Middling

The last time I flew to the moon
my feet remained grounded in Albuquerque.

I thought I would be the first to visit the lunar surface
but there were foot prints in the dirt

that looked like Fred Astaire
and Ginger Rogers had danced there.

I’ve seen those steps in nineteen fifty’s
home dance lesson kits with numbered footprints.

Now you know I am talking about the past
before Mark McGwire’s prodigious home run seasons.

Before. Neil Armstrong and the Apollo Eleven mission.
Before Jackie Gleason and Alice.

I was five years old and my conscious mind
did not prevent me from doing things I thought possible.

I hate that I am now limited by reality
as taught to me through university and peer pressure.

If you need me I’ll be seated halfway down the staircase
Not at the bottom. Not at the top.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Thinking Before I Speak

At a loss for words
my tongue clicks against
the roof of my mouth.

What do I say
so the moon takes human form
and visits for a time.

What would I say
to all those who expectantly look up
to see the starry void instead.

It would take a life time or two
to speak three billion apologies
in person.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Enumeration

The sleepless moon
flings itself across the sky.

Bankrupt cottonwoods
shed their leaves to pay their Spring debts.

Winding a clock backwards
fails to make me any younger.

Nor does it allow me a do-over
on my blunders.

Accumulated disappointments
rest in a warehouse awaiting distribution.

So many folks discount kindness
my retail shop goes under.

Some starlight hits the atmosphere wrong
and falls to earth broken.

I never wish to calculate love
or print love’s version of baseball cards.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Chalk Moon On The Sidewalk

Paul climbed a ladder
to take a look on top of a cloud.

It was not the thousands of pink balloons
he expected to see holding up the cloud.

Paul refused to tell me
what he saw on top of the cloud

until I tilted a windmill of my own
and I lived in the desert near Albuquerque.

Paul cautioned me that the turbines
on the wind farms do not count as windmills.

I think he wanted a loaf of bread
to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I asked him to listen to the birds
and I would be home before the moon disappeared.

I was delayed at the grocery by a beautiful checkout girl
who was unfamiliar with how to count back change

on a cash transaction
and nearly missed my self-imposed deadline.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Crows Flying

In a dream
the crows came
to the place
where your body
lay dead
and clutched
your limbs
in their claws
then heaved
their wings
and bore you
into the sky
in a reenactment
of how
they once
lifted the moon
beyond the clouds.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Where Things Go

After overhearing me
speak into the phone
and say, The moon
is made of green cheese
,

the mouse in my library
opened all my old
physics and astrophysics
textbooks

and shopped on-line
for rocket parts
after abducting my credit card
from my wallet while I slept.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Expectation Met

I am a star falling.
The night sky refuses to catch me.
The moon refuses to catch me.

Please lift your eyes from the ground.
I need you to catch me.
Your eyes predict my arc of descent.

I ask that you employ courage.
I am made of fire.
Please hug me to your chest.

When you feel the bump and burn,
press me past skin and bone.
I glow inside you.

This merger is beyond your imagination.
Nothing explains it.
You feel our oneness.

As you glow from inside
your friends see and they ask
if you are a promise delivered.

You know love.
Its pain. Its joy.
Your eyes never close again.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Spin

People took their senses and left.
They exited through a fold in time.
Their path was lined with palm fronds.
Their path was lined with paintings of palm fronds.

The moon stalls in the heavens above Chicago.
A layer of ice slicks Lake Shore Drive.
A whiteness flattens the landscape perspective.
A whiteness evaporated lifting everything.

People entered a backdrop constructed of Goodwill items.
A thick salt shaker glowed a phosphoric white.
Its glow burned eyeballs at ten paces.
Its glow burned a lattice of family silhouettes into memory.

The moon starts across the heavens.
It is done with showing us the same face.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney