Who will captain the skiff
and helm the passage over the rift
when Charon’s eyes wear copper coins?

Tied to the mast, four ordinal carolers
sing for their supper
and sound the depths of the ether.

What will the god’s say
when I deliver the first canine cargo
to the far shore?

And what about the parts?
Folks so broken by their lives
their souls splintered?

What of terrorists
promised heaven and a count of virgins
not held in angelic warehouses?

What will the god’s say
when I deliver a forest of fallen leaves
and ruptured hollyhock petals?

I learn deliveries go both ways.
The hold is never empty.
The newly born disembark.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Before and After

Sunday morning headache.
Church bells summon.
Saturday night stains the morning blush.
Eyes clot with replays.
Before and after. What?
Before and after.
Might as well be gin and tonic.
Rum and coke.
Chartreuse and …

… there is no and with chartreuse.

August bone-yard
heeds the call to prayer,
seeks forged passports
to enter Charon’s border-crossing boat.

A bold mouse steals muffin crumbs.
My house suffers my suffering.
Social services may take this house away from me.
See there! Outside.
Butterflies kaleidoscope
toward the blooming weeds.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney