Dora Walks in the Rain

The field she walks through
mistakenly thanks her for the rain.

The field has no concept
of a creator god or heaven.

Nor any concept of pantheons
like the Inca or Babylonians worshiped.

The field’s concept of art
is sculpting flowering plants

out of a seed, itself and water—
molecular combinations and bindings.

The field is not sure about birds
but is thankful for the birds’ part

in spreading the living sculpture
beyond the bounds of the field.

The field is not sure why
the split rail fence gives it definition.

It remembers the early days
of consciousness

and the white horse who wandered it
like Dora wanders it now.

The field credited the horse
with bringing winter

since it was white
and the snow was white.

That may have been a dream
since the cold made the field sleepy.

Dora stops in a low corner of the field
as the rain puddles in that spot.

Looking past her drop-rippled reflection
she sees a portion of the field’s face.

She says Hullo in there.
The field smiles, but Dora does not see it.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


Dora’s orbit
collected space junk—
other people’s
lost buttons,
misplaced glasses,
forgotten credit cards,
discarded thoughts,
failed beliefs,
and severed roots.

She organized them
with the whirlwinds
that distribute fallen leaves
and treated them
with a cool rain
so moss and mushrooms
grow on surfaces
and send tendrils
for true pieces
of the previous owner.

Dora spent
no time
seeking to return
these objects
connected to her
through gravity
and aligned by motion.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Long Ago

I was devastated
the day I learned
Dora did not create
the universe.

I remained unclear
who did
so I gave the inventor
the rubber stamp God.

As it turned out, Dora
created our little patch
of the galaxy
doing touch up

for a great master,
like those painters
who specialized in rabbits
did for Rubens.

She burst my bubble
when I asked if she
created the earth
for us humans

and she told me
she never dreamed
such monstrosities
could evolve

from the micro flora
and fauna
she placed in the
seas and oceans.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Moon Over Syntax

Paul considered Dora’s elbow
as it stuck out
with her hands cupped
behind her head
as she reclined upon pillows.

His gaze drifted
across the bridge of her nose
to the wine glass
set upon a saucer
with scone crumbs
left there from morning.

He brought himself back
to their slim dialogue
but paid more attention
to how his hand felt
the gentle rise of her breath
from where it lay
diagonal across her belly.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Dora hugs me from behind for the first time.
It is the last time we will be together.
You have put earthly religions behind you
and immerse yourself in the eternal spirit.

She pushes me forward as she lets go.
When I turn, the empty air shimmers
like the old light of new stars
warm and close by.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Medicinal Beach

There is no hope
for black licorice
turned into swizzle sticks
to stir up old radio songs
with crushed ice
replacing screaming teenage girls
held back by the thin blue line
of the occasional blip
on a seismograph
that cannot account for hours
of waves depositing
a hundred thousand
boxed Star Wars action figures
on a medicinal beach
where Dora likes to sit
reading Prospero’s books
under a staged confession
to setting the shoreline afire
so it would carbonize
into a coal-black stick.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Just me having fun with language. Enjoy the penultimate day of 2019.

Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.



Dora is never ready
when you pull up in a car
and honk.

She won’t be ready,
until you get out of the car
and call at the door.

Dora will let you drive away
pissing and moaning
about her fidelity.

She knows where she’s going.
You are not her driver.
She is not along for your ride.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Test Of Time

Dora sat writing poems with a fountain pen.
She wrote outside during a thunderstorm.
The armchair poets would unplug their computers.
The blood and guts poets would thrust their fountain pens skyward.

Dora’s three legged dog balanced comfortably.
Dora rescued the dog from the people who ran her over.
The people who ran her over loved her and owned her.
The dog was happy to be freed from their lazy love.

The dog refused to fear thunder and lightning.
Dora had taught the dog to count between flash and boom.
The dog calculated distance, thus threat.
She hobbled inside when the count got down to two.

Dora will teach the dog to write poetry next.
Three legged poetry will stand the test of time.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

No Stone Tablets

Dora is the morning sunlight.
She is here with me.
She teaches me lessons so I may graduate.
The lessons are untamed wild things.
I am sweat soaked, exhausted and sunburnt.
I have nicks, sprains, pains, bruises and cuts.

The lessons are all about love.
The love is like Christian love without the dogma.
Love requires more courage than war.

Dora taught me not to set love down.
Not for a single second.
I must carry love into every action I perform each day.
Even simple actions like washing my face.
Or harder actions like looking deeply into my eyes in the mirror.

I am not quite sure how love plays on the baseball field.
Dora drops no hints, no fly balls either.
Love is a trial and error lesson where I must give it a go.

Dora is the evening sunlight.
Her light does not create hope in dark places.
Her light creates confidence in life’s success.

There are no lessons on sacrifice.
There are many lessons on respect.

I feel love strongest in my legs when I walk up the mountain.
The mountain is Dora’s teaching assistant.
It is easy to love in the heady air of the mountain top.
I must carry my learned lessons back to the valley
where people near the river live.

In time I will learn to see the mountain everywhere.
In time I will understand Dora’s burning heart.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


When I brought Dora home for the first time,
I instantly knew my house could not contain her.
How could a man-made structure contain a mountain,
contain an ocean, or contain the sky?

Immediately, I felt very small, shaken by her mythic enormity.

Her hand grasped my hand, steadied the dizzy universe,
allowed me a glimpse of this blue earth from the moon.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


I am old enough that I remember the first time color photos of the Earth, the Apollo 8 Earthrise, set within the vastness of space were presented on television. It was a powerful moment. It changed my perception and perspective.

My father was a scientist. I have always liked science and prefer well done science (as opposed to pseudoscience) for determining the truths I cling to. The thing is that with everything that science does explain, I find it deepens my love of the mysteries—the things not explained or not explained yet.

One of those mysteries is that some people seem to be far larger than their bodies. Their presence and their magnetism appear to my perception to be far larger than they can be.

The character Dora that I write about is a character imbued with mythic or magical qualities. In my mind, magic is simply a knowledge I do not possess.

Love & Light