I arrived.
The sun’s soft etch changed everything.

The ruin of the aspen leaves
is most beautiful.

My eye tracked each falling.
Each landing.

What more wealth do I require?
No need to confess.

No greater solitude
for being—for being prayer.

The line of the mountain frays.
That is what I love.

The blending. The blur.
The rejoining.

copyright © 2022 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


Paul sits in a sacred grove.
An elk body lies unmoving.
Ribs glisten in sunlight.
The bluebottle flies
buzz an elongated Om.

Pestilence, the horseman,
disturbs grounded pine needles
and aspen leaves
and shuffles an arcane circle
around the prone elk body.

Perched upon a stone, Paul
holds his faith close to his vest
as he ponders Why
Pestilence creates protection
for the bluebottle fly larva,
but not the termites and bark beetles
in nearby fallen trees.

What an oily abyss
to attempt to fathom
God’s cunning strategies
and the latitudes
of light in a valley of shadows.

Paul rises to descend the mountain
shortly after reading the sky
and its clouded message
of a fast moving storm
soon to clear the ridge.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney