Category Archives: poetry

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

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Fall Leaves

A haiku

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

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Escape

Thou offspring of Zeus,
My eyes are upon you;
O daughter of Mnemosyne,
My ears tuned to your song.

Words try to escape my mind,
And are lost in the gray folds.
Harmonies desire to fly from my heart,
And get caught in the strings.

Melody and verse,
Rhythm and rhyme,
All await thy inspiration;
Each anticipates thy freedom.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Break Free

Trapped!
You feel stuck inside.
Turn the knob and pull.
Breathe in, break free;
Wide open spaces,
Fresh places and faces,
You can see for miles.

Step out into the unknown,
Let your inhibitions go,
Enjoy the ride.
Take a step inside;
Close the door behind.
As one door closes another appears,
Turn the knob and pull.
Turn the knob and pull.
Turn, turn, turn the knob.
And pull.

Step inside, come inside.
Here’s a nice jacket for you,
Your name on the door.
What you’re about to see?
Don’t panic, it’s all in your mind.
Lay down as you shrink small.
Strap yourself in, follow the hare down the hole.

Do you follow the white rabbit
Wearing your white jacket
In a room with white padded walls
Where no one answers your calls
Strapped in to save from a fall?

Let go, let go,
The doors you’ve opened
Lead nowhere worth being.
Breathe in, break free;
Leave behind the soft cushioned walls.
Open the door, return where you were,
Leave behind the thrilling ride—
Your lonely cage.

Best not to start, but no matter;
Return where you came from,
Return from afar.
There’s balm in a basin,
There’s tears on those faces,
The faces who knew you, though marred.

We can’t tell you how long
Until you’re free from the scars
But trust the promise, it’s not wrong.

Distrust on the rise:
You see no blemishes here—
But that’s proof of His promise sublime.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Red Eyelids

Bass Clef mid-F, in eighths.
Bass Clef mid-F, final quarter.
Salute completed, we stand.
To the left a head panned.

Those eyes contained
Unmistakable pain.
Pain at my performance?
Pain at my conformance?

The show must go on.

Standing, Bass Clef top line, staccato,
Then drop an octave, staccato; final note.
Applause.
But still the pain gives me pause.

It was the dry throat,
I tell myself.
It was the sloped chair or stage,
I want to believe.

But my lips, not the stage,
Missed the notes.
My finger, not the chair,
Depressed the wrong valve.

Show concluded,
We pack up and depart.
I watch for those red eyes,
But they don’t look at me.

My silence? Unintended;
Trying to fathom
What I cannot see.
Do I misunderstand?

Rough knuckles,
White back of hand,
In close proximity;
Moment in time ever on my mind.

Copyright © 2016 H.K. Longmore

For Whom Doth The Bell Ring?

Dear Diary,

Today was pretty ordinary for a Saturday.
Friday night, up late I did stay;
Helped little sis resolve emotions in disarray.

Slept ’till nearly noon.
Fixed a porch light whilst listening to tunes;
Backyard safer when missing full clair de lune.

Pruned,
Watered,
Adjusted,
Cleaned.

Let “social media” steal some time,
And though I could probably come up with a better rhyme,
‘Tis true, bought dinner at Taco Time.

Dressed for a game of ultimate.
For nearly two hours by my estimate,
‘Till we could feel it in the gut:

Played,
Aspired,
Perspired;

Well after dark to home retired.
But then my synapses fired:

To the store I would go—
Father’s day feast tomorrow you know;
And my gas tank was getting low.

While refueling I chose to clean
My rear window, restore its dark sheen;
When from behind, with no lamplight gleam

A suburban toward me came.
I thought it odd the lights were off; perhaps a game?
If so, I knew not its name.

The suburban veered,
Clear of me and mine it steered.
I resumed my cleaning, but soon peered.

Thought the resting spot odd,
But returned to cleaning with a mental nod.
Just then passed a male bod,

Hurrying to where his car had lodged.
He entered, ignited, and massaged
To return it to the spot from whence it dislodged.

As he exited, I finally saw;
My eyes filled with awe
As from the ground I gathered my maw:

‘Twas no other on the inside.
In utter surprise at my elide,
I approached the man, wide-eyed.

“Was there no one in there all along?”
He confirmed. I shared my side, then so long;
While in my mind there formed a plainsong,

Methought I heard the cash register’s “ding-dong”.
Did I say today was ordinary? That word does not belong
To a day where my life was miraculously prolonged.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Touché

A touch is made to lamé
With blade épée,
One’s mettle to assay;
Or for swordplay.

Another is to allay
The dread of possible fey—
A rope, not frayed,
A climber to belay.

One touch doth bewray
An attitude blasé
Toward fine bouchée
Or rich pâté

To one’s dismay,
A touch someday
Arises from sashay,
Dress, not step, soigné.

You may find it cliché,
Often child’s play:
A touch to parlay
One browsing goods you purvey.

And though it lacks visé,
This is no hearsay:
Loving touché
Alive through envié,

Becomes not forté
But Woodsman’s wedge doth convey;
On a line partway
Betwixt foray and force play.

Intended to assert revendiqué,
Yet with gentle touché,
A chasm généré
Between source and marqué.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Betrayed

When words threaten, threaten to destroy
The secrets you keep in your heart—
Perhaps about a girl, perhaps a boy—

When Double Entendre and Hidden depart,
Torn by some innocent ploy,
Leaving in their place a sting that smarts;

Let not your fortune steal your joy,
Find a new plan, make a new start;
Seek a new muse and remain coy.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Monster

Ages have passed
Since I faced this monster last.
Enshrouded by his shadow,
Dark thoughts filled my chateau;

Imagery of death or cage
Filled the breadth of each page.
Monster driven away, gone at last,
My wounds I left in the past.

Free for three-quarters of a score,
Now I hear his distant roar:
My scent has reached his page.
Enraged, he rattles his cage.

His shadow engulfs the meadow,
Darkens my porch, touches my door.
I tremble as my struggle I recall;
Knowing he seeks to even the score.

So I cling each day to the bright souls
Who know only happy care-free me.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

Remote

In the smartphone age,
Nothing makes a place remote
As no cell access.

Crossing o’er the strait,
T-Mobile texted new rates
For Victoria.

But at Lake Crescent,
No emails nor texts; dropped calls
The best I could get.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Parting

Questions

Questions pour from his brain
Into the cup below.
Questions about the coming change.
They pile up and overflow.

Soon the saucer can’t contain;
The queries reach the picot.
Not to worry, they won’t stain;
Though covering the table they go.

Questions pour from his brain
Into the cup below.
But from partaking he’ll refrain,
From the cup he’ll not swallow;

Should he the cup drain,
At the bottom is a plea: “don’t go.”

The Means and the End

Somewhere there are brothers
Who didn’t know how to say goodbye.
They chose to alienate
Rather than shed a tear.

On one occasion, one gave a fist
To his son as a parting gift.
It happened unexpectedly,
In the face, among family and friends.

Another time, the other gave a threat,
Fist held chest high,
Waiting for the right moment;
Begging for the right provocation.

The provocation didn’t come,
In time the fist dissolved into a hand.
So long ago, it seems another time,
Another land.

Withdrawl

Refusing to be provoked,
Another who has difficulty
Deals with imminent departure
Antisocially.

His problem is not the violence of fists,
But the violence of silence,
The hand-to-hand of withdrawing.
He chooses to “drink alone”.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

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