Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Can’t Gauntlet

“Don’t let others tell you
What you can and can’t do,”
Advice often given
And more often taken.

But I have a challenge,
I’ll throw the gauntlet down.
Take your pick, be my guest.
See if any of these
You can wrest from truth’s hands.

You can’t let go of what you never held.
You can’t finish what never started.
How can it be over if it never began?
You can’t lose what was never yours,
Nor what you never found.

You can’t have a conversation
With someone who refuses to speak to you in return.
You can’t respond to an ultimatum
That was never delivered, never known.

So call off the ultimatum,
Bind up the broken-hearted,
Keep looking for the things you want to find,
And start something before you end it.
Hold dear those things you don’t want to let go.

Copyright © 2014 H.K. Longmore

Silent Treatment: an Imagined Conversation while Heading Home from Work on a Friday Afternoon

“Nobody asked your opinion,” she said with a glare.
“Well that was awfully kind of nobody to ask my opinion, wasn’t it?” I replied.
“At least when I say good morning to nobody, nobody is kind enough to acknowledge my existence; at least nobody says good morning in return.”

Protected: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

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The Cost of Comfort

“Oh, my pillow, my soft, absorbent pillow!
What words of comfort have you for me today?”
Cheer up, all is not lost.
“And what will be the cost?”

Two drops is all.
“And what can I get for five?”
You are loved, even if some mistreat you.
You can have the pair for six.

“And how much for a verbal hug?”
Now that’s a tricky one,
A difficult task for a pillow.
What’s it worth to you?

I’ve saved up a lot,
Over days, weeks, months.
I wonder how much I should offer.
Would a cup be too much?

But as I start to pay
The dam bursts,
The stream won’t be held back.
“Is this enough?”

©2014 H.K. Longmore

The Task Master

A task needs doing,
It’s mine to do.
I take it from the queue;
It becomes all that I’m pursuing.

It becomes my master,
My humanity subdues:
A “good morning” buried, a hello refused
Helps me get it done faster.

But as I leave from task completion,
Things left unsaid—now exhumed—
My thoughts completely consume.
A cause for relationship depletion?

When will I rule my tasks,
Rather than they rule me?

©2014 H.K. Longmore

Avian Life

Oh, birds!
If I could but fly with you today.
A simple life, to be sure:
We’d hang out on the power lines,
Take turns fluttering to and fro,
Chirping and singing and cooing.
We’d race and glide in the sky.
And when hunger struck,
If ever prey we spied,
We’d carefully descend
To take it by surprise.
If I could but fly with you today.

©2014 H.K. Longmore

Related Posts:

The Land of Red and Green X’s

In the land of green and red x’s
No dance is ever in step;
Every good deed can be overturned
By the next misstep.

In the land of red and green x’s
Disappointment is par.
Human frailty guarantees
The tally can’t reach the bar.

Red X's, Green arrows
In the land of red and green x’s
The chroma of the red implies
The focus it will have:
The red gains control of the eyes.

In the land of green and red x’s.

Take a little trip,
It’s not too far—
But you can’t get there by car—
To the land of seventy times seven.

In the land of seventy times seven,
Even when a relationship must be severed
That does not diminish the love that grew.
Though the love may change form:

Eros may become Philos;
Either may become Agape,
But surely love
Will yet endure

In the land of seventy times seven.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore


This is an older piece, from what seems a lifetime ago, if not a different life. It describes in part the difficulty of returning to a place where all that you thought you knew about a person and their relationship with you was turned on its head. In the “Aggression” alluded to, I managed to hold my tongue, and prevent an assault from becoming assault and battery.

I returned to the place of Aggression yesterday
Though it still seems like today,
As parted have my pillow and head been, torn
Since yester-morn.

The Aggressor was not there.
If he were, to go I could not bear.
Forgiveness he would have feigned
For a time, on a day I felt alienated.

In his heart
Real forgiveness had no part.
He wanted to keep his reign
Of tyranny.

He called that day to apologize
For the way he antagonized.
Wishing to talk to no one, warned by caller ID,
I left curses unsaid and receiver on hook.

The place is haunting now,
Full of darkness and shadows
Everywhere I looked.
I tried cursing a chair
That it might break—doing no harm
To the person who’d sit in it.
Let the La-Z-Boy die in retribution
For my suffering.
No pattern or form to follow,
No magic incantation—

Only me, my mind, my movements, imagination.
Break or not, I don’t care—
I did it, that’s what matters.

Enough about that, lest
My heart get left
In the darkness in the basement, in the theft
Of my pleasant memories,
At the time of the Aggression.

©2000-2014 H.K. Longmore

Related Posts:
  • The Shame of Going Back – Henry Lawson (I love that the Google search for “henry lawson the shame of going back“, without the quotes of course, currently has my old page from my undergrad days at the U as the top result.) Lawson’s poem describes a different situation where returning can be difficult.

The Stronger Flame

Desire’s flames hold
Intense power over flesh,
Knees especially.

The silent treatment
Is yet stronger than those flames:
Flame extinguisher.

From glowing embers
Build a stronger flame: combine
Value and desire.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore