Under the juniper
two Cinnamon Rabbits rest in shade.

The bird bath water tempts them
but the yard is too open

and the lack of bird sounds
suggests a nearby hawk.

Paul and Lori sit on the porch couch.
They discuss the rabbits

Easter’s traditions
and how you cannot eat just one Peep.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sixty Watts

Paul carried a spare suspicion
around with him in his wallet
like a condom when he was younger.

He did not necessarily believe
the suspicion longed for a new home
but it nagged at him.

He made adjustments
for the reality of wherever
his feet took him.

Paul wished his feet took him to a car
that matched the keys
in his right thigh pocket.

He was not quite sure
if his concern over his spare suspicion
would lead to an anxiety attack.

He was quite sure
he had stuck out his thumb seven times
and no one slowed to give him a look.

Paul watched a box fall out of a truck
and land on the shoulder
while the truck drove on.

Upon reaching the box he discovered
it was not so full of lightbulbs
because most of them broke on impact.

The spare suspicion in his wallet
did not take the box and its falling seriously
and asked Paul to move on to the next town.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney


Lori walked alone
into the woods
and sat
near the pond
to wait
half an hour
for twilight to arrive
and the rhythmic
trills of tree frogs
so the depth
of their sound
would return to her
a sense of the infinite
which she
accidentally placed
in the Sunday
collection plate
while visiting
her sister
in Seattle.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Saturday During a Rainstorm

Paul reached for an oblong pill box.
It sat on a coffee table.

He thought if he took a single pill
he would turn into Oppenheimer in Los Alamos.

He knew it was a silly thought
but thought it three times anyway.

Paul let the TV flicker through shades of grey
as it displayed a black and white John Wayne western.

He kept the sound off.
He did not like the sound of gun shots.

Paul knew John Wayne from the Undefeated
would get gunned down and bleed to death on his street.

He gazed point-blank at a double-zero brush
with union blue paint near the tip.

He finished a row of six millimeter miniatures
to add it to the other union soldiers and artillery.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Mixed Media

As I stood on a hillock
in a wilderness area
with my hand up
to shade my eyes
so I could follow
a hawk’s flight
a feather
wafted down
detached from
spread wings.
I felt blessed
as if gifted
when it landed
two steps away.
Yet I felt my
picking it up
embezzled a little bit
of nature
if secreted home
to become part
of a future assemblage
of other blessings
that found me this year.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney


On the sandy ground
between sidewalk and street
a singular piece of sky.

I looked toward the heavens
all morning
in my attempt
to return it
from its displacement.

My anticipated joy
at finding its spot
dashed to the concrete
I stand on.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Tiles Darken

Lori eats a scrambled egg
and sips English Breakfast from a mug.

She prognosticates about the clouds.
Their mono-shape suggests rain is imminent.

She reads an article displayed on a tablet
about humpback whales and navy sonar.

Lori recognizes the patio tiles require leveling
and thinks about pulling a hollyhock bloom to eat.

She stands, moves to the sink
and rinses the black bowl clean of egg.

Her eyes dilate as the sun breaks through
and fresh rain forms a rainbow.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Lost Habitat

The wind picked up the snow
and returned it to the sky.

I went outside to an icy patch
and started my Olympic speed skating training.

My wife returned on Valentines day
with heart shapes elegantly stored
in her luggage.

Her return initiated our good times.
We did not care if someone else
did good times a little bit better.

All the heart shapes she brought home
emitted nervous voices
when magnets attached them to the fridge.

With the sudden warm snap
I tried speed skating on top of ice trays
and on top of a vanilla ice cream container
but the freezer was a bit cramped to really get going.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

White Expression of the Divine

The street corner prophets were so thick
it was impossible to cross the street
or reach the walk button.

Even though each of them preached salvation
in one variation or another of the splintered Abrahamic traditions
I professed I believed them all to be false.

I assumed each and every one of them
had had a spiritual experience
and were shaken to the core of their sanity.

Grade school and high school
kept students ruthlessly ignorant of such evolutions
with long dissertations on longer dead white male poets.

There was a woman off to the side
who fed coins into a parking meter
so her table full of climate change literature

would not get ticketed and booted.
I thought she might be the real deal
because she got shat on six times by clustering doves.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Big Picture

Piñons do not care
if Christianity gets its panties in a twist
over homosexuality.

A flying squirrel does need
a crucified savior.

A bighorn does not read passages
carved in stone tablets
found on a mountain top.

Flowers begat flowers
which begat flowers
which begat even more flowers
without a long record of names.

Mice do not debate the spiritual benefits
of capitalism and communism
in congressional chambers.

No grizzly bear has ever entered a church
and gunned down congregants
trying to start a race war.

No dolphins write smartphone apps
and lose endless days staring at tiny screens.

Oak trees lining a boulevard
do not purchase collision insurance.

Dogs befriend humans
in an effort to protect them
from their most corrupt fears.

Cats practice being there and not being there
depending on whether they are observed or not.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney