Tag Archives: frustrations

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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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

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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Checking a Pulse

Author’s Note: the following came about due to first hand experience with the subject matter, which I discuss below the links. This discussion will be somewhat Kunderian, i.e. giving up a small portion of my privacy of my own free will. Feel free to skip it if you don’t want to know me any better.

To some it’s a number,
The rate at which atrial and ventricle chambers
Contract and expand,
Supplying oxygen to feet and hands.

To others, it’s that but more:
They want to know systolic
They are interested in diastolic;
These three form the western core.

The western core
Is but a faint shadow,
A distant memory
Of Oriental grandeur:

Nearly thirty modes,
Taken at several nodes;
The modes must be learned
Before experience is earned.

Using three fingers,
At the nodes they linger,
Evaluating Qi until the practitioner
Is satisfied with his role as diagnosor.

Some modes can indicate the reaper nears,
Others can indicate fear,
Fear of things outside one’s control:
Anxiety is the name usual.

And some indicate good health,
That the patient is generally well.
If you doubt my tale,
I don’t mind if you quail.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Links

My experience with Chinese medicine

I went to a Chinese doctor that is also an MD, to get some treatment for bronchitis (or rather, to prevent a cold from becoming bronchitis, which is what has happened far too often over the past six or seven years). The treatment worked: my cold that was starting to become bronchitis went away; the beginnings of bronchitis subsided. Almost a year and a quarter later, I went to him for something that had been bothering me for a long time, but I just figured, “It’s a single symptom, there’s nothing wrong with me otherwise, I’ll just deal with it; Western medicine won’t have anything for me, and they’ll want to run a bunch of expensive tests, with the best result being that they give me some drugs to manage the symptom, not treat the problem.” I finally decided to see what Chinese medicine could do for me.

I told him of my condition (excessive phlegm in the morning, and sometimes during the day—ew, gross! I know, right?); ultimately he gave me some herbs to treat it, and I started doing acupuncture as well. After I told him of my condition he took my pulse, once on the left wrist, once on the right, basically following what I described above. He said, “I detect a phlegm pulse, but also a slight depression.” (On my next visit, he added some other conditions that I had not told him of, that were a result of auto accidents.)

“A slight depression!? How could he tell that from my pulse?” I asked myself. It was at that moment that I realized he was right: I had been in denial about it, but I’d been dealing with a mild depression since the end of January / early February 2014. It was brought on by something that went drastically differently than I had expected, and some of the aftermath of that event. Many times when I did things that I hoped would put an end to the depression (though I wasn’t calling it that then), things still went differently than I expected, and ofttimes just brought me further down (sometimes because I’m just too sensitive, which is why I usually build a wall around my heart and don’t let people in). But now I realized why most days since then I give a sigh before entering my workplace; why I sigh every time I leave the building. These are just outward expressions of my depression. So, there, I said it. I’m mildly depressed, and I have been for a while. I had a nice reprieve on a couple of vacations, and there have been days when I have thought things were looking up, and days that most definitely were looking up; nevertheless, it’s still there. But, “I have my books, and my poetry to protect me,” and I treat with exercise, with drumming, with playing other musical instruments, learning new ones, and with listening to music. Would that I could reverse what brought the depression on, but that is outside of my control. Thus I’ve also been feeling anxiety related to all of this, which the good doctor also detected in my pulse on my second recent visit.

Okay, that’s enough voluntarily giving up my privacy for one night. I’m going to go back into my “fortress deep and mighty” now, tell myself I am a rock and an island, despite the fact that “a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries,” and I’ve felt enough pain, and shed enough tears over the past while that I know it’s not really true. Yep. I’m going to go lie to myself. And maybe shed a tear or two.

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

A Conversation among Synapses


Said the first: “Another poem on that?”
“Yes, because that’s where I’m at,”
Came the second’s reply.
“What will you say differently this try?

Perhaps a search is in order,
To avoid the border
‘Tween repetition and insanity?
Or will that hurt your vanity?”

The second obliged,
Conducted a search:
“Task”, the query supplied.
The results the idea besmirched.

Said the second: “To you I tip my hat,”
And gave the first a pat.
“The repetition would be neither sly,
Nor very wry.

It would turn the ardor
To bland horror.”
Argued the first: “You make a center of gravity
From that which is triviality.”

“Yes, yes,” the second cried,
“And you’ve thrown me from my perch!”
Then, letting his hyperbole subside,
A new thought train moved forward with a lurch.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Seven Year Pursuit

She sees him below,
The one she desires.
She finds he inspires
As her heart closer grows.

He doesn’t know
It has taken a year—
But it is now clear,
She desires to be friend, not foe.

Year by year she closer comes,
In seven, she perceives,
Her goal she’ll achieve.
With delight she softly hums.

Six have passed,
She draws nigh,
And lets out a sigh;
Leans in to be kissed.

Excited for gifts next year will bestow—
She’ll have him aye, by and by.
In anticipation she finds the right tie;
She’ll decorate herself with matching bow.

But the cycle is done,
Her goal upheaved.
‘Twas quite naive;
Still, her heart is numb:

To Aphrodite Cupid will confide
That Valentine’s will have to abide:
The day for George and Abe set aside
Will never with her coincide.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Discontent of Fabrications

Newly married man;
Wife made best meal she knew how.
Husband loved: a lie.

Stomach, day by day,
His repulsion enduring,
Same meal he received.

Stopped with honesty:
He cared not for it, never.
Served that meal no more.

Waxing didactic,
Say not, “I like” when not true,
Lest you reap encore.

Regarding a meal,
Natural pigmentation hid
By purple or red,

Movie or series,
Favorite sport or hobby;
Say not, “yea”, if “no”,

Lest thy discontent
Of thy fabrication born,
Fill eyes with sorrow.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Winds of Countenance

Three seconds expand,
Future hangs in the balance:
I emerge, hurried.

She walks casually,
In the center of the hall.
She sees me, smiles;

A delighted smile,
A smile like the ones before.
Heart anticipates:

Oh could it be now
The long silence is ended?
But no words emerge.

I move right, hurried.
She pockets her smile, scowls,
Averting her eyes.

Winds of countenance
Blew the future with full force;
Future remains past.

© 2014 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