Thursday 5 February 2015

2 Poems by Bruce McRae

Old Friend 

There’s an old friend lost in the briar patch.

There’s an old friend desecrating a lawn.
He’s borrowing money from the Jesuits,
and, I think, has no intention of paying them back.
His last dinner was a windfall salad.
Recent days are a furnace choking with cold ashes.
I believe he’s locked himself in the sauna.

There’s an old friend speed-dialing his telephone
and demanding fullest retribution.
He’s wearing his father’s face and mother’s expressions.
His byline hasn’t gone viral, but his eyes glow red.
There’s a faltering breath wriggling under his jacket.

“Old friend!” you call across the room to him,
but he refuses to reply, to acknowledge you whatsoever,
later insisting he no longer has any answers,
and, hell, what was the question anyhow;
besides ‘why are we?’

Your old friend looks older, friendlier,
weary from bearing lifelong witness,
from the ‘countering of modern tyrannies’,
worn out with longing, with existentialism,
with the mire of aging.

Now both half blind, you stop and sit next to him,
sharing a few welcomed laughs,
exchanging comfortable silences.
You’re in the eye of life’s hurricane.
Somewhere, time is storming over the barricades,
while you and your old friend bask in morning sunlight.
It’s only then you hear the Earth listening.

A Bit About People 

People are what Death dreams of.

People are God’s throw-up.
We’re the greatest of apes; just ask us.
We’re like plucked chickens,
our dress sense a necessary afterthought.
We make our pets nervous.
Birds won’t come near us.
The bees envy our industry and guile.
Tigers think we’re like dinner.

People are fidgety and finicky
and choose to create their own troubles,
Satan an example of our invention.
An evolutionary blunder and wonder,
our minds are attempting to blackmail us.
It’s either too hot or too cold,
which makes people unpredictable,
which makes us highly dangerous.

We’re on the telephone for hours.
We’re pulling into the driveway, drunk.
When not anointing ourselves we’re salting the earth.
The phrase ‘own worst enemy’ comes to mind.
“People are like works of art
hung in the museum of the interstellar void.” –
we say things like that,
when we’re not playing with our fingers,
with all those bright and pretty buttons,
when we’re not making loud noises.

People possess the ability to fear, to plan, to worry.
Fortunately, we enjoy our own company.
We get together and burn things
or have them explode into colours.
What people think to label ‘supernatural’
is that which lies beyond our senses.
We’ll complain “I don’t understand,”
but we’re not meant to understand.
No one’s been asking us for our opinions.
Nobody’s looking.


Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 800 publications, including and The North American Review. 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: , or ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel’ on Youtube.

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