Sharp edge of poverty

We grew up on the sharp edge of poverty
rebel with a cause of our own
repelling authority, society, reality
followed a path of wildness sown.
They said, we had perfect hips
Was good for nothing but having kids
One dad, two, three, maybe four
Poverty cycle, repeating the poor.
We succeeded at failing, came top of our class,
Sipped on cider from our childhood flasks.
No need to worry, no need to fret,
At sixteen we become part of Britain’s great debt.
Teachers never bothered, the head didn’t care,
No one even noticed when we stopped going there.
We wore indifference across our lips
prostitute red, layer on layer, glossy and slick.
And when time suddenly came, exams taken,
Sixteen went past, future forsaken
Some of us fell, hips wide and bearing,
New life created in a career of caring.
Some of us paused in a psychedelic dream
Locked between worlds with adulthood to fear.

Me? I had failure at hand, expectations to break,
So I picked up the books and read by the lake.
They said I couldn’t, I was all hips and blue eyes, that’s all,
I accepted their words, I’d most probably fall.
I didn’t aim for the top, just a life with a view,
A place where I’d happily dream skies of blue.
They said “You’ll work in a shop, and not a thing more”
And soon I was a manager, they were right for sure…
But I kept going forward had stereotypes to destroy,
Whispered through days kept my dreams coy.
I climbed and rose, walked on painted tippy toes,
No place for the poor done good, I wrote my own life show.

There’s a glass roof for women unbreakable you see,
An etched line for the men, a reality,
not a battle of wits, wisdom or intelligence,
No, its a line that demands female defiance…

But poverty has no glass, just hips
and glossy red lips,
No succeeding, just expectations of failing,
You either fail at school and fight for a life,
Or fail at babies and become no-ones wife.
My roots are seeped in the stench of poverty,
Skyscrapers, someone else’s reality,
They set a standard, the poor girls target,
dreams are only for the rich they say
use the gifts God gave you that day…

They said I was good for nothing
all blue eyes and hips for kids to bring…

My Dad said, girl, do you see that star?
No I said, we ain’t taught to look that far…
He said, keep walking till you have that in sight,
That my girl, is your glass ceiling, that, is your light…

Karen Hayward ©2018

Image found via wordpress library 

We grew up on the sharp edge of poverty
rebal with a cause of our own
repelling authority, society, reality
followed a path of wildness sown.
They said, we had perfect hips
Was good for nothing but having kids
One dad, two, three, maybe four
Poverty cycle, repeating the poor.
We succeeded at failing, came top of our class,
Sipped on cidar from our childhood flasks.
No need to worry, no need to fret,
At sixteen we become part of Britain’s great debt.
Teachers never bothered, the head didn’t care,
No one even noticed when we stopped going there.
We wore indifference across our lips
prostitute red, layer on layer, glossy and slick.
And when time suddenly came, exams taken,
Sixteen went past, future forsaken
Some of us fell, hips wide and bearing,
New life created in a career of caring.
Some of us paused in a psychodelic dream
Locked between worlds with adulthood to fear.

Me? I had failure at hand, expectations to break,
So I picked up the books and read by the lake.
They said I couldn’t, I was all hips and blue eyes, that’s all,
I accepted their words, I’d most probably fall.
I didn’t aim for the top, just a life with a view,
A place where I’d happily dream skies of blue.
They said “You’ll work in a shop, and not a thing more”
And soon I was a manager, they were right for sure…
But I kept going forward had stereotypes to destroy,
Whispered through days kept my dreams coy.
I climbed and rose, walked on painted tippy toes,
No place for the poor done good, I wrote my own life show.

There’s a glass roof for women unbreakable you see,
An etched line for the men, a reality,
not a battle of wits, wisdom or intelligence,
No, its a line that demands female defiance…

But poverty has no glass, just hips
and glossy red lips,
No succeeding, just expectations of failing,
You either fail at school and fight for a life,
Or fail at babies and become no-ones wife.
My roots are seeped in the stench of poverty,
Skyscrapers, someone else’s reality,
They set a standard, the poor girls target,
dreams are only for the rich they say
use the gifts God gave you that day…

They said I was good for nothing
all blue eyes and hips for kids to bring…

My Dad said, girl, do you see that star?
No I said, we ain’t taught to look that far…
He said, keep walking till you have that in sight,
That my girl, is your glass ceiling, that, is your light…

Karen Hayward ©2018

Image found on pinterest

No pin upon my atlas.

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My map stands empty,

no pins to leave my footprints

across

the

globe

and the seven wonders.

I cannot boast of a thousand cultures

swimming first hand through my veins,

nor can my tongue speak of any language

other than the one given by my mother

as she enriched my palette with

poverty’s favorite dishes.

I’ve not seen a multitude of sunsets kissing

new horizons nor watched as the moon spills

pearlescent love across lakes, upon oceans, upon rivers…

Upon earth’s most glorious waterfalls.

I’ve never attended a grand ball,

or danced across a stately hall.

My memories are not decorated in cultures finest,

embossed in pearls encrusted in diamonds.

I am not cultured.

I was not taught the fundamentals of elocution,

I cannot call myself a lady.

My name is not a sought after rose fragranced in class

and watered with the travels of a Prada bag.

I guess I am poor…

and every morning I thank the gods for this blessing

and each evening

as I watch the same moon ascend the skies

I thank the heavens in my addressing.

I have no pins trotting across an atlas,

just the essence of my soul that walks with

each that has crossed my path.

I cannot speak in the tongue of others,

only the tongue of humanity. I am cultured only

in the depths of trust and loyalty, taught

only to give and never to take to smile in kindness

and never be fake. I’m better than no man,

and no worse then a Queen, taught to work

hard towards all that I dream. I will

give you my last, I will give you my first

whilst quenching my soul and its insatiable thirst.

I’ve no pins, no seven wonders, no silk or cashmere,

champagne is yet to cross my lips and still I’ve never

learned to twirl from my hips. I lack culture,

eyes empty and mind filled with the

common mans dream,

I’m better than no man, rich or poor,

and worse than no Queen on land or ashore.

Karen Hayward ©2017

Image and words

 

Blind faith in the poor.

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I saw a man today picking litter of the floor,

a dog at his side I guessed they were poor.

He never said a word just got on with the job

never seen such a quiet and beautiful dog.

They say think of others and not just of you, so

I prayed he’d go unnoticed beneath a cloak of blue.

I watched him move his stuff to form a perfect pile

it took a few minutes, the dog waited all the while.

I watched the cars go by and people walk the street,

everyone too busy to even stop and greet.

He never paused to look around he busied with his hands

He stooped a little, walked in pain, yet tall, as if he

owned the land.

I watched this man rummage through the bins

they tell me feel no pity, for his cause are his sins.

‘He probably is an alchy, a druggie there’s no doubt.’

About this man in honesty they know absolutely nout.

‘He brought it on himself, addiction is a choice.’

Your self righteous words founded in fear spilling in your voice.

So I prayed you wouldn’t see him, blinded to your eyes,

for i’ll never change your thoughts no matter how hard I try.

I watched him fill his bag and feed that little dog,

I whispered to the skies, thank you, God.

They wandered on their way, slowly up the road

bin bag filled to the top with all he could hold.

 

Karen Hayward ©2016 (image and words)

 

 

 

 

Lost in a sea of blood.

Fucked up and broken the devil has spoken,

a black hole of despair and nobody cares.

There’s drugs and there’s hate at

those red flaming gates

and the horned one calls

to those that will fall.

He offers them drink,

to

watch

as

they

sink.

He takes from their soul…

a bit at a time,

feeds them back life

built upon crime.

And none of them see,

they think they are free,

as the devil moves their hanging strings

hanging down from his flaming wings.

Poor no more.

A tale of the times,

of unspeakable crimes.

The rise of his word,

above the screams can be heard,

from the tops of the buildings

where they watch for the killings.

The poor on the ground,

what a muttering sound.

Confused and alive,

no one hears their cries.

They’re not the poor of the poor,

they’re the poor that did more.

They worked all the hours,

grasped hold of the power.

They bettered themselves,

looked after their health.

And the man on his throne

did not see as they roamed,

as they heard and they saw,

what it was to be poor,

in this world full of law.

So they rose,

when?

nobody knows.

They stood side by side,

refusing to hide,

held their heads up on high,

no longer they sigh.

They screamed through the tops,

battled the cops.

There was one there was two,

the numbers soon grew.

A revolution of sort,

some of them caught

held up in a cell,

still they did yell.

The coming was soon,

at midnight? at noon?

The poor had a voice,

the poor made a choice,

they were poor,

for sure,

but they knew what they knew,

were no longer a few.

Together they stood,

as they always should

an abundance of mass,

they had listened in class.

They stood for it all,

they refused to fall,

the poor are the poor,

one day,

no more.