Thought # 1

thought 1

If you’re very rarely or never told “No” or don’t have to wait or work for anything, will it be a harder struggle to get on in the World? (This is based on most normal and reasonable of situations – single or separate parenting included and of course, on a continuum).

In the “Real World” no one else treats you the same way as your parents do. No one else cares the same way for you as your parents do. No one else in the World will give you the same leeway. Will one lack a certain resilience because one can’t deal with a No, or don’t understand why it’s a No?

Your Ego takes a beating, hearing all those ‘yeses’ and how wonderful you are at everything and then a No would just take the wind right out of your sails, it’s a shock. Is it about that resilience? Even against adversity and with all the curve balls life throws you, wouldn’t it be better to be able to face that adversity? I am not talking about being a nagging No Hound about everything – but I do think we need to prepare our children for “out there”! Just tell them the truth, make them stand for something, let them know what their strengths and weaknesses are and let them embrace them all and use them to their best advantage in this crazy Life.

If it is about resilience then we must give our children that strength and fight. They need these things to be able to survive – and not just survive but to live well.

Kait King 2017

iPad or iCare?

ipad icare

We teach our kids

to have a smaller phone

a faster car

a bigger home

We teach our kids

to take what they can

Never mind if you stomp on

plant

animal or

man

Little do we know

the devastating result

will be that human life on Earth

will grind to an abrupt halt

© Kait King, 2015

Fused, but not at the hip

Fused but not at the hip

I was standing at the front desk, chatting to another work colleague and an awkward scrawny middle-aged man came up to the counter. I was in the watch-house at the Police Station. Being closest, I turned to talk to him. Behind me, I could feel everyone else cringe. I wasn’t sure why, but it dawned on me as I chatted with him to find out what he was here for, why the audible intake of air from my colleagues. I was just in work zone and had been troubleshooting all day.

Let me start from the beginning. When I turned up for work that morning – it was like 4 am or something horrific, being shift work. Anyway, we had three women and a man in our team that night and as shift changed over everyone caught up and swapped information – did the hand over thing. Of course we all gossiped about things we had dealt with, seen or heard that day, what the constables had been up to, failed at, succeeded in catching, blah blah blah and of course, some real oddities and this was one of them.

A young detective came into the office after his shift to catch up with us. I must say, he looked a little green around the gills but I didn’t think anything about it at the time. He gathered those of us who wanted to see (only myself and the guy I worked with), some evidential photographs of a case of abuse. It took a couple of seconds for him to get his personal screen and files up. He knew I was interested in the abuse of the vulnerable, certainly children, but the animals, handicapped and elderly were all in my sights and desperately needed help. So the photos upload to his screen and I take a second to understand what I’m looking at. I thought a burnt body initially and then realised she was on a gurney in a hospital with tubes and an oxygen mask swallowing her “White-walker”-type face. I turned to the detective and with a rather incredulous tone asked him if she was actually alive.

“She is,” he said, “she’s still alive. This woman’s son was supposedly looking after her. Somebody who managed to finally get into the house found her and called an ambulance.”

“I just can’t believe someone so thin is still sucking in air! And how old is she?” Her dirty, mottled skin was just managing to cling to the bones of her body. She was filthy – hadn’t been washed properly in years.

“She’s 92. When we got to the hospital they told us that it was a miracle. I personally think maybe not – poor woman. Her son hadn’t fed her properly or washed her, medical needs ignored. She had maggots crawling around in her vagina…”

“What the fuck! Are you serious man!?” I was mortified.

“I knew you’d love this case Kait,” he said smiling up at me from the desk chair. ” Not only that but her toes had fused themselves together – there was green mould and a stink you would never believe possible. She smelt dead but was breathing – the living dead, literally!” he looked quite pleased with himself at the reality of his reference.

“I’m absolutely stunned! So what did her son say…has he been arrested then?” I ask.

“No, not yet anyway – he’s coming in to be assessed by the psyche team and questioned. Apparently he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong…whatever!”

“Good grief! Who’s he been sleeping with if he thinks it’s normal for flies to come out of a woman’s hoohaa!” We had a bit of a giggle – it’s like that in the face of horror. Apparently she had gangrene as well, on her fingers and other extremities. One of the worst abuse cases I’ve ever seen and I’m sure many of the police – even seasoned ones – felt that way too.

So the day carried on and we had all sorts of shit hitting the fan – parolees, detainees, people who had lost kids, found kids, P cooks, drunken idiots, abusive situations – just the usual crap.

So anyway here is this awkward guy in front of me. I am my usual helpful self and ask him what I can do. He tells me he’s here for an interview with a certain detective. I contact the right detective to come and get him from the watch-house, in the meanwhile I say “So are you having a good day?” just to be polite and make his wait in a police station a little less awkward. I had no idea what he was here for – he could be being interviewed as a witness for all I knew. Well this was a trigger question for him as he just spilled his guts to me about how he had hurt his mother even though he was trying to look after her. He told me about the maggots and the mould – as if I was giving him the interview. It only took him a few minutes to vent his story and he stood quietly with his head down in front of my counter.

“How come you didn’t clean her or help her to clean herself?” I asked cautiously, making eye contact with him.

“Well….I….I….” he bumbled along.

“It’s OK,” I said “you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to…” I trailed off.

He looked pleadingly up at me and I could see tears peeking out of the corners of his eyes.

“I want to.” he whispered.

I kept quiet.

He took a deep breath in and said “That’s my mum y’know ? I don’t want to wash her there or her top chest or anything! It’s not right…I’m her son – not even a daughter – I couldn’t do it!” The tears fell off his face. After initially feeling slightly ill talking to him, I found I was feeling sorry for him.

“Hell, I can understand that.” And I certainly could.

“So can you tell me why she’s so thin then? Why didn’t you feed her anything?” I pushed on through because there must be some accountability here. How can he get out of this one? Surely if he’d fed her she wouldn’t look like this. I tried to keep the picture of the poor old woman in my head, the decrepit, stinking semi-corpse that was his mother, to give her justice and keep a strong mind in this.

“I tried – I tried everything but she wouldn’t eat anything! I tried to force her but she choked so badly I was afraid to give her anything…I know now that this was wrong…” he looked down at his shoes, the tears still rolling off his nose and landing on the stations’ loud carpet. “She was my mum and she used to beat the crap outta me if I talked back or didn’t do as she bid. So I listened to her when she shook her head away from the spoon or growled at me, I left her alone….I was scared…” A slipknot of snot was making it’s way out of his nose and I tried desperately to keep a gag down. I managed. I passed him a box of tissues gingerly – not wanting to touch his skin at all.

Thankfully the detective who was going to do the interview arrived and took him through the security doors to an interview room. I stood there for a moment and realised where the blame lay in this. Society, society was to blame. Yes, he was at fault for not contacting the hospital or some sort of care for his mother, but he didn’t know anyone would help him. Surely if his neighbours had just said hello once in a while to the slightly, strange, creepy guy he might not be suffering endless guilt as it dawns on him in his slow mind what he has actually done. And his mother would not have had to suffer the enduring starvation and pain she had. It is about accountability – but who is accountable? We call ourselves a welfare state but whose welfare are we really caring for? I consider this man and his mother both victims in this instance and a severe failure on our many organisations parts. He was charged with numerous offences relating to the abuse of the elderly. I wondered if he wanted to lay charges against his mum for what she had done to him – for the monster she had created in him who would become her living nightmare.

What’s really sad is he will more than likely end up like his mum did….

© Kait King, 2015

I am a Winner

iamawinner

Everyone is so obsessed with winning at everything – work, sports, relationships – absolutely everything. I wonder if those people who are so focused on winning every argument, every game, every decision – have ever thought that they can let it go – like everybody’s a winner in the biggest race of all as far as I’m concerned. If you’ve been born then you have won the biggest race of all! You are a winner – the biggest winner out of millions of other sperm that were in a race for life – I am a winner – we won! Now let’s just succeed at being our own very best here instead of obsessing about being better than someone else’s best…

Blink of an Eye

Domestic violence

that Evil Beast

Thriving on hurt

when all you want

is Peace

Insecure person

always comparing in loss

Punching out your feeble Anger

But your Family pays the cost

Vulnerable? Were you

beaten yourself?

Shouldn’t you know better

than to put them through

this Hell?

Poor little person…

Is that what you want

them to think?

So here you stand at

a Crossroad

You can change all of this

in a Blink

Kait King 2017

The Slavering Beast

13ghosts bipolar schizo

He could see

and feel

a slavering beast

He could smell it’s

breath

see it’s sharpened

yellow teeth

It wanted him

to do

bad things

It felt like the

Devil with Hate

Not his usual state

of being

but any Angel

with wings

was going to be too late

It said that nobody

nobody

gave

two shits

And do everyone a

favour

Go ahead

slit your wrists

Kait King 2016

Were you ever really here?

Dad in the middle - Holland

Sometimes I wonder if you were

ever really here

Somehow I know what’s true

when you were always there

But as life returns back

to a more even keel

I can’t help this wonderment

this dreamlike existence I feel

You are gone yet you remain

and as the world lazily spins on the same

those 70’s and 80’s – a very different look

maybe just a new chapter in my new story book

As you are not really gone

I will sing your same old song

And I will die at my age and my son

will turn the next blank page

© Kait King, 2015

I wish I could tell her

I wish I could tell her

While she’s trying harder

working it out

all her problems, hangups, pity and

self-doubt

And she tries too hard to achieve

because she’s lonely, angry,

she’s had no love to eat

And as far as this woman knows

it’s like a picture, no – a painting

or a movie, too slow

As far as this woman knows

it’s like fighting the fight

but not a fight that you chose

So she’s crying alone

no sleep at night

I wish I could find her

and tell her –

it will all be all right

© Kait King, 2015

What I want to believe Real Women want

what i want to believe real woman want

I’m quite happy being a Woman

I don’t want to be a Man

I don’t want to scratch my nuts

or take out the trash can

I don’t understand the confusion

about the Man and Woman sequel

Of course we are very Different

Different, but still very Equal

I am proud to be the Carer

The Fantastical Giver of Life

the gentle softness of

a safe place to fall

When you return from

a hard days’ fight

My Man, the strong Protector

The Bringer of that Life

who will be Honoured to care for me Truly

and with Pride

would call me his Wife

© Kait King, 2015

Mother’s Day every day

My Mum and Dad in Queen St, Auckland 1956

I walk down the aisle

my eyes passing over cards

words springing out

about Mum going

the whole nine yards

And I stop to read a few

The words just seem

insipid

when I think of you,

Mum

A journey into the intrepid

Four babies later

and over 60 years married

Through wars, tonsillitis,

tears and love you tarried

Now here I am

a mother too

And these words I say: “I love you”

Have also come

from my son’s mouth

and heart

But to say them to you

doesn’t even begin to start

to express what a fantastic Mum you’ve been

You’ve done a good job,

I’m a good human being

So I tell you you’re an amazing Mum

and people are proud of the job you’ve done!

© Kait King, 2015

The gift is Home

our family

Nothing says home like the food you know, the smells that trigger head movies and the comforting arms and hands that picked you up and helped you mix and stir and “help” cooking when you were a kid. They now welcome you back into the fold, embrace your grown-upness but still visualised as the child, as you will always be. Family time is noise in the kitchen, clattering dishes and chattering mouths – we women of many words create more warmth with our talking breath, better than the lukewarm sun does, trying to impress us through a shameless glass. The men, young and old – three generations of my blood, gather around the finger food that has been laid out to stop them from starving before the main meal…if you believe that, you will believe anything.

My father, the patriarch, his unwilling body fighting his sharp, determined mind – his sharp, determined mind that used to beat his body has put its hands up and retreated. His brain is stronger than anything else, bar maybe his heart. He peers over his heavily framed glasses all the better to see a watch face his grandson has handed him to look at. His 80 year old eyes squint and recognise, the information is swift and he says the battery is a blah blah…..his mind as sharp as a knife. His son-in-law hands him a glass of wine which he carefully holds, the glass is heavy and cumbersome to him, due to his muscular dystrophy. He already can’t lift the glass to his lips but our mother brings straws with them so that he doesn’t have to.

His grandson, Jay, is a loud kid and is learning to pull his head in, but does show signs of promise with his unresearched fury at certain injustices. Maybe the same way my father felt about all of those things 60 years or more ago. My father brought all of us up to question everything, accept nothing at face value and to take risk in a positive way. He had a strong sense of what was right and fair and he brought four crusaders into the world to carry on that legacy. Give a shit, the majority of the population won’t – so you just have to. It’s your duty as a human being with the gift of life on this earth…