At a bar, Lori hears last call.
All night poetry echoed off the walls.
So many stories like her own.
Hell at the hearth stone.
copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney
Funny thing happened on the way to completing this poem. It started out as seven quatrains. It seems I used a lot of unnecessary words in the first draft that distilled down to these four lines. Yes, I like that metaphor. Distilled. And what we have left is a good stiff drink. Chartreuse is my choice. Green over gold.
Sometimes I am so in love with my own voice I over-write a poem. I just get carried away in spite of the adage: brevity is the soul of wit. I ponder the possibility that my start in poetry was in slam poetry and the fact points were awarded more generously to longer poems. Three minute poems since that was the frame work of the classic slam poem of the 1990s. So an unintended consequence of creating an artistic reward structure. Even if the point was poetry, not the points.
Love & Light.
A bar named Lawrence Henderson
sits at the edge of the Grand Canyon
to blur people into the hazy splendor.
The proprietor warns customers
against taking selfies near the edge
whether drunk or not.
He arranges the bathroom soap scraps
as the white squares of a chess board
five moves from mate.
He arranges his many patrons like pawns,
declares them a poem—
not a game to be won, lost or drawn.
Some folks think they enter a church
when they enter his bar, but the proprietor knows
the canyon instills that in them.
After a nine month gestation, Lawrence Henderson
decides he has seen enough, ceases to be a bar
and walks home, following the mule deer’s narrow trail.
copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney
I have been to the Grand Canyon. Once when young and able to scurry down the river and back up in a day. Most recently a couple years ago to help my brother and his wife celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The idea I started with for this fancy was that viewing the grandeur of the Grand Canyon makes you drunk and blurry. So drunk, in Lawrence Henderson’s case that he becomes a bar that others may enter. Silly, I know. But I like to think of it as surrealistic.
I believe that immersing oneself in nature can be very curative for the soul. Story example is the 2014 Movie Wild. As regularly as I may I go into the foothills east of Albuquerque and walk. Some days I drive to the top of the Sandia Mountains or to one of New Mexico’s natural wonders. It does me good.
Even with Winter upon us, I hope you have chances to get into nature for your own well being.
Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.