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: Backwards Day

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Protected: Secrets

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Music Moods and Alternate Views

As I was heading to get dinner after a community orchestra concert, I found myself pondering how I listen to different music depending on my mood, or the mood I want to be in:

Hard rock, usually performed by Australian bands, for when I’m agitated or want to be, or when I care too much, so I’m building a hard wall around my heart to keep me from feeling the pain, in an “I am a rock” way (and yes, I have my books and my poetry to protect me, in case you hadn’t noticed 😉 ).

Jazz for when I’m in a happy-go-lucky mood, or wish I was, or whatever I’m feeling, it’s like water off a duck’s back, and it’s not that I don’t care, but it’s all good, “everything is awesome, everything is cool when [you’ve got that swing]”.

Classical for when I’m at peace inside, or am trying to be, or when I am willing to let my heart feel those feelings that are flowing through me instead of building a levy out of back beats, distortion, and power chords to turn them away from my heart.

As I pondered, and decided on where to get my late dinner, I found myself driving to the place of my most serious accident. I didn’t do my annual pilgrimage on the date of the accident this year, so I figured, “why not?” I usually follow the path I rode my bicycle on, but tonight I came from the other direction. A whisper in my mind said, “Tonight you are the car.” I knew it wasn’t meaning I would hit someone, so I drove the path the car took. As I passed through what must have been the point of impact, I was hit with emotions (I was listening to classical, letting myself feel emotions) I hadn’t anticipated.
Auto-pedestrian accident

Grief, for how frightening the experience was for the driver. Relief, that to the driver, it appeared everything was fine, that despite the force of impact and despite my lack of a helmet, I was not unconscious, I was not comatose, and finally, that I was not dead.

I’ve always considered the miracle it is that I lived through that from my perspective (but of course). But now I realize there was a miracle performed for the driver as well! Tears escaped from my eyelids again, and I was glad I was taking the long way to Kneaders, so perhaps my eyes could merely be moist when I arrived at the counter.Sun shining over trees in park

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

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

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

Pregnant Pause

The thing that’s nice about a pregnant pause is it has a very short gestation period.