Wilderness Permit

Paul lifts a pail.
Pours icy water over his skyward face.

October bugle calls
punctuate twilight.

Along the rocky lake shore
a campfire takes shape.

Trout filets fry in a skillet
and something doughy like sloosh.

Dora looks so good
in shades of brown and khaki.

Pine smoke is her favorite

Even at its most quiet
nature does not pause

or rest content.
An owl appears above

on a branch.
Pierces a mouse on a bare spike.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


Forgetting to take care of yourself,
weeds have grown in your eyes:
your stare now wild and buzzing.

Since you cried, it is not surprising
I see cattails with red-winged blackbirds
when your eyes meet mine.

Your eyes are so overgrown
it is hard to see the sky from the angle I’ve taken
at the seat opposite yours in the cafe.

And when you blink the scene changes.
Always wild. Now ponderosa covered mountain slopes.
Now the cholla choked desert.

You suggest we take a break from civilization,
form our own Corp of Discovery,
a grand expedition to undiscovered states.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


For those of you who do not know, the Corp of Discovery was the title given to the group of men that formed the Lewis & Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase by President Thomas Jefferson.