Commitment To Seeing It Through

There is an edge.
A stonewall in a meadow.
Moss covered ground stones.

The meadow is full of flowers.
Both sides just as colorful.
Just as lovely.

You are injured.
You drowse with your back against the wall.
Head bent under your broad brimmed hat.

Your gentle breath pushes the breeze.
Just as easily it takes the breeze inside you.
You are unaware of the sweat bees on your arm.

Within your sleep you feel stings.
It is not the bees.
It is the memory dream of a CSI episode.

The sun shines equally on both sides of the stonewall.
The wildflowers snuggle up against the stones.
In some places they are high enough to hide the low wall.

Your father stands on the other side.
Swallowtail butterflies decorate his bare arms.
His bare feet bear dirt from his walk to this location.

Your mother waits on this side.
She calls out to you to finish your math homework.
To come to the kitchen for milk and cookies.

Her calling wakes you.
You stand. The bees take their leave.
Your shadow casts itself across the stonewall.

Your shadow alters its angle on the other side.
Confused, you pull back from your father.
You notice the greenery grows at different angles as well.

You walk across the field toward your mother.
Not because she called you. But for yourself.
Nothing to do with television characters.

Who grow louder as you cross the meadow.
You return to the antiseptic room with white walls.
Your mother reads aloud a poem from Now We Are Six.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Perfectly Clean

If only the river water
washed off the veils
we use to cloak ourselves
even though
the human stains
we attempt to hide
with immaculate cotton
wick to the weave
like pious blood
blossoming into the world
thus shouting
I am a Sinner
when the only sin
is covering up
to hide the shame,
fruitlessly believing
your innermost thoughts
might escape
the notice of the divine.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

And Dance

In this meadow the realms overlap,
intersect, exist in the same place.

You may run with the young
of other realm’s kind.

But they will look like your kind
as your eye rejects the differences.

And just as you accept them through rejection,
they accept you and dance.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Dora hugs me from behind for the first time.
It is the last time we will be together.
You have put earthly religions behind you
and immerse yourself in the eternal spirit.

She pushes me forward as she lets go.
When I turn, the empty air shimmers
like the old light of new stars
warm and close by.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


We were in the embrace of God.
We shook it off.

We went wild and chased horses.
We chased after the sun to where it meets the earth.

The God who embraced us
spoke a different language from our own.

We spoke with tree spirits.
We sat in council with forty animals.

The pious God in flowing white clothes
tried time and again to reshape us with his rules.

We broke all his rules.
We did not understand him.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


This was the third poem I wrote in 2019 with the title “Abstract.” I reuse titles if the title fits to my way of thinking. I cannot imagine placing a limitation on myself that I may use a title only once in all my years.

I was thinking about when one culture conquers another culture and then forces its religion on the conquered people. (In this case, Euro Americans over Native Americans.) Conquerors tend to believe their god had much to do with their winning, so that god must be a better god. Or there is the belief our way to heaven is the only way to heaven because it works for us.

I have read that when people are first convert, they only half convert. It is the next generation that is raised with a new religion and no other religious teachings that makes the full conversion.

Religion is a difficult subject, especially in these days when extremists co-opt religions to justify terrible violence or a religion has become the dead door nail of ritual that has lost the spirit of the event that caused us to commemorate it in the first place.

Here is an idea. Each new generation should form new religions to commemorate the triumph over hardships that they went through. My parents would have a religion that included surviving the 1918 Spanish Influenza which killed 10% of the world’s population and World War II. Japanese Americans would have a religion that celebrated keeping their faith in the America Dream through the internment camps of WWII. African Americans would have a religion that celebrates keeping the golden rule at heart through slavery and Jim Crow and Black Lives Matter issues of today. I see I want a religion where I feel the spirit of triumph over adversity. So for me, not falling to despair after the death of my daughter or all the friends I have lost to AIDs and cancer and so on. I want to speak from the heart. Loudly. On a soapbox.

So I am a poet.

Love & Light.



Paul goes up to the mountain
from his craggy subdivision,
the manicured lawns.
Up toward white bellied clouds
where a circling hawk
silences ground chatter.
As Paul ascends
scales of noise slough off
his shoulders
into a stream bed
that carries them back
to where they started.
He ascends above
the layer of brown air
into the clearness
that allows his questions
to spot answers.
There are dropped twigs up here
that know more of God
than church ministers
and the bible thumpers
who knock on his door.
He climbs the slight trail
until Cat Rock Canyon opens to his left
and there he crosses the stream,
gets off the beaten path,
into the ponderosas,
and aspen groves.
He settles into
the shadow patterns,
the artistic patterns,
the sacred geometry.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Happy Flag Day. It is a holiday we kinda-sorta celebrate in the USA. It is marked on the calendar, but no one gets a paid day off (or an unpaid day off) and there are no flag day specials advertised by retailers on TV or other media.

My guess has been we celebrate the flag because, as pre-Americans, we came to what is now the Americas, stuck flags on flagpoles into the ground and declared the continents ours, not caring what the folks who already lived here thought about our arrival. You did not know a flag had that much power. I did not know it either, until Eddy Izzard explained it to me in a comedy routine (YOUTUBE CLIP).

I like the US flag, Old Glory, The Star Spangled Banner, in its flag form. I do not particularly care for it in its retail t-shirt, undies, swimsuit, gun holster, etc. etc. forms. I understand first amendment freedom of speech allows for this, but wearing a flag printed item or carrying one does not prove a person’s patriotism to me.

Admittedly, if I was in France right now at the women’s world cup football (soccer) extravaganza, I probably would being wearing a shirt that proclaimed I was from the USA with some old-glory logo/print. So, I have a pinch of hypocrite in me on this flag topic.

Love & Light