On the sandy ground
between sidewalk and street
a singular piece of sky.

I looked toward the heavens
all morning
in my attempt
to return it
from its displacement.

My anticipated joy
at finding its spot
dashed to the concrete
I stand on.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Lost Habitat

The wind picked up the snow
and returned it to the sky.

I went outside to an icy patch
and started my Olympic speed skating training.

My wife returned on Valentines day
with heart shapes elegantly stored
in her luggage.

Her return initiated our good times.
We did not care if someone else
did good times a little bit better.

All the heart shapes she brought home
emitted nervous voices
when magnets attached them to the fridge.

With the sudden warm snap
I tried speed skating on top of ice trays
and on top of a vanilla ice cream container
but the freezer was a bit cramped to really get going.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

One Wendy Evening

Lori flew over Albuquerque
testing out her newly acquired x-ray vision.

She saw skeletal people in bone density light
with their faces glued to televisions.

Younger people’s skeletal faces were glued
to their smartphone screens held in boney hands.

Lori failed to see what was on either type of screen
since her x-ray vision did not display the actor’s bones.

She returned her x-ray vision for a full refund
because she mistakenly believed she would see boners.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney


A thin line of cherubs haloed Mount Wheeler.
I spied them from William’s Lake.

I was there to be by myself to meditate.
Forty people picnicked.

At first I thought the cherubs a smoke ring
blown by a humorous god.

When the cherubs passed over
remaining patches of snow, I recognized them.

A bearded prophet abandoned his mountain cave.
He walked past the picnickers.

He snatched a chicken leg
and an unattended can of Coke.

As he passed I heard him mutter repeatedly
Fucking little harp playing shits.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Poetry Waits for a Walk

Lori and Paul talked poetry.
Rain fell but did not slant under the porch roof.

Poetry looked like a dog.
It rested on the porch with its nose an inch from the rain.

Lori and Paul sat opposite each other on a couch.
It was an old couch demoted to the porch.

Poetry’s nose told it the rain was not in good health.
Lori and Paul never thought of the rain as sick.

The rain did not complain. Its job was falling.
It collected slower than normal to run the gutters.

The rain did not splash as high when it exited the gutter
and hit the flag stone drainage slab.

Poetry noticed the rain puddled like healthy rain.
Puddling was easy as lying in bed.

Poetry heard the grass complain about the taste of the rain.
Lori and Paul heard none of this.

They did spy a note four raindrops carried from the sky.
The rain was excused from soaking into the ground.

Lori thought it should go straight to the riverbed and sleep.
Paul thought the tomatoes would not ripen until the next rain.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul suffered total confusion twenty four hours a year.
The confusion was spread out to a little over four minutes per day.

It showed up at random times.
It did not announce itself with blinking neon.

The confusion struck him at the art museum.
Paul mistook Vermeer for Cézanne.

The confusion struck him at the ball park.
He mistook ball players for Christians milling about before the lions.

The confusion struck him while asleep.
He was sure he dreamt Alexei Navalny’s Russia dreams.

The confusion struck him observing Patrick Cleburne’s grave.
Paul dug in the dirt to place himself under.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Nearing Midnight

Lori does not sleep.
Who has the time.

The dog lays on his back.
He scratches the air.

It is eleven-forty-seven.
The new calendar day arrives early.

The dog is black as night
with so many stars he appears grey.

The clock strikes midnight.
Knocks it out in the third round.

The dog is ready for anything.
Anything is fast asleep too.

Lori rolls to the clock-less side of the bed.
Slow sleep embraces her.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Human Banks Taos to Matamoros

A whale floats above the gorge.
It draws eyes for hundreds of miles.
Thousands of feet line the rim.

It waits to ride a flash flood.
The whale inhales afternoon monsoons.
It faces south.

It appears to be a gunmetal blimp.
It claims it was invited.
Lightning arcs around the whale.

Combined rain and snowmelt deliver a flash flood.
The whale rides the crest.
It heads for El Paso and beyond.

Unmoored magpies aid it past reservoirs.
Sandhill cranes guide it at night.
Stars brighten above the riverbed.

Whitewater strobes its flukes.
It aims for the Atlantic.
It seeks for familiar faces.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Loving You

Loving you means walking your wooly mammoth each morning.
It means wearing matching sports logo scarves.
It means planting milkweed.

Loving you means stirring river sediment to release bubbles that contain snippets of Diné poetry.
It means painting multiracial portraits of god.
It means removing all the fools gold from the planet.

Loving you means constructing a life sized drag queen Jesus crucifix, halo at a jaunty tilt above a beehive wig.
It means leaving the dandelions alone no matter the neighbors’ complaints.
It means searching the farmers market for green eggs to eat with ham.

Loving you means finding what is consequential in every poetry book.
It means making guacamole at home.
It means a five minute rain dance every dry morning.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney