Longing Red Lights

The homeless populate our street corners during the day.
The city councilors’ cosmetic solutions fail.
The gated communities wall their fears inside.
The soup kitchen volunteers fortify food with bible verses.
The hospital emergency rooms tend the frost bite of apathy.

There is an art to cardboard sign construction and literature
that should be studied, organized, categorized
and open to the public in university galleries.

No matter the weather, Robin disrobes
and runs one lap around the banking district.

He no longer begs or steals, but performs slam poetry,
though most people think he pontificates incoherently
and place a bill or two in the passed mitre
thus maintain their year-long absence
from the confessional.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


The sight of homeless people panhandling at stoplights is common in Albuquerque. Often they hold their cardboard signs under metal street signs that tell them where to get help with a city department phone number to contact. I figure if you are homeless, you are phone-less as well.

It is rare that I give money to the homeless directly. I give my money to the foodbank instead that claims they have the ability to stretch my dollars to seven times the grocery store value of those same dollars. It is not a lack of compassion, but my attempt to get the biggest value for my donated money.

Regularly the city comes and removes all the makeshift tents between the dog park and highway. They city scoops every thing into a dump truck and cart it away as trash. Imagine if everything you owned, including shelter, was just scooped up and dumped.

It seems too me that the high paid CEOs should cut their pay in half, so more folks can be employed by the CEOs’ companies. I think it would be good if we judged CEOs by how many people they employ combined with profit margin. Example: If a CEO’s company is profitable only because he/she laid off 10,000 workers, social pressure should snap the CEO’s spinelessness and incompetence.

The best way I know to help the homeless, is to get them a home and a phone. It is impossible to get a job without an address or a contact number. So the government (greater community) has to step in and supply those essentials. I would see it as my tax dollars being well spent.

I am realizing I could go on for several pages on this topic, but I wish to get my morning moving to the great outdoors, so I stop this postscript.

Love & Light


Home Improvements

Dora starts to change the world,
then learns a permit is required
from a global authority.

No one is quite sure which authority
is in charge of climate,
which is in charge of human rights,
which is in charge of economic inequity.

The UN is no help.
The State Department is no help, either.
The corner gas station attendant is pretty sure
Dora should meet with a guy named Eddie,
who works in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, Illinois,
in a third floor office above the bank
at the intersection of Crescent and Main.

Dora searches for him on the internet.
She searches for him in the better business bureau.
She walks down the street from the bus stop
and up the stairs to his office.

She opens a door with Revolution on it
in large white Helvetica lettering with drop shadows.

Eddie happens to be in.
He always happens to be in
when someone enters his office.

Dora notices she cannot get a fix on Eddie.
He appears to be from everywhere and everywhere-else:
it all depends on your point view.

The permit is a simple form to be filled out in triplicate.
It takes almost no time at all.
Eddie places the completed form
in his notary stamp and squeezes.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Denim Pair

My bluejeans pockets were stuffed with secrets
and the echo of “hullo” from across the Grand Canyon.

The secrets sometimes felt like granite boulders.
The secrets sometimes felt like valuable bearer bonds.

The echo of “hullo” felt welcoming.
The echo of “hullo” projected me to the Grand Canyon rim.

My jeans have patch laden knees and seat.
I donated my jeans to the resale shop that benefits AIDs research.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

No More Free Soup

The plumbing broke.
The cloudless sky started to drip water.
The cloudless sky dripped potato leek soup.

A celebration moved to the basement.
A celebration groaned, confined in the basement.

The basement walls bulged with victory.
The basement walls burst.
The victory celebration gushed all over the neighborhood.

A nearly invisible disembodied hand worked on the cloudless sky.
A nearly invisible crescent wrench tightened a pipefitting.
A nearly invisible pipefitting sealed.

The cloudless sky ceased dripping.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Happy Spring everyone. I am informed it started yesterday late in the afternoon, Albuquerque time. It seems I must pay better attention to the TV announcers and differentiate between “First day of Spring” and “First full day of Spring”.

I watched Ichiro play his final innings as a professional baseball player on ESPN this morning. I must admit a tear came to my eye when he was pulled from the game in the 8th inning so fans and ballplayers could lavish affection and appreciation upon him. He should be a unanimous vote into the baseball hall of fame in five years when he is eligible.

So, the regular start of the baseball season arrives soon. Should be a national holiday or a religious holiday.

My bracket is filled out for March Madness, NCAA basketball tournament. Filling out the bracket has become its own rite of Spring. I have New Mexico State making it to the Sweet Sixteen and Michigan winning it all. Last year my picks were 42% accurate in the first round.

Love & Light


No One Claimed It Was Stylish

One unguarded moment
overturned the horse drawn apple cart—
the horse, too.

From the curb, protesters threw
dripping Red Zinger teabags
as if this coordinated act could restore control.

A yellow parking ticket
fluttered against the windshield,
in that leaf-dappled light.

Some of us, here at the edge of the greenway,
aspired to become memes,
viewed by horse loving adolescent girls around the world.

I mean, I did not choose to be away from my lovely Dianne
when this self-destructive sorrow
knocked me on the skids.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Coast To Coast

I rummaged your belonging after you died,
before they dispersed to inheritors and thrift shops.

Your autographed copy of the thirteenth amendment
will accompany you into the fire, as you wished.

I will make the drive and place a tablespoon of ash
at each of your long list of historic locations.

I believe you laid this last request on me
knowing my love of cross-country road trips.

You left me your red wool scarf, the one with the three inch tear
zig-zag stitched with electric blue yarn,

an ancient leather flying cap, and a Snoopy doll
to ride the dashboard and photo-ops for the travel blog.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Yesterday, Paul buried his Tony Kornheiser
and Michael Wilbon bobblehead dolls at the end of the garden
farthest from the compost pile.

His shovel unearthed a canine ribcage about one foot deep.
Paul knew the previous home owner had dogs.
He searched the area for a cross or some other marker.

Paul never intended to misplace his interest
in collectable bobbleheads, but he did.
It’s probably somewhere in the foothills among the rabbit brush.

Paul returned to the foothills each day for a week,
but never found his bobblehead collecting interest
and assumed it got itself consumed by a Coopers Hawk or coyote.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon were the only bobbleheads
Paul failed to sell to collectors at the Santa Fe flea market,
which was not as flea as he had hoped.

The next full moon all the discarded bobbleheads
in various states and conditions
arrived with their own spades and shovels.

They liberated the Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon bobbleheads
from the ground, dusted them off and whisked them away
to the secret kingdom of ownerless bobbleheads.

Entranced, Paul watched,
sure it portrayed a spiritual resurrection
though he knew precious little about such things.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


PTI is my favorite sports talk program. It stars Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon and a variety of guest hosts when Tony and/or Mike are unavailable for reasons like playing golf or attending sporting events close to their heart (Go!!! Northwestern Wildcats).

Bobbleheads fascinate me as well. How they became popular is beyond me, but they did. There are bobbleheads of anyone and seemingly everyone who reaches celebrity status and sports hero status. You can get a customized bobblehead made in your own likeness—for a customized fee, of course. They have become collectables, thus part of the American Cultural fabric.

I admit I have never owned a bobblehead. Earlier in my life my friend, Dave, was a collector. He always bought two of each new bobblehead. One to display on shelves, the second to keep in the box as an arcane retirement plan to sell the collectables at high prices when retirement arrived in thirty-five years. Dave is at retirement age now, but we have lost touch, so I don’t know if his plan worked. (He did the same with collectable action figures like Star Wars as well.)

If I was ever to purchase a bobblehead, two in fact, it would be of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.

Happy hangover after St. Patrick’s Day to all of you who went out drank a river of green beer last night starting at noon.

Love & Light