Dora is never ready
when you pull up in a car
and honk.

She won’t be ready,
until you get out of the car
and call at the door.

Dora will let you drive away
pissing and moaning
about her fidelity.

She knows where she’s going.
You are not her driver.
She is not along for your ride.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Day Of The Dead

White flags flap the streets under street lamps.
I am not sure to whom Albuquerque has surrendered.

Abandoned cars take the place of cheap motel rooms
and couples hookup to knock the rust off sex.

The heat generates a fog that cloaks the Central Avenue bridge.
The fog sparks with a Día de Muertos magic.

Border separated families emerge
into the land of the free, the home of the brave

to locate their missing loved ones, crossing the span
in a symbolic entry over the Rio Grande.

Albuquerque and all of New Mexico sheds
a long political intolerance tragedy.

I.C.E. agents and political operatives pack their bags
and head home to stimulate the holiday economy.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Okay. Day of the Dead was at the beginning of November and it is the day after Thanksgiving at the end of November. Inspiration arrives when it arrives without asking consent or paying attention to holiday correctness.

The border tragedies the U. S. government has enacted during Trump’s term in separating families has bothered me to no end. I believe the whole program is a human rights violation. Part of the UN definition of genocide (BBC explanation here) involves separating children from families. So, in my mind, large numbers of federal employees helped perpetrate, in the name of the American People, a genocide.

I am regularly amazed how often people who claim alignment to a religion that is created around the idea of the Golden Rule commit such heinous actions. Maybe amazed is the wrong word and I should say appalled.

I think everyone has to help ensure everyone else’s rights are maintained so their rights are maintained. This is why we have a rule of law and work to make sure those laws are fair and fairly applied.

So much for my Friday morning soap box appearance.

Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.


Thanksgiving 2019

I woke this morning to find three inches of snow upon the cholla outside my bedroom window. It is very beautiful, up until the point I go outside and shovel the snow from the walks and clear the cars. The snow will be beautiful again after I take some aspirin for those shoveling aches and pains.

Link to Wikipedia on Thanks Giving.

This Thanksgiving day finds us at home. It is just three of us. Myself. Dianne. And her grandson Zane. We have the lazy version of a feast with food prepared by our local organic coop grocery. Less fuss for us. Less dishes for me to clean after eating.

There is too much football on TV today. I have set the Bears – Lions game to record and will watch it at some point.

Tradition has us pay extra attention to what we are thankful for during the past year on this day. My choice to share with you is a category of thanks. It is all the little things that caused my notice to focus. This is when that something to notice causes you to pause and savor the moment. The light on the Sandia mountains. The yellow of the lesser finches. The Canyon Towhee’s call. Thrashers running. A glint in another person’s eye that expresses how alive they are in that instant. Warm smiles. A line of poetry I write that is perfect and I have no idea where it came from. Dianne’s hugs. Any time a face of someone I know pops to mind and I say a prayer for them. Letting 72% dark chocolate melt on my tongue. Every email I get from my pen pal. And so on.

Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.



In the parkway, near the orange construction cone,
a tiny car burrows into the ground.

It may have mistaken the shovel thrust
for the Bat Cave or other superhero headquarters.

Beneath the chassis, a hand deep,
an Indian head penny feels its first damp air

in over a century
in the company of a Moxie bottle cap.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Yesterday’s Hot Wheels care provided more inspiration, though this is a fancy in that none of the items was found beneath the car.

Hot Wheels

At the edge of an orange construction cone
a tiny car burrows into the soil.

The paint shine long stripped from metal
speaks to the revving by small hands,

the back and forth the vroom-vroom,
the choreographed wipeouts.

A bent axle prevents the die-cast frame
the glee speed once provided.

A nearby resale shop
has sixty-three orange track sections,

each about a yard long,
and no connectors to bring them all together.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


As a kid, I had Hot Wheels cars and track. I remember Larry and I would combine our sets to make a super long track layout for the cars to zoom. We had races and single elimination bracket competitions for the myriad of cars we acquired as birthday presents, purchased with allowances or chore’s money, and found. We both were surprised how many Hot Wheels cars we found on our walks to school with our friends.

The other day I came across a purple-ish Hot Wheels car on my 2.5 mile walk to the cafe where I do most of my writing. With the construction cone nearby and the digging by the city streets department workers, it appeared as if they dug up the Hot Wheels car and were unaware of it when a shovel pitched dirt into a pile.

I noticed it, stored the image, made poems. I wish I had gotten my shoes muddy and picked it up.

Love & Light



Six paper snowflakes form a lantern,
connected, cut from one large white sheet.

Cranes flow into Geese in the manner of Escher
where the candle light brightens the walls.

In her fever dream, grandmother starches
white paper collars with butterflies.

A music box constantly reminds her
of a long ago birthday and grandpa’s gifted hands.

On the bookshelves he crafted with Winnie the Pooh inlays
rests her collection of children’s books

read to each of the children,
grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Grandmother clutches the hand-tooled
leather bound family bible

with its history of births and deaths
recorded throughout the margins of Genesis.

The original cover sanded bare
by over four centuries of rough laborer hands.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Boys shatter the mirror
of a placid lake.

Their shouts and laughter roll
like thunder down the mountainside.

They take turns listening
to glacier lake chilled heart beats.

An ear pressed to a chest
bends no boundaries at their age.

They beach themselves
upon the pebbly shoreline.

The sun revives their skin
from an icy shade of blue.

Off to their right
the mountain’s saddle tapers away.

The stream runs toward city lights
with the season’s snow melt.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


A couple times in my life, when young, I was in the Rocky Mountains and went swimming in extremely cold mountain lakes. I was with other boys more out of serendipity than plan. After hiking many miles to the lakes a swim to cool off seemed natural. With the fearlessness born of youth, we jumped in.

Only on of the lakes was glacier fed. The others had snow fall nearby almost all year.

In my teens, I learned from a national park ranger that people can survive in these types of lakes ten to fifteen minutes before the cold kills them. At the time it seemed odd or misinformed because I knew we had swam in those lakes for twenty to thirty minutes. In the end I decided my memory of time was affected by the chill waters.

Love & Light. Live a good poem.