From the Dream an Attack Began

Miro’s burning giraffe ran down Central Avenue
past the floats in the Day of the Dead parade.

The giraffe burned for eighty-five years
without becoming ash or rising from it.

Now that the giraffe was in the American West
it had visions of wild buffalo in flames.

Thunder lent the giraffe its voice.
It uttered a single command without verbs or nouns.

Burning buffalo erupted from the ground
from all the ordinal compass points.

A stampede set Western Civilization on fire.
Ravenous flames. An inferno of justice.

Ghost dancers rose from the grave
and planted smoky flags.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Dreams in a Foreign Language

Lori has no beauty mark on her face
but feels beautiful anyway.

She dyes her hair blue, emulates Clementine
in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Lori would use Aladdin’s magical lamp’s wish
to banish porn from the internet.

She studies an old west photo book
of buffalo herds before they were decimated.

Lori refuses to ride in a man’s car
on the first three dates.

She thinks the door to salvation might reveal itself
watching orcas on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Lori considers the paradox that she
must lose her tongue to find her voice.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Soaked with New Poetry

A solitary bison ambles
from the grassy horizon
to the grassy foreground.

The mountains are to my left
and the ocean of grass
goes on and on to my right.

The bison maneuvers me
as I avoid his large head
daring not to run

back stepping
until I trip on a rock
and fall into a dry creek bed.

John the Baptist
of great American bison
announcing a return.

Thunder tremors the earth
below a cloudless sky
and I shake because all things shake

as a dust cloud
blots the horizon line
and I scatter the sandy bottom

and move up stream
to get out of the way
of the stampede to convert.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul located his boundaries.
He pushed on them.
They moved.

He noticed that pushing
one boundary forward
changed the shape

of all of his boundaries
that were out of sight
and momentarily out of mind.

When a boundary moved
his inner landscape
altered as well.

This was neither
a good nor a bad thing
but a true thing.

His inner landscaper
did not like his inner forests
dying off in one place

to instantly regrow
on what had once
been an inner grassland.

His inner buffalo
in a confused and hungry state
head butted his inner dreams

into a reoccurring guilt trip
where his moral compass
played spin the dial.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


The great plains are not a natural formation
but a playground built by a community coalition
of buffalo, deer and antelope.

Prairie dogs rent their holes,
pay a set fee for all the grass they chew
collected on the first of the month.

Birds were grandfathered in for the sky.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney