Wednesday 5 February 2014

2 Poems by Bruce McRae

Recalling Tomorrow

All summer long the light stewed in its cauldron . . .

Come winter, and Polaris is a hinge,
arctic overflow a pivot, a wild-eyed fulcrum,
the storms longing for more, for something better.

Such as the homesick girl who’s pining for love,
for her cat and its calico kittens,
for the lovers and secrets tucked away softly.
The girl writing in her candy diary.
Who quarreled with a jaybird,
consoled a rosebud, wept in a garden shed.
Who possesses rainbows for brains,
and a dab of hope among the hindrances.

Snow falling in the terrarium,
and the girl is remembering
quotes from Wittgenstein and poems of Poe,
recalling an oar trailing through water,
and a kiss so tender her god has stopped speaking,
the earth jarred and night succumbed,
her inch-high god turning away in shame,
in divine terror.

Mud And Leather

The soul sounds like a breath
being held against its wishes.
It’s not a town, it’s a sea
fed by glacial waters.
It’s a ghostly presence,
a stand-in for an absent God.
I don’t know what the soul is.

There’s a glimmering mirage
in the theory of a desert.
But that’s no soul.
Light’s dappling reflections
are not a soul.
Surely no soul is a clot
of sticks and feathers.

And there’s no soul here,
in the rind of a lemon.
In the house of prayers
no soul dares reside.
It’s not this serpent.
Not this cut to the skin.

If I have to say I’ll say
the soul is a shadow
cast by an alien sun.
If forced to talk
I’ll speak of nothing.

To say, the soul is a shelter
from the body’s weather.


Originally from Niagara Falls Ontario, Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a musician who has spent much of his life in London and British Columbia. He has been published in hundreds of periodicals and anthologies. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website:

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