Tree Casts its Protective Shadow like Dice

How odd to see a ceiling fan
on the bottom of the Rio Grande rotating.

It could explain the geese
flying in circles without ceasing.

Maybe the line of their flight
will turn black and solid come winter.

The dog lies on red clay
enamored with the thought of tile.

The dog is tired from chasing goats
through fallen rose petals.

See how her sleep is interrupted
by its paw’s movement.

That too is the ceiling fan’s radiance—
a current flow submerging footprints.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul walked under a canopy of alders—
a thirty year restoration of a dry lightning burn.

He wondered if the earth saw the area
fire-voided trees as a scar

as part of the beauty of the earth being itself
or a surface matter of little consequence.

Animals repopulated the alders as to their liking.
Others remained away missing the old growth.

Paul admitted to no one present
that the shade was different. Cooling but different.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


We assembled to praise the rest stop
for providing faithful and devoted service.
For its stainless steel sinks
and white porcelain fixtures.

For its freshwater
with no towns within fifty miles in either direction.
For its off-white hexagon tile
set with perfect grouting.

For the crew that cleans these restrooms
with environmentally sensitive products.
For the other crew that tends the small trees
and shrubs of the xeriscaped grounds.

For the only real shade for hundreds of miles
that stretches over picnic tables.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney