Tag Archives: resilience

Grape Harvest

If it doesn’t work out,
If I don’t get to have her
In my life,

I will save myself from despair;
I will go to the grape vine,
Find some grapes out of reach.

I’ll tell myself lies to ease my pain:
“It would have never worked out.
She’s too young for me.”

If she is taken from me by another,
Or if she is taken from me by fate,
I’ll cherish what time we had;

I’ll make sweeter still, and keep near,
My fond memories of hands and heart;
The low-hanging fruit: I’ll recall the butterflies.

Harvesting Grapes, Finding Spider Egg Sacs

Harvesting Grapes, Finding Spider Egg Sacs

If she is taken from me by fate,
Or if she is taken from me by another,
I’ll soothe my heart trying to harvest sour grapes.

©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

Break Free

Trapped!
You feel stuck inside.
Turn the knob and pull.
Breathe in, break free;
Wide open spaces,
Fresh places and faces,
You can see for miles.

Step out into the unknown,
Let your inhibitions go,
Enjoy the ride.
Take a step inside;
Close the door behind.
As one door closes another appears,
Turn the knob and pull.
Turn the knob and pull.
Turn, turn, turn the knob.
And pull.

Step inside, come inside.
Here’s a nice jacket for you,
Your name on the door.
What you’re about to see?
Don’t panic, it’s all in your mind.
Lay down as you shrink small.
Strap yourself in, follow the hare down the hole.

Do you follow the white rabbit
Wearing your white jacket
In a room with white padded walls
Where no one answers your calls
Strapped in to save from a fall?

Let go, let go,
The doors you’ve opened
Lead nowhere worth being.
Breathe in, break free;
Leave behind the soft cushioned walls.
Open the door, return where you were,
Leave behind the thrilling ride—
Your lonely cage.

Best not to start, but no matter;
Return where you came from,
Return from afar.
There’s balm in a basin,
There’s tears on those faces,
The faces who knew you, though marred.

We can’t tell you how long
Until you’re free from the scars
But trust the promise, it’s not wrong.

Distrust on the rise:
You see no blemishes here—
But that’s proof of His promise sublime.

© 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.

Monster

Ages have passed
Since I faced this monster last.
Enshrouded by his shadow,
Dark thoughts filled my chateau;

Imagery of death or cage
Filled the breadth of each page.
Monster driven away, gone at last,
My wounds I left in the past.

Free for three-quarters of a score,
Now I hear his distant roar:
My scent has reached his page.
Enraged, he rattles his cage.

His shadow engulfs the meadow,
Darkens my porch, touches my door.
I tremble as my struggle I recall;
Knowing he seeks to even the score.

So I cling each day to the bright souls
Who know only happy care-free me.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

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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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.

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

The Hardest Prayers

Some may think it kind
To pray for others success.
But one may come to find
In that prayer, distress:

He wishes her success in her goals,
He prays fervently for it, but there’s a toll:
Much to his dismay,
Her goals will take her away.

Can he secretly hope she fails,
While praying she gets that letter in the mail?
No, ’tis selfish, ’tis not love.
He’ll send a unified message above.

Each time her departure is spoken of,
Part of his heart withers,
And though it goes against his druthers,
He’ll hope for that which sorrow comes of.

©2015 H.K. Longmore