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The Poetry Of   
Kenneth P. Gurney       


On this day you sleep through your alarm,
your need to pay the bills, your routine steps
so engrained they warped the floor boards.

Sleep: drag the deep of night to high noon.

Let the bitter words of yesterday's trespass
dribble from your mouth like drool
and soak your pillow case before washing.

Sleep: hear only the best told stories of flight.

Let the benevolent gods work your tired muscles,
press all the stress and strain out of your body,
dull the sharpness in your breath.

Sleep: on the wings of angels blue as the sky.

Let rapid eyes disperse the fluid shape of fire
as it unhands your anger as your fingers
extends into the flat of your bed.

Sleep: as your guardian bird sings upon the windowsill.

Ride its wings into the spiral of the sky
and expose your throat so the mythic deer
come to feast upon the song you wake to live.


Some gritty braggart stands
where the bridge once spanned the chasm
in an excellent display of cartoon physics.

Or is he some sky god in the foreground
of a surreal painting with blotchy whites
over a pedestrian blue we take for granted?

But what if he does not arrive
at the agreed upon time and space
and the pale, golden mist dissipates

before we bake an excuse into this new batch
of fortune cookies ready to be packaged
and shipped to the haute couture fashionistas?

There must be some angel who fixes that sort of thing,
who tinkers with the celestial mechanics of heaven
and makes sure everything runs according to plan.

There must be some behind-the-scenes scene
where all the winged worker bees know the universal
instruction manual for operating the camera

and someone sits in the directors chair
ready to accept responsibility when the producers
of the solar system arrive pissed off at cost overruns.

But the gritty braggart stands
where the bridge once spanned the chasm
and thumbs his nose skyward.


The lies I told you were red,
passion inspired, anger smoldered,
ignited from a harsh, orange ember.

I reside in my body, crown of thorns
held tight in my breath.

I burst under the sun's harsh critique
that peels my skin and blinds my thoughts.

The good darkness arrives in the shape
of your many arms, leaf bound shade,
roots that bind earth, water.

I touch the granite hard root-knot
in my belly. You plan to stay with me,
like an old stump long after lightning
installed fire.

I close my eyes to the sun, to the shade,
imagine the deep aquifers, well water
impossible to reach by hand, but you let my anger
heat the water, boil it, geyser it skyward
for my surroundings to become a natural wonder
that many travel far to see.

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