Kenneth is a pillar of our poetry community having published numerous collections of his own poems and a very popular literary review of New Mexico poets, Adobe Walls. Everyone wanted to be in Kenneth’s poetry review which had a run of five volumes and is available along with many of his collections online. Kenneth also facilitated a long-standing open mic named Adobe Walls. I asked Kenneth if he would be going to Chicago for the World Series but the $2800 seats were a bit beyond the pale, even for a poet with so many books in print. Besides being the avid Cubs fan, Kenneth is fond of setting up his toy soldiers for Civil War reenactment when he's not busy walking and hiking with his sweetheart Diane.
Imagine if all the white Union soldiers who fought
to end Slavery and not just to preserve the Union
rose from the grave invested by god
with the power to pass judgment on our generation
for the quantity of social progress over the last century and a half.
Think how impressed they would be learning the U.S. Military
is integrated, but how horrified they’d be by women serving
side by side the men in combat rolls
and we won’t mention their nineteenth century attitudes toward gays.
I am sure that those six hundred thousand men
would see President Obama as a grand sign of progress,
but on closer examination of all the subtle means
employed to retain white privilege, both economic and political,
it would be a coin flip if they felt it right or wrong—
remember they came from a time when white Catholics
were viewed with great suspicion and distrust.
Now, imagine if all the Civil War’s U.S. Colored Troops
rose from the grave invested by god
with the power to pass judgment upon our generation
on whether their sacrifice was honored or not.
I was happily unaccounted for,
part of God’s lost inventory,
written off as stolen or damaged.
Really, all that had happened
was a case of immaculate transportation
that placed me in an aspen grove
during a large flake mountain snow.
For an instant I worried
that someone worried about my absence,
my sudden disappearance.
But worry spoiled the tranquil effect
of the aspen grove, the falling snow,
the elk weaving through the nearby trees.
Before today, I assumed an angel
accounted for all souls
with spreadsheets and birth records
and death records and a nod from Santa
about issues of naughty or nice.
It turned out to be quite pleasant
not to be watched over
by some omniscient, demerit recording steward.
Almost an hour into this revelation,
a sense of God viewing this particular awe
from within my senses dusted my awareness,
as the fallen snow collected on the grounded aspen leaves
and bent the tall grasses upon which the elk grazed.
Bio by the poet:
Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA. He has not always lived there. Even living there he has not always lived in the same Albuquerque location. Usually, he lives where he stands, but not always—especially if he stands in your place. If you get the sense of Schrödinger's cat, well…
Kenneth's latest collection, Stump Speech, can be located at: https://www.amazon.com/Stump-Speech-poems-Kenneth-Gurney/
From the DitchRider:
The DitchRider’s Sunday Poem on Duke City Fix is accepting submissions of 3 to 5 of your favorite poems. Please send in a word doc to firstname.lastname@example.org ; be sure to put DitchRider in the subject line and include a short bio and a few pictures from which I may select.
Thanks in advance from Merimee. I will get back to you within the shortest framework I can muster. Previously published poems may be sent as long as you credit the publisher and please, send a few newbies, too.