Whispering clouds

3D somehow becomes
2D and I am
transported through time
to when clouds
were shapes
and the sky
was an endless
Terra tugs at my core
caressing lost strands
of self
as my inner child
sings nursery rhymes
fit for a killer.
Death lays all around me.
Abandoned graves
aging trees
Adulthood on the
lost lips of kids as
they grasp at the
milk cartons
and for a moment
I see St Nicholas
flying high through
cornflower blue skies
I close my eyes
for a last moments
“please wake me
from this dream”
but no one hears
I am four and
that God does
not exist…

… I lay now,
supine in a
moments serenity
reflecting my daily
wish to wake from
this dream
they call life…

Karen Hayward ©2018

Image found via wordpress

Ever a sky as blue…

Has there ever been a sky painted
so deep a blue as that day
I was sat upon the melting black tar
poking holes for the adults to despair at.
The sun, a ball of magnificent flames
branding his name into the pale skins
of the wild children out from dawn till dusk,
in the days when the street lights kept time
and text messages came in the form
of the smallest children pinging
between playspots through the
Abandoned streets of poverty.

A sky so dark it fiercely roared
so bright it encaptured imaginations
so angry it promised storms
yet no cloud in sight
just the gentle swish of a summers breeze
tickling through the cornfields
and the distant echo of solitude
as we melted into our surroundings,
languid and swollen with inactivity
as we collectively prayed for the rains,
in the form of pennies found for a new hose pipe
or paddling pool, water guns or balloons so we could hydrate our souls.

But I digress into the days canvas
was there ever a sky as blue as that day?
Empty streets scattered with the remains
of the lunchtime rush,
Abandoned, thud – less footballs
crying dolls in plastic buggies with empty bottles
and dry nappies dressed in woolen tights,
bonnets and dresses fiercely wrapped in knitted blankets
… And bikes left foolishly strewn across street corners.

A bike lays abandoned,
shroud in the rose Bush shade
where I retreat for a moments breath
I am five,
I am timid and shy
and yet to learn how to ride.
Was there ever a sky so blue
as that day
no one there to applaud or cheer
or push or balance me
no one there to celebrate my
coming of age.

… Just that roaring blue sky
So deep it embraced my
mind in tender kisses,
etching itself into the recesses
of memory, between the
spearmint mojos and daisy chains ready to be re-painted
in the drop of a moment…

Just me and the whistling heat shimmering
across my horizon dancing between
busy buzzing bees and fluttering delights
Just me and those burning handlebars
beneath soft tender fingers
just me and the scorching seat against bare legs
just me and peddles never known
Just me and that bike.

I forgot to breathe for a millisecond
of time,
as I lost myself in the bikes motion
beneath that roaring sky
So dark I wondered
who had gotten the heavens so angry
So dark I believed the end was imminent
So dark, my inner voice rose
drawn to it’s promises
of magnificent power…

… Has there ever been a sky
so blue, as that day…

Karen Hayward ©2018

Image and words

Without shoes my soul flies.

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I promised…someone or something,

perhaps a relative,

my dad,

or my  Grandad lost in spirit.

I promised,

God or the devil,

or earth’s spirits maybe,

or it could even have been

the clouds as they skipped merrily

on by. I promised….Someone,

myself perhaps…

No matter my age;

no matter my dress,

my hair,

I would never truly leave behind

my inner child.

I would never forget the sky as I swung higher

and higher a swarm of fear

of excitement

of life

igniting throughout my soul screaming for release as my feet

push out as my knees pull under as the clouds become closer,

the sun warms my face….I promised…myself perhaps…

even grown up shoes are made to be slipped off so as to feel the earth between our toes.

Karen Hayward ©2017

Image Karen Hayward ©2017

Diamonds falling from the sky.

The one time of year when glitter falls from the skies.

I huddle by the fire that burns so very high.

My fingers are cold and my sight filled with gold

and everyone’s here the young and the old.

A penny for the guy that burns up in flames

and I whisper goodbye to the one that I named.

Orange flickers, sizzling sparklers and flying ash

the wood begins to cackle and suddenly crash.

It’s dark and i’m scared and feel all alone

and I wonder if it’s time for us to go home.

I reach for his hand, look for his coat

a sob is caught there in the back of my throat.

The crowd is so big and I am so small

I slip on the mud and i’m scared I will fall.

A hand reaches out and touches my arm

and suddenly I feel an overwhelming calm.

I’m up on his shoulders having a rest,

‘So we don’t lose you again.’ he says in jest.

I look to the dark as silent diamonds fly

such beauty, I simply cry.

Days of Summer.


I remember when I would lay on the scorching ground,

small stones leaving their mark against my dirty grubby skin.

marching across my toes in a blazing glory,

as I laid on the ground, imagining another story.

I recall the sky was a deep, deep blue. So deep it looked

angry and alone forcing all of its emotions into the

burning fire ball. I would lay there, block out my world,

just me alone with the wild dandelions, I was that girl.

I would often walk barefoot across the black burning tar,

the heat penetrating my soles, tingling I would hop from

one foot to another. At night I would sit and pick out

little stones and splinters of glass no doubt.

I kept jars full of wishes and boxes full of snails

I let ants walk across my skin and lady birds

crawl over my fingers. I made them homes in the dirt

and when they died I cried true tears of hurt

for a second, a fleeting moment then I spun around

and hopped some more beneath that deep and angry sky.

The summer came, the summer went,

and this is how my days were spent.

Sunday…the day of memories.

are the day,
When my world used to stop,
We’d sweep
and we’d spray,
And clean the week away.
With sweet tea and toast,
I loved Sunday the most.
The Beatle’s the carpenters, and day dream believers,
As you whispered,
Behind me,
To avoid the deceivers.
And when we were done
We’d walk in the sun.
running, laughing, loving. I was a child,  a teenager, all in that day.
When you made me stop,
To let, my heart play.
I wasn’t the rebel,
I wasn’t in trouble,
Or in a muddle.
We picked flowers,
From the gardens,
And got sand in our toes,
Sometimes we picked shells,other times, pretty coloured stones.
Beautiful memories,
that i add
my throne.

Seven little sheep, to help me sleep.

I still remember the long coach trip,
Hot and muggy,
I curled into a tiny ball,
My head resting on his legs,
As the wheels turned,
Pulling us closer to home.
All of us together,
My father,
And me.
He saved us
In the dead of night,
On new years eve,
It was a welcome reprieve.

Four years passed,
You were an image,
Of the long forgotten past.
I remember the station,
So many faces,
My tiny little heart, racing.
You handed out hugs and delicate kisses,
To him,
And her.

Blood was the first thing i saw,
Standing at that door,
As intoxication filled my eyes
And i hung back, shy.
You gave out gifts,
Our every wish,
And brought what money
Cannot buy.
that night, i cried.

And four became two,
My heart turned blue.
Alone in the dark,
The dark biker parked,
Watching, waiting
To tear us apart.

Alone and afraid,
Our futures were made.
When darkness fell,
And from the depths of sleep,
I yelled,
He, with the blackberry hair,
Whispered to me,
‘It’s ok, i still care.’
he taught me to count,
With the numbers i knew,
The little white sheep,
that kept away hell.

I remember the nights,
when i was full of fright,
Without brothers or sisters,
To make it alright.
You took away her,
You took away him,
And you took away him, with the blackberry hair.
I was just a little girl,
With a strawberry blonde curl.