Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One Among

“Look at me!”

“Fear me!”

“Don’t let me go.”

Ken Goree

This is an over-simplification of a young man that I met.  He is loud and intimidating.  Most of the people around him, feel and recoil from his intensity, most times.  I think he may be afraid of disappearing, and this is the solution he has come up with.  He will definitely be remembered.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sharp Shooter

“Hey kid,
Whatcha doin?”
Hunting rattlers”
“Interested in
“Might want
To get
The one
By your
Leap, fire, scream
“Nice shot,

Ken Goree

I think I was eight on this visit to the family farm, in Tennessee.  My dad had let me bring my bb gun along.  Of course, I was going to try to hunt for poisonous snakes.  What would you excpect a boy with a bb gun to do in “snake country.”  There was a family renting the farm at the time, and one of the teenage boys came to see what I was doing.  I was standing about eight inches from a copperhead.  They aren’t nearly as helpful as rattle snakes.  The rattlesnakes warn you, at least.  I jumped and fired as it struck.  I’m guessing that bite would have really hurt.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Light Beyond

Dark, grey veil
Drawing will
And good humor from
Too long in
Its shadow

Crisp, clear vision
Flooding in
God’s rushing thrill, held from
Long holding

Ken Goree

I’ve always wondered about those splendid shudders that we sometimes get, when something strikes an emotional chord with us.  Could it be a brief moment of touching “The Infinite?”  Could that be the sensation the Dalia Lama experiences all the time?  We hear that we couldn’t withstand the awesome power of God’s voice.  Could this be the echo, of an echo of God? 

This poem was inspired this morning as I drove over a hill.  Yes, the sky above me was covered over with an unbroken, oppressive grey mass of clouds.  Ahead, the Olympic Mountains sparkled with a clarity that wasn’t available, closer at hand.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

So Natural

Coffee finished
We head to our cars
You need to get
Kids ready for school
I need to get to work

A sprinkle threatens
I hold your door for you
We lean into each other

We finish
Shocked I realize
The world
Wide-eyed we both say
“It felt … so natural”

Ken Goree

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just the Other Day

I was all firsts
Cold lips and nose
Puffy warm jacket
Hard solid sled
Giant Father
Scraping sounds
Bumpy ride
Deep Laughter
Foggy breath
Rushing shapes
Speeding bouncing
Labored breathing
Sudden stop
Endless giggles

Ken Goree

This is my first memory.  I must have been two or three, and we lived in Maryland.  I have other early memories, but those are the kind that aren’t really memories, but the memories of stories that other people have told so many times that they feel like real memories. 

The best “implanted memory” was when we were spending a summer on a farm in West Virginia.  I was probably only one or two, because I was in a crib, or playpen, on the porch.  My parents were out working in the garden, until they heard a blood curdling scream from me.  My mom was sure I had been bitten by a rattle snake, and both parents came running with a shovel and a hoe, intending to hack up my ophidian attacker. 

When they arrived, there was no snake, but I was still screaming hysterically.  Apparently, if a hornet climbs into your ear to see if it is a good place to make a nest, you shouldn’t stick your finger in there with it.  Lesson learned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Regressing Weather

For several days my spirits lifted
But today the weather’s shifted
Again the clouds this way have shifted
When sun returns I shall feel gifted

A bunch of clouds they are convening
God doesn’t appear to be intervening
Wind through the courtyard is careening
Kids on the field, to stand, must stay leaning

Many greys in the clouds are churning
Sunlight through gaps, my eyes are burning
For calm warm days, my heart is yearning
That we must have patience, I am relearning

Ken Goree

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


What right have I
To tick
when others,
Those much better than I,
Have had their

Ken Goree

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leaves of Grass

Running fingers
Leaves of grass

Touching tips
Leaves of grass

Observing eyes
marvel at
Leaves of grass

Listening ears
Notice tiny
Through leaves of grass

Scenting nostrils
Leaves of grass

Tasting buds
Leaves of grass

Ken Goree

Monday, May 23, 2011

Riding Down the Road

Riding down the road
Wind on skin
Bandana pops,

Riding down the road
Goose flesh thrill
Exhaust roars

Riding down the road
Troubles lose hold
Tension fades

Ken Goree

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Found in my
Fascination for

Pounding of
Piston in cylinder

Instinct to
Seek out rhythm
Strength and
Pounding beat

Ken Goree

Saturday, May 21, 2011


How many times
Does it happen
That awe in creation
Screams Stop!
Pull over
Get out
And drink in
With all
Silver moonlight spotted Strawberry fields
Oceans of white snow geese blanketing a pasture
Swirling murky power of a storm swollen river
Liquid thunder of a speeding avalanche
A glorious mountain basin so big, God must live there
One lone purple flower clinging to a jagged cliff’s face
Do we have the

Ken Goree

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Lake

I’d love to spend some time outside
Communing with the fishes
Reclining in a rocking boat
One of my many blisses

The small waves lapping on the side
Thoughts of work condemn
Each wavetop bears, a tiny spark
Each of them a gem

The rocking of the metal boat
And sun on me warming
Sinks me down toward a nap
Such sweet dreams are forming

And when I wake to tugging line
I was feeling splendid
In really felt like déjà vu
Just like my dream had ended

Ken Goree

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Drips echo
Off Steep

Silence echoes
Off Clean

Saturates air
In shadowed

Empties air
In indifferent

Consumes light
Of Chasm's

Consumes spirit
Of heart’s

Ken Goree

The poem about the rope swing reminded me of another story about “The Falls.”  When I was a kid there was a teenager who took his life in the ravine at the base of the waterfall.  I don’t know how he ended up in such a painful, dark place.  I wonder where he would be today if someone had been able to light the candle he needed to guide him out of his darkness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Swing Time

Swinging ‘cross a valley
On a little, tiny rope
That it doesn’t snap for me
Is what I truly hope

Rushing wind goes through my hair
It makes a little whistle
If I fell to ground from here
I’d explode like a missile

Pouring sweat, it slicks my hands
and stings into my eyes
Not planning now to lose my grip
I clamp down with my thighs

Finishing my turn I drop
most heavy to the ground
It’s good I finished then, I think
For the rope became unbound

Ken Goree

I hope everyone has had a chance to take a ride on a rope swing.  The one I am remembering for this poem was in the Lake Hills area of Bellevue, at a place we called “The Falls.”  The water flowing out of Phantom Lake had formed a forty-foot deep ravine.  Someone had fastened a rope to a tree that hung out over the cliff.  We were kids, and the fact that it was a forty-foot drop to jagged rocks and twisted stumps didn’t even register as a reason not to use the swing.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad Dog

What do you do with a dog that won’t stop
Chewing on things that he shouldn’t?
I like my molding, my chair and my stair
I felt I should beat him, but couldn’t

I bought him some chew toys, and ones that he liked
But somehow they all have got hidden
I bet that he hides them, so to have an excuse
Didn’t matter that chewing’s forbidden

So, I have no good answers to this problem mine
He usually’s a fun canine angel
But when he starts chewin’ on things that are keepers
His hide, I think I could strangle

Ken Goree

I cannot believe Orion chewed the molding.  It’s right in the entry hall where he likes to sprawl out on the cool oak flooring.  I didn’t see it happen, but I can imagine him lazily, without much thought or real interest, taking a chew here and there through the afternoon. 

It would be like you or I leaning on a porch rail on a hot, still, summer afternoon.  We have a good friend nearby, as we spend time talking about nothing in particular, or of much importance.  As we chat, we absent-mindedly notice a loose chip of paint.  Our fingernail tests the edge of it and the chip comes up.  As we listen to our friend drone on in a sleepy voice, our fingernail finds another loose edge, and another, and another.  Suddenly we really notice what we’ve done.  There is a large, foot-long patch gone from the white porch rail, and the bright blue of the railing’s former color announces its presence vividly. 

The difference is, with our opposable thumbs and debit cards we can get the supplies to fix what we have done before anyone notices.  Orion isn’t so lucky.

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Stick

Stick of
Solid hickory wood
Split, cut to length
For a man of energy

Strong wood
Giving itself for
A tool of necessity
Life giving protection for man

Using self
Mind and strength
Calling forth from wood
Artful tool of useful invention

Push, shape
Back and forth
To bring form to
Fruition as a new bow

Ken Goree

I was looking at my wall … doesn’t everyone, and I started thinking of the decoration that hangs there.  It is a hickory bow, which I made last summer.  I have to give credit to my friend Katie Johnson.  She gave me the gift certificate to the bow making class. 

I had a wonderful time over two days.  I started with one straight, unformed piece of wood.  It was hickory.  I pushed, scraped, carved and stretched the wood until it took form as a bow.  In the end, I ended up with a graceful decoration for my wall, possibly an exciting object of imagination and sport for my grandchildren, someday … hopefully, not too soon.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011



Warm calming firelight
Dance patterns around the room
Relax tired man

Ken Goree

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cold Things

Soft chilled feet
At bedtime, playful

Crystal mountain stream
With plunge, excited

Frigid dusty snow
In teasing, innocent

Clear glacial lake
From ropeswing, daring

Strong winter breeze
Through hair, unbound

Cool wet cloth
On forehead, feverish

Ken Goree

Good, cold things.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happiness, not a poem

I am very happy, and content.  All is well, in my world, now; now that I am able to post to my blog again. Thank you all for sending me copies of "The Lost Poem," AKA I Don't Feels So Good.

Lousy Waiter

I am not a waiter
It’s not my kind of thing
Sit around and wait for warmth?
No, I want my Spring

When it’s planned to go someplace
The walls I’ll surely climb
For Heaven’s sake, be ready to
Be in the car on time

And when I want to post my blog
To keep with my commitment
The site won’t work, my hands are tied
Sheesh, I’m trying to be consistent

Ken Goree

I’m writing this poem as I wait (grrr) for the blogging site to be back up and running.  Wednesday’s poem was deleted through their maintenance process, but they say it will be loaded back in.  Thursday’s poem is sitting on my computer, wishing it had been posted yesterday, and This poem is hoping to go online today.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Penny For

If I had a penny for
Each poem that I wrote
I think you all can see right now
That I would still be broke

But if I had a penny for
Each time that one gets read
I could buy a nice computer
And type poems there instead

And if they all got read by
Each person on the planet
I’d have a lot of money, but
I think I would get stagnant

Ken Goree

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Don’t Feel So Good

I woke up today and thought
I don't feel so good
My tummy's making funny sounds that
I don't think it should

My daughter said two days ago
"I don't feel so good
She gave me her germy germ, which
I don't think she should

She's all better now, I think, but
I don't feel so good
I really want to work today, but
I don't think I should

I should eat some food, I think, but
I don't feel so good
Holding wide the big fridge door, no
I don't think I could

Ken Goree

I think that poem pretty much explains itself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

However Brief

However brief our meeting
Time well spent
Our bodies
Our lives
Our love
Time well spent

Ken Goree

Monday, May 9, 2011


Crushingly sad

The tangled mind
That spins time wrong

Such seeming lucidity to one
Who is trapped within insanity’s grasp

What looking glass took hold of reality
Pulling one down into reflected  lands unreal

Where’s the wonderland elixir to heal
And shine reality back within

When no word reaches
Into false façade

Praying for

Ken Goree

It just seems like I have been meeting more people who are actually delusional, lately.  I’ve tried talking, but it doesn’t seem to work.  I wish I had the solution.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


When your breath catches
Because I noticed
I am bare

When I see something in your eyes
No one else can
I am bare

When life crushes and threatens
And I know how to hold you
I am bare

When you are strong and bold
I see your hidden frailty
I am bare

When you hold yourself back
I know your fears
I am bare


When I am bare
I sense and grow from your love
I transcend

When I am bare
I keep no protection for myself
I can be cut

When I am bare
I have opened myself to one
I can bleed

When I am bare
I feel your destructive anger
I can scar

When I am bare
I recoil from cold sarcasm
I can callous

Ken Goree

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sleepy Pitcher

My daughter stayed awake all night
While visiting a friend
But now it’s well past noon, you know
This sleeping has to end

Her softball game, it starts at two
And she’s supposed to pitch
I’m worried that she won’t play well
Or be a little witch

Because I see a trend with her
When she stays up too late
Her brain which is a smart one, is
Good as an empty plate

So now she’s clumping down the stair s
Searching for her uniform
It looks like she’ll be ready, but
Dangerous as a thunder storm

Ken Goree

All right, five minutes until we have to leave for the game.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Emerald Fire

Bright green leaves sparkle
After short, night-time sprinkle
Emerald fire sparks

Ken Goree

Thursday, May 5, 2011

That's What Friends are For

There was one time
I’ll tell you son
I opened a gate
And found no fun

Shopping on Craigslist
Is sometimes quite bright
Other times
It can bring on a fright

Jay needed a car
One with much muscle
That shouldn’t have been tough
I’d no idea I would tussle

We headed for Lynnwood
A Dodge Challenger to see
It wasn’t too pricey
Yet far from free

The house looked deserted
A meth lab by look
I saw the car Jay wanted
Parked off in a nook

So I opened the gate
And to the door went
I knocked on the door
Avoiding the dent

While still on the landing
A movement I spied
A black and red dog
I  had just eyed

A Doberman Pinscher
Can be quite frightening
Jay thought the same
And departed like lightning

It was a male
So I wasn’t too worried
I laughed at Jay
For the way that he scurried

The dog came to me
A-wagging his stub
He was so friendly
Him, I couldn’t snub

On the door I did knock
Once more for good measure
Jay’s cowardess, at
I chuckled with pleasure

Then once again
That movement I spied
A red and black dog
I almost cried

This one was different
It wasn’t a he
The mate of the other
A new mother, she

I knew from close looking
Through preceding years
Of vicious dog mommies
It had rekindled old fears

I held myself frozen
Doing math in my head
I was betting on if
Would I escape if I fled

My normal tactic
Would most likely have been
To tell Jay to run
Knowing she’d seek his skin

Unfortunately then
My plans had been foiled
Jay had run early
His undies unsoiled

The long moment of tension
It finally broke
She charged right at me
Though I did not provoke

Her teeth came in low
But I bolted high
I sprinted for fence
And prayed to the sky

Twenty yards left to go
To the gate open wide
Then Jay did close it
I almost cried

He saw me coming
But the dog he saw too
So he closed the gate
That’s what he did do

The fence was a low one
Three feet, maybe four
I hoped I could hurdle
I hurdled before

I focused on goal
I accelerated
I didn’t know
To what I was fated

My pacing was right
my timing was perfect
My speed was good
On my pace, I checked

The dog close behind
Fangs snapped at my heel
Just as I leaped
Her teeth I did feel

The flesh of my calf
punctured with pops
I grimaced in flight
My flesh locked in her chops

My mass it did pass
Over the fence of chain link
The teeth of that dog left
Scars of bright pink

As I dropped top the sidewalk
The dog left behind
My life it was spared
I thanked God, so kind

A lesson I learned
About dogs and my friend
When a bitch does attack
Jay’s help he won’t lend

Ken Goree

Sorry Jay, but this is how I remember it.  And I think I have it pretty close to the actual event.  I do have to admit, as we sped away from the neighborhood, suddenly noticing that the car wasn’t as cool as we first thought, we did laugh about the whole situation.  I wasn’t laughing quite as hard, though.  I was busy trying to stop the bleeding. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


A feeling
Self-awareness lost
Or is it
Something else?
When praise
Spills forth
For a work
I would not do
Nor ask of another
A work that
Would be done
Were I to seek it
condemn it
Were I omnipotent
I would
Have had it
All another
I praise the
Warriors for
A work that
Was required
But feel
For that

Ken Goree

This poem comes in the wake of the Osama Bin Laden’s death.  I feel torn that I am glad that it has finally happened, that I should be happy for a death.  I pray for the day that humanity loses the need to make war, and perpetuate hatred.  I pray that it is not a genetic need which cannot be overcome.

 I’m thankful daily that there are people, close friends some, who serve as our country’s protection with noble intent and limitless bravery.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Never Aging

Once you were a twelve year old
One long gone sixth-grade year
And now you’re turning twenty –one
I see you greet it with great cheer

But always do remember
When in memory I delve
You’re still a sweet young kid to me
Forever you’ll be twelve

So when you post on Facebook
Or networks that there are
Pre-warn your teachers of your youth
Or our memories you’ll scar

Ken Goree

This is for a wonderful former student, who is very excited to be turning twenty-one.  I hope she takes it with the light-heartedness in which it is intended, and doesn’t curb her enthusiasm for life.  But still, I’ll always think of her as a sweet twelve-year-old girl.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Bright, piercing sunlight
Gives way to blustery chill
And falling raindrops

Ken Goree

After yesterday's beautiful 75 degree weather, it is hard to go back to the 50s.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011


When in the company of friends
It doesn’t really matter
The miles or the time between
Friendship’s cloth won’t tatter

Ken Goree