the boy with red laces

I saw a boy this morning
he had red laces in his shoes
his hair was lank & greasy
his right eye had a bruise

he wore a dirty sweatshirt
his jeans had a hole at the knee
& he shivered with the cold
as he shyly glanced at me

though the morning air was chilly
his forehead shone with sweat
as he timidly enquired
if I had a cigarette

I took out my menthol Sterlings
I placed them in his grimy hand
saying, “you can keep ‘em, dude,
‘s okay – I understand.”

he thanked me then he hurried off
this boy with red laces in his shoes
just another fragile human
with a face full of the blues

copyright © 2008-2014 KPM

red laces pic

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family follies

o the joys of family dysfunction!
sibling rivalry & riotous rambunction
a perfect house with manicured yard
a simple life that’s often hard
well hidden by a white picket fence
behind which nothing makes much sense
the daddy laughs, the mommy cries
& all the kiddies cover their eyes
with care the daddy’s head is bent
in his daily struggle to pay the rent
the mommy juggles many woes
to keep her kids in food & clothes
for the youngest child all life’s a game
the oldest child carries all the blame
& the middle child has no outlook
being often overlooked
voices raised in a fighting song
over who is right & who is wrong
the son is taught he’s free to choose
the daughters believe they’re doomed to lose
love & hate, cruel or kind
they’re family & forever intertwined

copyright © 2014 KPM

familyfollies pic

hotel dreams

‘s a bedraggled building
made of sandstone
where everyone lives
in a room of their own

its occupants have ceased
to hope for anything good
they’ve resigned themselves to dwelling
in this unsound neighborhood

there are car lots an’ pawn shops
gun shops an’ seedy bars
haunts of a sad-faced populace
who failed to grasp the stars

the hotel lobby reeks
of words left unspoken
an’ the porter’s like the elevator
eternally broken

the carpet’s seen better days
the stairwell walls are peeling
a once grand décor
that leaves you cold an’ unfeeling

here no one ever speaks
when they’re passing on the stairs
swamped by separate sorrows
they’ve no thought for other’s cares

the man who lost his fortune
shuns the woman bemoaning her youth
an’ the dragon-chasin’ couple
have invented their own truth

yet visitors are frequent
at the humble hotel dreams
here they find acceptance
in the sound of each other’s screams

copyright © 2014 KPM

hotel dreams pic

beam me up, Scotty!

jacked-up junkies
dirty drunkies
colleagues that’re ass-lickin’ flunkies

gutted cars
sleazy strip bars
stoners who claim they’ve come from Mars

steamin’ dog shit
damp blobs of spit
men who claim to love you before they hit

beam me up, Scotty
cuz planet Earth is whack
beam me up, Scotty
I’ll never ask you to come back

welfare mommas
baby daddy dramas
kids wanderin’ the streets in threadbare pajamas

teens in detention
workers on suspension
news headlines too awful to mention

street musicians
corrupt politicians
ordinary folk on desperate missions

beam me up, Scotty
I’m drownin’ in fear
beam me up, Scotty
cause I don’t like it here

copyright © 2014 KPM

beammeupscotty pic

an accidental touch from a lonely man

there’s not much light
in the tiny, dusty store
illumination comes
through the propped-open door
but the location’s convenient –
it’s on her way
so she pops in
most every day

the man behind the counter
has a face of dusky stone
every day he’s there
every day he’s all alone
she often idly wonders
what he opens up for
seems like she’s the only one
to ever frequent his store

he follows her round the shop
this might fill her with unease
were it not so obvious
that he’s only trying to please
yet whenever she comes in
be it morning or end of day
he rewards her with a smile
in place of words he’s scared to say

“would you like a paper?
a small cake for after tea?
today crisps are on special –
two bags for 50p”
he smiles as he bags her purchases
a paper & chopped pineapple in a can
his callused fingers brushing
across the back of her hand

she’s startled by the contact
was it deliberate, that touch?
“get a grip,” she tells herself
“sometimes you think too much”
yet that hand feels warm all day
affecting her attention span
that accidental touch
from an old ‘n lonely man

copyright © 2014 KPM

lonelyoldman pic