12 Nov 2018 poem

Swap

Dora collected bird feathers.
She molded wet clay birds and sticks feathers in them.
Once ready to be removed from the drying rack,
she held each molded bird in both hands,
raised it toward her lips as if to kiss it goodbye,
then she breathed life into the avian form.

It is Dora’s only god-like talent.
She uses it liberally, but often mismatches feathers.
Some of her birds fly listing a little to the left or right.

The birds prefer to nest around her studio.
They nest in the rafters. They nest on the drying racks.
Their eggshells are mostly terra cotta in color,
but rare ones are Easter bright.

Dora’s birds with magpie feathers talk to her.
They talk about the noises the Pueblo’s adobe brick makes.
How they hear its blood running through the mud-caked straw.
How the Vigas coax a pelican from the Rio Grande
to visit and swap fish stories
with a variety of nearby hawks and ospreys.


copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

 

 

11 Nov 2018 poem

Origin Story

I walk to the plaza for a fork
full of some delectable
served from a weekend vender.
In the background competing musicians overlap
each others guitar chords,
not to discordance, but to a shaker of notes
to salt and spice my meal.

A thicket of people stroll the plaza.
We should be some lab experiment,
like mice or rats or—no one studies pigs
even though they are most like humans biologically.

With imagined farthings, halfpences and pennies
I stop at a stall and purchase
adjectives and adverbs, paraphrases,
a dependent clause, an improper pronoun
and so on, like purchasing jigsaw puzzle pieces
one at a time instead of in a box.

Faith says the pieces will fit together
into a poem, into a poem-like word collage
with the essential oil of blur
as bodies in motion freeze
in the shutter-snap of my cellphone-camera.


copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

 

10 Nov 2018 poem

Premonition

You wake up.
It seems all your furniture has been stolen
and replaced by exact duplicates.

You believe your sleep got hijacked
into a Steven Wright comedy routine
on a thirty-year old episode of Letterman.

You roll over.
Or you dream you roll over.
Or you dream the bed rolls under you.

You wake up.
You see a line up of Catholic saints
atop your bed board above your books.

You wonder if there are saints
in Buddhism and Hinduism
and Islam and, what about, those New Agers.

One by one the saints jump
only to have their fall abruptly halted
by the noose each wears.

You must be dreaming.
Though you cannot imagine why you dreamed
this awful, repetitious scene.

You wake up.
Your bed is in the pasture
with the white horse.

The white horse is not a noble steed.
Which is good, since you are not
a knight errant.

You look around the pasture for your partner,
who should be in bed next to you,
but is absent without leave.

You wake up.
The absence of your partner in the bed
seems exceedingly real and terrible.

You get out of bed
and stand in the dark by the window.
Your partner’s car does not sit in the driveway.

You wonder What happened?
Your mind races through many innocent and ugly possibilities.
Your cell phone rings upon the bed stand.


copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

 

 

Representation

The midterm elections were a few days ago. Blue wave. Yeah. Not up to the expectations I was lead to believe, but good enough to take the House.

What I am most happy about is the massive increase in women representatives whether senate or the house. Whether Democratic or Republican. I think that a close to equal (50/50) split of men to women representatives will benefit the country by creating better functioning government and laws. I hope the increase in women representatives continues in the next election until this near balance is achieved.

I fear the representation of poor people in congress is still extremely low, if not non-existent. Most candidates come out of the top third of the economy. It is my belief people who have never experienced poverty can never write effective law or policy to improve the lives of the people living in poverty. Too much “victim blaming” by the well-to-do at the unfortunate goes on in this country.

An idea I have heard and am mentally testing out is representation forced to cover all racial and economic portions of the country. If 12.3% of the country is African American, then 12.3% of the representatives are African Americans. 16% of Americans live in poverty, so 16% of the representation would be by candidates who live in poverty at the time of the election. At this point of my mental exercise, I do not know how the overlap is dealt with. My thought is that the constitution guarantees equal treatment under the law, yet our representatives via color, gender, and income do not represent the U.S. equally. If you have thoughts on this let me know, so I may expand my thinking on this topic.

In ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy, representatives were chosen to think up new and better laws, but each law went before the entire electorate for a vote before it was instituted into law or dropped into the waste bin of history. I know I would like that even though it would mean studying up for several weeks before the election.

 


Love and Light

Kenneth

 

 

8 Nov 2018 poem

Pittsburgh

Smoke stacks survive
the unrepentant embers’ desire to burn.

Ash-pile graves sprinkled with golden leaves
suggest the earth remembers the fires that burned the night sky black.

Mountains of ignorance, snow capped in grievance,
bend the sun toward the bluer spectrum, to a violet nearly shadow.

The seeds of anger are undisplayed injuries
pressed close to the chest in unyielding hands that refuse to open.

See the calligraphic pain scripted across the breast,
cardinal ribbons exhorting exalted poems with ciphered meanings

that twist willowy tongues with a stone-throw verse,
that chip the chiseled Savior’s ears to the depth of their deafness.


copyright 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

 

7 Nov 2018 poem

Sky Sonnet

At night, Dora extracts the sun from the sky.
And sets the moon in its place.
She uses the back staircase to ascend,
but slides the winding banister down.

Tucked in the sky a blue door secures her tools,
if repairs need be made to a cloud
or flock of migrating birds.
Once a year she tightens the bolts securing the sky in place.

About a hundred years ago, the sky needed mending.
A tear, which unraveled a little.
Dora used red thread in the design of baseball stitches
and the repair holds firm to this day.

Dora knows the sky is capable of more than you think,
even if you think like Dali or Magritte.


copyright Kenneth P. Gurney 2018

 

 

Election Day 2018

I trust all of you voted or will vote later in the day. I voted early—the second day early voting was allowed in New Mexico.

I do hope the blue wave is real. I hope women see large gains in holding office. I hope minority office seekers win. There is no guarantee women or minorities will be better than the current office holders, but I believe the “old guard” Democrats and Republicans have failed the U.S. over the last thirty to forty years and to leave them in charge is to fail more.

I think the electorate has to examine the country’s political system and work to revise it. The Democrats and Republicans are effectively Coke & Pepsi. They want no new companies in the market as competition and make more money when they are at odds, even though their is very little difference between the two.

Duopoly. “A situation in which two suppliers dominate the market for a commodity or service.” (copied out of the online Oxford Living Dictionary—Link).

Do not forget that our political parties are private entities that are in the business of campaigning and government. (I wonder if anyone has initiated a Sherman anti-trust action against the two-party system for being a non-competitive Duopoly and preventing other parties from easily entering the market place?)

In the U.S., we are raised on the idea that competition is good for the market place. In this case the market is government. Yet, we are limited to two choices that are very similar. They are similar in that their concern for the American People seems to me less than their concern for retaining power. Both parties seem to wish to obstruct the other party more than accomplish tangible good for the country.

I agree with those of you who think the Republicans are worse than the Democrats on this score. The Republicans have fallen into lying and cheating at such fantastical scales that it seems to me they have adopted the 1930s Nazi party tactics. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, blatantly spreading falsehoods (often easily proved false), encouraging violence, and fear mongering.

Both parties operate with near monopoly powers. In 2016, the Democrats refused to share voter data with Bernie Sanders for several crucial weeks (months?). It seemed like the Democrats had predetermined to have Hillary Clinton as their candidate. They twice prevented candidate Lawrence Lessig from participating in the debates, even though he qualified to participate—last minute qualification changes prevented him from debating both times. It was vile that the party suppressed a valid candidate from the debate. The voters are suppose to choose the candidate, not the party predetermining the candidate.

 


The media has been pathetic this midterm campaign. From Fox news spreading outrageous propaganda to out right lies to the liberal media fixation on Trump’s absurdities, tantrums and diversions. The Media’s failure to cover healthcare issues, national debt issues, explaining in detail the economic difference between nationalism and globalism with experts telling how each will effect the U.S. and so on, appalls me.  It is like the media forgot they are suppose to educate the populace and dig for the truth. It is like the media forgot they can think for themselves and decide not to repeat what either party says over and over without sufficiently and presenting the truth 10-times more than the lies, so the truth takes hold in people’s minds.

I have no problem with a media outlet being biased toward one party or the other. Facts should be facts and incontrovertible. Interpretations of facts are variable and reasoned arguments should be made in all directions.

The immigrant caravan.  Eight thousand people who are seven hundred miles away should not pose a threat to a country of three-hundred-ten million, yet the press has allowed Trump to paint them as a threat. The press allowed this story to dominate when it is a minor story.

The press can chose to ignore the President. The press should remember: garbage in—garbage out. When the President speaks garbage the press can refuse to cover it.

 


Among people I am acquainted with the near desperation for their side to win is worrisome to me. Are we as a people so divided?  Have are political parties divided us on purpose? If yes, did they divide us so we would pump far more donations into their campaign coffers. Political parties are businesses and I believe they desire to make a profit one way or another. They are far from paragons of virtue.

I have met many people who are one-issue voters. The most numerous one-issue voter I meet is the Republican who is anti-abortion. They will put up with anything number of atrocities to save those babies.

 


Me. I am a fiscally responsible liberal who believes government should help shore up the bottom of the economic pyramid. Government should be pro-people. Business and Corporations are not people. Education should be viewed as an investment, not a price gouging loan shark opportunity.

The government should be smarter on business using publicly financed R&D. The government developed the internet and the government should charge a fee to business to use the internet platform, instead of counting on prying taxes out of the businesses who squirrel profits away out of country. Even more so with drug development and other medical research.

The national debt worries me. The interest payments on the debt are now larger than the defense budget ( > 600-billion-dollars). That money could be put to so much better use. One future day the country will need to borrow money only to find no lenders or lone-shark high interest rates.

Social Security and Medicare have to be dealt with and the two parties have known this for forty years. Yet, neither party has had the political will to wade in and solve the problem that people now live 15+ years longer and the programs were never set up to deal with this longer life span.

 


Okay. I have gone on long enough for today.  Please vote for the candidates of your choice.

Love & Light

Kenneth