When I was small children—
a small child—
I filled my hands with fallen leaves.
Nine in number.
One for each position on the ball field.

I used river smooth stones
to represent the other team.
Fifteen of them.

They needed subs during the game.

Four round magnets
taken from the refrigerator
represented the bases.

I used a crooked stick to measure
the base paths
but never got the diamond shape
to have ninety-degree angles.

The air in the back yard was not quite right
for my pretend stadium
with the rot of the compost pile
seeping out from the covering dirt.

So I set up in the side yard under the maple.

I was all twenty-four players
and two coaches—
one of which picked up a red phone
to call the bullpen.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Blue Irises

I see
the one solitary tree
that grows
behind your eyes
whose roots
bind to the rich loam
of your soul
and wonder
where are the birds
and insects
and climbing mammals
let alone any sign
of brown leaves
fallen and covering
your fertile

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


We made bread.
While it baked we imagined it in our mouths.

Once it was done baking,
we tasted our bread fresh from the oven.

We compared our imagined tastes
to the real taste upon our tongues.

The bread in your imagination tasted like the golden ratio,
thus a honey-butter smear did not compare.

The bread in my imagination sought out fishes
and a purer hand than mine to feed a multitude.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney