Bruce McRae‘s pair of poems

Evening’s Dissemblance

I mistrust the inventions of our mind.”


You shouldn’t be who you’re not.

Stave, stick, stalk and stone —

you were a star so heavy that time imploded.

Stolen from a cradle, you were a dragonfly.

You spoke with the locusts.

Godchild, you are a plaint among leavings.

Another bone to the broth.

A foundling asleep in the ash heap, we carried

you home swaddled in a cow’s bladder.

A twisted pine with a glazing of stardust.

A humming hydroelectric dynamo.

A hornet enraptured by sunlight and dream-catchers.

Horses and swans and goddesses —

we pay tribute in fine cloth and frankincense.

Apollo bows before Aphrodite, Fortune versus destiny,

a red seven on the wheels of roulette’s pure uncertainty.

Deep summer grass. Deeper winter drifts.

You’re the squealing piglet with a stain in her heart.

High grade zirconium. Alien alloy. Mercurial envoy.

Be at peace. Anger, they say, is the devil’s brandy.

Spiritus Magnus wants for physicality and emotion.

But these are the meanderings of rambling age.

I’m shown to be heartsick from tarry bongwater, and you,

skittish hare, you are a gemstone down a coal mine.

A medicinal leech. A black pearl. A lent-en Sunday.

One of the Mongol horde, bound on the Golden Shore,

we beg no favour, minstrel-in-a-woollen-sack,

and garner little interest from the mobius vulgate.

I consider myself to be as if a mule put into pasture

or saucer of weak tea poured in a summer thunderstorm.

Hatched simpleton. Spawn of the imbecilic.

Darlingest milksop, the Inquisitor’s brash decree

states, and I duly quote: ‘You are to be taken

from your cell and hung by the thumbs on Whitsun morning.’

Such deviltry is found to be, by many, quite bemusing.

If It’s For Me I’m Not Here

A phone rings and I think

of an empty room and the solace

we find among comforting sorrows.

A phone rings and I think

of darkened amphitheatres and wax museums.

Of sundogs and golden orreries.

Ramses’s last breath. The whore of Babylon.

I think of the void between galaxies,

schoolyards in a heavy downpour,

trampolines carried off by the wind.

Of masques and masquerades

Of mud and majesty.

Of berserkers and rage and wonderment.

A phone rings and I think

of Vaudeville skits and silent film stars,

their dust, their bones, their ashes.

Time stutters and statues are toppled.

Tall ships return, laden with silks and spices.

Fathers argue with daughters, some small thing

out of all regard.

A phone rings and I think

of phones ringing, sunken continents,

Aristotle scratching a persistent itch.

Of an old man in a chair at dusk,

rising, putting on his tattered overcoat,

walking out into a world of This.

A lone figure barely visible

in the smokey distance.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with poems published in hundreds of magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

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