3 Dec 2018 poem

Immortal Season

Every time it snows,
Dora becomes a virgin again.

It only takes one well defined flurry descending midair.

In this natural manner,
she returns to sixteen again each wintery day.

Under the snow fall is her favorite place to walk.

Flakes accumulate upon her woolen shoulders.
Flakes melt upon her upturned face.

All goes quiet while it snows. Not a peep.

Dora returns the birds from the warmth of her woolen coat
to the bushes and trees and feeders when it stops.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney


1 Dec 2018 poem


Dora does not remember
the stairs she descended from heaven
to live on earth.

She remembers the fright feathers
dusting the stairs
of some of those angels who preceded her.

Dora likes to remember the debates:
if descending equals falling
and the difference between toads and frogs.

She carries with her down the steps
a pack that contains her bicycling togs,
an air pump, some trail mix and water bottle.

Dora tours the Desert Southwest
on a blue twenty four speed bike
that pulls a small trailer for camp & cook gear.

She lives each pedal rotation,
as sweat stains her olive drab tank top,
as someone who never wants to go home.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

30 Nov 2018 poem

She Insists

Abby Six-Shooter offers to craft for me
buffalo hide boots that rise up to my knees,
each boot with twelve brass buttons
for leather thongs to loop the boots tight,
as the payment of a debt of honor
she feels she owes me even though we just met.

All I have to do is deliver the buffalo
to her studio apartment
by one-eighteen this afternoon
and she will do the rest.

Oh yeah, I must be sure a cattle egret
rides the buffalo’s back
the whole way from field to studio
or it is an impossible task
for her to complete the boots.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

29 Nov 2018 poem

Poem A Day For A Year

Each day there are poems in my head,
until I write them into reality.

Reality does not accept all of the poems
with a smile and open arms.

The page is not a page,
but a white word-processing screen.

Thus, ink is not ink,
just the manipulation of RGB light patterns.

Once a month, my poetry bends the stars
to a new trajectory.

No. That is just so much overblown ego.
A hazard of loving one’s own words, too much.

Consider all the verse
the back-space key annihilates:

the blank page achieving the victory of a poem
is a battlefield strewn with the invisible dead parts of speech.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

28 Nov 2018 poem


Picture the famous photograph of George Brinton McClellan.
The Young Napoleon posing as the real Napoleon.

Add your own description based on your current knowledge
of the man, of the general, of the presidential candidate, of the governor.

It does not matter if your details are real or true
or on a tangent to your truck with its customized paint job.

The photo is in public domain. We can make prints
and mark Groucho mustaches in thick, black, Sharpie strokes.

Mathew Brady retouched. George’s history could use
a bit of retouching, but not colorizing.

His letters to his wife, Ellen, are color enough
for any historian, for any tabloid lover of the Original Gorilla.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

Note: the “Original Gorilla” was one of McClellan’s derogatory references to President Abraham Lincoln.

Christmas Trees

My cafe acquaintance K.C. told me that he and his family went into the woods near Cuba, NM the day after Thanks Giving and cut down a Christmas tree for the holiday. (It is their family tradition.)

I said, “Murderer!!!”

He agreed. He added that they used the powers of human rationalization to justify the act—they thinned the woods where the woods were too thick with pines.

K.C. noted the fact that people do not slaughter goats or cows and hang their festively decorated carcasses up for several weeks near the end of the year to confirm a second time that cutting down Christmas Trees is murder of a living thing.

So. Where did the Christmas tree tradition start? According to History.com’s article (Click Here) it started before the Christians. Damn. I wanted to point a finger at the early Christians and use my best Hercule Poirot voice and announce the murderer to the readership, but … it is not to be.

In many of the world’s pre-Christian cultures plants and trees that remained green all year where believed to have special powers. A popular practice was to was to hang evergreen boughs over windows and doorways to prevent witches, ghosts, illness and evil spirits from entering the house. In New Mexico we paint the door trim and window trim turquoise to enact the same effect. Maybe I can go to my neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a seven foot tall four-by-four, paint it turquoise, start a new holiday tradition. It will put a lot of Christmas tree farmers out of business and save a lot of evergreens. I’ll ignore the toxicity of the turquoise paint in this entry.

If evergreen trees are such strong proof against witches, evil spirits, ghosts and illness, why not plant plenty of them in your community instead of cutting them down? What about the rest of the year? Why is a dead (or dying) pine bough considered stronger than a living tree? Oh, the ill logic of it irks me.

I am sure that back in the pre-Christian days there were so many pine and spruce trees in the world that no one thought this growing tradition would dent their numbers. That was back in the days when most of the world was wilderness and human activity did not have much of an effect on the planet. Back when medicine had little to no effect in sustaining human populations.

The National Christmas Tree Association estimates 25-30 million trees will be cut and sold this year in the United States. With climate change and excess carbon affecting the earth we need those trees to convert airborne carbon into tree trucks.

Humans place so much excess carbon in the air that trees are stuffing themselves with carbon and growing very fast. I see this excess carbon like stuffing entire cheeseburgers in your mouth with one shove. At some point you choke and die. We should start National Excess Carbon Day where each person on the planet has to stuff their mouth with an entire cheeseburger to show solidarity with the trees being stuffed with excess carbon.

Wait. Okay. I see this blog entry suffered from some intellectual drift. I once thought I was the King of Tangents, but experience has taught me I am little better than a Pawn of Tangents, sliding sideways across humanity’s intellectual chess board on square at a time. Still let us not cut down trees at such high rates and not choke to death on excess carbon (cheeseburgers).

Love & Light.


26 Nov 2018 poem


My grandmother never mentioned to me she played piano.
Or that great grandfather worked overtime to pay for the lessons.

Or that she preferred Joplin over Mozart,
but her father would not allow that music in his house.

I learned grandmother ran away from home as a young woman
from my mother in a story she wrote my nieces.

I learned from an old letter grandmother married for love—
the first man she met who played ragtime.

Here I am trying to assemble her from what is left behind
in a suffocating attic with dust smothered stories.

I start a new digital remastered recording of Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag
to view a solitary photograph of grandmother mottled with water stains

of her tickling ivory in a mixed race piano bar
back when by law and tradition the races did not mix in public.

Note: I never knew my grandmother, either of them, so I inform you this is a fictional piece.