Paul struck a matchstick
on the box’s striker strip
and it flared to life
with a hiss.

He moved the flaming matchstick
to the open lantern
as he turned a knob
that allowed kerosene to escape.

The manifold ignited
and the barn brightened up
with false dawn
and the horses woke.

In the straw strewn floor
of the first stall
a rabbit trembled
caught inside the barn.

Its smallness confirmed
when the horse rose to its hooves
carefully avoiding the rabbit
though its tail brushed it.

Paul moved to the second stall
leaving a getaway open
for the rabbit
to the barn door and natural light.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Everything Road

Paul once lived
at the dead end
of a dirt road
where a thicket
of juniper
and piñon
halted progress.
If you looked
you could see
the scattered dust
from the car
rolling on to
the driveway
settle on leaf
green needles.
If you were lucky
you would see
his sweetie
pin laundry
to the clothesline
stretched between
the corner
of the house
and a four by four
eight feet tall
sunk into the ground
with grey cement
not yet covered over
with dust, dirt
and buffalo grass.
It was beautiful
with two dogs
romping around
the yard
with no white
picket fence
or any fence at all.
At the west end
of their five acres
lived a great horned owl
and at the east end
a red-tailed hawk
and the two predators
managed nicely
without a war
for dominance
of the rabbit population.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Long Ago

I was devastated
the day I learned
Dora did not create
the universe.

I remained unclear
who did
so I gave the inventor
the rubber stamp God.

As it turned out, Dora
created our little patch
of the galaxy
doing touch up

for a great master,
like those painters
who specialized in rabbits
did for Rubens.

She burst my bubble
when I asked if she
created the earth
for us humans

and she told me
she never dreamed
such monstrosities
could evolve

from the micro flora
and fauna
she placed in the
seas and oceans.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney