Clean Away

A wake scheduled
for four-thirty in the morning
revels the scrape and rub
of knees and elbows
and the first lightning
of an approaching monsoon,
whose thunderclap
must be imagined
as six syllables
impacting the breastbone.

The gathered
form an imperfect circle
around a long time friend
who conjured the notion
that his ashes
be mixed
into the sandy ground
at first light.

The approaching storm
whips up such a violence
as we stir him
into the arroyo’s bank,
knowing the coming
flash flood
will strip him clean away.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Lift

Your footsteps
jar the seismograph pen.

You carry the weight
of your friends’ deaths.

The faerie gate is near.
So is the ferryman with his bony hand.

Your steps cause no real damage
if you let go soon.

You discover
the weight is your pulling down

what would rise toward the heavens
left to its own accord.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney