<xmp> <body> </xmp>






The Poetry Of..
Kenneth P. Gurney.....................

Carry Me

The horse that knows
his name is not horse,
answers to the singular note
of a nightingale
that is a love sonnet.

The woman who he likes to carry,
never tells him where to go,
yet they always rest
in the right places
and always end up
back at the barn
before the sun sets.

This horse knows
the slight trail that enters
the abyss some people fall into
and often walks down alone,
returns carrying someone
bareback, but they donít
always know how to hold on
with their knees.

There is a girl child,
who he sometimes carries
at night, up into the stars,
so she can touch,
feel, the warm nature
of the barn door
that separates life
from life, smell
the familial scent
of parents on the other side,
so her sleep deepens,
so she runs and
laughs again
in the pasture
where he spends
most of his days.





Instrument

The one lost shoe
my bicycle nearly
runs over
misses its mate,
suffers separation
anxiety.

Its red canvas
is mud splattered,
moldy. The laces
gone from its empty
eyes.

The grass underneath
turns brown, is fasting,
as if that will cause God
to answer its earnest prayer.

I am not lost
on a rural highway
outside a small town
where wood smoke rises
from chimneys,
where I know
exactly who I am
and don't care
if I have a purpose
other than
pedaling past
America dairy farms,
while collecting
photographs.

A yellow bird lands
on my handlebars,
dares me to capture
either its song
or its blurred flight.

The red shoe
does not weep
or shrug
or hold the sky up.

Someone should push the clouds
out of the sun's way, illuminate
what is really going on here.

But that has nothing to do
with two dairy cows
ambling down the hill
to the fence, to find out
what I am about.

There must have been someone
who loved this red shoe,
wore it on walks to seek out
yellow birds and songs,
and what is beyond the hill.

A crow lands and pecks
at the canvas, the worn
strip of rubber at the toe,
chases off the yellow bird,
so, momentarily, I close my eyes.

The motion of my hand
sets the crow to sky,
its flight the rising arch
of a dark church window
against the colors of twilight.

The cows place their heads
over the wire fence. Their
eyes own no accusations
or premonitions. They know
it is an hour before milking
and that they live
how they love.

There is tall grass here
nearly at seed.
They extend their bovine heads
and pull it through the fence
in slow, ponderous chewing.

The shutter speeds up
and down in experimentation.
I frame the man
who pictures the viewfinder:
two cows happily chewing,
a tired fence post,
a populous field of dandelions,
a lone, red shoe by my foot.

If you see it, you own it.
a friend once told me
and, all that afternoon,
we picked up litter
strewn about Manassas battlefield.

The yellow bird returns to the fence
wire with friends. They sing for me
or, maybe, question my inactions.

It is now my red shoe,
my nameless beer bottles,
my Odwalla juice container.

The grass, now uncovered,
deeply tanned as any migrant worker,
rises, its long prayer for light over,
its new prayer of sky begun.





Sorrow. Body. A Parting Glance.

Refuse to die, my love.
I'll rub the tired curve
of your spine until it lets go.

Her pants are baggy, unbelted,
easy to slide my hand under,

but I resist that intrusion.

She wants me to tell her now
how to recover a lost memory,
a soul that dances up the spine,
off her topmost vertebrae
and away.

She understands my inability
to breathe life back into her.

At some point, she turns over.
My hands depress her
diaphragm. She exhales until
there is no breath inside her
to keep her alive.

Something worn was red,
blurred, like a snowdrift
when seen through a frigid wind
that swells the eyes with tears.


She stares into a farther distance.

Her body refuses to let her go
and sharply draws in air
when I lift my hands.

She says, It's too late
for me to be a child.


We change out of our business attire,
and regress to the park, anyway.

The rocking motion of the swing set,
arouses her lethargic capacities.

She laughs, discards her dark mood.






Main Page

This site sponsored by


<xmp> <body>