in the kitchen of the blacksmith
there are only wooden spoons

his hand pauses to examine the sky

silverware falters
tumbles from the clouds
and rains across the cindered floor

beyond this room
the world remains
flat or not

he questions physics
alchemy
the ability of butterflies
to consume entire forests
free of remorse

wings forming like red clay pots

sometimes

a ballad he hears
beside the patient shore

tule
cattails

the slow laborious flight of a crane
lifting from muddy stumps

this too he carries to his hearth

sheltered in a basket
fine woven
silken as the breast of a goose
whose body he will consume
roasted with tubers
and tasting like a prayer

John Gurney

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a little kid. I think that poetry is probably my native language. In my best work, I think that I’m able to create something that feels like truth. If you find something in my words that move you, something that makes you smile , something which gives you pause for reflection , then I’m grateful. I sell real estate from time to time, and in moments of grace or despair, joy or terror, times of wonder and gratitude, I sail about in my good old ketch , Further.


Further - a distance that can’t be measured.

Selected byNolcha Fox
Image credit:Louis Hansel

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a little kid. I think that poetry is probably my native language. In my best work, I think that I’m able to create something that feels like truth. If you find something in my words that move you, something that makes you smile , something which gives you pause for reflection , then I’m grateful. I sell real estate from time to time, and in moments of grace or despair, joy or terror, times of wonder and gratitude, I sail about in my good old ketch , Further.


Further - a distance that can’t be measured.