Monday, August 28, 2023

Steve Bruce - Two Poems

 First Star I See Tonight

It emerges
like a pimple on the night sky’s chin.

Make a wish.

What is there to lose
but time and sanity?


What longings billow
your heart’s sails

To win a jackpot
              other than birth?

Something ample,

Enough to forget
about the cost
of living.

To have a figure fashionable
for the modern age?

To be famous?
To be successful?
To be happy?

To be enough
for them to not walk
out on you?

World peace?
              Don’t lie.

For your enemies
to wake as dung beetles?


For an ounce
of self-confidence?

For a room
with a clear view
of the singing ocean?

To be young?
To be old?

To be somebody
or anyone else?

To feel loved?

You don’t need much,
do you?


to wake up
to one person pleased
to see you.

Some nights
if you listen with intent,
you can hear humanity’s desires
resound around Venus
and disappear
into the unapproving universe.


How to say it?

When forms become overworked

and demand a vacation.

When internal and end rhymes

are sick

to death of each other,

and file for divorce.

When similes are fumbled

with more times

than a cheap escort’s


When iamb, trochee,

dactyl, and anapest

march off

to die

in the blood-soaked trenches

of a distant war.

When sentimentality steps

from the ledge of a skyscraper.

When metaphors digest

in the iron stomach

of a turkey vulture.

When a rose

is a rose is a rose.

How to say it?

When the heart

no longer cares

to refine itself.

When the soul

is almost out of steam.

When there’s enough

foresight inside of you

to admit that in a hundred


none of this matter

will matter.

How to say it?

When inspiration’s

as ripe and fragrant

as artificial flowers.

When the flash of a rat’s tail

vanishing beneath your bed

holds equal power

to a lightning bolt

splitting apart

a far-away oak tree.

How to say it?

When you are not Blake.

When you are not Shakespeare.

When you are not Keats.

When you are not Wordsworth.

When you are contradicting components

tumbling through this dog-eat-dog cosmos.

How to say it?

When you believe

poetry, like air,

is meant for

all of us.

How to say it?

In your own simple way,

I guess.

Steven Bruce is an award-winning author. His poetry and short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies worldwide. In 2018, he graduated from Teesside University with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Born in the North of England, he now lives and writes full-time in Barcelona.

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