Very Bad Thing

Delphi’s shoulders are now much smaller
thus do not hold up the world anymore.

At least she asked for help
and we all pitched in to steady earth’s orbit.

We took turns spreading liniment
on achy muscles we could not reach ourselves.

Delphi made a schedule
so not everyone would help the same day.

Tomorrow we must realign the planet
so Wisconsin is not at the equator.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Daughter of the Red Cliffs

The instant the Blue Woman’s daughter
was born, the earth spoke harshly:
everyone listened, some ran out of the hospital,
some crossed themselves and muttered prayers
to the blessed virgin.

Like any mother warning an intruder
to stay away from her child,
the Blue Woman screamed
with the final flexing of muscles
that pushed her daughter
into the attending midwife’s hands
and the earth backed up three paces,
spoke again, but softer, conceding,
then grumbled its discontent
in another part of the city.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Filaments

An idea turns my head
to the night-dark sky

and I ask, Why is Heaven
placed in all that emptiness?

I lost myself looking up
and fell into simple easy breathing.

I move to relax
under a late Autumn elm tree.

I notice how its slim branches
connect stars

the tips plug into the sky
and channel Heaven into Earth’s soil.

I reach my hand up, fingers spread,
to accomplish the same.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Card Game

Dora stopped playing.
The earth stopped turning.

The stick figures of distant people
tottered and fell down
as the world stuttered to a stop.

One hundred and thirteen religions
sprang into existence
with various explanations
and interpretations of events.

Dora returned from the bathroom.
She picked up her newly dealt hand.
The earth began to spin.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Bearing

I think about leaving.
as I sit against a witness tree.
It is all about staying.
It is all about this beloved earth.

I sing time into a fog.
I feel memory unwrap from my being.
As I waft away from gravity
I know memory is the tether that holds me here.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Observance

From an old faded
purple velvet
Crown Royal bag,
Dora draws Night out
and unfolds it.
For a few minutes
she spins it
on her raised fist,
then tosses it
high into the sky
and canopies
the earth with stars
to a depth unseen
and unfelt in daylight.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney