Impermanence

Water works
its way around a stone
too large to be submerged
except on early spring days
when snow melt
combines with rain
and the creek spills its banks
in low places.

Each water droplet
grabs stone granules
like lateral mountain climbers
and those droplets
work their way around
the stone.

But each droplet’s handhold
removes a little of
each granule’s resolve
to be part of the whole
that forms the stone.

First the sharp edges go.
Then the smoothing continues.
And each of these granules
tumbles with the current
stop and go toward the sea.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Drink

We dig the well
deep under white sands—
not deep enough
to escape the click-click-click
of the geiger counter.

Your desperation is so great
you claim out loud
that coffee and boiling
neutralize excited particles
and half-lives.

We dig the well
deeper than the old ocean bed
and the calcified remains
of animals that pre-existed
dinosaurs.

I pour you a glass
of water so clear
it bridges back to an era
when this land mass
was equatorial.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney