a Christmas nightmare

the holiday scene before me
is fuzzy & unclear
muted voices, blurry faces
why are these people here?
the long table is covered
in shiny bottles of Christmas cheer
so I pour myself a tall one
hopin’ to drink away the fear

the Christmas cactus on the mantle
has one lonely little bloom
faint sounds of 80s disco
float from some unseen ballroom
in this house I’m a stranger
lookin’ for a familiar room
while outside lurks winter darkness
skies that promise snow & doom

& then I feel his hands
even before I hear his voice
I can’t resist – I turn around
because I have no choice
“you’re mine,” he says, “you’re mine
you cannot run, you cannot flee
eternally you’re mine
always you’ll belong to me”

he pulls me close to him
my freezing hands he clasps
icy kisses on my neck
like Cleopatra’s asp
our breath mingles
in tortuous rasps
& all the while he pulls
he grips, he grasps

am I in Cleveland?
am I in Dundee?
where did he come from?
what’s happenin’ to me?
“Merry Christmas,” he says, “you’re mine
mine for all eternity
I shall always be with you,
forever you’ll belong to me.”

copyright © 2018 KPM

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interior designs

there are always has options
another road, a different way
if you shove fear out the door
you’ll triumph on another day

it’s not impossible:
the right decision can be made
but only if you’re willing
to step out of the shade

be brave & buoyant
as you stand in the sun
unafraid & unwavering
before anyone

make your own mark
design your own legacy
believe in yourself
embracing flight can set you free

copyright © 2017 KPM

 

as the storm approaches

everywhere I look
as far as my eyes can see
everywhere I look
there’s another memory

when the sun is hiding
when skies are fat with storm clouds gray
I remember all those summers
the tunes that we would play

something simple I’ll be doing
hoovering or mopping the floor
when – unexpectedly – I hear
your laughter at my door

I remember washing the car
while you drank beer on the deck
asleep, I often dream
of the taste of salt on your neck

I don’t know why I love you
I’m oft unsure if you love me
so far apart we are
love is futility

sometimes I wish I didn’t love you
I wish the past would set me free
but you’re the keeper of all my secrets
so I need you to love me

copyright © 2017 KPM

haiku for the absent

I wear your t-shirt
cotton as soft as your hands
your smell still lingers

💔💔💔💔

Heart 80s Breakfast
songs that bring good memories
I can see your smile

💔💔💔💔

walking down the road
was someone who looked like you
my heartbeat halted

💔💔💔💔

I still take pictures
of work done in my garden
nowhere to send them

💔💔💔💔

in love with darkness
dreams unlock the door to you
all I want is sleep

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

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

home for Christmas

“c’mere, you,” he says
with that endearing, crooked grin
“damn, I’ve missed you….how long has it been?
you know what I’m here for, don’t think of it as a sin
now, how about invitin’ a fella in?”

weary & wary
she opens the door
soundlessly he enters, glidin’ above the polished floor
“you look annoyed,” he jokes, “like this is some hated chore,
please don’t be that way – I just wanted to see you once more.”

he pulls her to him,
kisses her, strokes her hair
they collapse into an overstuffed chair
clothes fall with many a guttural swear
as she drowns in memories of a love that was rare

“c’mere, you,” he says
as at the end she pulls away
the room filling with a murky smoke of gray
in horror she watches as he starts to decay
& she struggles for the strength to hold the past at bay

copyright © 2016 KPM

home-for-christmas

as October approaches

as she labours beneath
a bright September sky
she realises it’s truly autumn
& tells herself she will not cry
because the days grow shorter
because guilty thoughts berate
because the anniversary approaches
of an event which changed her fate

her face is blank
as she diligently pulls the weeds
trying her hardest to forget
those last unkind words & deeds
because she cannot bear it,
that memory of how she cried
flashbacks of the ringing phone
which brought the news of how he’d died

she’s determined to be happy
as she cuts her patch of grass
though fleetingly she wonders
how many years must pass
before her guilt is erased
before grief makes its retreat
before his face fades from her dreams
& her atonement is complete

copyright © 2015 KPM

as October approaches

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

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