Tag Archives: impressions

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

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Sigh

She stood, waiting;
Fingers busy,
Eyes focused.

She inhaled,
Her lungs expanded,
Their physical volume deceptive
Of the depth of her emotion.
She exhaled.

Her sigh was perhaps one second long.
Considering the history of the earth,
Her sigh was infinitesimally short.

But by the depth of her emotion?
All the oxygen in the atmosphere
For an infinitely small slice of time
Was drawn into her lungs.

When she exhaled, the universe exhaled with her.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Afternoon Shiver

It is meeting time.
Distracted by passers by,
Listen and observe.

I observe this one
Coming and going again.
The meeting goes on;

This one goes again.
My body soon shivers hard;
No explanation:

I’m indoors, it’s warm;
Winter has yet to strike here.
But still I shiver.

She returns once more,
A sweater now adorns her.
Shivering explained?

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

7-11 at 11:13

I turn the corner
And spy in the dark,
In the shadows
Behind the seven eleven,

A man in pajamas
And a warm jacket
In the cool March night air.
He swings his foot forward;

Not a graceful motion,
But swift: he kicks
A rock on the ground
Or perhaps just the air.

It brings to my mind
The way I feigned
To kick the wall
After a lost point in racquetball.

Perhaps it was the maudlin song
Playing at the grocery store,
Or maybe echoes of my heart or yours,
But I feel the ache contained

In his silent outburst
In the shadow
In the dark
At eleven thirteen.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Why At-One-Ment Doesn’t Involve Time Travel

Have you ever longed to go back in time and change just one choice so a life event would turn out differently, or a relationship could be preserved or never started?  I have certainly had wistful thoughts along those lines.  No, I lie.  I do still have wistful thoughts like that from time to time.  I went hiking a couple of weeks ago with some of my family.  My sister had spent three summers working at a camp in the area, and took the lead.  We headed toward that camp, then down a dirt road toward the trail head.  We passed a small stream flowing down the mountain and she remarked that the old trail went up the stream, but people kept littering in the (watershed) stream, so the trail was moved, and the old trail blocked off.  A little further down the road, and she indicated for us to turn off the road and head up the hill.  In the winter, this hill is part of a ski trail; in summer, it is covered with wildflowers.  My sister pointed them out, acting the part of trail guide.  Up the hill we continued, until we reached a spot where there was a spur of trail running to the stream.  My sister was wishing we could go up the old trail, so I told the others I was going to explore the branch, no one had to follow, and I would come back and let them know what I found.  My sister said to make sure it went up and not over, because over would lead into the camp.

The branch lead me across the stream.  A short distance further I found another spur that lead up the hill.  I took it a short distance to see where it led, then returned and informed the others of what I had found.  We headed that way.  The spur going up took me back across the stream not far from where I initially crossed.  I waited there to help my nieces and nephews find the best path across if needed.  While we were crossing, my sister had gone a bit further from the spur and found yet another path that led up.  She instructed that we needed to go up that way, so we all headed over. Continue reading

The webs we weave

Photo-0067

This picture was taken on a day when, after a late afternoon appointment at the doctor’s office, I said, “Nope, I’m not going back to work today.”

In my FB activity feed, I saw a friend had commented on a “photo”, you know, the kind that is really just a bunch of text someone slapped onto a background with Paint or Photoshop or Gimp… and now they’ve shared it on FB. The text said:

Do you ever just wake up and go “NOPE” …and roll over and go back to sleep?

My friend commented “everyday”. The page/user was named “Forget love forever alone”, but using a crude and distasteful four letter word in place of “forget”. I’d like to think this friend just didn’t happen to notice the name, that if they had they wouldn’t have felt compelled to continue, but it makes me wonder…

Do you ever comment on a photo/link/status/etc., and not realize that you’ve just associated yourself with something crass?

[A note to my readers and followers: Before you decide to stop reading or unfollow me because you think I’m a prude or naïve, know that I have said my share of those crass, crude, and distasteful words, both softly and yelled with venom; I have also chosen to leave them behind.]