It Comes

When Paul sits outside at night
with dark spread everywhere
he pretends a window
keeps the bugs away from him.

He set a mirror against the south wall
at an angle to view the moon
to double the number
of reflections of the sun’s light.

Though we stay up all night
it needs to be minus six degrees
before dew forms
on the grass or our bodies.

The neighbor’s cat
is surprised and perplexed
to find us occupying the chair cushions
it likes to sleep on.

Paul posts an invitation
for the sun to rise over the Sandias
and delivery is guaranteed
by this morning.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Extract

Mother stripped the sun
of its color each day
before putting it to bed.

This has nothing to do
with the long ago
Spanish lust for gold and inquisition.

When I smell flowers
it is as if someone sprinkled blossoms
inside my empty skull.

I carefully pulled my fist apart
before chatting
with an unmasked stranger.

I looked at her with carnelian eyes
edged by
turquoise crows feet.

This has nothing to do
with incongruent syllables strung together
by the overtaxed homeless.

Mother dressed the sun
in saffron robes
to flavor the stranded morning.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Celestial Object Cloaked in Flesh

Paul stood in the middle.
He did not define the middle of what.

He knew he was in the middle
if all measurements started where he stood.

His tapping foot did not change this.
The position of the sun did not change this.

Paul understood
this made himself self-centered.

Self-help books told him
being centered is a good thing.

He decided it was not the starting point
of his measurements

but the radius of the circle he drew
from the starting point of self that mattered.

And whether the drawn circle
was inclusive or exclusive.

Paul noticed his circle’s interior
was brighter than the area outside the perimeter.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sunday

Paul deduced that Time
was not something God created.

As far as he could discern
all of God’s creations

stopped for a while to rest
and recover

but time never missed a beat
even when he missed

one of time’s beats
if not three or four in a row.

His heart which beat without stopping
did speed up and slow down

but time only sped up or slowed down
in the scope of his human perception.

Paul thought about the sun
and its fission and fusion

of atomic particles
and how it created elements

only up to iron
before going nova the first time.

But that going nova proved
a beginning and end of the star

no matter how seemingly countless the days
from ignition to boom.

I suggested Time was created
by Missus God

but received an ungracious grunt
and dark look for my effort.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Bouquet

Dora arranged giraffes
like flowers
in the fenced backyard
instead of a vase.

We thought their heads
would turn like flowers
toward the arcing sun,
but they peered north
over the roof
toward the noisy kids
playing kickball in the street
between speed bumps.

And one giraffe
strained to lick the green kite
the next door neighbor girl
flew not too high
afraid a low cloud
might snatch it away.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Delight As A Fly

Paul tried to feed his logical mind
so he could taste the infinite.

But logic rejected all of his astronaut dreams,
fantastical dragons and Dali surrealism.

So his mind ate a bland fair
of serious words and earth sciences.

His eyes saw starlight as math.
Equations proved speed and time.

His arm never rose from his side
to reach toward the galaxy.

Mid-sentence he lost himself
as nearby thunder shook

an oyster shell open
to reveal an opalescent sun.

It rose out of the shell
to take a place in Paul’s void.

It spun in that empty space
around an all consuming blackness

that entangles stars
but consumes only one arc second of light.

A single ray as thin as spider silk
stretched across empty parsecs.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Butcher Paper

I keep dreaming my graduation.
I am a window with no sky.

I am part of a room.
A child in the room jingles keys.

The child then jangles a chain.
It is too dark for the child to unlock itself.

The child asks me, the window,
to cease being opaque

and let the sunlight filter through
the dirt and water stained glass.

The disenfranchised sun
taps me on the frame

to remind me my faded paint
peels and flakes to the ground below.

It suggests I open my eyes
and attend to my appearance.

A silence follows.
I realize I have no hands.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Change of Pace

The sun rose.
The sun zig-zagged across the sky.

Paul traced his finger on the air above him
tracing the sun’s unusual path.

Where his index fingertip brushed the sky
a dotted mapping line appeared.

The path hung suspended in the air.
At the proper angle it appeared to be a black line.

Paul postulated that dark matter
congregated on the far side of the sun

and shifted positions to create
this visible wobble.

The sunshine vibrated
the earth’s atmosphere upon entry.

In places the sunshine had gaps.
In others it was doubled up and twice as bright.

Paul noticed none of the birds
chose to fly in this unusual light.

The gaps in the light created a flicker.
Paul recognized silent movie cinema.

He chose to keep quiet to honor this effect.
He thought up a SciFi crime novel plot with perfect aliens.

Paul bumped his head on the tracing he had made.
He took his sleeve to palm and erased it from the sky.

The sun set.
It set seven minutes late.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Far Reaching Implications Of Chores

The sun drags us across the galaxy.
The shy moon slips back into the earth.
A background noise is contained in the void.

My job is to navigate the sun
through the echo, not running into anything
more substantial than gamma rays.

I make course corrections from the kitchen
at the sink as I wash dishes.
It is accomplished by how I align the tableware in the drainer.

The affect of these imperceptible course changes
may be measured no sooner than ten-thousand years.
I determine the corrections by observing the flights of magpies.

If I hold the refrigerator door open too long,
Jupiter slows its orbit and repositions its moons.

If I forget to sweep the kitchen floor
Saturn alters the tilt of its rings.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney