The seaside lad I knew.

Whispering like a dormant field mouse,

but roaring like a fucking lion.

You loved from your soul and nothing less,

And happily fucked up and cleaned up the mess.

To be loved by you in any form

was protection, an absolute norm.

And I look at Tish,

and I know the wings you spread about her,

No one’s gonna get there,

not with you about her.

Fire in your spirit that burns throughout your skin,

A devil’s little angel always teetering on sin.

The girls they fell about your feet,

swooning, every time you meet.

You were fucking fit

And boy did you know it.

Yet to be your girl

was to be your world.

And now age has fell upon us creeping up the rear,

and murmurs of your name I do often hear.

You left us far behind, a memory of your past,

Your life began unfurling all so very fast.

Your whisper still is there, it hides beneath the roar,

and your name now opens up metaphorical doors.

You reached beyond the skies,

never scared to stop and try.

You walk another beat that drums to just a few,

you’re a nutter, braver still,

but always the seaside lad I knew.

Karen Hayward ©2016


When was the first time (outside of school) that you discovered you had a natural skill at something?

Mine was when I was twenty and working as a retail assistant in Watford, Herts. A huge post office where i spent all day working the till, filling displays and chatting to customers. Until the boss decided he wanted to branch out and open a little photo booth. There were five of us, and I prayed to every god they would choose anyone but me to be trained up. The idea of working on a big machine that whirled and twirled and was filled with chemicals filled me with dread, more than dread. It kept me awake at night. Did my manager sense my fear? Was it a scent that followed me around? Who knows but two weeks later i was sitting beside him in a training centre…shaking. Eight hours, that’s all they give you, just eight hours to become trained…it was lost on me. However back in the shop i was thrown in at the deep end, here have a booth, some chemicals and a black bag to change papers. I screwed up more than once, the machine screwed up constantly, as the sun disappeared from sight and everyone stopped to look i was elbow deep in chemicals…it was not good.
Across the road, directly, was a Snappy Snaps, now they knew how to produce photos, i didn’t. The boss man, would come over and pretend to buy a drink, i’d see him watching me, smirking as i cocked up, again, watching as irate customers shouted at me, as work colleagues hid in corners letting me take the fall. Then, one day, one of his girls just appeared, in front of me, handed me a form ‘Here fill this out.’ Was this a joke? ‘Nah’ she said, he’s been watching you, and we have a vacancy come up, he wants you…to this day i have no idea what he saw in me, but am thankful that he saw something.
He didn’t show me how to do things, he told me why we do them. The result was i learned,  no more mistakes. Whilst i learned to tame these machines, i made friends…more importantly, i discovered, i discovered i could see colours, i discovered chemicals weren’t so scary, i excelled…i excelled, i was head hunted as senior printer at another store, the entire lab was mine :-), i explored Photoshop,  i fixed the machines, i gave instructions…all because that one man, that one day, saw something in me, that i didn’t know was there. :-). I was head hunted further, back to my home town, trainee assistant manager…the store was almost mine.

Mummy, what is love?

One day my precious daughter will ask

‘Mum what is love?’ and I will say,

Love is everything and love is nothing.

Love is a trust that reaches beyond our

Realm, far into another universe. Love

is a respect that runs so deep constantly

Changing, growing and evolving. Love

is loyalty when the money is gone and

The nights are cold. Love is energy.

But most of all love is your reflection,

In the eyes of your partner. Love is equal

The scales never tipping, love is complete

Without regrets. Love makes you strong

Not weak. Love is pure not tainted.