Giant Killers

Buddha sits on the Yankee’s bench.
He emits calm even though
the Pinstripes are down
eight to one in the seventh.

Buddha chews a big wad of gum.
He blows huge bubbles that pop
and cover his double chin.
He scrapes the gum back into his mouth.

What the players originally thought was a mantra
reveals itself with closer listening
to be a Yankee’s golden oldies playlist—
championship lineups, starting with their first in 1923.

Wally Shang at catcher.
Wally Pipp at first.
Aaron Ward at second.
Jumping Joe Dugan at third.
Everet “Deacon” Scott at short.
Long Bob Meusel in left.
Whitey Witt in center.
Babe Ruth in right.

With a pitching staff of Bullet Joe Bush.
Waite “Schoolboy” Hoyt.
Herb “The Knight” Pennock.
Sailor Bob Shawkey.
Carl Mays.
and “Sad Sam the cemetery man” Jones.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney


I do not know why or how my mind pumped out a poem about the Yankees, when I am a Cubs and Brewers fan. Oh well. I tip my cap to the poetry muses for causing such a writing.

Fluorescent Screams

So many people translate
the english language into outrage
without really hearing
any of the words
or parsing for meanings
other than what they know
a statement must mean.

When house cats are used
as suicide bombers
it will proves the new Visigoths
are bloodying the earth
with roman stones
and burned law books
releasing those tying straps
to feline torsos.

The new Buddha
sits under a piñon tree.
He listens to the magpies’ chorus
while eating peaches.
And wild horses struggle,
skin rib-bone stretched
and salt-crusted nostrils
seek water.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Prohibited By Buddha

A nun stood
in a square
outlined in chalk.
One of many squares
of varying sizes
and colors
on an uneven sidewalk
with three dandelions
through the cracks.

A river smooth stone,
a charcoal black
Chinese character cut
and painted on it,
sits in the upper loop
of the number eight.
Or infinity.

Lighter than air
the nun hops
the boxes
to the delight
of all the neighborhood

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


According to the Wikipedia entry on Hopscotch, in the section titled Origin, the game was prohibited by Buddha, with a link to games Buddha would not play. When I read this I found it curious.