Tag Archives: desire

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

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

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

Protected: A Most Auspicious Start

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In Passing

A brightly-colored bird,
Top half white,
Bottom orange bright,
Flits to and fro in the third.

In the third hour since noon,
A gorgeous bird sings a tune,
Seeking attention from a potential mate;
With desire she’ll sate.

She wins his eye
As he splits his focus
With some hocus-pocus;
Or at least, tries.

She returns to her perch
Not made of birch;
Waiting patiently,
Poised gracefully.

But when he draws near,
He is focused
On another locus,
No time to play, he fears.

He passes by,
And in passing,
He hears her cry
A sound everlasting:

An interjection surpassing mild,
An objection with Eternal Magistrate filed,
Feeling all her charms could not beguile.
Upon hearing, his heart turns about, wild,

But his head controls his feet.
While his blood increases in heat,
His heart tries a compromise to meet;
His head would not be beat.

This was in hour four;
The lovely orange-bottomed bird was seen no more.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

I’m Sorry That Happened

Confusion.
Confusion and hurt reigned
As his words echoed back;
Altered in content,
In timbre, changed.

“No, he just said,
‘I’m sorry that happened to you'”
A higher pitched voice
Had exclaimed.

The gist was the same, the gestures were not.
The deltas puzzled him;
He thought
He was being mocked.

Puzzling, sorrowing;
Sorrowing, puzzling,
He made his way
To his destination.

Along the way a realization hit:
The differences came
Not from mocking tongue,
Nor from unfriendly desires;

A reflection
Of the differences in
Hopes and expectations
Of the direction
Of the conversation.

Soon only the echo remained,
And he wished his could have been the same.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Broken

“Have I finally broken you?”
She playfully asks
As they stop in the hallway.
“No, no,” comes his reply;

Long on the vowels,
upward inflection—
As his eyes smile
And his lips break
Into a knowing grin.

He thinks to himself,
“Broken me, yes,
But not the way you wanted,
Not the way you planned.”

© 2015 H.K. Longmore

Unanswered Question

She asks a question of him, but of the group.
He cannot answer: mouth full of bread or soup.
Her query is met with silence,
Until another breaks it without violence.

Her left foot is propelled
By unmet expectation.
Her right spurred on
By hopes dashed, hopes felled;

She leaves the room gracefully,
Then passes by, looking in mournfully.
Another pass with greater sadness,
And finally, donned a coat for pass number three.

He wonders why the passes,
Why the sadness on her face;
Beautiful among all the pretty lasses,
What’s gone wrong in this case?

He finishes his meal, pondering.
His mind, wandering,
Comes to a clearing
Where he finds some meaning.

With haste he departs,
In search of this sweet dame.
He realizes in his heart
The coat means he is too late.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Nothing to Say

Author’s note: Carly Simon asks in the song Angel from Montgomery (written by John Prine): “How the hell can a person go to work in the morning, come home in the evening, and have nothing to say?” The situation described by those lines is rather sad. But it occurs to me that there are many reasons why one might have “nothing to say.” This poem is an exploration of some of those reasons.

When the cubicle is empty,
There’s nothing to say.
When it’s too hard to speak
You may think
I’ve got nothing to say.

When what I want to say, I don’t want to discuss;
Or the time or place don’t fit the content,
I’ll stay my tongue,
And I’ll think,
“I’ve got nothing to say.”

When my head fills with warnings:
A seizure may be imminent!
To avoid a repeat
I’ll have to retreat;
Catch my breath,
Guard my driving privilege.

When saddened by news
Or burdensome views,
Unless you’re my spouse
Or have lived in the same house,
I’m a startled field mouse.

When I want to slow
The gushing blood flow
From the mark of Cupid’s arrow,
For reasons above,
Hand in black glove
Covers my mouth.

When a loved one is leaving,
My sighs are my lungs heaving,
I want to shout “don’t go”
Until my voice fills the sky;
But the sorrow I feel
Drains my brain
Until my words
Are no longer therein contained.

And when I just want to sit—
The landscape moon lit—
Enjoy the view for a bit,
Silence is a hit
If you’re in it.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

The Hardest Prayers

Some may think it kind
To pray for others success.
But one may come to find
In that prayer, distress:

He wishes her success in her goals,
He prays fervently for it, but there’s a toll:
Much to his dismay,
Her goals will take her away.

Can he secretly hope she fails,
While praying she gets that letter in the mail?
No, ’tis selfish, ’tis not love.
He’ll send a unified message above.

Each time her departure is spoken of,
Part of his heart withers,
And though it goes against his druthers,
He’ll hope for that which sorrow comes of.

©2015 H.K. Longmore