Mechanical Dementia

The clock decayed
as time ticked each second forward.

A gear lost a molecule or two
that fell to the bottom of the case.

A dusty detritus that must be
periodically cleaned out.

Like skin sloughed off the body
disappeared into the carpet or grass.

The laughing children ran counterclockwise
trying to unwind time for grandpa Stephenson.

But his ghastly deformities held sway
discontent with black & white youthful photos.

Death came for my clock in its finality
unable to discern A.M. from P.M.

Hours from Seconds.
Ticks from tocks.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Examining My Current Fate

A spider wove a black web over my right eye.
I cannot blink it away.

I wish it was a net my eye cast outward
to capture beautiful views.

Looking at the world is now like
looking through leaded glass windows.

It is not a parable placed upon the world.
It is not the crucifixion.

I cannot see it when I examine my eye in the mirror.
It feels disfiguring.

It makes the pristine snowfall grey.
It makes my white bed linen grey.

The spider web does not affect
my viewing memories.

Because the spider wove it in one night
I worry I age very quickly now.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney


I don’t have
to say anymore
so I rehash
old issues
kicking up
settled dust.

My arms
muscle memory
to throw
different pitches
but not
the muscle
to make
the ball
so it sneaks
past the bat.

My ears
are made
to receive
friendly voices
but the
drum head
is loose
with no tool
to tighten it
over the frame.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Fraction Remaining Equals 1/128th

During my first half-life
I was too happy
to become tired.

In my second half-life
I wore flannel
to enhance my masculinity.

In my third half-life
I cradled a knotted sweatshirt
to practice for my first born.

In my fourth half-life
my face was dented
by a doorknob I crashed into.

In my fifth half-life
I flickered in and out of phase so quickly
no one realized I was only half there.

In my sixth half-life
every time I got the kitchen floor spotless
muddy feet ran across it.

In my seventh half-life
I forgot my wisdom teeth were pulled
and asked them for advice.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Thoughts of Vanishing

Paul felt his best days were past.
He did not see himself in fun TV ads.
Twilight approached.
He read more books.
His desire for sex dwindled.
He sampled testosterone pills.
Snow fell outside the window.
Too often he forgot his promises.
His tea cooled too fast.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


My heartsong changes
as my body ages
and certain realities
force themselves
upon my bones
especially in winter.

Some days
I walk through
past refrains
in memory
on the mountains
I topped
and the oceans
whose waves
tumbled me.

never resides
in my mouth
on my tongue
as my powerful voice
disperses to a whisper
before the long sleep.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


I failed to remember
the names I learned yesterday.

I remember the faces
that now have no caption with a name.

I possess GPS coordinates
of all of yesterday’s meetings and introductions.

My phone is not smart enough
to bluetooth the names and addresses of everyone I meet.

If my phone was smart enough
imagine all the people’s names and addresses

I accumulated out of proximity
rather than introduction and conversation.

Imagine if I could then sort all my contacts
by pulse rate or daily steps.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

As I Age

As I age
my skin fits looser
like my belt at forty-two
after losing
sixty-two pounds.

Gravity’s constant pull
has pressed weight
on my feet long enough
that my size thirteen narrow
is now thirteen medium.

At least age has forced me
to slip folded poetry pages
in my hatband
to fill the space
my ego once occupied.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney