Mulligan

Lori waited for a moment.
She sat on a park bench with her lunch.

The moment went by in a heartbeat.
She noticed she missed it.

She expected to fully participate in it.
She wondered if it fully participated in her.

She smiled at her distraction—
a curved-bill thrasher ran across the grass.

She grinned at her human capacity
to be distracted.

Lori peeled the orange in her hand
removed from her brown bag lunch.

She felt exactly how her fingers
pierced the peel.

And how a pull separated the peel
from the soft and fragrant fruit.

She tossed a wedge to the ground
and watched the thrasher run toward it.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Before a Walk

The thrasher’s tweedle-eet
startles me awake.

The apple tree
does not care if I acquire knowledge.

I read each incandescent leaf
of a poetry book

while eating potent cereal
without the fear of added sugars.

There are no curtains to pull aside.
Sunrise invites itself in.

Why do train conductors
not spark and shock people as they take tickets?

Such questions afflict me
in the time between stars and blue sky.

I never call my dog a bad name
because she never calls me a bad name.

When I place my bowl in the sink
my dog knows it’s time to go to the door.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Four A. M.

When Paul
told me
Four A.M.
came early
I pictured it
arriving
at the house
at Three Fifty-Two
and ringing
the doorbell
before either of us
had a cup
of tea
or heard
the first
tweedle-eete
from a thrasher.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Twists & Turns

The early bird changes each day.
Junco. Thrasher. Dove. One of several Finches.

Watching them I get the sense
that yesterday is meaningless.

My impression is watery Time
treats them all as duck backs to roll off.

When the hawk arrives
shadow first or on the rooftop

the cholla becomes a prickly shelter
as long as the wee birds keep clear of the thrashers’ nest.

I witnessed a dove out fly a hawk
with tight twists & turns

that any dog-fighting pilot
would envy.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney