Dear Desert

What I took
as stretch marks
you bear on
your belly
from birthing
the human race
was cracked
age lines
discolored with
sun spots
tectonic faults.

Beautiful still
in spite of
or because of
the danger
you might
once more
but this time
with sandhill cranes
to sound
the recall
so you may
return us
to a molten state
and reshape
humanity anew.

The bees
crawling from
the chollas’
magenta blooms
means you remain
sweet on us.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sunrise Practice Before Open Mic

The cottonwoods along the Rio Grande
leafed out these last three days.

Paul came across the remains
of a coyote feast—a rabbit he thinks.

Such is survival in the flood plain.
Imagine the depth of the tap roots

since the Cochiti Dam was built
preventing the river overflowing its banks.

Paul finds the cottonwood stump
with Whitman carved in it.

He stands tall, draws a deep breath
and recites new poems to the river.

A flock of Canada Geese
rise in a great flap,

while the last two Sandhill Cranes
walk the sandbar unfazed.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


A flock of sheep
gather at the stream for water.

A cloud moves shade
across a treeless hillside.

A dirt road led me to this scene.
My ears sort through sounds to hear wool grow.

Two Sandhill cranes pass overhead,
circle and land in the field.

The stream passes into a culvert
and under the dirt road.

It emerges on the other side
in a flat place with rushes and cattails.

A blackbird sings the flock over
to where I stand at the fence.

Their black faces rise up and they bleat.
I hear their wool stretch and yawn.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney