Tag Archives: burden

Schadenfreude

A glance out the window
Revealed a fender bender
And I, I felt mirth?

Again, from inside,
Viewing the street below,
Another’s pain
Curled my lip toward my eye?

Why? What hag has hexed me,
What sorcerer stole my concern,
And left schadenfreude
In its place?

Were sights that brought me joy
Absent too long;
My eyes need to find delight
Some other way?

Numbness crushing my compassion,
Squeezing out my sympathy?

A sight that a month of Sundays past
Brought me to tears,
Now brings but numb tingling
To my limbs, my reins, my heart.

So I take up my schadenfreude,
Since I can’t convince myself
Of my fraud, that I’m happy for you
(Though your happiness I desire over mine).

Copyright © 2017 H.K. Longmore

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Maid of the Mist

Water Over Niagara Falls
I peer over the edge
At the rushing water below.
Not content
With second best,
It beckons.

Nor can one-fifth
The world’s freshwater
Plunging o’er its brink
Satisfy its thirst:
It calls out.

Two million liters
And more,
Per second,
Pass its lips.
It cries out.

The Maid of the Mist
Found escape from shame—
Refusing a mate arranged—
In the fifty meter drop;
So the legend goes.

The horseshoe calls,
Calls to me.
With my mass
Going o’er the brink,
It could be content.

With my body
In its depths,
Its thirst
At last
Satisfied.

For all the pain
I’ve caused her,
And her, and her,
I could do this
And feel justified.

All the pain
I will yet cause,
One small leap
O’er the rail
Could forestall.

But I see through the mist;
I see the pain
That leap would cause.
I linger, watching,
Then walk away.

She’ll not have me,
Not have me today.
Her rival Victoria
Retains first place.
The day remains beautiful.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

The Anonymous Burden

If you determine in your heart
To carry out an anonymous act
Designed to bring happiness
Or a smile to the recipient,

You must be prepared for the part:
Fully accept the burden of facts
Known to you and God—and security cameras—the madness
Of the temptation to tell, to take credit, your new companions persistent.

If you would walk the unidentified way,
You must quench the thirst for recognition,
Bury deep the desire to reap rewards; in sadness,
Leave not fully formed the hunger incipient.

When others comment, your tongue you’ll stay.
For leaving no clues you’d better have a knack;
Wipe that smile off your face at their gladness.
And it’s best to not write about what you’ve brought to fruition.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore