the colours of my silence

it’s comfortable
dusty black
like my favourite gardening shoes
slipped on
or kicked off
whenever I choose

shot through
with green
blades of grass from my garden
before
the winter wind
causes each blade to harden

highlights
of purple
lavender, Scottish heather
strong, hardy plants
withstanding
whatever

violent
red
that burns through the night
forever dancing
behind my eyes
when I squeeze them tight

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

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suicidal

so young they are
each in their high-viz vest
she can see their concern
how they’re both struggling to do their best
an anonymous phone call
from someone who wants her to live
their assistance is unexpected
but it’s all they have to give

so young these PCs are
firmly entrenched in their belief
they still have faith in law & order
what do they know of grief?
do they know about obituaries,
the goodbye glance in a mother’s eye?
have they any knowledge of guilt so heavy
it makes one want to die?

yet now, here they sit
in the Sunday sunset’s gloom
non-judgemental as they admire
her tidy living room
“have you seen your doctor?
is there someone you can phone?”
so earnest in their desire
not to leave her all alone

she dries her tears & smiles
(she’s been here before)
reassures them both
as she walks them to the door
“thank you for your time,”
she says, gliding across the floor
“so sorry for all the bother –
you don’t need to come back anymore”

copyright © 2017 KPM

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

alone at the end of the world

snatches of old songs howl through her head
some sorrowful
some joyous
some reminders of dread
bound by memories
of a life that came to naught
in God’s final joke
she is firmly caught

abandoned houses, vacant lots
empty landscapes
empty eyes
that leave no tear spots
humanity has faded away
sunlight
moonlight
have both gone astray

no calendars or ticking clocks
stripped out stores
stripped down cars
the world’s been reduced to a cardboard box
no more a life of everything
no holidays
no flat-screens
no birds remain to sing

copyright © 2015 KPM

alone at the end of the world

atonement’s nightmare

on a dank, dark street corner
crowded with grimy buildings high
a dreamer stands uncertainly
beneath a threatening sky

shadow figures pass her
with casual malice they do stare
an evil wind spits gritty tears
that settles on her perfect hair

she can’t remember where she’s been
or where it is she’s going to
she thinks she’s meant to meet someone
though she’s not sure this is true

a drop of rain assaults her cheek
just before the man appears
with a cry, he clasps her knees
his upturned face is wet with tears

his voice reeks with anguish
as he recounts a hateful tale
of a love he did betray
and a woman he did fail

the dreamer is appalled
yet she is touched by his remorse
her kiss is a benediction
allowing nature to take its course

their bodies battle time
pores secreting bloody sweat
she seeks the one she loved & lost
he vainly tries to escape regret

a roar of thunder coincides
with an orgasm to shatter stone
and as the dreamer fades away
the man learns again he can never atone

copyright © 2014 KPM

atonement

in the arms of darkness

there’s a darkness in her mind
a darkness in her soul
then there’s that friendly darkness
that makes her heart feel whole

when he turns off the beside lamp
wrappin’ her in darkness black
climbs in bed beside her
an’ curls against her back

in darkness warm he holds her
her hand rests on his thigh
she dreams in the arms of darkness
his gentle snores her lullaby

copyright © 2014 KPM

in arms of darkness

just desserts

the King of Cruelty
sat in his Castle of Despair
ripping out huge swatches
of his night-sky hair

bemused as he slouched
on his blood-stained throne
angry that his Queen had left,
for now he had to live alone

the castle was deserted,
for his slaves had bolted, too
“alas,” he muttered to himself,
“my Halloween is lookin’ blue.

“how dare that woman leave me,
the bitch! – ungrateful whelp!
I should throw a Halloween ball,
maybe that will help.”

he sat down at his desk
in a chair of bleached bones
while outside at his door
the townspeople threw stones

he found some ancient paper
& a cracked fountain pen
when a thought struck him like lightning:
he had not a single friend

his rheumy eyes glowered
his wrinkled face scowled
& he cursed & paced about
while outside the wolves howled

suddenly he shouted, “Wait!
my lack of friends need not be tragic –
for am I not a mighty sorcerer,
well-versed in all black magic?”

he removed his book of spells
from a drawer of his desk
& in the language of the damned
created friends that were grotesque

they were smelly & hunchbacked
with piggy eyes that leaked pus
one had bloody stumps for limbs
& wore a monstrous truss

the King of Cruelty was delighted,
he reveled in their awful din
then he raised his crooked arms
shouting, “let my Halloween ball begin!”

but his friends were soulless creatures
obeisant to a darker whim
they fell on the King of Cruelty
& ripped him limb from limb

copyright © 2008-2014 KPM

just desserts pic

may I have this dance?

I tried to dance with death last night
beneath a sky with no moonlight
although I felt a tinge of fright
I asked him to dance & he said “all right”

I tried to dance with death last night
gazed at him with eyes devoid of light
but his eyes burned with fire bright
as he spun me around with all his might

I tried to dance with death last night
though he joined me just to be polite
at last I’ve found a place that’s right
embraced by cold cruel arms so tight

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

may I have this dance

before dawn

on Thursday nights in bed, I think only of tomorrow
Friday being the one day I’m guaranteed to feel no sorrow
so I cozy up to Eeyore, arrange the pillow beneath my head
& heave a sigh of relief at being safe in my big bed

but once I fall asleep, something happens to me inside
my subconscious always takes me on the wildest ride
yeah, once I fall asleep, I lose the boundaries of home
in familiar but contradictory country I am sent to roam

at Dousha’s old house I walk through the open front door
the rooms & hallways are endless; they’re nothing like before
in the formal dining room are twin girls with bright red hair
though I’m stunned to see them, they act like they’ve always been there

they hurl themselves at my bare legs, planting kisses on my thighs
one of these girls looks “normal”, but the other has funny eyes
they clamor for my attention, but just one twin do I understand
the other twin speaks thickly, as if her words she can’t command

anyway, I hug them both, because they seem to know me
plus I’m curious – they claim there’s something they must show me
yet I cannot overcome the feeling of impending doom
& my feet are heavy as they drag me to the old guest room

a woman cries out behind me, & the twins both fade away
from the room I stand before I hear a guitar begin to play
my legs have turned to water – suddenly I feel fatigued
yet & still I go inside, cause I’m totally intrigued

he lies naked on the bed, the guitar barely covering his dick
Judy’s “man that got away” – the one whose death made me so sick
he looks just the way he used to – golden skinned with piercing eyes
& he’s laughing – damn him! – at my obvious surprise

“C’mere,” he says grinning, & pats the space beside him on the bed
I readily acquiesce (cause I always followed wherever he led)
as soon as I’m beside him, he lays the guitar on the floor
soon I’m naked in his arms – I’m a trusting 19 once more

“Bet ya miss me,” he whispers, his tongue invading my ear
“Bet ya learned that I was right – my soul is always near
Did ya think ya could escape? All too true was my decree:
Forever you’ll be mine, way beyond eternity.”

I dearly long to protest, but somehow I’ve lost my voice
& when he leads me to the kitchen, I follow – I’ve no choice!
in the kitchen he hands me a paintbrush, his big brown eyes mad with glee
& on the walls we paint scenes of gross depravity

magnum opus now completed, he fucks me yet again
we both scream through the saliva that’s sliding down my chin
the assault on my body was endless, twilight bathes the defaced room
so I grab my clothes & flee – my soul I can’t let him consume

in the driveway is a car – a Cadillac ragtop
sobbing with fear, over the door I nimbly hop
I am filled with questions: there’s no key…how do I drive?
but the car spirits me away, & I’m so thankful I’m still alive

my hands are on the wheel, but the car goes where it wants
passing people & places best forgotten, & all my other old haunts
at the corner of Hayden & Euclid I crash into a rock
when I awake, my head is sore, but from the crash, or the alarm clock?

copyright © 2012-2014 KPM

before dawn pic

Aphrodite’s child

at the tender age of ten
come the attentions of the men
merry monkeys who endeavoured to appear innocent
as they praised her parents for producing
“such a beautiful child!”
& her parents – wishing not to appear too proud
responded with “she pretty, but she wild!”

bony bare-legged black boys
made her gifts of their most-prized toys
& watery-eyed white boys wistfully wished
for a way to get her alone
(they wanted no witnesses when they asked to walk her home)
moody & mesmerizing
teasing & tantalizing
fully aware that she’s everybody’s baby
neither affirmative nor negative, always a murmured “maybe”

the boy next door is on the precipice of manhood
know-it-all 19 to her tentative 13
& goddess status is no guarantee
against infallibility
fooled by flowers & flattery she falls from the pedestal
eager to believe this is love
(unable to perceive it’s merely lust)
too soon she is forlorn & forgotten
her “love” reduced to ashes & dust

the powerful patriarch plays with thoughts of slaughter
of the upstart who dared to seduce his daughter
quietly the queen mother dissuades him
using her womanly wiles to persuade him
to hunt for an Hephaestus for their errant Aphrodite:
“lest this attention make her vainglorious,
before she develops appetites notorious!
already she’s caroused in the conjugal bed –
to save her face (& ours) she must be wed!”

the peeved papa searches for a suitor well-bred & well-read,
one who’ll welcome such a treasure to his lonely bachelor’s bed
still grieving, before she can find her voice
the goddess is girded to a man not of her choice
a slovenly adoring ass, incapable of original thought
like Judas, her father sold –
like a slave, she is bought

despite her outrage at her father’s wrong
her sense of filial duty remains strong
she decides to make a go of this life
& at first she is a wonderful wife
she cooks/she cleans/she hides her gloom
a lady in company, a whore in their bedroom
of course he’s happy with his lot
but she’s not – she needs another
& so determines to take a lover

in a greasy garage with oil on the floor
she stumbles on the key to desire’s door
fully equipped with all the arrogance of youth
he’s self-important & uncouth
yet free from all taint of sin, & – blessed bonus! –
a veritable virgin
her stars are lucky (or the gods are kind)
so without examining sub or conscious mind
eyes shining, lips swollen & wet,
she decisively draws him into her net

& he is willing, & he adores her
in abject abasement he grovels before her
in his eyes a kind of madness burns
but before she knows it, the tables have turned
now she’s hypnotized/mesmerized
a body enslaved & paralyzed
a heart beating hard with love & trust
a woman laid low on the alter of lust

her adoration makes her crazy
the constant worship makes him lazy
but he’s there:
to her & for her,
a ballsy sibyl that can do no wrong
seducing her & swamping her
with love’s sensual song

she is swept away from her stupid spouse
from father & family &
the hated husband’s house
o infidel! o infamy!
poisoned by passion & pride
convinced of invincibility
as long as he’s at her side
the world is theirs, for so she arranges
then Chance erupts, & everything changes

into their interlude falls cold white snow
& he dances with a demon
in a place she dare not go
he dances while she dreams & schemes
of a way to win him back,
but the demon brings a Darkness
that forebodes a future black

thunder & lightning, all that is frightening
is passed through the end of a phone
snow surrounds, then topples
Eros from his throne
the sea rages & swells
the sacred shell doth shatter
Death rescinds love
now her life does not matter

lamenting & lost
in a tempest she is tossed
& she drinks as she cries
she screams/she shrieks/she sighs
in vain she tries to understand
why the gods have withdrawn their hands
the Muses warn she must repent
before the Parent Gods relent

doomed by love
damned by her loss
she flees Olympus
the last line is crossed
so she wanders with whispering voices in her head
capering cacophonous demi-gods
on her journey to the Dead

bleeding/bruised/broken
she wanders without will
seeking potions sweet & noxious
to render heart & body still
a tightly entwined rope
around her slender saddened neck
surely somewhere, something or someone
can put this grief in check

in her woe she is wanton
open to forces beyond her ken
so she roams, restless & reckless
lying with many men
some are nice (& some are not)
most are total shits
something better soon must beckon
so one day she simply quits

she runs/she hides
she makes a brand new home
& her eyes reveal acceptance
of a life that’s lived alone
she buries herself with Art & books
her new life is quiet & pure
to strangers passing on the street
she appears serene & sure
& other lonely souls believe she’s found a magic cure

eyes downcast or hidden
she lives this way for many years
a helpful & happy exterior
swimming in solitary tears
& she dare not admit (especially to herself)
that life & love are passing
while she dwells on this dusty shelf
then one day the gods relent at last
& send her one who obliterates the past

on a hot & hazy morning
sun shining in her eyes
the Divinity appears behind her
transported from the skies
he smiles at her, & she is bewitched
he speaks & she listens, totally transfixed
his demeanor is somehow both gentle & grand
awed & acquiescent, she allows him to claim her hand

he guides her to the garden she’d created for herself
& there he does things to her
that divests the dust from the shelf
her body is a blank book that he writes in
her mind is a fountain that he delights in
then he tells her that he loves her
his voice confident & strong
the words deliver her from the darkness
that has hidden her heart for so long

the chains have been cut
the past has been banished
the monsters of memory that hounded her have vanished
all that once hurt her he has abolished
the demons that dogged her he destroyed & demolished
the goddess has been restored
no longer afraid or alone
in the heart of the Divinity
Aphrodite’s child has found a home

copyright © 1994 -2014 KPM

Lust