Toward The Center

Despite my bad behavior
Gravity holds me to the earth.

Occasionally it does throw me down
to remind me who ultimately
wins every struggle.

Though gravity does not
affect my complexion
it does alter my arcs curves
lines and shadows.

My blood leads the resistance
insisting on climbing my legs
back to my heart
and up into my brain
to produce poetry
that expresses the ocean waves
crashing against my skin.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

As I Age

As I age
my skin fits looser
like my belt at forty-two
after losing
sixty-two pounds.

Gravity’s constant pull
has pressed weight
on my feet long enough
that my size thirteen narrow
is now thirteen medium.

At least age has forced me
to slip folded poetry pages
in my hatband
to fill the space
my ego once occupied.

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


Bluegrass. Horse worship.
My old Kentucky home.

Blue moon. Bourbon perfectly aged.
Coal country opioid agony.

Blue bruise. Horsewhip.
Too much porn viewed out of boredom.

Blue ink. Loan application.
Fake identity running ahead of the law.

Blue mood. Memory wreck.
Gravity draws down half-broken.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul lost his grip.
Gravity lost its grip at the same time.

A piece of paper floats upward.
Paul rises, believing he can now levitate.

He reaches for the piece of paper.
It evades him.

The sentences written on the page
about twenty-first century liberty

cause a scream to erupt
from a mouth doodled in the margin.

Gravity reasserts itself
when Paul is fourteen feet above the ground.

It does not put in enough effort
to pull him and the page back to ground.

Paul walks on air and snatches the page.
The page shouts the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Gravity Oversight Board
gently returns gravity to Earth Normal.

Paul’s grounding is anticlimactic.
So the poem does not end here.

Freedom’s weight makes the page
too heavy for Paul’s hand.

He lets go.
The page hitches a ride on the wind.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


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