End of Town

Paul stops walking.
His feet halted
by a pink pacifier on the ground.

He stands in the middle of a grassy field.
The field is punctuated with wild flower blooms.
The trail is one body wide.

Paul scans three hundred and sixty sight lines.
No human beings are visible.
A wailing echo exists at the edge of his hearing.

He bends at the knee and waist.
He tilts his head closer to the pacifier.
It recites familiar lines.

A. A. Milne’s poem.
J. J. M. M. W. G. Du. P….

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Whether Disliking or Loving

Paul watched the sun pass overhead
through golden aspen leaves
to soften the light that enters his eyes.

He desired freedom from the bible
and its followers, so he might write
his own scriptures.

Paul grounded himself in children’s verse.
Alan Alexander Milne.
From which he composed a life manifesto.

He claimed to have no answers.
He broadcast Mozart for the sparrows.
Vivaldi for the sparrow hawks.

Paul flooded the neighborhood
with the feeling of being alone
so community might form with urgency.

He thought it might help the brave
mend their brokenness
and the fearful to dance in the mad streets.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


The last time my daughter visited
she’d been a ghost twenty-eight years.
She decided to stay the night in the guest room
after we talked past midnight
while Dora was on holiday with friends.
We made up stories of our camping trips
with tents and sleeping bags and stars.
It was tales of me taking her
to all my special wilderness places
where I best feel God and the oneness of being.
I read her every poem out of
When We Were Very Young
and Now We Are Six as if she were six.
Being a ghost she could appear that age.
The books were real. I can recite
only a handful of those poems still.
In unison we spoke aloud,
James James Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


For those of you who do not know, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six are two books of children’s poems by A. A. Milne, who is famous as the author of Winnie the Pooh.

The last two lines of the poem are the first two lines of Milne’s poem Disobedience.

When I was very young, my sister and my mother read Milne’s poems to me and once I could read, I read the poems back to them. Disobedience was one of my favorites, especially the way my sister read it out loud. Being two of my favorite poetry books, I have copies on my bookshelves.