Lori wakes her bones vibrating
thus moving her muscles.

The house remains its normal quiet
for the early hour.

It empties itself of cohabitating animals
except for two trout in the bathtub.

Lori sees by the sunrise it is June
through the window and in the mirror.

She swings her legs out of bed
as she twitches up

from the tug of strings
hung from crossed rafters

of a house wishing to maneuver
its occupants.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


A red checkered
one of many cut from
a single Italian restaurant
table linen
soaks slanted rain water
that pressed into the house
under the window.

The absorbed water
wicks only halfway
across the cloth
causing the red to deepen
and the white to turn to dull gray.

The wood there
is a bit warped
and paint cracked
and bubbled
from previous storms
that sped
across the valley
to tremble
our home’s bones.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Darkening Fieldwork

My childhood house
was built on a hill side—
terraced walls observable
out the dining room
picture window.

Sunset was never visible—
only the buckets of blood red sky
way above the horizon.

A bee tried to apply
its definition of god
to the window glass
as it buzzed furiously
to get at the centerpiece vase
with its bright bouquet.

I found the bee asleep
on the windowsill
the next morning.

I lost my yellow Tonka dump truck
somewhere in a sandbox
construction project
when a catastrophic landslide
buried several toy workmen
we never found.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

House And Home

My body battered by my mind
trembles in place.

My blood hollows itself
blueing under oxygen debt.

Knights joust upon my tongue.
A soggy pink field torn to pieces by mad charges.

Love is a word I do not speak to myself.
It is an abstract others speak of solidly.

It has something to do with the difference
of the words House and Home.

My body houses what God’s mouth
breathed into me.

But this flesh does not feel like home
for all my consumed communion wafers.

In this state I tell myself
this night I feel the holy dark about me

and the floor’s broken glass is fear
not a bottle dropped

after liquid numbness fails
to add color back to old photos.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney