Two Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney


Having abandoned school
I suffered one erosion
after another 
to a steady rain of events
until my adobe foundations
dithered about nurture and nature
and the empty cough drop wrapper
on the night stand.





Eloquent Keeper of Fire

A skinny girl the color of television
owns a full head of Japanese wood block prints.
She likes me as well as skipping rope in sixth grade.
She slowly inscribes the hypotenuse of a bent knee triangle.

She points out the birding tree
in the recess of the dark arboreal spider webs—
webs which lay as thick as teen girls’ schemes
to peck the boys they crave.

She waits kickball encouragement,
an evening firefly cottonwood,
a snow white rabbit melting in Spring.

She perfects a poetic phrase
that tickles my nose like a plague of allergies—
leaves me a jumble of discarded christmas tinsel.

She distracts the eye with a desert tooth smile,
with twin midnight fire balls twirled upon a stick,
with a congregational kiss that shatters make believe.

I never tumbled so many somersaults 
through a Sunday milk serenade
when childish wings taped to my back
grew shoulder-blade roots and migration flaps.

She rockets upward like a horizon-born shooting star,
drags my magnanimous glitter into the sky
and all the breaths collected in midnight mass confessions
and off-the-rack discount knock-off store registers.

She screams We are free! three times.
I never before bruised so much 
from such a bumping thru the atmosphere.
I never crisped so much upon reentry
into the blooming lilacs scent.





Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne.  His latest collection of poems is Curvature of a Fluid Spine.