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.



At night, while Dora sleeps,
a radioplay detective
examines her dreams
peering through her earbuds
down the auditory canal
and through the translucent
tympanic membrane.

The detective deciphers GPS coordinates
of every separated immigrant family,
with neural pointers to reconnect them,
but cannot extract this information
because the pill prescribed by spin-doctors
sleepwalks America
through another humanitarian nightmare.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


A clot of colors
with my now clean glasses put on
turns into a crowd of people
waiting in doubled-back queues
to be loaded onto buses.

The blues turn out to be uniforms,
men and women in uniforms—
not police, but something official,
the federal government I guess.

All the other colors are dirty,
travel and sweat stains
that darken the reds into burgundy
and the yellows into gold.

The snippets of language
that traverse the no-mans land
between me and the people I observe
are obscene, guttural and English.

Each person in the queue
wears an ankle bracelet—
twenty-nineteen’s version
of blue serial number tattoos.

As the buses fill, I feel
I’ve seen this scene before
in archival footage
of black and white train stations,
of people carrying everything they own
from Germany
on their way to a solution.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


When I saw the TV footage of the immigrant family separation policies of the 2018 US government, I was both angered and crushed. I could not believe that sort of treatment to human beings was going on in the US again. I say again, as a reference to the horrible treatment by the US government in the past to African Americans and Native Americans.

My anger got me to donate money to organizations that are working to reunite sundered families, to donate money to organizations fighting for human rights and against human rights abuses.

I was crushed emotionally and had to cease watching the news for several weeks as I found it all overwhelming.

I do not comprehend how the ICE agents who enacted the policies could in good conscience go to their houses of worship on their next holy day. The separation acts are so against how I view simple human rights and human decency.

It was months before I could write this. That happens when the emotions are too big for words, or for the mouth to speak or the fingers to type.

Love & Light