Salt Crystals Glistened in Their Tail Feathers

Paul walked to the corner store without disappearing.
He bumped into a person in the cereal isle.
No one apologized.

Paul looked for cereal with a circus theme.
He wanted to be a breakfast lion tamer—
not a colorful clown parade.

On his way home he uttered little nonsenses
each time a foot passed over a crack in the sidewalk.
Every fourth crack he uttered a Norwegian nonsense.

He did not worry about his mother’s health
since she passed away three years before.
His feet always landed on solid pavement.

Paul returned home safely.
Sixteen peace doves ate his steps
like bread crumbs.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Saint Christopher

I remember an old church
carved out of the back of a cave.

I am sure I was not supposed
to discover the practitioners’ secret.

But it rained too violently
when I was bicycling

and serendipity brought me
to the cave entrance.

It was the lingering incense
that emboldened me

past my fear of inclosed spaces
and that the earth desired to swallow me.

After a tight squeeze going upward
a dry gallery opened

with signs of the cross
and a crude alter of cut stone.

A bronze censer with its lid off
contained thick ashen residue.

A silver plate held dried out bread crumbs.
A crystal chalice wore smudged finger prints.

The walls exhibited red pigmented hand prints
and stick-figure stations of the cross.

I left my travelers medallion on the alter
as a sign and offering.

Then I left the sanctuary, the cave,
to re-entered the waning storm.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Although I have bicycled over 30k miles in my life and had my progress halted by severe storms on occasion, I have never found a cave to wait out the storm. So this poem is a fancy, a fiction to delight my imagination.