The days when…

I remember a time when all I
could cook was toast.
At the very most.
toast and jam.
Which pleased my elders,
As they flew down memory lane.
Karen Ann bread and jam.
It’s all she ate then,
It’s all she eats now.

I remember a time when
It was you in the kitchen,
Bitching,
because it was never me,
I used to run and flee
when the pans came out
and our dad would shout.

I remember calling you up,
to find out how to bake a potato,
Yep,
a potato.
Because I didn’t know.
And how to make
cup cakes too. . .

At first, she, would make me
Rhubarb crumble to take home,
I certainly never moaned.
Dad fed me
at every opportunity,
Always ringing to see
whether i was free.

Then I realised I missed
real food,
I missed my Dads dinners.
I missed vegetables,
bolognaise,
I missed that the most.
My Dad made one of which to boast.

So I set out to cook
didn’t use a book.
There was always
the chip shop,
If it came out a flop.

I remember a time
I tell my daughter,
as i take fruit strudel
from the oven
turning cheesy scones,
A quick stir of the thick
tomato sauce speckled with basil. . .
I remember a time
when your Grandad let me be,
so I could play,
till the day that I was ready.
I remember a day when I couldn’t cook,
not even with a book.

Karen Hayward ©*2014*

Supine in a moments serenity

3D somehow becomes

2D and I am

transported through time

to when clouds

were shapes

and the sky

was an endless

playground.

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

reprieve

“please wake me

from this dream”

but no one hears

I am four and

discovering

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

Blue eyes Husky

Old man up my road
owns a white
Siberian husky.
He pounds along
the path chasing
cats, pulling old man
here, there
everywhere.
His bark is fierce
splits atoms
demands attention.

Old man up the road
pauses at our gate,
for Husky blue eyes
searches for his
Princess blue eyes and
he finds her.

Husky stands tall
with his front paws
perched atop the
Black iron gate.
Head bowed.
He does not bark,
jump, skip or
dance with
excitement.
He patiently waits.

Small girl squeels
with delight
‘our friend, mummy’
she looks to me
for permission.

Permission granted.

Small girl walks steadily
to the gate leaving
behind her fears
and anxiety.
Husky holds his position.
Pausing a foot away
she reaches out small
tender fingers…

Husky smells, a small
dance in his back paws
as her fingers delve
deep into his fur
they rub heads for
a split second
then husky is calm
blue eyes searching
blue eyes, she smiles.

Old man tells me
he ain’t never seen husky
like this with no one…
She must be special he says.

Old man knows.
Husky knows.
I know.

One day she too will know.

Karen Hayward ©2018

Image and words ♥

Snow day wishes…

Cream clouds
crystalline wishes
diamond blankets
and snowflake kisses

A silent hush
glittered fantasies
Infinite sprinkles
Snow dream realities.

Blushed cheeks
Cold toes
Thick gloves
And a snowman nose.

United play
Giggles delight
Tears to be cried
Snowball fights.

Hot choc and ‘mallows
Festive shows
Snuggly blankets
The after snow, glow.

Karen Hayward ©2017

No claim to the image 

Market scent. . .

Technicolor legs, plastic bags, the bustle of life,

some striped blue, some striped white.

Apple scent hung in the air, angry wasps,

greedily, hovering ready to fight.

Men shouted “Bananas,

come and get your bananas”

in that cocky London accent that felt like honey

being sung across a crowded room.

On sunny days voices echoed above laughter

And when rain fell, the clip clapping of shoes

Surpassed the clip clapping of tongues.

Burgers sizzled, onions frying

cheap vinegar sold as ketchup in

Manky souviettes. Culture? Perhaps.

In among the faces I see hints of my

of second home.

I learned here of a world beyond my own.

But never beyond my Dad,

lost in market scents

Wandering the rainbow hue of humanity,

reaching stars, grabbing at his hand…

Only it never was his hand….How one girl

Could get lost so any times among row

upon row of plastic covered stalls

Is beyond me…The beating of my heart

as the hand was not his,

not his large fingers holding me,

not his warmth not his touch…Somehow in those crowds

Among the legs too busy too stop,

The bustle of voice the bantered rhyme,

Angels, is all i ever found.

Karen Hayward ©2017

Luscious puddles.

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A timeless crackle of air
the heavy draw of rain,
pitter pattering life’s
concert, a symphony
played before a lit up
arena, the skies roar
their encouragement.
Waves of water
cascading
into luscious
green grass.

I walk for a moment bare foot
feel the rain on my skin
and the thunder in my soul.

Karen Hayward (C)2017
Image found on pinterest

The good ole days…

img_20160419_220347.jpg
I remember a time when I was young
When us kids went outside for fun.
Our mums drank tea, had a natter
Their laughs echoing over the kids chatter.
The men earned honest money, with hard graft
They were the days, but they didn’t last.
 
Daffodils breaking through the warming earth,
As the promise of spring filled the street with mirth.
We wore hand me down clothes and real leather shoes,
Played in the growing corn, had lunch on the kerb.
We played kerby and footy bulldog and chase
Everything we did was always a race
 
Summer days in the summer haze
The field of corn lined with trees, no hint of a breeze
Daisy chain ropes that reached to the skies,
Dandelion clocks, oh how time flies.
Purple fingers, tell tale lips,
Blackberry pies with apple bits
 
Bonfire night, the woolies are out,
In before dark the mothers did shout.
Sparklers, fireworks, penny for the guy,
Halloween sweeties an endless supply.
We play on the cornfield, so empty and bare,
Its hard to remember what they grew there.
 
Snowmen so big we stood in awe, then
took turns aiming for the highest score.
One in each garden, some on the path,
A pile of wet socks, gloves, hats and scarves.
In the cornfield trenches were dug, ammo created
The older ones always dominated.
I remember the cornfield swaying in the breeze
Before they laid brick, took away the trees
Everyone got busy, the air grew stale
And nobody noticed when the kids grew pale.
 
Karen Hayward ©2017 (Image and words)

Garage roofs. Memories.

image

When I was young my brother taught me all the places to hide so as to avoid the wrath of our mum. She once came in from work and on seeing that there was washing up still needing doing she stood at the back door and smashed plate after plate after bowl. The cupboards were bare. My brother is just a year older than me, we have the same blue eyes and pale skin and soft temperament. He taught me to shimmy up between the ‘Turkish’ garage and ours, ‘don’t worry about the blackberry thorns’, he said as he trampled them down. ‘Just shimmy up’, he said. Climbing up was easy, we would lay on the roof and watch planes snaking through deep blue skies. She never could reach us up there and she soon forgot what it was she had been planning to punish me for. I missed many a dinner in those days, often waiting until after dark when i was alone, before I let the tears fall as the realisation hit, he had taught me to get up but never how to get down again. These were the days when I forgot my childhood and aged beyond my years. Gaining a wisdom that would become the essence of my soul.

Karen Hayward ©2016

Superman can you teach me to fly?

Never forget. Life has this way of bashing our childhood innocence out of us with a sledgehammer and power saw leaving us fucked up, old, boring and without spirit. For some people this is the path they long for and good on them if this is case. It’s not for me. I’ve been there, trapped inside a mind that isn’t allowed out to play, trapped inside a reality that refuses to allow any kind of fantasy. I can’t remove these iron bars I still lack that key, but until then my spirit will slip between the bars and spread its wings among the clouds.

This morning coming back from the school run I saw the same Mum I see every day half dragging a mini gang of young kids in their uniforms up the road, she’s tired it hangs heavy in her eyes, this morning I saw her smile for the first time since the beginning of this school year.

Let me set the scene, i’m walking slowly down the road, dawdling cos my muscles are all pretty broken today, i’m thinking about how the yellow and red tulip looks like a flame when I hear the kid shout out…

Boy: Superman! Hi Superman! (He’s looking directly at me and suddenly I realise he is speaking to me….my Superman T-shirt to be more specific). 

Me: Hi…..(I’m Superman I can’t ignore him!) 

Boy: Super……(he’s not sure what to call me, he can see i’m female, but can’t find the female version of Superman, so he sticks with it) man, Superman, can I ask a question? (He’s past me now and is walking backwards, his Mum is still dragging him up the road….I say dragging in a nice way)

I stop and turn to face him, his face is a picture, he’s grinning ear to ear.

Boy: Can you teach me to fly?

Me: Not today, my cloak is in the wash. 

Boy: Can you teach me another day?

Me: So long as my cloak is clean and I have it with me I can….

And that’s when I see her smiling, he has his Mothers smile, she’s now half dragging and half giggling. She still looks tired but far less stressed. His three sisters and brother are all smiling too. They’re happy.

Boy: Yes!! Bye Superman! 

Me: Bye kiddo, have a super day at school kids!

I hear him screaming ‘Bye Superman’. until they pass around the corner at the end of the road. In that instant I am reminded of the days when Super heroes meant everything to me, in a world where I could not trust anyone, I could at the very least believe in the hope that Super heroes offer.  It reminded me of the innocence of childhood, an innocence that for some is escapism and for others, simply a world they wish to believe in, either way his innocence is beautiful and my soul is blessed, if only for a moment to have seen such beauty.

 

Karen Hayward ©2016