Ever After

Dora moves the stone.
from over the cave entrance

where the Christ had lain
three days until risen.

In this cave sleeps a metaphor.
In this cave hear soothing old whispers.

Dora finds a comfortable place,
builds a fire and sits.

On the bare wall rusts a mineral line left by water.
On the floor molders an ancient linen shroud.

Dora crushes reddish hematite pebbles
in a shallow granite bowl.

We blow dust, one palm print each,
on the sandstone wall. Right hand.

Right hand. Paleolithic graffiti-form
above the celebrated vacancy.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


I raise my right hand.
My left hand rests upon a pine bough
that will be pulped soon and turned into bible pages.

No swearing in takes place.
No cussing out takes place either.

This testament has something to do
with the many faces of Jesus.

I know there was only one Christ.
But so many people wrote the gospels:
Canonical, Gnostic, Jewish-Christian, Infancy,
reconstructed, fragmentary and lost,
from the first Matthew to last century’s Gabriele Wittek.

More gospels than I have fingers and toes to count.
Fewer gospels than sparrows & finches at my bird feeder.

I recall our last meeting—the Christ and myself.
A cafe with a Middle Earth motif.
I found her outside the front door
with a whimsical cardboard sign
made with a carbon-6 molecule drawing
requesting organic dietary supplements.

I ordered green chile cheeseburgers
and lemonades for us both.

She invited me to leave my body.
But I love Albuquerque, the beauty of its faults
and messy racial-cultural issues,
and refused to go.

The Christian inquisition
before which I testify
wishes proof of the girl’s divinity,
but I have nothing more to share
than her cardboard sign
with its black block lettering.

I mean, I just knew she was the Christ.

I just knew she needed help
so I declared her the Christ
to make it easier
to liberate twenties
from my wallet
beyond the cost of lunch.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Everyone flocked about the Madonna
and Christ Child in the Manger.

It was happy hour on Good Friday.
Nobody liked thinking about endings.

So they traveled back in time to the beginning
when the story was much simpler.

It was beautiful in a way.
Several women dressed in their cheerleading outfits

lead the gathering crowd in Christian catchphrases,
but it unsettled the manger animals and the donkey brayed loudly.

The magi’s arrival was a few years off.
Many in the crowd brought cases of cloth diapers.

Others brought soap, washcloths, towels
and portable basins.

The inn keeper did good business,
but the added crowd control expense made it a wash.

The poor collected and sorted the trash.
They marveled at aluminum cans and clear plastic water bottles.

Herod the Great had no trouble locating the new born Messiah
and put him to death shortly after the crowd dispersed.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Okay. I admit it. This idea has been around for a long time ever since the early sci-fi writers explored the potential paradox of time travel. In one story, there were time police to make sure not too many people from the future visited the Christ in the Manger thus drawing attention to him. Wow. I read that a long, long time ago. Glad my memory found that storage unit.