They’re Catholic, does it matter?

They’re Catholic, does that matter? I say it like it does, like the cross in their window bears their souls, but where was God when she fell? Some people spill love from their pores in caring smiles and mindful nods. Her twinkle near most left that day, and for a moment I saw doubt in his eyes. He looks like St Nicholas, smiles like an old pirate and looks at his wife as though he has found the grail, I suspect he has. I suspect unbeknown to him, them, all of us, he has found that which is more holy, more powerful and more beautiful than any other earthly matter. Their love is different. The passion comes in his early morning jolts to the allotment, the way he stops at the corner looks back and waves like a mad man drowning at sea, anything to see that twinkle in his gals eye. She aged, over night, but her beauty never faded and her belief never drained. She smiles now with those sparkly blue eyes lined with tears as she hobbles past on his arm, him in cut of shorts, a baggy shirt buttoned up high and white spangly legs… They’re catholic, devout, they go to my church that I pretend to forget to attend and as I sit beneath the muted blues of an evening sky and watch him wander by I wonder. They’re Catholic. Does it matter?

Karen Hayward ©2018

Aleppo…is it wrong that I sometimes despise humanity?


Is it wrong that I often despise humanity?
The falsity of manipulation painted on faces
drenched in chemical fragrance to numb the
fresh stench of faeces. Everyone scrambling
for the pearly gates, lists in arse pocket detailing
the souls they used as stepping stones to reach
utopia within their poisoned minds.The false
echo of television, propaganda spoon fed to
the masses. Is it wrong that some days I despise
humanity? Hate speech wrapped in a silk bow
and sealed with a kiss of death, as children starve
for our fears. As children die for our silence…
worse still, as children survive for our ignorance
such sadness they must know.
Blind rationality, fools leading
the fools where is the compassion in my fellow
human? All out? Upon land upon oceans upon pixels…
not our problem. Not our problem. Not our problem.
Since when did human lives become…not, our, problems.

Karen Hayward ©2017
Photo prompt Photo credit Maricris Cabrera

Old man.

Old man will you one day share with me your name
now that you no longer look at me eyes filled with shame?
Will you bless upon my ears the whisper of your voice
and the beauty of a smile I believe you have long forgotten is a choice.
Old man, I have time and smiles for everyday,
Let’s work on this together, would that be okay?

Karen Hayward ©2016

I saw you. 

*inspiration, an elderly gentleman that lives further up my road, he early is in pain and clearly struggles. Over he years I’ve seen him treated badly in my local shop, and every time I see him I try to greet him, but he ducks away, looks away, hides away. 
Old man, for a moment at the door you permitted me a glimpse upon your soul. A sacred moment you could not defy. So much pain I saw in those eyes. For now I have reason to continue my fight. Old man, I see the shame as you shuffle the street, too proud now for eyes too meet. But I did not look away and you did not look away, I gave to you the only thing I have of value, my kindness as I stepped ahead of you and pulled open that door, for you. And looking directly at you, into the eyes of an old man that was once a young man, I simply smiled. I want only that you know that I see you. 
Karen Hayward ©2016

Hungry ducks, hungry hearts.



You stood back for a moment watching

as the hungry ducks swarmed around

my daughters ankles. Beaks open,

ready for fresh bread.

Your offer was hesitant and full of faith

as you handed her the bag of bread. Her

eyes lit up, she had more food for

the snapping beaks, your eyes lit up

in response.

Karen Hayward ©2016. (Words and Image.)


Today I was overly aware of how grumpy, rude and despondent people are. Which got me thinking about those people I came across who were actually the opposite, who were nice, friendly happy. This got me thinking I want to write about these people, I want to recall these people. So this is the first poem in my collection of nice people poems!!


If I were to hedge a bet I’d say Glasgow, that strong heavy accent was like music to my ears. Eyes locking eyes a single moment in time. Recognition. Mannerisms that meant so much to me and so little to others. That gentle smile as I walked away and you called after me, harsh replaced with soft, a fleeting face among thousands as you whispered, have a happy valentines…

Karen Hayward ©2016