Tag Archives: sleepless

Etch-a-Sketch Memories

I trace the lines
One more time.
And again and again
I review the details.

They are all there;
No minutia missing.
Memories that keep me up
Etched into grey granite.

Not afraid of the future,
But afraid of repeating the past,
I store them safely, securely,
Where they can govern future actions.

Sometimes I wish I etched them
On an Etch-a-Sketch.
I’d repeat some mistakes,
But the granite gets heavy.

A year or more
Peppered with granite memories
Will weigh me down;
A millstone around my neck.

Weighed down by granite
For a year or more
Will bring me to

Head hit pillow
Two hours ago.
Sleep deprivation
Should have won by now.

It’s nearly four o’clock,
The lines still etch.
Can I just throw away this granite,
Or trade it for an Etch-a-Sketch?

© 2015 H.K. Longmore

The Cupboard in the Corner of My Atrium

My Atrium is no ordinary shop:
No wares are peddled,
We don’t do consignment,
There’s no cash behind the counter.

Here behind the fence
Of my serous pericardium,
You’ll find, if you request,
Emotions—free of charge.

But if you want an emotion
From my Atrium,
You’ll have to step up;
Step up to the counter and ask.

But if you want jealousy,
We’re fresh out.
Well, that’s not right:
We no longer stock it.

Jealousy is messy,
It gets in the cracks,
Turns the grout green,
Stains white things black.

Jealousy does not produce
Manliness nor masculinity;
Those are both best
Grown internally.

So when we find
A trace of jealousy
On the floor
Or oozing down the stairs

We fetch the mop
From the cupboard
In the corner
Of my Atrium.

So, what will you have?
What will it be?
You’ll have to step up to the counter
And make it known.

If you’d rather get your fill
From some other,
That’s your choice.
There are other customers at my till.

But the portrait I painted
While you stood outside
Window shopping
Is etched into the wall.

And there it will remain—
Whether you give your wants a name,
Or never come to my counter again—
In the middle of my Atrium.

Now, where’s that mop?

©2014 H.K. Longmore