His reputation
came from photographing
children at play
in parks, pastures, windows
and school yards.
Or at work
on farms with animals.

He did so from a distance
with a professional grade zoom lens.
Odd angles illustrated
the difficulty of remaining unseen,
thus the observer
not influencing the observed.

It was rumored he planned
to build blinds
like nature photographers
but the children
are not so innocent
to misinterpret
new structures.

He preferred places
off the grid
in first world nations
whether the lack of electricity
and running water
was geographic, political
or extreme poverty.

His photos exposed
blameless lives
at rest and at play,
making the best
of circumstances
with indomitable

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Matted Carpet

Once a boy reaches a point
so far into the woods
the world of his childhood
seems hopelessly lost,
he un-zippers his mouth
and screams
with such primal agony
that leaves turn
from red and yellow
to brown and fall.

At the edge of the woods
his mother fears
the forest monster
that bellowed its agony
must be fearsomely wounded
thus dangerous
and she goes back into the house
for the shotgun
unsure if it will protect her
from the beast if it emerges.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Among the rocky patches
unexploded cluster bomblets
and landmines
fracture and fragment
playful children
and leave ribbons
of twisted carnage
years after the combatants
ceased hostilities
and embraced in peace.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney