Three Poems | by Kenneth P. Gurney

Oh Timeless Atoms
Oh timeless atoms
that compose my body,
when I die you will simply transfer
to other forms such as water,
smoke, worms, beetles
and so on.
Oh timeless atoms
where within you does my soul permeate,
do your electron rings hold it secure
and release it upon dissolution
of the whole?
Oh timeless atoms
as we share this form,
please vibrate inside me
a song of forgiveness,
a song of dauntless courage,
a song of alder trees sprouting in a burned meadow.
The poetry that lies between us
exposes the black and white we forged in union.But it is the white indentation pressed on white paper
or the black on black ink I wish to know better.We prearranged a meeting for the end of time
to learn if poetry ends there or truly is eternal.It is there where we will sort the entire human race
from beginning to end into good and evil,

even though I lobbied to sort them into baskets
of black or white: which people were the black ink,

which people received the written human poem
upon their white and wore it for the world to read.

In any case, I hope you keep the appointment
at the edge of the fathomless end.

Before the task we set ourselves, I would like to chat
and share the innermost things we protected from others

as the wild geese flew north in spring
and the seas lapped the last orange of a setting sun.




Mother never atoned
for what she had no choice but do.

Home was never home again.

She repeatedly died
a stranger inside herself.

Not one memento did I keep.

Her ashes absorbed into trees
whose leaves fall without my witness.

Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne. His latest collection of poems is Stump Speech(2015). He runs the poetry blog Watermelon Isotope. His personal website is at

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