Tag Archives: forgiveness

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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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

The Cupboard in the Corner of My Atrium

My Atrium is no ordinary shop:
No wares are peddled,
We don’t do consignment,
There’s no cash behind the counter.

Here behind the fence
Of my serous pericardium,
You’ll find, if you request,
Emotions—free of charge.

But if you want an emotion
From my Atrium,
You’ll have to step up;
Step up to the counter and ask.

But if you want jealousy,
We’re fresh out.
Well, that’s not right:
We no longer stock it.

Jealousy is messy,
It gets in the cracks,
Turns the grout green,
Stains white things black.

Jealousy does not produce
Manliness nor masculinity;
Those are both best
Grown internally.

So when we find
A trace of jealousy
On the floor
Or oozing down the stairs

We fetch the mop
From the cupboard
In the corner
Of my Atrium.

So, what will you have?
What will it be?
You’ll have to step up to the counter
And make it known.

If you’d rather get your fill
From some other,
That’s your choice.
There are other customers at my till.

But the portrait I painted
While you stood outside
Window shopping
Is etched into the wall.

And there it will remain—
Whether you give your wants a name,
Or never come to my counter again—
In the middle of my Atrium.

Now, where’s that mop?

©2014 H.K. Longmore

Protected: Game Clock Time – With Links

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Game Clock Time

I’m told in certain circumstances in tournament soccer play, it can be advantageous to lose a game so that you play a weaker opponent next, and a stronger opponent plays a stronger opponent, possibly losing, thus allowing you to play the weaker team and win. I suppose it is possible that under certain circumstances, a tie would be advantageous, and possibly a 0 – 0 tie. That supposition is a required backdrop for this poem.

The hour appears to draw near
When the game clock sings
And the crowd will cheer;

And I will leave the field a victor,
Despite the score being zeros.
Not by my being a hero, no.

By: my fear of the unknown,
the strength side of my weakness,
my ultimatum uncommunicated, unfulfilled.

All shots on the goal missed;
Some deflected, others poorly timed,
And some badly aimed.

And though time remains,
I’m like a quarterback
Kneeling after the snap;

I must keep the ball
Centered mid-field
And watch the clock expire,

For fear a warning dream
Becomes my future,
And I don’t wake with a scream.

I must watch the clock run out,
From self-respect on a two-way street,
Where what’s good for the goose—

You may think I’ll be tired,
Running around in circles
Trying to keep the ball away;

But the only circles I’ll be running
Will be the ones in my mind.
There’s but two on the field:

The goalie and me.
Guarding the goal, the goalie won’t yield;
Never engaging me to take the ball.

I cannot enter the goal box,
So I set the ball at mid-field,
And slowly back away;

Still, the goalie won’t engage.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

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

What Profit?

“Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only true gift is a portion of thyself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wanted to give a gift to someone. Nothing particularly fancy, but getting it involved a lot of personal effort, and finding something appropriate required a lot of thought. Having selected what I felt would be a good token, I waited for the right moment to give it. I had planned to give the gift without any wrapping paper or other covering, but on the spur of the moment, just seconds before giving it, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to cover it. I used what I knew I had available: a facial tissue paper. I probably would have been better off to stick with my original plan. The moment came that I presented my gift, with a customary greeting for the occasion.

Nothing in my history of giving gifts could have prepared me for what happened next. She looked at my poorly packaged gift and after a moment of silence said, “I don’t think I want your gift.” Hurt, enough that I could have cried had I not been in a relatively public place, I said, “Okay.” I thrust my extended hand into my pocket, dropped the gift in, and withdrew my hand. Calm as a balmy summer day, a trembling puppy frightened by thunder, I walked away. It took all the focus I had to not run, not cry, not look back. I turned a corner, and put on a façade of normalcy as I interacted with those in the vicinity. Returning the gift to the place it was obtained would be impossible, so I put it where it would be available but out of sight.

When I was in junior high, an object lesson was taught using a slice of cake to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. The cake was shown to the class, and the question was asked, “Who would like a piece of cake?” Several hands went up; one was selected. The person selected went to the front of the class to get their slice of cake. However, before they were given the cake, it was mashed up until it looked like leftovers retrieved from the garbage. The analogy made was that you might have a wonderful gift, such as the good news of the atonement of Jesus Christ, but if you present it poorly, the person you are giving it to may reject it. Thus, you need to take care that your life and your presentation of the gift match the wondrous quality of the gift, to reduce the likelihood that the gift will be rejected. Perhaps she was rejecting my gift because of how poorly it was presented.

There is another possibility. “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:33) Did the presentation of the gift matter at all, or was she really rejecting me? If I was on the other end of such an exchange, I would at least receive the gift, and if I didn’t like it or didn’t want it, I’d throw or give it away. But I have forgiven the rejection and the rejector.

And now I think of all the times God offers His mercy to us, and we reject it, either by refusing to apply the atonement to our lives, or by choosing to apply it for a time only to backslide our way to rejection of the gift. I think of how sorrowful He must be at our rejection of Him. His hand is extended in mercy, ready to deliver us from all the chains that bind us captive; it is extended all the day long, and yet we do not listen. And unlike imperfect me, who ran from rejection of the gift or of me on account of emotional pain, He feels but stands as before, His outstretched hand yet offering the gift. His gift is no apology for a gift, but the truest gift of all: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” — John 15:13.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Link

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Some people have learned to forgive, even in situations where all natural instincts say not to. And that’s a sweet, sweet thing, worth making sure all 67 of my followers have the opportunity to hear about. Check out http://gma.yahoo.com/mother-embraces-daughters-killer-court-121328069–abc-news-topstories.html?vp=1 for the story.

The Land of Red and Green X’s

In the land of green and red x’s
No dance is ever in step;
Every good deed can be overturned
By the next misstep.

In the land of red and green x’s
Disappointment is par.
Human frailty guarantees
The tally can’t reach the bar.

Red X's, Green arrows
In the land of red and green x’s
The chroma of the red implies
The focus it will have:
The red gains control of the eyes.

In the land of green and red x’s.

Take a little trip,
It’s not too far—
But you can’t get there by car—
To the land of seventy times seven.

In the land of seventy times seven,
Even when a relationship must be severed
That does not diminish the love that grew.
Though the love may change form:

Eros may become Philos;
Either may become Agape,
But surely love
Will yet endure

In the land of seventy times seven.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore