In a small boat
in Port Angeles harbor
a woman basked
in moonlight
as a breeze nudged
her small boat
closer to
the breakwater
of Edez Hook
and the coast guard
air station.

The Coho Ferry
to and from Victoria
was done
for the night
so its regular path—
which should
have rutted
the strait
of Juan de Fuca—
would not be
an issue
until an hour
after dawn.

In the small boat
Leaves of Grass
lay open
on her belly
as she
lolled back
on a blanket
and let the stars
ease her breath
until it reached
the ground
the salty bay.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul stands in a corridor.
He calls it a hallway.

We could call it a library
since books line both walls.

He is there to locate
the Encyclopedia Britannica

even though we stand
in the United States of America.

He looks up Fata Morgana
and he is directed to Morgan le Fay

Morgan of the Faeries and faerie castles—
mirages at the horizon line.

Though the entry speaks of the Straits of Messina
between Sicily and Italy’s toe

Paul believes it is the same
between Port Angeles Washington

and Victoria British Columbia
crossing the strait of Juan de Fuca.

Not today though since vaporous fog
blocks any view looking north

and the coast guard’s fog horn
rattles the cups in the cupboard.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Outside Port Angeles

Snow falls on the ocean
and approaches the cedars on land.

The mud at the side of a stream
that enters the ocean hardens by freeze.

Deer birds big cats hide themselves
as the fall thickens, speckles my line of sight.

I brought you here
into these ancient woods

under these conditions
thinking it might change you.

Foolish me.
But not disappointed

at your requests to go home
and make hot chocolate

for a seat by the hearth
to watch the dancing flames.

The snow collects on your long hair
scarf and shoulders.

I appreciate such beauty
and your bothered brown eyes.

You call out to our dog Home!
so she would know

we turned around
even though she was out of sight

bounding though the trees after a rabbit
not letting any snow collect on her back.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

9/11 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago, I lived ten miles outside of the Port Angeles, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Being on the pacific coast I was 3 hours behind the east coast time. I woke, wrote poetry for a little over an hour and then checked the news on the internet. I saw a little feed-rectangle in the upper right corner of the screen showing a plane crashing into a tall building. I discounted the moving image as an advertisement for flight simulator game software and changed to the sport webpages to check baseball scores. I went about my day as if nothing unusual had happened. I mowed my lawn, played with my neighbors dogs, went hiking on Hurricane Ridge trails, stopped at the market for fresh seafood to make for supper.

It was not until 4:30 or 5:00pm that I noticed I had received a flood of emails. Most of the email writers knew I edited a small press poetry publication. They asked if I had heard from any of the New York City poets who I had previously published and were they okay. That was the moment when I realized something big had happened. Not having TV or dependable cell phone service at the house, I went to the internet to look up news and learned what I thought was a game ad was a terror attack and catastrophe.

One of the last emails of the day was from a NYC poet letting everyone in her email address book know she was physically okay, though shaken to the bone by the day’s events.

I did a lot of blank staring at the wall that evening. I knew the USA changed that day, but not what the change would be. My hopes were different than what took place over the last twenty years.

Love & Light. Love & Unite.