The bricks soften.
The building bends
to create more space
for a bird to avoid windows.

Scientists ask how.
Social-Scientists ask why.
Bird watchers cheer.
Birds think it great fun
to see the building twist
and contort.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


I failed to appreciate that this thunderstorm
formed a thousand miles ago
and traveled all this way for us.

It was an unusual storm.
It washed sin from the body,
but not dust from the sky.

The thunder rolled with laughter.
The lightning struck
like a flash of wit.

It affected only those people
who went out into the wonder
of the darkened sky.

Those who took cover
mistook the humility in the air
for public humiliation.

They hid behind brick and mortar,
unlike my dogs
who clamored to get outside.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


The sky came too close.
I felt claustrophobic.

My hand reached up and touched it.
I failed to push it away.

I wished to assign blame.
I was the only one around.

With the sky closing in,
the horizons felt at liberty to do so too.

All shadows became smaller.
They were compressed upon themselves.

Madness emanated from condensed shadow.
It wanted to box the sky.

I sought a reset button.
It must have been hidden in the shadows.

The sky came so close
I felt obliged to drop to one knee.

From one knee I fell flat
and felt the cool grass on my chest.

The pressure of the sky upon my back
and the horizons on my sides

turned out to be therapeutic and calming,
until your phone call jarred me awake.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

I Almost Touched You

But you said I could only touch you
from the direction of the wind.

It was south-south-east at the moment
but at only three miles an hour.

I feared you would interpret it
only as a breeze.

Splitting hairs? You were
quite particular that Wednesday.

In a mood not to be trifled with.
You carried a note pad for taking names.

You had yet to call me Honey
or Sweetie or some other pet name.

I saw your shadow flicker
and snap straight like a flag.

From the direction of the solar wind
I approached you.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Blank TV Screen

The dance of dragonflies enchants me.
When I become stressed out
I return to them.

During a time of pandemic
all paths walked are trails of tears.
The enemy microscopic soldiers
commit an insidious blue violence.

As much as I try not to judge
there comes a point
when I am too pissed off not to.
And I must restrain myself
from beating the shit out of the deniers.

Contact tracing informed me
a belligerent mask-less man in my grocery
tested positive and asymptomatic
in the hour I purchased
the season’s first peaches.

I howled for that man to be charged
with reckless endangerment,
for him to pay for my covid testing
and hospitalization if it occurred.
And if I died, to up the charge to manslaughter.

I spent the rest of the day
at the edge of the pond with dragonflies
dancing in front of my sofa.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


This is a fiction designed to provide space for my frustration with people who flaunt the mask wearing orders of our governor. They are quite vocal and belligerent the few times I’ve happened upon them being denied entry into grocery stores and home improvement big box stores.

Space For Failure

Paul uncovers himself
for the purpose of reproduction.

This is a self portrait
not yet themed in red or blue.

Look at the pinched aspect of his face.
How clean his fingernails are!

See the flush of his skin.
(His hormones shut down his logic center.)

This is a teaching moment.
This is a learning moment.

The lesson is whether either partner will speak up
and state what they really want tonight.

To trust words and discussion
over subtle body cues.

To grasp if intimate talk about desires
deepens or destroys the mood.

Paul fears that routine
becomes a comfortable set of chains.

He wishes experimentation without the expectation
of getting it all right on the first try.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Three Questions

Do you believe in theological lollypops?

When I was young, I licked
the Good Samaritan parable
up one side and down the other.


Too many theologians
ask parishioners to strap bombs
to their bodies and detonate
in public places
to prove their love for god.

What about Christmas?

Only if there is snow enough
to give me pause between breaths,
looking at the dotted sky
knowing there is a yule log
in the hearth to be burned
through the twelfth night.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


In the indigo time,
between sleeping and waking,
the dream of love
feels the first manipulations
of the conscious mind.

During indigo
the conscious mind slides
out of the shadows
like a pilfering thief.

The whole message
slips through the thief’s fingers.
The sacred text of the sub-conscience
blurred and sullied.

Absorbed like rain
back into the fertile dreamscape
as energized thinking
rises like the sun
burning off the ground fog
of dreaming.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Delight As A Fly

Paul tried to feed his logical mind
so he could taste the infinite.

But logic rejected all of his astronaut dreams,
fantastical dragons and Dali surrealism.

So his mind ate a bland fair
of serious words and earth sciences.

His eyes saw starlight as math.
Equations proved speed and time.

His arm never rose from his side
to reach toward the galaxy.

Mid-sentence he lost himself
as nearby thunder shook

an oyster shell open
to reveal an opalescent sun.

It rose out of the shell
to take a place in Paul’s void.

It spun in that empty space
around an all consuming blackness

that entangles stars
but consumes only one arc second of light.

A single ray as thin as spider silk
stretched across empty parsecs.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney