Lanky Steps Trod

The street preacher who walked up to Paul and Lori
calmly told them to keep burning.

He missed giving the benediction at funeral masses.
He loved to speak in latin to lay people.

When there were no folks on the block to save
he sat and watched birds like flying farolitos at night.

He rejected all of the feminine questions.
He dismissed those he thought followed the cult of Mary.

He debated aloud with the voice in his head.
Occasionally he recited dreams verbatim.

Whenever he saw white collars his face drooped in sadness.
Whenever geese swam the city fountain his face lifted in joy.

He was an effective detour of gang-bangers.
They feared his glory might be contagious.

One day he critiqued maestro Leonardo’s Last Supper
while pointing at the window table in the cafe across the street.

He embraced his loneliness and solitary visions
confident there were people to save from monotony.

He removed garlands of unmet expectations from shoulders.
He implored passersby to expose their secrets.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


The other day I could swear
I saw my first car drive by.

It would be forty-two years old now.
Back then, I sold it as is.

As is included a crowded back seat
with a box of buckwheat cereal.
Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
A jade plant in terracotta pot.
My softball spikes
glove, bat, and team t-shirt.
A past due library book on snakes.
Fourteen found puzzle pieces.
A leaded green telephone pole glass.
Two pennies.
Three nickels.
And seven dimes.

When I approached the car
I swore was my first car

all of that stuff remained in the back seat
but had been incorporated into a 3D diorama
of da Vinci’s Last Supper
partially covered by a floral beach towel.

And the eighty-seven cents
had grown to three dollars and eighteen cents.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney