Joins In As One

Her perfect voice
remains silent.

When she says, I love you.
It penetrates marrow deep.

When we walk the cemetery
her fingers twine with mine.

A white stone marker has no name
and halts our progress.

There is space enough
for both our names.

We muse about crossing over together
and what awaits us.

A cello ushers in the night.
Her perfect voice joins in as one.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


A mother’s love
is not guaranteed at birth.

Genetics supply
only a protective instinct.

Postpartum depression
cancels both.

This is the way of the world.
God made it so.

To find perfection in this fact
is to stand on Nirvana’s cusp.

I see you hesitate to walk
into an unpolished pearl.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sudden Rush

Reason shivers my spinal orangutan.
This is not a riddle.

You must learn me to love me.
Discard whatever you know each morning.

I am your happy hour drink.
I am a dream you forget each morning by eight.

In the twelve tastes a quarter apple
remains tangible but out of reach.

In the twelve quarters an owl
has no meaning devolved to humanity but owl.

My twelve sided face speaks with one tongue.
A ticket for little boats apt to capsize midstream.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Porch Swing

I try.
I try hard.
I try hard to remember.
I try hard to remember not to forget.

Today is my four thousandth
two hundred and seventy-second
day of loving you.
That is my longest streak until tomorrow.

Serendipity was our matchmaker.
Or God if you prefer.
Or the eclipsing moon you watched
out in your yard when I walked by.

There are beautiful birds in the cholla.
The front porch needs sweeping.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Around The Dog

Not tonight.
No he said she said.

No ping pong either.

No! Table tennis
is ping pong by another name.

Not fair of you to try to slip one by me.

I am tired and U. S. Grant’s migraine
infects my left hemisphere.

Yes. The brain. I feel blurry.

So now you think
we are a few hours from surrender.

Oh, how Appomattox of you.

This bedroom is not
Wilmer McLean’s parlor on April ninth.

Good night, dear.

Roll over and fall asleep
with your arm around the dog.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


You lie on the sun warmed floor.
A concrete slab.

Your diaphragm rises and falls
with each full breath

and lifts the kitten
curled upon your belly.

You drift upward on the thermals
as your body rests.

The thermals circulate
through the entire house.

Your spirit enters my studio window
and rearranges charcoal

already set to the toothy paper
at the easel.

You give the page magpies
stroked by sunlit fingers.

You give tremors to my spine
when you open me up.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


A silk scarf hints sweet balm.
A bee hovers midair.
A fingertip nudge.
Moistened lips glisten.
Incoming honey light spear.
Infinite prism subsets scatter.
Widening temptation.
A syllable caught on inhaled breath.
A sharp amber bulb.
White shudder impact.
Cupid’s rubber tipped arrow adheres to glass.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Part Of Love

Paul’s hand rests on Lori’s independence.
A few days ago it was her thigh.

The disappearance of Lori’s affection
leaves Paul covered in dust.

Each chooses seconds
to negotiate the terms of a duel.

The seconds urge them to visit
a couples counselor.

Lori and Paul chose yelling
and screaming instead.

Their yelling and screaming cleared the air,
but a new front brought in more storm clouds.

The seconds tired of Paul and Lori
making their lives miserable,

suggested they start over
with more attentive ears.

But Paul and Lori grew up in homes
where yelling and screaming was part of love.

copyright 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


I know
we are not strangers.

Let go of the rotting surface.
Bad days happen.

No canvas stretched today
will be blank.

The colors are pulled
from our unconscious biases.

Straight strokes or curved.
The bite of linen’s tooth.

I know your face.
The freckled pattern of your cheeks.

You know my emotions
telegraphed from the corners of my eyes.

In the sway of our lingering
familiarity balances with contempt

as you and I reflect
on liberties and unmet expectations.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Where You Are

We seek each other out.
We are not hard to find.
You in your studio.
Me in my poetarium.

We speak something akin to religion.
We speak something to raise our spirits.
Our incantation of togetherness.
I love you.

The words paper the walls
of every room in the house.
They dot the backyard
like birds pecking the seed we spread.

I did not give up
on the search for home,
but accepted I found it
where you are.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney