Paul does not look to where he came from.
It has disappeared into the past.
The past is but a memory.
And memories change with each visitation.

He watches the news at night
only to have his brain cavity fill with blood
and the lines of victims queued
to tell their survivor stories.

Paul sees pupils sitting in a classroom.
They are present to improve their English—
to initiate the English language on their tongues
and struggle with unfamiliar syllables.

All those many old languages fall into the past
except at home with old country parents
who refuse to change though they initiated the change
approaching the promise of a flag and voice in government.

Paul sees on their skin the violence of the old country.
Scars that report blood once spilled into familial eyes.
Hands that must unlearn a culture departed.
Customs that change slightly with each visitation.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


The lady of the lake
sits on a shore-side rock
and looks down
into the placid waters
to see her image.

Behind her image
the sky contains white clouds
that billow into sails
and she believes great undertakings
are about to start.

She decides it is time to take a partner.

Even though the white clouds
portend migration
migration often leads to war
when cultural differences collide
and scarcity replaces plenty.

She decides the partner must be a migrant
so she may lead by example.
Add new blood into the old.
Add new thought into the old.
Add new practices over preaching.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


Tangled chain gold snake
eats its own tail.

Barroom band
layers one song upon another.

Long ago playground scene
currently projects from my eyes.

Uprooted exiles arrive
summoned to a new world

take over bankrupt farms
turn the landscape in preparation.

Though you do not recognize it
the light from a billion stars

illuminates every daylight footprint
each leaf in the canopy.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


At night, while Dora sleeps,
a radioplay detective
examines her dreams
peering through her earbuds
down the auditory canal
and through the translucent
tympanic membrane.

The detective deciphers GPS coordinates
of every separated immigrant family,
with neural pointers to reconnect them,
but cannot extract this information
because the pill prescribed by spin-doctors
sleepwalks America
through another humanitarian nightmare.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney