Tag Archives: poetry

Unnecessary Risk: The Original

Author’s Note: when first I wrote Unnecessary Risk, I could have sworn I had already written a poem by that name. I didn’t find it, so went ahead with it. But I stumbled upon the first one recently, so here it is, unedited, almost exactly seven years later after I first wrote it.

The thrill of unnecessary risk
Flows through my mind quite brisk
I can hear you now saying tsk-tsk.
Into my life I fold it with a wisk.

From the height of the stairs I leap.
But the landing angle’s too deep,
So I catch the concrete, sow then reap.
My knees are grated, but my speech needs no bleep.

The scar from the incident, seven years later.

I roll, my “ouch” uttered, pick up my hat.
A quick check of my knees; blood does not yet mat.
I look around and find no one around —drat!
I’ll be the last on the bus, so I fly like a bat.

© 2021 H.K. Longmore

Fetal

Curled up in a ball
Wrapped up in a hammock
Swaying in the salty breeze
Saline stained cheeks turn salty red
Red ball dips below the water line

Or, buried in the sand
Naught but head
Protrudes from mock grave
Sand a bearable weight of being
Brings calm to anxious limbs
Deepens once shallow breaths

Huddled ’round a 55 gallon drum
Fire burning low
Fingerless gloves the compulsory style
Company sells tragedy cheap
But Rails sing a compelling song
To be part of the wave

Buried in thoughts of death
Unbidden
He seeks new life

©2021 H.K. Longmore

Donuts in an Empty Parking Lot

“You seem hesitant.”
The words echo in temporal space.
From squamous to sphenoid,
Thoughts race.

“Go away,” spoken to a notification.
Stirs up memories vague.
Emotional power of the plague,
Positives lean toward negation.

A fact shared
Or omitted—
Scale tared,
Over-analysis committed.

Grief Tantalean
Becomes grief obsess-ean;
Grief Promethean.

Relief
Requires efforts Herculean.
Answers Protean.

Seize seal shepherd
From behind; hold tight
While shapes shift for fright.
At last a voice heard:

“Son of Atreus,
What do you want from me?”
From mental prison to be freed,
To know what will be.

“Son of Atreus,
Why ask me thus?
Better for you not to know,
Not to learn what my mind holds.”

No future glimpse,
No respite from second guesses.
Seek out Tantalus,
Offspring of Zeus and nymph.

Parched tongue and lips
Inquired why, hands on hips.
Swift reply
With heavy sigh:

To drink, and not thirst;
To eat, and be sated.
“Me first,”
Tantalus waited.

Hands a scoop,
Water-soup
Brought to lips;
Fruit of bough
Into mouth slipped.

“You want to do donuts in an empty parking lot,
You want to put an end to over-thought;
To heal from childhood fears,
And teenage years,

“To not have your confidence
Stolen by the thief
Of yester-years’ defeats,
Nor drained by consequence

“Of verbal wounds, real;
Inflicting damage still;
Wounds that change perceive,
When only perception changed, self-deceived.

“You’ll have to wait until it snows.”
But there is another way I know.

© 2021 H.K. Longmore

Tantalus Lookout is to the left of this picture; as in, Diamond Head is visible from Tantalus Lookout.