Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bruce McRae - Three Poems


The secret world of an instep.
The secret world singing in a ditch,
a drop of blood in my sundae,
the unseen just itching for an argument.

A world of secrets going unnoticed,
except for the stench of mystery.
With it’s own vague codes and languages.
The sense that something is missing,
something small but very important.
A moving form throwing shadows down
like a dollar or a debt.
An all-encompassing silence.

The secret world in letterboxes
and behind drawn curtains.
A world inside the real stuff
of meat and potatoes,
its dark lights and darker passwords,
the weight of its hidden precepts.

This is what you hear in your cold wet bed –
the bell of a transitive planet.

The Noble Gases

The voice that is dry leaves and plush essences.
A voice from the dreamworld warning it can’t be done.
Time sulking under the willows.

I still hear the wind around the door of your name,
pushing and pulling the snowfelt evening,
delivering its parcels, pining for Phoebe Reggio,
bemoaning the dullard in me.

I can still hear your voice and the doves’ language,
speaking the river’s lingo and cant,
insisting insisting . . .

The tongue of rare elements and noble gases,
small-talk gnawing on its sweetened straw.
The voice lost among fields of cane,
a few grains remaining
in Mr. Mnemonics’ storehouse of plenty.

Where did you go when you went there?
Voice like a swallow’s swoop and ship’s lantern.
A voice pitched like a memory jarred.
Like a storm coming
and the heart’s sailor longing for safe harbour.

Heavy Weather

The snow in your life.
The snow behind a cupboard
and contained in a velveteen bag.
A chandelier of delicate snowflakes.

The snow that comes without winter,
falling up and up, the theoretical sky
opening its doors wide in welcome.

The red snows of the Sahara
coming to rest in a Bournemouth car park.
Blue snows of a high fever,
your shallow breaths in windrows.

The snow for the pauper-poets
drifting in and out of reality,
reality shifting its insubstantial cargo.

Jungle-snow. Forests of squalls.
Blizzards slinking out of Libya.
The snows condemned by the hanging-judge,
by the wild-haired jury.

Here, the snow with bite, with fangs,
with a kiss as sweet as the golden asp’s.
Now, the blowing snow of my words,
and you sweeping the path.
Keeping the way clear.

Canadian Bruce McRae has had almost 600 publications in the past 12 years. Originally from Niagara Falls, he has moved extensively, living in London for 18 years and currently residing on Salt Spring Island, BC. A musician, who has recorded and toured, many of his poems have been set to music receiving airplay in the UK, U.S., Canada and Australia. His first collection, The So-Called Sonnets, published by Silenced Press of Ohio, is available now. Website:

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