New Midnight Ritual

I wake from a dream.
It was not my dream.
A flock of snow geese dreamt me.

An owl swooped down
with the message scrolling from its beak
I am the savior of the world.

The owl ate me.
But I did not die.
I felt myself pressed into canvas.

Hieronymus Bosch added colors
with confident brush strokes.
He shaded dimensions on a lost Annunciation painting.

Words scroll from Gabriel’s mouth to Mary’s ear.
The pope and bishops sit at a table in the background,
knives and forks ready to parse the cooked goose.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Plus

What a good night.
Stars blurry through a frosted window.
Me with you under the blankets.
I hear you whisper.
How will we remain in love
without hard times binding us?

Habit. I whisper into your hair.
Plus, I love you beyond the end of time.

You squeeze me. Your face shifts
from my chest to my shoulder.
Your kiss presses upon my cheek.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Home Fries

In the intersection
outside of the crosswalk
two stray socks,
one gray with red strips,
one white with goldenrod toes,
and a small pair of overalls
printed with Winnie the Pooh
and other characters
from the Hundred Acre Wood
displayed a single set
of tread marks
as traffic grew thicker,
faster and deeper
than my desire
to tidy up the asphalt
as I crossed with the light
on my way for tea,
eggs over medium
and home fries.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

On 23 December this poem occurred on my 2.5 mile walk to the cafe that I use as my poetry office. On this walk, usually the same route each time, I regularly find clothes that are left behind on the sidewalk or in the street gutter or the crosswalk. It gives me the impression that getting one’s clothes safely to the laundromat and back home is not an easy chore. I hope it is not a case of a homeless person trying to keep track of everything they own in a shopping cart and losing part of it. That would make the loss of a few items a substantial loss.

When it comes to homelessness, I find I am more angry with Business over Government. During a period of record corporate profits the nation has one of its highest homeless populations. In my mind, because they have the money, those businesses should be hiring extra people so less folks are homeless. All of the major religions tell their followers to aid the poor. I understand there are places in California (LA and SF) where rents are so high that people working full time become homeless when a little adversity hits their lives.

I think many people forget that profit is not a goal or an end. It is a measure. It is an incomplete measure, because it does not take into account the quality of life of all the people who work in the business or interact with the business. Imagine if Google reduced its profit by 100 million dollars to employ an extra 20,000 people at a good wage. Google would still be profitable and a viable business and it would improve the lives of so many people. I believe conscientious investors would be accept the slightly lower dividend for a better country, city, or neighborhood.

I wonder how any of us would like an extra $100 of dividends if it came at the cost of 10,000 people being laid off. As an investor and a conscientious human what would that make me to profit from the pain of others? I do my best to invest responsibly on social and environmental issues.

All this thinking from two socks and a small pair of overalls outside a crosswalk on a busy street’s asphalt. Hmmmm.

Hey. Do the small things that make a difference today. You know: smile, say please and thank you, and et cetera.

Love & Light.

Kenneth

Reading A Book

Paul recommended I read
Moby Dick with my eyes closed.

He said he got the idea
from a Nick DePascal poem.

With eyes shut, I envisioned
a small New England whaling town.

My envisioning was in black and white.
My flip book images were not period accurate.

My imaginings were derivative woodcuts
from the Moby Dick I leafed through in high school.

My white whale
was a white whale.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Fallout

At a bar, Lori hears last call.
All night poetry echoed off the walls.
So many stories like her own.
Hell at the hearth stone.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

Funny thing happened on the way to completing this poem. It started out as seven quatrains. It seems I used a lot of unnecessary words in the first draft that distilled down to these four lines. Yes, I like that metaphor. Distilled. And what we have left is a good stiff drink. Chartreuse is my choice. Green over gold.

Sometimes I am so in love with my own voice I over-write a poem. I just get carried away in spite of the adage: brevity is the soul of wit. I ponder the possibility that my start in poetry was in slam poetry and the fact points were awarded more generously to longer poems. Three minute poems since that was the frame work of the classic slam poem of the 1990s. So an unintended consequence of creating an artistic reward structure. Even if the point was poetry, not the points.

Love & Light.

Kenneth

Dissemination

There it is.
As plain as skin cancer.

Another Presidential
fiction is born.

Not like Athena
from Zeus’ forehead.

But a thumb pounding
Twitter screed.

Part of the never ending spew
of his black hole self absorption.

The news looks back along the coverage trajectory
and sees pitch black.

How easily the profit motive
drew them past the event horizon.

How oblivion became a luxury
and absence a blessing.

How our scarred feelings
fail to notice a subtle touch for attention.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney