Category Archives: poetry

Stopping the Spreading of a Lie

The lyric heard while working in the yard
Echoes around inside my brain:

I don't care now
For what might have been;
The heart of darkness
Closes in on me.

I sang the refrain out the second time
The playlist served up the song,
But in my heart I knew,
I knew it was a lie.

This lie, oft repeated,
Would advance from lie
To realm of the believed.

So it is with hope,
Hope for what may yet be,
On this playlist the song
No longer has a home.

Freeway Exit

She glances in her mirror,
She’s taken with what she sees.
At once she feels the need to clean—
A cloth or tissue at hand,
Red light gives time
For her to clean the dash,
Clean the controls,

She tosses her hair,
Checks the side mirror
Lest he is not watching;
And seeing he sees,
Resumes.

She tosses her hair,
Then rinse and repeat,
With a few mirror checks
Thrown in for good measure.

Light turns green,
She sees he sees,
Tosses her hair,
Advances.

Light turns yellow,
She goes through;
Her eyes bid him follow
Despite the red.

Follow he would,
But she is not you.

Silent Witness

She looks to Sir Moon,
Wondering what he’s feeling
She pours out her heart.

Full Spring Moon listens,
Reflected in the river
Beside which he plays.

If He had a mouth,
Sir Moon would surely reply,
Would tell what He knows.

Of what would He tell?
He would sing what the bridge hears,
What the river sees.

The river sees brass,
Its appearance like silver,
Twelve feet, conical.

The bridge hears a song,
Improvised and repeated,
A song from his heart.

Sir Moon would replay
What the concrete barrier
Echoes to the reeds;

What the ducks and geese
Mistake for a lullaby
As they seek out sleep.

But Sir Moon stays mute,
His heart moved by maudlin song
Played to still her heart.

© 2017 H.K..Longmore

Three Fictions and a Truth

Enters, man on call,
A symphony concert hall.
Opens laptop to appall.

Keeps phone on silent,
But screen? It remains alight,
To receive alerts.

Unshaven, unkempt,
They would fain have thrown him out.
Then comes the call: server’s down.

Unshaven, on call,
Now I stand with phone in hand—
Alone, let snow fall.

©2017 H.K. Longmore

Cordelia

Oh Tragedy, that binds the tongues
Of those who love best
But can speak nothing;

Nothing more
Than the loquacious praise
Of those who love less.

Remove thy maudlin mask
From thy cheekbones high,
Wash the paint from thy skin—

Reveal thyself!
Let poor Cordelia see
At whose hand she suffers.

Let poor Cordelia see
By whose hand the beloved
Becomes the blind;

And please,
Deliver a message
From me?

Let my beloved know my love,
If from she or I thou dost take sight;
If from sight we are deprived.

©2016 H.K. Longmore

Out of Sync

Eyes embrace,
Instruments in place;
The time has come
To make strings hum,

And brass bells
Resound
Throughout the space.

In sync, on beat
Or syncopated;
They act as one.

But now no clear path,
Out of sight,
A glimpse of bow or hand,
But no eyes to lock—

Notes fall off the page,
Rests refuse their wage;
Extras join the fray,
Heard when none should play.
outofsync
©2016 H.K. Longmore

Grape Harvest

If it doesn’t work out,
If I don’t get to have her
In my life,

I will save myself from despair;
I will go to the grape vine,
Find some grapes out of reach.

I’ll tell myself lies to ease my pain:
“It would have never worked out.
She’s too young for me.”

If she is taken from me by another,
Or if she is taken from me by fate,
I’ll cherish what time we had;

I’ll make sweeter still, and keep near,
My fond memories of hands and heart;
The low-hanging fruit: I’ll recall the butterflies.

Harvesting Grapes, Finding Spider Egg Sacs

Harvesting Grapes, Finding Spider Egg Sacs

If she is taken from me by fate,
Or if she is taken from me by another,
I’ll soothe my heart trying to harvest sour grapes.

©2016 H.K. Longmore

Forbidden

How do you speak what you’ve been forbidden to speak?
When you dearly want to let the secret out,
In hopes of bringing relief to aching hearts,
Or understanding to confused minds?

Were it a mere mortal that forbade,
I would speak it anyway.
But when the forbidden is from above,
I can only ask, and hold my tongue.

©2016 H.K. Longmore

Protected: Secrets

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Caterpillars for Lunch

I’ve got to stop eating
Caterpillars for lunch.
They keep loitering on my lettuce;
Skulking in my sprouts.

When I put a fork in it,
They race to the back of my mouth.
I try to spit them out,
But they parachute down my throat.

Maybe they crave
Warmer temperatures inside;
Perhaps they thrive
On acid hydrochloric.

But faster development they find,
Until ’round dinner time,
I find I can but barely speak
For the butterflies trying to escape.

©2016 H.K. Longmore

Growth

In years past I oft
Agonized
Over conversations
And situations

That didn’t go as planned—
Botched—
Then wearied family and mates
As I over-analyzed:

“If only I said this,
I should have said that.”
“I wish I hadn’t done this,
I’m sure I should have that.”

I still over-analyze,
But recently reflecting
On recalled responses,
I see a change:

Where before my
Wrenching
Was over how I felt,
The impact on outcomes for me;

My thoughts of “if this,”
My self-lecturing of
“I should have that,”
Have to do with the other:

If I had done this,
It would have helped him feel more comfortable.
If I had said that,
She would have been reassured.

Self-introspection is fun
When you actually grow!
Now to learn from myself,
And help others be comfortable, reassured.

“Let’s talk again soon,” I say to myself.

©2016 H.K. Longmore

Fall Leaves

A haiku

Absent from the trees
Some leaves may be, but not you:
In my heart chambers.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore