Music Prompt #9 “The Beigeness” performed by Kate Tempest

The music draws my attention

From across the fence

The beat is relentless

Designed to drown out

The yelling the screaming,

The crying the hope.

The woman emerges from the laundry

A cane-washing basket sits on her hip

Her head covered with a tired scarf

Her feet dragging a pair of worn out sandals,

She approaches the ragged clothesline

Hangs out the greying wash

The result of not caring, no future.

She thrusts weathered wooden pegs

Onto the creases of washed out clothing

Kept clean as the price of sanity.

The baby in filled nappy crawls to the door

She frantically calls to the next one to grab him

No response she drops her wash

Bolts up the stairs to collect baby

Goes inside and there’s once again

The frenzy of voices

As no one accepts responsibility.

‘I did it yesterday,’ I hear one say

And the sounds die down as the music grows in volume.

She stands at the door, exasperated by the indifference

To life, to love, to anything.

At the clothesline she wipes her face on her sleeve.

A man appears at the door

In singlet, cigarette hanging from one corner of his mouth

He watches her, snarls,

‘These kids of yours are fuckin’ driving me crazy.

You gonna get me breakfast or not?’

She glances up at him, pegs a shirt to the line.

Resigned to her fate, poverty, mediocrity,

Surviving day to day

Clinging to any useless man who hints at loving her.

She looks in my direction and turns in shame

Realising she looks a mess, a shambles

Her self esteem rock bottom.

In public she hides all she can

The humiliation of being a no body in a somebody world.

She often dreams of the glamour that could have been hers

Of the days past where opportunity was there

But thinking she knew everything

Settled for the immediate pleasure

And babies later she finds herself

Penniless, a piece of poor white trash.

But she has ambitions for her kids

But they possess the aimless genes

Of their respective fathers.

She knows she has an uphill battle.

From inside she hears that

Beat pounding from the speakers

Ones she bought at the op shop.

Like so much of the music they play

Her days are the same old same old.

Them things she thinks,

Who’d believe her?

Who’d be interested?

Them things she thinks

Who’d see her pain?

Who’d be bothered with her?

Then things she thinks

If only they knew

If only they cared.

Written for:

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15 Responses to Music Prompt #9 “The Beigeness” performed by Kate Tempest

  1. Hangs out the greying wash

    This line right here conveyed the desperation, the defeat, the devastation that has become her existence. Powerful and vivid images throughout.

    I’ll be putting mine up tomorrow morning.

  2. sonicseaweed says:

    You can really feel the desperate hurt of the daily grind and setbacks she feels.

    a quick side-question: is your username read “summers tommy too” or “summer stommy two” or some other variation?

  3. Very powerful, Michael 😀 I can feel the urgency laced with fear and rage in your poem.

  4. mandy says:

    Vivid imagery, Michael. Held hostage by circumstance- the tale of so many lives…

  5. Such a sad life and story you have created here my friend, so many that would suffer as she does. Well written ~ enjoyed.

  6. phylor says:

    Your poem unfolds like the opening scenes of a movie. You’re written the sad script of so many lives. “If only they knew/If only they cared.” Hard to be in a life so bleak.

    • Thank you friend, there is an Australian writer in the early part of last century who wrote about the plight of the bush women and I had his lines in mind when I was writing the opening. I like your comment and as has been said before there are so many who experience this life on a daily basis. Happy Sunday to you…

  7. It’s so sad when the choices we make as foolish young people determine the course of our whole lives.

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

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