Half Asleep from a Late Afternoon Nap

A long gray strand of God’s hair
snakes across the dining room table
out of the chicken casserole.

A portrait of Sequoia sits on the fireplace mantel
with his alphabet inscribed as a paper frame
within the wooden frame.

A bee that inadvertently flew into the house
now bangs all his buzz
on the picture window viewing the terraced garden.

The gray strand of hair is twenty-two feet long
that is why I ascribe it to God
and not grandfather or grandmother.

My Apple computer products
contain the Cherokee font package
as I begin to learn Sequoia’s native language.

I open the door then use my hand against the window
to guide the bee to freedom and home
only to let four flies in.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Dear Desert

What I took
as stretch marks
you bear on
your belly
from birthing
the human race
was cracked
age lines
discolored with
sun spots
tectonic faults.

Beautiful still
in spite of
or because of
the danger
you might
once more
but this time
with sandhill cranes
to sound
the recall
so you may
return us
to a molten state
and reshape
humanity anew.

The bees
crawling from
the chollas’
magenta blooms
means you remain
sweet on us.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Wary Procession

It was the day the bees aligned
and flew in a single file
like a honey-yellow tightrope.

I walked above them without a net below
and only a plain black umbrella
to assist my balance.

All this provided an imperfect demonstration
of Einstein’s train explanation
of his relativity theory.

And it gets me across the arroyo
which rages with water
from heavy mountain rains.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


On a string
tied to Lori’s wrist
a bee flies
taut circles.

She winces
from the sting
of critiques
and cast stones.

Those bible thumpers
see only Lori’s placid mask,
not the new hurt
layered upon the old.

She refuses to let her injuries
become her heart.
She fears
the bruised flame’s blue heat.

That evening
Lori frees the bee
and ties her string
to the north star.

Each night thereafter,
the dead locate Lori
and follow the hemp lead
to the heavens.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


A dragonfly captured a bee
and carried it off.

It took three landings
to find a stiff twig to hold the added weight.

Our observation did not distract her
from sucking the life out of the bee.

A warm, vital wellspring.
Sweet pollen sacks unmolested.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Seven-Twelve is Seven-Twelve Again

Hours ago, the sky stopped rotating,
but the earth kept right along.

Bees swirl around a bruised peach
like electrons around an atom’s nucleus.

The magpies attach towropes to the sky,
attempt to catch it up.

As we wait the magpies’ return,
the mistletoe consumes a cottonwood.

When you are barefoot,
bees harvesting clover blooms are tiny landmines.

This is the year the roses go on strike,
middle grey petals, a repellent metallic odor sent forth.

The bees refuse to pollinate the roses this season—
an unintended consequence.

The magpies return, pleased with their group effort.
The sky and earth synchronized with Swiss timekeeping precision.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney