Sunday, July 31, 2011


Whose corded, muscled arm
Wields the hammer of your

Does the sweaty, heat reddened skin
cloak the warrior, scholar,

When the fires of creation flare
Changing your soul, will you

When the flames leap white-hot
Will your being be tempered and made

As you are beaten thin, again and again
Will you be broken through, or remain

When the smith pounds in earnest
How will you be

When your mettle is tested,
Will it become

As the sledge falls  another time
Will you be crushed or hardened

Whether blessed or damned
Will your smith ruin you, or make you

Ken Goree

Saturday, July 30, 2011



Chirp of the cricket
Marks the time, as we ponder
The life that remains

Ken Goree

Friday, July 29, 2011


From flat
Unbroken plains
Sand etched
Pale stone
Swelling meadows of
Wind whipped grass
Shear cliffs dropping into
Flash-flood carved ravines
Humming solitude
Prepares the soul
To feel the presence of
The Maker

Ken Goree

In North Central Montana there is a series of three buttes that long ago were pushed up through the plains.  They are called the Sweetgrass Hills.  Long ago Native Americans used the hills for their spiritual purposes.  I totally understand.  While walking up along the slopes I felt more connected to the universe, and the power that created it than I have in years.  It is a special place.

This is a website that highlights the area.  In no way does anything I have found online come close to really letting a person know what that area really feels like, though.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Bleached white bones
Of ancient forest
Scattered across
Bleak, barren
Cold desert

Shining blue snake
Of trickling stream
Loops along
Carved, rough
Cold desert

Dim shaded gashes
Of eroded ravines
Twist across
Empty, ravaged
Cold desert

Ken Goree

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Split cedar rails
Boundary between
Baking blacktop, and
Living woodland

Tilted Sandy paths
Verdant slopes
Filled with fair life
Amidst the

Mild burbling waves
Foul and fair
The goings on
In the

Ken Goree

I am about to go to a wonderful place, St. Edward Park.  I haven't been for a while, but these are the clearest pictures of the park, that I have in my head right now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Dry raspy voices
Talk around me
In the empty open
I try to understand
Language, just beyond
Human grasp
Standing bunched
On and on
Past the horizon
Each the same
Dressed in pale
Mindlessly giving
So others might
No sense of worth
To keep standing
But the
Go on
In the

Ken Goree

The summer I worked in Montana harvesting wheat, I could hear the voice of the wheat.  As the wind blew through the fields, bumping and scraping ten thousand acres of individual wheat stalks together, I could hear the voices of the wheat brought together as one hypnotizing mindless, muttering whisper.  It was fascinating.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Storm

Dry silent morning
Expectant stillness
Under uneven grey sky
Deep, distant murmurs
Grow, build, strengthen
As waiting nears its end
Far off bursts of light
Flashes brighten landscape
Thunder pounds the senses
Announcing the coming of
No gentle beginning
Savage squall
Washes away memory of
Drowsy warmth

Ken Goree

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Celebration of a Summer’s Day

The fire of sunset
Has cooled
Long summer evening’s turquoise
Fades to
Midnight blue
Warm breezes
Buffet and
With friendly intent
As darkness grows
without malice,
The Feasting

Ken Goree

Saturday, July 23, 2011


You smile to me across the room
Rub knees beneath the table
I really should restrain myself
But, don’t believe I’m able

We meet in early morning light
Stand touching in the rain
The scent of droplets on your skin
I really can’t refrain

When evening comes I am with you
Imagine my full delight
Your rose and coral tinted skin
Painted by candle light

Ken Goree

Friday, July 22, 2011


I just saw a child
Scratching his head top
His finger had a booger on it
I wanted to scream STOP!

I saw another munchkin
Furiously scratch her head
She saw her friend had messy hair
“Here, use my brush,” she said.

One more from the bathroom came, and
Did something I can’t stand
Reached in his buddies Doritos bag, but
He hadn’t washed his hand

Ken Goree

I looked up earlier today to see one of my summer school kids digging diligently into his nostril, with his right-hand’s index finger.  Then he ran his hand through his hair immediately afterward.  It brought back other appetite blocking memories from the previous school year.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Such pathetic end
Of victorious embattled day
Wet barracks
Dripping rain saturates

Saturates the spirit
With numbing emptiness
Halting cries of triumphant
Releasing moans from the wounded

Wounded bodies and minds
Remember the pain of steel
Heart’s pain from conquering
Soul’s pain from remembering.

Remembering this, and before
Writing songs of blood lust and glory
Strong drink, and
Loud boasts covering

Covering shield protecting
Now, from the bunk above
In darkness comes, the plonk, plonk, plonk
Of my brother’s blood

Ken Goree

The weather must be getting to me.  I was visualizing a Viking warrior in this poem; a thoughtful warrior contemplating what it means to be a warrior, and the apathy that ensnares him.   He has no more thought about the dripping blood of his companion, other than to cover himself with his shield, and still mildly vexed at the sound of the falling droplets against metal.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



Bold, charging monsters
Fearless, fighting vile dragons
Selfless, giving all

Ken Goree

When I wrote this, I was picturing a small boy charging the surf on the beach.  He is imagining himself a knight, living up to the chivalric code.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How Many Days?

How many days
Remain to …

… feel the rain
Chill my skin
Cause my shirt to hold my flesh tightly
Give goose bumps
Wash the day’s cares from my brow

… Hear family
As children laugh
Brothers and sisters vie for place
Parents pass wisdom
Aunts and uncles delight in us
Brothers and sisters fiercely protect

… Breathe in
Fresh herbs
Tingling aroma of wine
Dear canine companion
Baking bread
Fresh earned sweat

… See
Friendly delight
Amorous wink
Laughing smile
Pride and awe
Bravely hidden worry

… Know

… to keep them with me?  Eternity.

Ken Goree

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cross, and Un-fit

I tried to start this fine day out
With some exercise
It’s been, oh, much too long
My trainer would chastise

I tried a mix of different work
Lunge, squat, jump, oh my
If I do another set of these
I may lie down and die

I used to do these things, no sweat
I do not know what happened
If you say, “Just one more set.”
You cannot be my friend

I say this all with tongue-in-cheek
Well, maybe not completely
If asked to workout, soon again
I just may not agree

I know this is all good for me
I’ll get so looking svelte
I’m just not sure it’s worth it
Oh, the pain I’ve felt.

Ken Goree

I did another Cross-fit workout this morning.  It isn’t really as bad as I make out in this poem, but it seemed like it might be more accessible to a greater number of people this way.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Evil Tide Ebbing

After long nightmare
Neck-deep in sand
As Ill tide sweeps in
Filth and fear
Each encroaching rush
Threatens to submerge

Tide turns, drawing back
Receding, washing sand clear
Ebbing waves carry
Back troubles and pain
Onto the shoulders
Of cold emptiness

Ken Goree

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Last Night’s a Blur

Falling out of bed today
I really need my coffee
Oh my God, what happened last night
I can barely see

My head feels like it’s inside-out
Pounded by a hammer
Rustled sheets, they even sound
Just like a raucous clamor

My tongue it feels like kitty’s tongue
All dry and kind of rough
Yuck, I’ve seen what kitty eats
Oh Lord, don’t make me laugh

My stomach feels all raw and empty
I dare not fill it up
If I were to break my fast
I swear I would just throw up

Some say to drink is a big sin
I do think that’s odd
“Heck no,” I say, “It makes me pray.”
Drink brings me close to God

Ken Goree

This is not my hangover, however, I have done some active research into the subject.  This poem is to fill the request of a friend whom I’ve known since early elementary school.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I think I need a bit of slumber
On this cloudy day
My mouth is full of big, fat yawns
They will not go away

It would not be that safe, I think
To lay my brown head down
If I fell asleep at school, my students would
Paint me like a clown

I guess it would feel quite shameful
If I were to be found out
If the school's head entered my room
She’s wake me with a shout

She’d look me up and down, right then
A tongue click at my clothes
It’s hard to look the teacher part with
A stupid, round, red nose

Ken Goree

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Feeling It

Water’s cool embrace
Shows its love
While massaging shins
Wrapping itself around my calves
In refreshing embrace

Chill droplets
Dot sun-baked skin
While refreshed by
Rushing through
Salty breeze

Vibrated fingertips
Skimming liquid Vs
While foam roars overhead
Curved ocean plane
Reflecting self

Enveloped in shiny pipeline
While powerful Poseidon’s hand
Stirs air into translucent
Green swirls

Smiling skyward
While sands lovingly abrade
Day spinning happily toward
Cool retire

Ken Goree

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Warm Summer Rains

Wet blooms
On the orange field of
My shirt, as
Bloated raindrops fall
From the summer sky

Plumes of steam
Rise from the
Hot blacktop as the
The road ahead

Foliage brightens
As the shower
Washes branch and leaf
Clean of cloaking dust
Unleashing muggy, lusty
Scent of summer’s growth

Forest trail
Resounds with patters
As the droplets
Leap downward
Splattering from
Leaf to leaf

Green surface
Of sylvan stream
As the impact of each
Wet bead penetrates
And enters
Each calm pool

Ken Goree

I had a wonderful afternoon walk, in yesterday's warm summer rainstorm.  I think I shall do that again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Such a pretty gem …

So shiny
So colorful
So attractive
So Priceless

So expensive
So sharp
So hard
So cold

Ken Goree

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Invader

When I was just a little lad
That's right, not very old
I had my misadventures
Though not so very bold

But at the end of each full day
I wound up in my bed
On my drool stained pillow
I would rest my head

I had a real cool bunkbed
Every day I slept up high
It made my mother nervous
She thought that I might die

There’s one night that stands out
The one I most remember
It happened long ago you see
In a cold, dark November

I settled down and went to sleep
In the normal way
I fell quickly into slumber
After a long day

In the night, I woke with start
Could tell not all was right
I could feel a presence there
Something crept in, in the night

Peeking over my wood railing
I witnessed a strange sight
a man was kneeling on the floor
I had a dreadful fright

And in the midst of choking fear
My voice died in my throat
A grey haired man was working there
In a dark trench coat

The time it seemed to stretch out
Each minute felt an hour
While he was worked on there below
All I could do was cower

I watched the grey head turning
It seemed that on occasion
The steely jaw was lifted and
Looked in my direction

On and on he toiled away
For what I did not know
Then I realized a bomb, that’s it!
He’s setting it to blow!

Then as that thought did come to me
I felt sound might come out
My voice did then ring loud
But what came out was “Halp!”

Much to my confusion then
The man he did not move
There really is a villain there
I need this fact to prove

My mother’s voice and feet I heard
Racing down the hall
In all my heartfelt gratefulness
I thought I just might bawl

My bedroom door burst open
Bright flashed on the light
The invader was my punching bag
Imagine my delight

A bad dream’s what I said to her
As she was walking out
She turned around and asked me then
What did you mean by “Halp?”

Ken Goree

Strangely, this is a true story, every bit of it.  I had a punching bag that my parents had bought me the previous Christmas.  It was the type that you stand on a board that has a pole sticking up from one end.  On top of the pole is an inflatable plastic ball that you punch.  I don’t think they make them anymore.  I’m sure countless children have lost teeth to that merciless ball that hits back harder than you hit it.  Somehow, Voit figured out how to thwart the laws of physics.  I really thought there was a grey-haired man (the ball on the punching bag was white, which looked grey in the dark) was setting a bomb in the middle of my floor.  In my imagination, I could just see him look up occasionally.  And yes, I did scream out, “Halp.”

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The wind
Covers the sound of footsteps
Cold branches
Chatter with
The scraping of limb against limb
That something follows
In the Dark

The wind lulls
Into silence
Briefly letting through the sound
Stealthy footfalls
The space between.
Pine needles
And twigs
Define the narrowing margin

The wind
Sets the branches again to conversation
As the unknown
Quickening youthful strides
Speed ahead on prayers of escape

Ken Goree

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Nalley House

Nearer now
The house is seen
Leering from concealment
Behind dark trees with which
It cloaks itself

The house has
Gathered its army
Slicing waves on the shore
Darkened under clouded skies
Breaking twigs, shout out approach

Something cracks and falls behind
The twilight curtain of branches
Wind moans threats through
Window which long ago
Spat out their last daggers of glass

The last remaining front step
Has splintered and fallen
Since last dared approach
What foul lumbering beast has
Crushed it without dismay

The portal howls and screams at my
Air, fouled by vermin and evil
Hateful, fills
Assaulted lungs

The presence beckons
The House’s tangible, beating heart
Speaks malicious black incantations
To hold and keep
In crushing embrace

Its wicked spell shatters
With the new perception of
Of stealthy, creeping approach
Of oily minded monster
Twisted perversion of life

Bursting forth from the prison
To which curiosity nearly trapped
Silent snapping fangs and slashing claws
Which are there, are always there
In boyhood’s delicious imaginings

Ken Goree

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whispered Parting

Sitting along the sylvan verge
Watching the small tide
Of red wine swirling within
Clear, crystal boundaries

Relaxing slowly to savor its gifts
Again appreciating the coral hues
     Of Roses
          Green dancing patterns of
               Wind-stirred leaves
                    Buzzing blur of
                         Hummingbird wings

                         Contentment comes as
                    The breeze lessens
               World holds her breath
          For a perfect moment when
     Stream whispers
“Until we meet again,” as
She fades in Summer’s heat

Ken Goree

Thursday, July 7, 2011


What will you do
When given a

Will you save it
For a rainy

Will you practice
Your boy scout

Will you stretch
It to its

Will you find
A tall mountain to

Will you have
Just enough to

Will you find
Someone needing a

Ken Goree

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Just a day
Like any other
With as much
Potential as any
Other new day
With one difference,
Today hasn’t called
My inner voice
To paint mountains
Or scent roses
Or caress sandstone.
Silent inner voice
Come to me
Tickle me with
Juicy, luscious words

Ken Goree

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

Friends join together
A warm summer evening
With fading sun-glow
Myriad foods for the feast
Night alight with fireworks

Ken Goree

Monday, July 4, 2011



Red, fiery skin
Reminds with burning sting, and
Reports a good day

Ken Goree

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Fourth

My neighbor just did come to me
With an invitation
All his family will be there
All with cool libation

He says that summer is the time
When they all will gather
To praise our flag and tasty drink
Manners will not matter

So to the grill, again I go
To flip the burger meat
No healthy diet stands a chance
‘Gainst patriotic feast

All relations, they do arrive
Some much after starting
Screech and laughter, loud ring out, with
Fireworks first lighting

So, very long into the night
The party does unfurl
At least this, ev’ry once a year
Fam’ly is a loving

Ken Goree

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wave Running

Slapping waves, and
Scent of
Oily smoke
Bubbled through
Rippling fresh waves

World rocks, as
Cool water
Twists and pushes
Boat’s bow
And stern

Laughing companions
Point and chatter
At sights and wet sounds
Of Lake’s
Diamond studded waves

Shining sunlight
Burns glad
Red patterns on
warm pink

Talk dies away to
Be replaced by
Lapping waves
And far off buzz of

Waves crossing and
Crissing  in
Complex patterns

Sun-baked finish
Glowing red,
Warm flesh
A Happy

Ken Goree

Friday, July 1, 2011



Cool, crisp Summer Morn
Joyously melts beneath Sun’s
First, fiery kiss

Ken Goree