Inspiration

It use to be I got inspired to write poems
while walking four to ten miles on the mountain.

If my dogs accompanied me, I got less inspiration
because I minded them instead of inspiration.

It was not that my dogs were not inspiring
but I was sick of writing dog poem variations.

I did find positive feedback from poetry readings
brought out the desire in me to write more popular poems.

But then I wrote poems from that part of my head
that wanted to write positive feedback poems

and it pandered to the likes and dislikes of the audience
instead of writing from the heart.

My heart was happy I walked four
to ten miles on the mountain each day

since that kept my heart in good shape
and it beat without obstruction.

My beating heart did not care if I wrote poems or not.
I liked it when the dogs came along because my heart beat lighter.

During my walks on the mountain
I paid less attention to the mountain

than to my recent human interactions
especially if they involved love or the lust form of love.

The mountain and the mountain forests
did not feel ignored by my inattention to them.

Occasionally I was so lost in replay of an interaction
I tripped and fell due to inattention to the mountain.

My falls did not bang poems out of my head.
Though they banged a poem or two into my scraped hands for typing.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Underlying All Molecules

The revisionists got hold of the bible
and started a rewrite with Genesis.
They extended it to include evidence
of evolution and carbon-fourteen dating.

They dumped the begat chapter.

They created one hundred and seventy-two
synchronistic Abrahams
one each in the different cultures of the world
founding a religion as best each Abraham understood.

God did not order anyone to sacrifice a child.

The revisionists used two different fonts.
One for metaphorical verses.
One for literal verses.
They did not consider colored ink due to expense.

They did not include Jesus.

The revisionists made God
able to communicate with everyone at a heartfelt level
so that a savior was unnecessary.
Race and nationality never became an issue.

They gave women equal footing with men.

They gave people dogs instead of dogma.
Ritual remained important.
But not so important that ritual was static
and unbending.

There were no lists of death sentences.

The revisionists made clear that the apocalypse
was not an act of war or divine reckoning
but a revealing of the truth that exposed all closets
so people could be themselves—unafraid.

copyright © Kenneth P. Gurney

Evergreen Air Freshener Hangs from a Light

A broken TV
receives and projects
only FOX Opinion
to rooms outfitted with
green La-Z-boy loungers
set on synthetic carpets
with cigarette ash burns.

The sound comes out
of stereo speakers
that flank the fickle flat screen.
The fake walnut casing
clashes with the Bronco orange
paint on the walls.

A dog sleeps at the far end of the room
alert enough in sleep to wake
if a single footstep touches the carpet
even if the steps lead away
into the kitchen and a half empty case
of beer cans.

Flies in the kitchen buzz
in slow death on a toxic strip
or in full life over food
not yet put away into the fridge
after canned supper
was emptied into a pan.

The only art on the walls
is provided by gun manufacturers
who sold this guy
on the idea of survival
after the apocalypse
of democracy
spread to all hands.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Before a Walk

The thrasher’s tweedle-eet
startles me awake.

The apple tree
does not care if I acquire knowledge.

I read each incandescent leaf
of a poetry book

while eating potent cereal
without the fear of added sugars.

There are no curtains to pull aside.
Sunrise invites itself in.

Why do train conductors
not spark and shock people as they take tickets?

Such questions afflict me
in the time between stars and blue sky.

I never call my dog a bad name
because she never calls me a bad name.

When I place my bowl in the sink
my dog knows it’s time to go to the door.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Filled To Brimming

Consider the dishwasher.
How after you fill yourself with dinner
you fill it with plates, flatware and glasses.

Outside the light takes that slant
that turns the air to honey
as if a magician snapped her fingers.

Inside the dog is frustrated with you
for not sharing your food
and lies down in a huff by the sliding doors to the backyard.

As you slide into your easy chair
and take in hand a magazine
you have been meaning to read

you consider police cams
and imagine if you had to wear one
to document all of your work activities

during office hours
with the knowledge that superiors
and independents will review

your every single keystroke
and zoomed business interaction.
Big Brother? Or checks and balances?

Your partner brings you tea.
Caffeine-free mint because it’s evening.
You plunge yourself

into an article about the armor and weapons
the Greeks and Trojans used
in the various eras covered by Homer’s Iliad.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Himalayas

The wet lick of a damp tongue
left on your cheek glistens
a snail’s slow passage.

How did you not tumble
out of sleep as the shell
pulled you up out of the tide.

I mean the bright opals on your cheek
catch the dog’s eye
startled out of its color blindness.

Or you could call it pearlescent
if you prefer to describe it as luster
like a moon bean on the bucket’s raw metal.

Imagine the snail’s destination.
So important it decided
to cross the Himalayas of your bulk.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Your Side Of The Bed

I see you have a new
boa constrictor.

Your voice tells it
to stop crushing the elephant

decorated comforter
or you’ll put it out to the dog house.

Last year’s dandelion puffs
cloud your bathtub

in place of fragrant
bath bubbles.

This prevents you from
soaking too long

thus pruning your skin
into a bushel of peri-wrinkles.

Our dog started eating
the boa constrictor’s tail

just as the boa swallowed
our dog’s tail

in the imitation
of something mythic

I once heard you murmur
between your petite snores.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Attachment

Delphi recalls her dog
after lavender overwhelmed its senses.

The dog ran outside herself
the silver thread barely visible in moonlight.

Delphi knows the importances
of walking away from yourself to gain perspective.

Last night she swam the ether
to the international space station.

Some part of deep sleep
rewinds the soul-cord to the bodily spool.

The dog inflated its astral self
like a balloon at Albuquerque’s Fiesta.

She meant to spread herself like a kite
to catch the solar wind.

There she was the next morning
curled, tail on nose, at the foot of the bed.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Pent Up

Paul let his hammer sing
through the air and crash

on two small plastic toys
that broke previously

under his boots
because he did not bother

to carry a flashlight
on this well known patch

of woods and rocks
last night after dark,

returning from watching
a cormorant at dusk

out of place
on a beaver pond

on the stream
carrying snow melt

down the unvisited
mountain top.

Paul’s dog flinched
each time the hammer struck

and little pieces flew
in all directions

for Paul to vent is rage
at turning his ankle

a deep blue-black
and swollen

after sidestepping
other might-be toys

and landing on
a tree root wrong.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney