Tag Archives: self reflection

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

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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

Expat

Author’s note: yes, yes, I know, I’ve bent the definition of expatriate a bit. Deal or chill.

What is an expat?
An expatriate.
Someone who used to live
In the country where you still do.

What made them choose to leave?
Did they feel by their country wronged?
A soldier and his wife felt so,
So off to her native Australia they go.

Have some chosen to leave
In pursuit of fortune or fame?
Perhaps on this some will lay claim,
Leaving behind family and friends lief.

Perchance they’re in pursuit
Of a lifelong ambition;
They want dreams to come to fruition,
To this end they uproot.

Are there ghosts from the past
Leaving them aghast?
A change of clime
Could be most sublime.

I once considered making Australia my home:
I’d soak my feet in South Pacific foam.
I counted up my likely score
To enter through citizenship’s door.

My chosen profession gave me a boost,
I’d just need a job,
And the score for this yob
Would let him in Brisbane or Canberra roost.

Heeding pleas
Of family,
Their fears I allayed,
And stayed;

Allowing me to sometimes host
Family parties and social gatherings,
And in the cling and clattering
I lost the ghosts.

Now, for one, ghosts gather up ahead,
As news fills him with dread:
He learns from the backchat
That a dear one wants to be an expat.

©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

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Maid of the Mist

Water Over Niagara Falls
I peer over the edge
At the rushing water below.
Not content
With second best,
It beckons.

Nor can one-fifth
The world’s freshwater
Plunging o’er its brink
Satisfy its thirst:
It calls out.

Two million liters
And more,
Per second,
Pass its lips.
It cries out.

The Maid of the Mist
Found escape from shame—
Refusing a mate arranged—
In the fifty meter drop;
So the legend goes.

The horseshoe calls,
Calls to me.
With my mass
Going o’er the brink,
It could be content.

With my body
In its depths,
Its thirst
At last
Satisfied.

For all the pain
I’ve caused her,
And her, and her,
I could do this
And feel justified.

All the pain
I will yet cause,
One small leap
O’er the rail
Could forestall.

But I see through the mist;
I see the pain
That leap would cause.
I linger, watching,
Then walk away.

She’ll not have me,
Not have me today.
Her rival Victoria
Retains first place.
The day remains beautiful.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

The Antisocial Experiment

When two people converse
But always on the second’s turf,
How does the first know
Whether the second cares?

They conduct an experiment—
Be their own turf king,
Stop conversing until where
Changes, not when.

But what if all conversations
Between the first and the rest
Are because he initiates?
How can he know the problem wasn’t just him?

And so was born
An innocent experiment:
He shall begin no conversations
No not one.

The antisocial element
Is quite perverse,
But perhaps this verse
Will wipe away the tears

Should it prove that the problem is him.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Silent Lunch

Leftovers find their way
To a paper plate in the microwave;
The container finds itself
Filled with soapy water.

Peach looks good,
Though bruised.
Paring knife supplied
Leaves bruised flesh behind.

And I’m near ready to eat.
But lo! There in the sink,
Another’s bowl soaks,
Now with leftovers and peach flesh.

The choice seems simple:
Do nothing, and risk that this other
Gets her feelings distressed;
Or, wash and deliver it to her desk.

I choose the latter,
Not wanting to hurt her,
Not even in the most harmless way;
Bright and fresh and clean,
I bring the bowl her way.

But she’s not there.
I kindly place the bowl on her desk
And return, unlike a house-elf,
On my own two feet, to the lunchroom.

I hear her voice as I depart,
Turning, I see: several yards away, she saw me leave.
“No matter,” I think,
“She’ll see the bowl and know.”

Quest completed,
I’m now seated;
My mind begins
To haunt me again—

Exploring possible thought paths
She might have started down.
Racing, racing around in circles,
A frenzy stirred up inside:

Fearing her wrath,
Or a giant frown;
An injured porpoise, I see tail heterocercal
As HR pulls me aside to chide.

Oh, to have been that house-elf,
And snapped my fingers to avoid this bind.
“Silence! Let me eat in peace!”
I yell into the void in my mind.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Field Mice

Walking down a desert path,
Sounds of stirring
Drew my eyes. Turning,
I beheld an object of wrath

Perhaps from the farmer’s wife.
It stopped, frozen: a deer
In headlights. A knife
Cut through my heart: fear.

Too dull, the blade, to last;
I laughed as I passed,
The mouse hoping I would not see.
Beyond his eyes, he turned to flee.

Walking down that desert path,
My eyes beheld
Another. He held
His youth as a tub a bath.

No sighting of farmer’s wife,
Too calm for cervine metaphor;
No fear of carnivore
Pierced him through with fear.

Filled with delight, he stood fast;
But before I passed,
He stopped his eating
In time to avoid a beating.

The many darting to and fro,
From hole to hole;
The two crossing the trail,
The first waiting for the second (aw, how cute!);

And the older fat one,
Too preoccupied with eating,
Too slow with his response,
So that if I had a heavier step
And a slower reaction time,
I’d be cleaning him off the bottom of my sandal.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

My Weakness, My Strength

I am weak; it takes but touch to draw me along.
But the siren song is not so strong
That I cannot resist its charm.
I can withstand, do your best, you’ll do me no harm.

But take me by the hand,
Put your finger to your lips
To silence questions in the sand
As I ask where we’re headed on this trip;

My weak knees will obey,
And my heart will not delay.
But this weakness, it is no concern,
On it’s head you’ll see it turn.

Most of the double-x chromosomes
Want one with a y, enticed by sweet honeycomb,
To be the instigator,
Or it’s “see you later”.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Asylum

Je veux—je veux faire,
Je veux mais c’est défendu.
Je veux mais je ne comprend pas le langue,
Et je ne sais pas le culture.

C’est mon veste droite.
Les puissances de l’enfer
M’ont donné les opportunités
Mais Dieu m’a refusé la savoir-faire.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

The Can’t Gauntlet

“Don’t let others tell you
What you can and can’t do,”
Advice often given
And more often taken.

But I have a challenge,
I’ll throw the gauntlet down.
Take your pick, be my guest.
See if any of these
You can wrest from truth’s hands.

You can’t let go of what you never held.
You can’t finish what never started.
How can it be over if it never began?
You can’t lose what was never yours,
Nor what you never found.

You can’t have a conversation
With someone who refuses to speak to you in return.
You can’t respond to an ultimatum
That was never delivered, never known.

So call off the ultimatum,
Bind up the broken-hearted,
Keep looking for the things you want to find,
And start something before you end it.
Hold dear those things you don’t want to let go.

Copyright © 2014 H.K. Longmore