Paul walked under a canopy of alders—
a thirty year restoration of a dry lightning burn.

He wondered if the earth saw the area
fire-voided trees as a scar

as part of the beauty of the earth being itself
or a surface matter of little consequence.

Animals repopulated the alders as to their liking.
Others remained away missing the old growth.

Paul admitted to no one present
that the shade was different. Cooling but different.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


Bent on my desk
an orange origami crane sits
one among a rainbow flock.

But it is that one
the light through the bent blind
illuminates as if chosen from on high.

And an imperfection
in the window glass
magnifies the intensity of the light

until it appears that one crane
practiced self-immolation
after browning and bursting

into orange flame
that mocked the color
of the crane’s paper.

I did not strike the flame
with the flat of my hand
but watched it flare and die out

leaving no mark on my desk
except a little flecks
when I swept up the ash.

And I swear I saw
the other paper cranes
spontaneously divulge haiku

as if the heat from the flame
caused lemon juice script
to darken.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


The fire’s smoke:
so much red-orange tinsel.

Atop the chimney cowl, ravens
warehouse rising heat.

Our walls murmur
yesterday’s conversations.

I received from you one dozen kisses,
so much like pink roses.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


What fascinates me
about fire
is not the licking
yellow-orange flame
but ignition,
the phosphorous
sulfide burst
of a struck match head
or the extremely rare
dry leaf
under a sunbeam
by a dew drop.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney