All Saints’ And Souls’

I procrastinated
longer than usual
to coordinate
the family reunion.
So much so
I was
the only one
who RSVP’d
for a September
in Albuquerque
New Mexico.
So, I changed
the date
to Día de los
and the location
to the cemetery
Winged Victory
watches over
the gate.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


I remember my brother’s coffin
before it was lowered into the ground.

He was cremated.
His ashes placed under a maple sapling we planted.

Someone took scissors to my memory.
They collaged over one with another.

Maybe this dual remembrance is a casualty
of too many concussions.

I suffered three big ones over the years.
Maybe those residual blows dig holes in my brain.

Maybe grief of a lost loved one
digs a hole in the brain as well as the ground.

I feel your fingers filling the holes
like my brain is a bowling ball.

No. That was water filling the hole
with seasonal freeze and thaw cycles.

It is a long time extracting tears
from eyes told Big boys don’t cry.

I was not big at the time of my brother’s death.
But I was told that axiom anyhow.

Maybe those tears are the waters
that filled the brain holes.

Maybe my memories were printed
with water soluble ink

and bled into other memories
which explains my eating potato salad

at my brother’s grave side
in the shade of a maple grown tall.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Day Of The Dead

White flags flap the streets under street lamps.
I am not sure to whom Albuquerque has surrendered.

Abandoned cars take the place of cheap motel rooms
and couples hookup to knock the rust off sex.

The heat generates a fog that cloaks the Central Avenue bridge.
The fog sparks with a Día de Muertos magic.

Border separated families emerge
into the land of the free, the home of the brave

to locate their missing loved ones, crossing the span
in a symbolic entry over the Rio Grande.

Albuquerque and all of New Mexico sheds
a long political intolerance tragedy.

I.C.E. agents and political operatives pack their bags
and head home to stimulate the holiday economy.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Okay. Day of the Dead was at the beginning of November and it is the day after Thanksgiving at the end of November. Inspiration arrives when it arrives without asking consent or paying attention to holiday correctness.

The border tragedies the U. S. government has enacted during Trump’s term in separating families has bothered me to no end. I believe the whole program is a human rights violation. Part of the UN definition of genocide (BBC explanation here) involves separating children from families. So, in my mind, large numbers of federal employees helped perpetrate, in the name of the American People, a genocide.

I am regularly amazed how often people who claim alignment to a religion that is created around the idea of the Golden Rule commit such heinous actions. Maybe amazed is the wrong word and I should say appalled.

I think everyone has to help ensure everyone else’s rights are maintained so their rights are maintained. This is why we have a rule of law and work to make sure those laws are fair and fairly applied.

So much for my Friday morning soap box appearance.

Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.


Day Of The Dead Barbie

In America
to be a recognized minority
you must be numerous enough
to provide a market share
for a limited edition ethnic Barbie
to celebrate her income earning power
for El Segundo California’s
Mattel Incorporated
multinational toy manufacturing
to take production capacity
away from Match Box toy cars,
American Girl doll collections,
the Polly Pocket line,
Ever After High dolls,
Monster High dolls,
Hot Wheels toy cars,
Thomas & Friends line,
and the entire Barbie
figurehead fashion doll
from its brand inception
back in nineteen-fifty-nine.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


A little more than a month ago local TV news had a segment on Dia De Muertos Barbie and that a limited edition was coming out. Since Albuquerque is majority Hispanic this went over well. Actually it went over well with everyone I talked to since Day of the Dead celebrations are popular in New Mexico.

Day of the Dead Barbie link.

Dia De Muertos (Day of the Dead) Wikipedia entry.

I like having a day set aside for remembering those who have passed. I find it much more satisfying than Halloween. This could be because I have passed the age of being able to eat sinful amounts of sweets without ill effects.

I think in modern times we forget that Halloween was called All Halo’s Eve. There was All Halo’s Eve, All Halo’s Day and All Saints Day. I do not remember whose tradition had it that the souls of the dead collected on earth and around All Halo’s day left this world for the next world. I will leave it to religious scholars to debate just what the next world is.

So, as the leaves fall, I remember friends and family who have passed during the year and over the years. It is not the only time I think about them, but I consciously bring up their faces from my memory and replay old encounters with them that make me smile.

Love & Light