Superior

I thought the border was open.
It was closed. The last rainbow trout
leaped into my hands while I stood
examining my fingernails
on the Rio Grande’s banks.

I thought I was on the Elwha river
ready to catch the Salmon of Knowledge.
This geographic misplacement
stunned me like a blow to the head
by a pin mishandled by a juggling clown.

If my location can be so astray
so might be my white privilege.
I fall into a barroom discussion
of liberty and equality
where mathematical logic
forces the concession that
all men are created equal.
Where all means all racial colors.
Where men means men and women.
Where in the eyes of the law
there is no first among equals.

Or course this leaves out my dog,
who has many qualities superior to my own.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Tourists

Staring at one’s ice tea glass is as good a thing to do as another
when eavesdropping on the next table.

It seems some people do not wish to ride the cable car
up to the top of the Sandia Mountains.

And there is the self-denial of the skinny girl who refuses to finish
the remaining two-thirds of her chocolate eclair.

A debate starts up whether to hike through the midday heat
or visit a museum or begin to practice siesta.

A woman in the group complains the Rio Grande
does not have a riverwalk with shops like in San Antonio.

She does not care for the natural growth along the banks
or ducks, geese, herons and egrets.

A guy who has now checked his watch four times,
asks if it is too early for margaritas.


Copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POSTSCRIPT

I was about to say “Happy Memorial Day”, but then I began to wonder if I should say “Solemn Memorial Day” since we honor those men and women who serve (served) our country. Wikipedia Entry for Memorial Day.

Our Memorial Day includes a barbecue with friends late in the afternoon. Dianne and I will walk the foothills this morning to enjoy the butterfly migration that moves through Albuquerque. Millions of Painted Lady butterflies move about. A migration of butterflies is a Kaleidoscope of Butterflies, just like a flock of crows is called a Murder of Crows. Who came up with these labels? (Terms of the venery at Wikipedia.)

This year the weather seems more violent than in the past. Maybe that is my perception of the moment, since New Mexico is adjacent to Oklahoma where so many tornadoes have hit this past week and now flooding begins to burst levies on the Arkansas River. I wonder if people will become more or less violent due to the weather. Usually in times of trouble people set aside differences and help each other. I hope that holds true. My prayers go out to the people who live in the places where homes have been destroyed and lives up ended. My donation money goes to the American Red Cross.

Memorial Day is the official (unofficial?) start of tourist season across the U. S. In the American Southwest, tourists seem to arrive all year round and are not limited to the break in the school year. The other day a tourist family from France chatted away in French at the cafe I frequent. I did not understand their words, but I did eavesdrop to the melody of their voices in conversation.

Love & Light

Kenneth

Thursday City

Albuquerque sparkles. Dusky light glinted
from an afternoon monsoon’s residual raindrops.
Heat and steam thicken the air.
The prickly pear and cholla swell, as does the river.

On a storefront television, bleeding leads the news.
Guns and abandonment—
the over-prescribed opioid war claims another street corner.
So many human shells expended without conscience.

The long fuse of immigrants burns with hope.
Trumpets blare Mariachi infusions.
We lean into each other, hold hands, kiss.
Ducks appear motionless against the Rio Grande current.

The setting sun finally calms its blush.
Street lamps bathe all in a honey glow.
The low-riders parade and pause on Central.
A santero displays his saints, apple-like, in a cart.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POSTSCRIPT

Happy Easter everyone. Whether it is a spiritual experience for you through Christ or Chocolate Bunnies, I wish you an exemplary day.

Santero is a Spanish word for a carver or painter of saints or other biblical stories. In a fashion, they create pieces of church art that a person may purchase and place in their home. Dianne and I have a couple in our home, but more for the beauty of the art than the spirituality in the saint story.

In Albuquerque and especially when I lived in Taos, I loved to relax in the late afternoon on the open air patio of a pub or cafe, enjoy a beverage with conversation and watch the happy hour parade of low-riders go by. The love and craftsmanship placed into these cars impressed me. The hansom men and attractive women who drove/road in them was wonderful eye-candy as well.

Yesterday was 20 April (4-20), the day of cannabis celebration in many parts of the country. A street fair closed Central Avenue (Route 66 in Albuquerque). Bands played and vendors sold merchandise and food. Once upon a time I would have spent some time at the fair, but my tastes have moved away from that sort of event—a consequence of age. We were in the downtown to see the artwork at a gallery oblivious of the date, but we were there early afternoon before it really got going.

New Mexico has a large poverty and homeless problem. And with that comes an opioid problem. I hope our country chooses the Portugal treatment method over the failed war on drugs method to deal with the problem.

I must stop. It is a glorious morning in Albuquerque and Dianne and I have a walk planned along the Rio Grande. I must away.

Love and Light

Kenneth