Paul attempts
to assign ownership
to the land
to you,
your neighbors,
the deer,
the turtles,
the mice,
but the land
rejects the assignments.

A red shimmer
forms in the air
before his face
and a sudden remembering
compels Paul
to hear in a sacred manner.

The land informs him
it owns itself
and wears
its spirit
upon its face.
Know that
it is both
the dust
and the ash.

And the wind
that carries crows
and cranes
is the very breath of God
blown through the void
all living things
from what traverses
its vast expanses.

Altering his assignment
Paul works
to own only himself,
which still includes
his parade of conflicts
and baubles.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


The Blue Woman has an ordinary body.
Overlooked, when young, except
by those people who met her penetrating eyes.

I stood under that gaze.
It sees me day and night. It laid me bare.
Started me toward the hallows.

Twenty years on and she has not released me.
But now, the gravity of her eyes is normal,
accepted, and a comfort.

Her eyes plucked my soul from my body
and I walked the landscape of experience,
toward the holy wells

where healing occurs,
a deep thirst quenched.
I learned to see myself with her eyes,

through her wholehearted love.
A love practiced until it became as natural as breath
and I reclaimed my body as my own.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney