Plateau

In the desert
you smell rain storms

before they clear
the horizon.

It is the salt tinged
taste of hope.

It is magpies
bending in the heat.

My twisted heart
straightens in sage thick air.

Juniper snips
the bindings of time.

I dive into a cloud’s shadow
and swim.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Far Reaching Implications Of Chores

The sun drags us across the galaxy.
The shy moon slips back into the earth.
A background noise is contained in the void.

My job is to navigate the sun
through the echo, not running into anything
more substantial than gamma rays.

I make course corrections from the kitchen
at the sink as I wash dishes.
It is accomplished by how I align the tableware in the drainer.

The affect of these imperceptible course changes
may be measured no sooner than ten-thousand years.
I determine the corrections by observing the flights of magpies.

If I hold the refrigerator door open too long,
Jupiter slows its orbit and repositions its moons.

If I forget to sweep the kitchen floor
Saturn alters the tilt of its rings.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Elemental

Another season of hummingbirds.
The red blooms flame the noon eye.
Wasps stagger, drunk on fallen plums.
The sky unclouds its blues.
Such clarity demands black and white
and so a magpie lands on the nearest branch.
There are no dead here for him to carry over.
My Cubs shirt draws his scolding.
Sophie Germain could do the math.
How many dead can the magpie cross over at once?
A very large prime number I assure you.
I think they would prefer our muted dirt.
Vegetables and flowers will sound off soon enough.
A while back, Will’s ashes enriched our fig tree.
Carbon rich or carbon neutral?
He will be our Sunday host once the figs purple in August.
A white fright feather wafts from the blue.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

Link to Sophie Germain Wikipedia entry.

Seven-Twelve is Seven-Twelve Again

Hours ago, the sky stopped rotating,
but the earth kept right along.

Bees swirl around a bruised peach
like electrons around an atom’s nucleus.

The magpies attach towropes to the sky,
attempt to catch it up.

As we wait the magpies’ return,
the mistletoe consumes a cottonwood.

When you are barefoot,
bees harvesting clover blooms are tiny landmines.

This is the year the roses go on strike,
middle grey petals, a repellent metallic odor sent forth.

The bees refuse to pollinate the roses this season—
an unintended consequence.

The magpies return, pleased with their group effort.
The sky and earth synchronized with Swiss timekeeping precision.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney