Reveal

Bent on my desk
an orange origami crane sits
one among a rainbow flock.

But it is that one
the light through the bent blind
illuminates as if chosen from on high.

And an imperfection
in the window glass
magnifies the intensity of the light

until it appears that one crane
practiced self-immolation
after browning and bursting

into orange flame
that mocked the color
of the crane’s paper.

I did not strike the flame
with the flat of my hand
but watched it flare and die out

leaving no mark on my desk
except a little flecks
when I swept up the ash.

And I swear I saw
the other paper cranes
spontaneously divulge haiku

as if the heat from the flame
caused lemon juice script
to darken.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Traffic Rumbles In The Background

A thrasher knocks a bumble bee out of the air
and duels with it until the bee is dead and eaten.

The grizzled Russian men play chess
and grumble about their stale fortune cookies.

Someone’s young daughter places an origami crane
on a stray dog’s nose.

A bus lowers itself with a great whoosh
to ease sidewalk access for the elderly with canes & walkers.

A yiddish accent recounts her loss for words
when she first saw the Grand Canyon from Bright Angel Lodge.

Two navy officers talk about a war
three hundred years in the history books.

On my park bench, I wait for my father to come along.
He is twenty-seven years in the grave.

Punctual as always, his ghost arrives.
We chat corn futures and the trade war’s effects on farms.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney