Something Hard

Paul began a war.
He began it by breaking a rule.
He bent the rule first around a column.
He measured the column for consistency.

The rule broke on a column
one inch too long in circumference.
The stonemason had only the one rule.
Paul broke it.

The stonemason swung his hammer
to break Paul’s head.
Paul saw it coming.
He dodged in time to save his head.

The swung hammer sang its desire
to impact something hard.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Tit For Tat

When you want your war
to be an internal affair
it is foolish to kill foreigners,
especially tourists.

But killing tourists
gets your splinter group’s name
on international media platforms
for six to twelve hours.

The explosion is not a wake up call,
but part of the grey noise
war inflicts upon participants,
blurs the We were wronged message

and you fear asking for peace talks
is a sign of weakness.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney