas lights shine brightly
Debenhams has a temptin’ display
but I’m skint so I skip past it –
no shoppin’ for me today!

copyright © 2007-2014 KPM

angels in mah house

dark of eyes
an’ dark of face
six angels smile
from dey customary place

dearly do ah love
this long ago Christmas gift
six tiny angels
dey always give mah soul a lift

asexual dey are
neither girl nor boy
but dey gender matters not
for dey presence brings me joy

two angels clutch dey hymnals
eyes raised toward da sky
obedient little tots
wit God’s will dey do comply

da other angels make heavenly music:
wit cello, accordion, trumpet & flute
such sounds ah’ve never heard
so lovely ah’m rendered mute

but da angel ah love da most
is da cellist, who also sings
fo’ dis is a fallen angel
you can tell by da broken wings

copyright © 2012-2014 KPM
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’tis the season

the council workers have been busy
removin’ all signs of Halloween
of the skeletons an’ pumpkins
not a trace can be seen

now toys are in the windows
Rudolph pullin’ Santa’s sleigh
endless adverts swamp the telly
on bargain hunters they seek to prey

take a stroll down the High Street
sale signs assault your eye
all promisin’ deep discounts
enticin’ you to buy

how I miss the good ol’ days
before Christmas turned commercial
when the color of tree
was not a matter controversial!

copyright © 2014 KPM

Watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas