It begins with a pencil drawing.
Four-B graphite on Arches paper.
Lines arc with imperfection, without a rule.
The white space between lines varies.
The white space absent a form—a white shadow.
A ghost. Her truancy interrupts each line
as I assemble syllables into words.

The white void is eager to receive.
A word printed in colored ink
with old wooden block type,
one inch Helvetica letters
from a dusty press set.

Love is my choice to fill that void,
that emptiness defined by arcs,
archangels—that negative space
that loses its shape
the closer my eye moves to the point
where my pencil halts
and lifts from the page.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


My first university degree was in Drawing & Printmaking. At my best, my drawing skill was near photographic in quality. I have done very little drawing since 1990. That was the year that my daughter was born and died on the same day. After that for many years my hand suffered as if hit by a hammer when a pencil was held in it for drawing. I could draw mechanically, but not with art. In 1993 in switched over to poetry. (I type my poems and dislike hand writing a poem. My creativity requires both hands.)

I feel that I write poetry like a painterly artist. I mean, I use a lot of my artistic eye and concepts in my poetry.

The loss of my daughter affects me still, but not so much as the years pass. So, a poem writes itself when the old pain makes itself present. The best advice I received was when the void, then pain shows up, fill it with love, a loving act that shows the world I still care.

Love & Light


2 thoughts on “Ionization

  1. This piece is devastatingly beautiful. I especially love “Her truancy interrupts each line as I shape syllables into words.”

    Thank you for sharing your pain, your loss, and your love with us, my dear friend.


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