Pluck

The Blue Woman has an ordinary body.
Overlooked, when young, except
by those people who met her penetrating eyes.

I stood under that gaze.
It sees me day and night. It laid me bare.
Started me toward the hallows.

Twenty years on and she has not released me.
But now, the gravity of her eyes is normal,
accepted, and a comfort.

Her eyes plucked my soul from my body
and I walked the landscape of experience,
toward the holy wells

where healing occurs,
a deep thirst quenched.
I learned to see myself with her eyes,

through her wholehearted love.
A love practiced until it became as natural as breath
and I reclaimed my body as my own.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Type Setting

After the Apocalypse,
Americans will alter the alphabet
so each character
represents each human language sound.

It will not be Sequoias’
eighty-six character alphabet
that the Cherokee implemented
around eighteen-o-nine.

But it will be similar in concept.
One graphic artist will be voted into office
to create the new alphabet
in a digital manner with the latest font grapher.

Because by post-Apocalypse time
everyone will know committees
always fail to accomplish their designated goals
under budget and by the deadline.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Follow Your Bliss

Being the son of God,
Jesus could have been anything.
He chose to be a street corner preacher,
but in a rural sense at first.
I understand. There was a job to do
and father to please
and humanity to save
and to navigate
the Holy Ghost Trinity issue.

I appreciate his devotion.

On his second earthly
bodily appearance
I hope he does his own thing
whether it is
little league baseball,
piano lessons,
Four-H farm projects,
beach bum,
abstract expressionist,
forensic accountant,
beat cop,
beat generation historian,
urban slam poet
—whatever
emanates
from his heart.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POSTSCRIPT

Happy Bastille Day. My favorite ironic note about Bastille Day is I read that the King of France, Louis XVI, made a diary entry of Not much happened today. Boy oh boy was he in for a surprise.

If you do not remember, Joseph Campbell is the guy who suggested people follow their bliss as a way of living life.

For reasons unknown, I like picturing Jesus doing the gardening, just because he likes doing it. I think we do not picture our heroes doing every day things often enough to bring them closer to us. Imagine Gandhi playing cricket. Or Mother Teresa playing the card game bridge or whist at a table with three other people. Imagine any hero you have doing laundry at the coin operated laundry because their washer at home is broken. That image brings them off the pedestal and into the neighborhood.

Love & Light

Kenneth

Pedaling

In nineteen-ninety-three, while bicycling from Seattle to Milwaukee, I rediscovered my natural sense of wonder.

My friend Bob Hurly Bob joined this adventure. We knew we missed our chance to explore with Lewis & Clarke.

After a few days on the road, hours ceased to exist. There were three distinct times of day: dawn, hungry, and dusk.

A National Forest ranger dispelled the notion we watched our national symbol, a bald eagle, glide over and fish the McKenzie River. Ospreys are pretty damn wondrous, too.

One day we passed Oregon Trail re-enactors in a covered wagon drawn by draft horses. It reminded me my father served in the U.S. Army’s last horse drawn artillery unit.

Another day, in eastern Oregon we discovered we could attain thirty miles per hour on a slight incline. A rancher and his sons ripped apart red and white bullseye targets with submachine gun fire.

At the west entrance to Yellowstone an ambulance flew by on the narrow road. We arrived to hear a woman explain to the EMTs that her crushed husband petted a wild buffalo on the nose.

We purchased a case of beer at the end of each day near the hiker-biker campgrounds. We traded beer for travel stories.

A rodeo cowboy told us that anyone who bicycles up thirty-one hundred foot White Bird Pass is tougher than a bull rider.

The manliest man we met was a woman. She did double-shift nursing all winter along the US-Mexico border, then bicycled to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada and back the rest of the year.

I do not remember how Bob got the second Bob in his name, but it’s sounded right every day since.

After nineteen hundred miles, I broke down outside of Caspar, Wyoming. Understand, Bob Hurly Bob ran marathons for fun.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Heat Wave

A girl, young woman really, in a kelly-green wedding dress
walked down a tree lined stone path
as whiptail lizards scurried for cover.
One of the trees was two trees merged low on twined trunks.
On a head-high branch a spider web displayed a hundred dew drops.
The busy street noise was lost under the murmurs of gossipy guests
who believed brides should wear white no matter what.
The young woman laughed at their discomfort.
A hummingbird attracted to the groom’s sun reddened ears
hovered for a moment, noticed only by the minister.
A Taos dog wandered into the ceremony.
Three different butterflies rode the dog’s shaggy black back.
The dog dug up the soup bone the butcher gave her last week.
It was hidden near the park bench dedicated to the memory of Lynn.
As the bride approached the groom a roar went up
from the little league baseball game across the street.
I witnessed them speak their self-written vows before god
and community, then lean in to kiss each other.
The kiss lasted so long and with such passion
it initiated that summer’s heat wave.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POSTSCRIPT

When I lived in Taos, NM in the late 1990s there was a category of dog called Taos Dogs who had no owner, but the community as a whole took care of them. The dogs simply wandered the town and were generally well behaved. They fit in with Taos’s semi-homeless human population of folks that lived in tents, school buses, abandoned cars, or bummed stays on couches. I remember Taos as a beautiful place, but with a full time job it was hard to pay the bills.

Love & Light

Kenneth

Love Constructed

Love is constructed of the affable sense of infinity.
Of egos on a diet.
Of opposites coming together and fitting like puzzle pieces.
Of the five distinct qualities the tongue tastes.
Of some mystery scent of the olfactory process.
Of songs less than twenty years old.
Of singing those young songs in unison.
Of snakes and tree fruit and how they both rattle the world.
Of sonnets quoted from memory.
Of cresting the continental divide.
Of the new territory to be explored called intimacy.
Of moms’ gun sense in America.
Of dads’ medal-of-honor sense in the world at large.
Of a fast approaching deadline.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Spotlight

Sixty-five million people watched
the final episode of fill-in-the-blank.
We are talking the end of a relationship here people.
So fill in the blank with name one and name two.
It ended on social media gone viral.
On a retweet from Beyonce sent her way by a drunk.

Friends divide into enemy camps.
Wars of words flame through followed transmissions.
A hashtag precedes their names and is mentioned by Colbert.
Lawyers salivate in anticipation of fattening their wallets.
I am sure some of you said, Finally.
I am sure others of you wept, not seeing it coming.

I am sure some of you cannot wait to ask one of them out.
Breakup sex. Revenge sex. Recovery sex. Blotto sex.
But not in front of sixty-five million people.
A few hundred knowing you are that shallow is alright,
but sixty-five million—SIXTY-FIVE MILLION!!!

That is an electron microscope on your life.
That is more weight than your shoulders will bear.
That is all your spare time responding or blocking.
That is the moment it comes all the way home to you
a two-month old unthinking tweet and insensitive j-peg
broke the outer layer of their bonds
and began the unraveling.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney