New Midnight Ritual

I wake from a dream.
It was not my dream.
A flock of snow geese dreamt me.

An owl swooped down
with the message scrolling from its beak
I am the savior of the world.

The owl ate me.
But I did not die.
I felt myself pressed into canvas.

Hieronymus Bosch added colors
with confident brush strokes.
He shaded dimensions on a lost Annunciation painting.

Words scroll from Gabriel’s mouth to Mary’s ear.
The pope and bishops sit at a table in the background,
knives and forks ready to parse the cooked goose.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Drum Minor

I marched the football field.
One end to the other end repeatedly.
I scored a great many touchdowns.
No one kept score.

I marched as much as humanly possible
in a non-marshal manner.
I did carry a long paper tube baton and twirled it,
but that was to keep mosquitoes away.

Much of the time I marched I pretended
I was part of a drum and bugle corp band.
The rest of the time I marched I pretended
I was a protester near the White House.

There was some overlap in my pretending.
It was not my intention to interrupt
the President’s tea with India’s ambassador
with a hundred and twenty bandmates.

The geese at the nearby lake
paid me little heed after they learned
that I did not bring them any bread
and honked their disappointment.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


On Amtrak, Empire Builder, Chicago to Seattle,
a woman unwraps a newspaper cone
containing warm cinnamon almonds.
The aroma attracts the attention
of everyone in the car.

Her liberal kindness employs
a take two policy for each person.
She feasts upon fifty smiles,
stories from three willing to join her,
her view out the window.

They spot a lone coyote
sprinting across a barren space
to trigger a mass ascension
of snow geese at a lake’s edge
ice thin and crackly.

The coyote comes away
with a goose one wingbeat too slow
to escape gravity and the victory prance
that carries it home.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney