Tag Archives: introspection

Cordelia

Oh Tragedy, that binds the tongues
Of those who love best
But can speak nothing;

Nothing more
Than the loquacious praise
Of those who love less.

Remove thy maudlin mask
From thy cheekbones high,
Wash the paint from thy skin—

Reveal thyself!
Let poor Cordelia see
At whose hand she suffers.

Let poor Cordelia see
By whose hand the beloved
Becomes the blind;

And please,
Deliver a message
From me?

Let my beloved know my love,
If from she or I thou dost take sight;
If from sight we are deprived.

©2016 H.K. Longmore

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Music Moods and Alternate Views

As I was heading to get dinner after a community orchestra concert, I found myself pondering how I listen to different music depending on my mood, or the mood I want to be in:

Hard rock, usually performed by Australian bands, for when I’m agitated or want to be, or when I care too much, so I’m building a hard wall around my heart to keep me from feeling the pain, in an “I am a rock” way (and yes, I have my books and my poetry to protect me, in case you hadn’t noticed 😉 ).

Jazz for when I’m in a happy-go-lucky mood, or wish I was, or whatever I’m feeling, it’s like water off a duck’s back, and it’s not that I don’t care, but it’s all good, “everything is awesome, everything is cool when [you’ve got that swing]”.

Classical for when I’m at peace inside, or am trying to be, or when I am willing to let my heart feel those feelings that are flowing through me instead of building a levy out of back beats, distortion, and power chords to turn them away from my heart.

As I pondered, and decided on where to get my late dinner, I found myself driving to the place of my most serious accident. I didn’t do my annual pilgrimage on the date of the accident this year, so I figured, “why not?” I usually follow the path I rode my bicycle on, but tonight I came from the other direction. A whisper in my mind said, “Tonight you are the car.” I knew it wasn’t meaning I would hit someone, so I drove the path the car took. As I passed through what must have been the point of impact, I was hit with emotions (I was listening to classical, letting myself feel emotions) I hadn’t anticipated.
Auto-pedestrian accident

Grief, for how frightening the experience was for the driver. Relief, that to the driver, it appeared everything was fine, that despite the force of impact and despite my lack of a helmet, I was not unconscious, I was not comatose, and finally, that I was not dead.

I’ve always considered the miracle it is that I lived through that from my perspective (but of course). But now I realize there was a miracle performed for the driver as well! Tears escaped from my eyelids again, and I was glad I was taking the long way to Kneaders, so perhaps my eyes could merely be moist when I arrived at the counter.Sun shining over trees in park

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

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

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

Embuscade

Y at-il communicaton
Lorsque la conversation
Doit passer par un intermédiaire?

Y at-il le respect
Quand une simple plainte
Ne peut pas être géré en personne?

Quand les gens ne me respectent pas assez
Pour me parler de choses que je fais
Cela dérange eux afin

Il me amène près
Pour le sentiment que je devais une fois avant
Vouloir de disparaître.

Parting

Questions

Questions pour from his brain
Into the cup below.
Questions about the coming change.
They pile up and overflow.

Soon the saucer can’t contain;
The queries reach the picot.
Not to worry, they won’t stain;
Though covering the table they go.

Questions pour from his brain
Into the cup below.
But from partaking he’ll refrain,
From the cup he’ll not swallow;

Should he the cup drain,
At the bottom is a plea: “don’t go.”

The Means and the End

Somewhere there are brothers
Who didn’t know how to say goodbye.
They chose to alienate
Rather than shed a tear.

On one occasion, one gave a fist
To his son as a parting gift.
It happened unexpectedly,
In the face, among family and friends.

Another time, the other gave a threat,
Fist held chest high,
Waiting for the right moment;
Begging for the right provocation.

The provocation didn’t come,
In time the fist dissolved into a hand.
So long ago, it seems another time,
Another land.

Withdrawl

Refusing to be provoked,
Another who has difficulty
Deals with imminent departure
Antisocially.

His problem is not the violence of fists,
But the violence of silence,
The hand-to-hand of withdrawing.
He chooses to “drink alone”.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Protected: A Most Auspicious Start

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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

Biological Upgrade

I got an eye upgrade today:
A new model
With anti-tear capabilities.

It was fast to install,
Only took ten seconds.
I almost can’t tell the difference.

Almost.

The firmware is version 1.0.
You know how the first version goes.
There’s always some rough spots.

No, no spots on my eyes.
But the anti-tear capabilities
Haven’t been perfected yet:

If I want to let them,
The tears will still fall.
There’s no override;

I can’t set it to “No Tears,”
And have the setting stick,
Ignoring what e’er may come next.

Also, the anti-tear module
Requires a steady input
Of hard rock to function properly.

But so far
My ducts are dry.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

Virtual Needle

“Have a good night,”
I say cheerfully.
Silence.

Again.

I sit down at my desk
And think to myself,
“My current playlist—Ophelia—
Is insufficient for the hour.
Where is the one
I created a year ago,
For an occasion much like this?

Ah, there it is, right below
Cryogenically freeze your heart and
Don’t leave your heart in a hard place:
Essential Oils for the Silent Treatment.”
I put the virtual needle on the record
And apply my musical pharmacopoeia;
Unsure of how my heart will emerge:
Frozen, hard, or healed.

©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

Ordinary Expectations

Need help moving?
If I’m free,
There I’ll be,
My friendship proving.

Last minute call
For an official for a game?
My open schedule’s to blame
When I don the stripes for basketball.

I’m built to serve,
It could be almost anything at all.
Need help? I’m at your beck and call.
Aiding others is my verve.

I’ll help with computers,
Lawns and leaves
And overgrown eaves,
Give rides to stranded commuters;

Give me a paintbrush,
I’ll apply a coat or two.
Hand me a sander, roughness I’ll pursue
‘Til you find the floor flush.

The way I’ve lived my life
I’ve set the expectation:
For my time you need no incantation;
You have but to ask.

But ask not, and my time quickly fills
With ordinary expectations.

©2015 H.K. Longmore