Dreams in a Foreign Language

Lori has no beauty mark on her face
but feels beautiful anyway.

She dyes her hair blue, emulates Clementine
in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Lori would use Aladdin’s magical lamp’s wish
to banish porn from the internet.

She studies an old west photo book
of buffalo herds before they were decimated.

Lori refuses to ride in a man’s car
on the first three dates.

She thinks the door to salvation might reveal itself
watching orcas on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Lori considers the paradox that she
must lose her tongue to find her voice.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


While watching a documentary
about peeling an orange
and holding his own unpeeled orange
Paul felt a kick from a seed
like his hand was on Dora’s belly
the last time she was pregnant.

He felt several kicks
but could not determine
if it was one seed kicking
or many.

In the documentary
the host recommended
feeding the orange to a whale
so the fruit’s acid
combined with saltwater
might dissolve
the plastics ingested
by seaborne mammals.

Paul set his knife down
due to its plastic handle
now feeling minor-guilt
for being wasteful
and thoughtless
especially with plastic grocery bags.

The orange seed kicked again.

Paul was not sure what to do.
He teased his way through a thought
to locate through social media
an agriculturalist in Florida
and express mail the orange
with instructions for the orange
and orange seeds future.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

9/11 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago, I lived ten miles outside of the Port Angeles, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Being on the pacific coast I was 3 hours behind the east coast time. I woke, wrote poetry for a little over an hour and then checked the news on the internet. I saw a little feed-rectangle in the upper right corner of the screen showing a plane crashing into a tall building. I discounted the moving image as an advertisement for flight simulator game software and changed to the sport webpages to check baseball scores. I went about my day as if nothing unusual had happened. I mowed my lawn, played with my neighbors dogs, went hiking on Hurricane Ridge trails, stopped at the market for fresh seafood to make for supper.

It was not until 4:30 or 5:00pm that I noticed I had received a flood of emails. Most of the email writers knew I edited a small press poetry publication. They asked if I had heard from any of the New York City poets who I had previously published and were they okay. That was the moment when I realized something big had happened. Not having TV or dependable cell phone service at the house, I went to the internet to look up news and learned what I thought was a game ad was a terror attack and catastrophe.

One of the last emails of the day was from a NYC poet letting everyone in her email address book know she was physically okay, though shaken to the bone by the day’s events.

I did a lot of blank staring at the wall that evening. I knew the USA changed that day, but not what the change would be. My hopes were different than what took place over the last twenty years.

Love & Light. Love & Unite.


Two Inch Hailstones

I heard talk
that Apple’s ear buds
are set to burst
with enough force
to cause
or decapitation.

This will take place
when earthly violence
overmatches kindness
and some cloud algorithm
initiates Rapture
regardless of diverse faiths.

No matter
if this is truth
or internet rumor
the weather
will continue
to mystify
the forecasters
espousing national
and international

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


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