The good ole days…

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)

Walk of shame.

6am Saturday morning and I watch the Waif’s and strays wandering the vomit filled streets of shame.  White shirt man checks his watch and stares at the concrete whilst plunging his other hand deep into his left pocket. Anything to avoid eye contact with the arguing homeless couple. She cries, her screams tired and lost he silently takes something from them and they continue up the road laden down with coats and bags, everything they are is right there with them, they hide nothing they are everything. I wonder who’s bed white shirt man has just left as he walks, the walk of shame, his shoes tapping the concrete calling to the devil.

Karen Hayward ©2016

Blind faith in the poor.



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)





Self absorbed in a vortex of reflections.

When you taught me …
Say please, to say thank you, to be grateful, to be polite.
When you taught me to always smile, to speak softly, to help,
to at the very least offer, to save a seat, to give up a seat.
When you taught me the importance of clearing my plate…even the bits I didn’t like.
You never told me why. You said, one day I would know and to at the very least try.

You never told me that you were preparing me for a world where I would often feel like an outsider. You never said that my manners would set me aside from othersYou never said that I would be given a beautiful glimpse       of humanity through the glassy eyes of strangers.

When you said sorry every single time, whether right or wrong,
And when you never left me wondering,
When every teenage row was completed in minutes,
When you never let me sleep on angry words,
And you never slept on them yourself,
You never told me why. Never sat me down declaring that it was your way or the highway.

You never told me that my strong whisper would command more power than any raised voice or that my sorry would one day break my heart over and over again as I battled internally with the concept of being too kind, too forgiving. You never told me some people will never be sorry and will happily sleep on angry words. Neither did you tell me that what others perceived as a naive weakness was in fact my humanity and that there would be days when I would feel so very alone in my beliefs.

When you told me to stand my ground and that what ever my belief was, let it just simply be a belief in something. When you said two wrongs do not make a right,
don’t use that language with me young lady
who do you think you’re talking to in that tone?!
You never told me why. You just said treat others the same way you want to be treated. This was easy, I wanted everyone to treat me the same way that you did.

But you never said some people would demand my respect based on title alone without true ownership and that no matter what I did I would never receive there respect in return. You didn’t tell me so few had a basic understanding of the fundamentals of adjacent pairing. You never told me the lengths some people would travel just to save face (positive face; negative face, autonomy face, fellowship face, competence face.) So many faces that need saving in a society self absorbed in a vortex of mirrors.

You never told me why. You never told me that some people had only darkness inside of them and that these people would do all that they could to strip away my light.
You never told me why,
but each and everyday you showed me why.

Karen Hayward © 2016

A wooden town lost in despair.


Fucked up and busted,

burnt out or rusted. Broken

glass and shattered dreams

of a fantasy held, but never seen.

Lost souls in a town of death

blood, sweat and the eternal meth.

wooden homes burnt and gone,

a hidden place so filled with wrong.

Drugs and hate with cider shots,

this is the place that love forgot.

Fucked up and broken

the devil himself has spoken,

he rules the town of deep despair,




The wooden town that time forgot,

there’s one road in, and it’s full of rot.

Broken souls and spirits high,

as someone, somewhere, begins to fly.

He takes from their soul

a bit at a time,

feeds them back life,

built upon crime.

A fantasy once, held by mans dream,

to recreate life an image he’d seen.

Memories of old in the wood that he sold,

to have and have be

the stories to keep…

a holiday for life, a home where you’d sleep,

but the devil did see the dream

that would be,

with its one road in that

led to the sea.

And the universe screamed,

and the universe saw,

the dream that was built right there at the shore.

She sprinkled down sand,

and skies of deep blue,

and added souls with hearts

that were true.

She shot out the stars

that covered the sky,

these were the light

that lit up the dark.

And the devil despaired

and the devil does fight,

he’ll do what he can to banish this light.

Shattered glass and splintered dreams,

lost souls fraying at the very seams.

There’s those that see, the dark and the lost,

the eternal damned, societies lost,

and those that know

of one mans dream,

never made but always seen.


Karen Hayward ©2016