Tag Archives: misunderstanding

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

Advertisements

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

A Sincere Comment

A sincere comment,
Misunderstood,
Does little to no good

When the person meant to smile
Is gone for a while,
Perceived insult to lament.

©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

What of Columbus?

Of late there are many sources claiming Christopher Columbus was unworthy of a federal holiday a despicable rascal. See this “article” on the oatmeal  and this one on vox.com. I saw the oatmeal article last year. A friend who is a teacher shared it with me. The following is what I shared with her, and now with anyone open minded enough to not jump on the revisionist bandwagon without long contemplation and deep investigation.

Vicki Jo Anderson, while researching many historical figures over the course of several years, discovered that

“history written prior to 1920 was often written of great men and women who performed great deeds. After 1920, history has highlighted the miseries of men…. Dean Belnap once stated: ‘Young people of our generation have been deprived of their birthright, which is to be conscious that they are the children of a high destiny in the line of great men who performed great deeds.’ One cannot appreciate the future unless there is an understanding of the past. It is the intent of [the book she was doing the research for] to illustrate from the lives of these eminent men, that one individual can make a difference.”

Of Columbus, Anderson writes:

“Disheartened with the greed and lust that were wreaking havoc in the newly discovered land, in 1496 he wrote to the king and queen, begging that the same laws existing in Spain be applied to the islands, and that all people–including the Indians–have the same justice.
He wrote: ‘Procure for the Indians, that are coming under our rule, the same rules and protections as those we have been speaking of [here in Spain]. These rules are to apply to those in power and those not in power equally. I want them to have the same protection like I have as if they were my own flesh.’ In 1497, he pleaded again:
‘I worry immensely about the future. I do not know what will happen in years to come. But we will discover new lands and we will negotiate in some of them according to the law of Castile and if this is not ruled by a strong hand then we will lose and rip apart our future and we will lose everything. I am afraid we will be misunderstood. I tell you to do it this way because gold is not everything.’”

Her source for the Columbus quotes is:

Columbus, Christopher. Letters to King Ferdinand & Queen Isabel 1496 Raccolta Collection. Raccolta di Documenti e Studi Pubblicati dalla R. Commissione Colombiana, pel Quarto Centenario dalla Scoperta dell’ America, Appendix Roma 1894, p. 270.

I am not saying by this that he never did anything bad, just that he may not have been as bad as recent history writers make him out to be.

Related Links:

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

What lies beneath

Uncomfortable in his skin,
He vowed it would never happen again.
He claimed mostly he was disappointed in him.

But allowing time for reflection,
It turns out he lied.
Yes, he was disappointed—
Even in his self—
But more than that,

Disappointed he didn’t act
When the timing was right,
Sorrowful for the confusion,

And heartbroken at missed opportunity.

Three Misses

Soaking wet

Leaving work one day I took my AWD vehicle through a patch of snow that wasn’t plowed. The magnitude of my velocity vector was too small, inspiring the second stanza. My pants and gloves got soaked trying to dig the snow out from underneath.

Was it this word,
Or that, that she said?
“Life” he thought he heard,
But ’twas spoken while she fed;
“Mouth” is thus not absurd.
Misheard.

It will not budge;
His car is stuck.
The ice-crusted snow it can only nudge.
Did he think he drove a truck?
Must he now homeward trudge?
Misjudged.

For words overheard in passing he could
Seek meaning, though lacking context.
Alternate possibilities, weight of wood,
He might settle on the wrong text.
The comment made, was it for the good?
Misunderstood.

Copyright © 2014. H.K. Longmore

Cathartic Ventures

The whistle of a teapot
As the painter adds another spot.
The spillway with water flows
As the writer pens some prose.

Steam exudes from the dryer vent
While the poet works out what he meant
And what he said from what he intended,
For fear the meaning was upended.

But tonight well after dark,
This guy, he was a madman in the park:
Singing at the top of his lungs,
A full concert was sung.

He sang some old favorites, some new
In full pursuit of cathartic stew.
Twenty songs later, he left for home
Solely because his smartphone battery groaned.

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore

Of Dreams and Tears

An amazing thing
Is the heart
Beating strong
Life-long

But here’s the sting:
Some come apart—
Hardened with age,
Or filled with rage—
And fail.

Some are supple and soft,
But for all their calm,
Their dreams aloft,
Even seeking Gilead‘s balm,
They will yet wail.

Time has passed
Since I awoke
Dreams saline-soaked—
Streams of a lass.

Though I knew her name,
I knew not why tears came
Streaming down her face.
Oh, if I could her sorrow replace!

She sat three rows in front.
I wondered to what affront
These brooks belonged.
For knowledge I longed.

So of my dream-guide
I enquired discretely,
Who replied so sweetly,
“On thy account she cries.”

Dreaming still, I motioned
For her to come talk with me
Away from the people-ocean.
I took her by the hand
Beyond the people-sand—
For all her tears she could barely see.

Through stifled sobs
The reasons for her sorrow
She revealed.

To reasons for hope I appealed;
Her pain my heart did harrow,
With handkerchief I daubed

Until heart beats
And desire’s throbs
Did meet.

I awoke with a start
My thoughts darting:
Was it real? No, just a dream;
Tears ephemeral.

But now I wonder
Have I blundered?
Have my actions been cause
For her to pause?

When she is where I can’t look,
Have tears streamed down her cheek?
When I’m not where I can take a peek,
Has she formed those saline brooks?

Or is her heart
Safely at rest
In a simple chest
Of bone, and sinew, and flesh?

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore

  • Done Trying (crazyhotmess1995.wordpress.com) – Though most certainly not the inspiration for this poem, this post captures the idea of the sorrow in the dream.

Soft Theft

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore

Confidently I will tell you
Of the crime I witnessed at noon.
The thing occurred sometime between
When she stole a glance at his jeans
As she stole away to get lunch
And when she her last bite did munch.

Confidentially, it was hers
But he stole it away with ease
He didn’t try, needed no keys
His touch was so soft—soft as furs.

Confidence—the thing she now lacks
Which he fain would return if asked
(I asked him if he had realized
Her attempting to cauterize
The wound, stealing backward glances,
But by her eyes he was entranced).

Consistent, compliant, softly
Now he seeks to her to restore
The confidence he never took
And I wish to tell her before
Her confidence by him was shook

This well-worn sagacious two bits:
If she’d have, in time, her druthers,
Never give it to another;
Only she has power o’er it.

Conextrainformafusion

Conextrainformafusion – /kən-ek-strə-in-fər-mā-fyü-zhən/ – noun
Confusion resulting from saying too much and having the extraneous information misunderstood.
Etymology: portmanteau of confusion, extraneous, and information.
First use: 2013

I thought I’d coin a word today.
But instead of simple thought post,
Presenting with rhythm and rhyme
Is how I’ll coin, with some word play.

He who wins is he who says most
Is not a truism for our time
Unless imparting confusion
By the excess information
Is the goal to which we aspire.

Your intentions misunderstood,
Your priorities now in mire.
See these results if see you could
Whether by light of moon or sun.

Here is the word, write it in clay
Say it proudly, say it with boast;
But don’t say it in unison:
Conextrainformafusion.

Soon comprehension will disperse
By the length of my little verse
And now perhaps I’ve caused again
Conextrainformafusion.

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore