4 Poems by Bruce McRae

Sing-Along

 

A song sung by the house dust.

A song to the spider’s laborious thread.

A song in the tread of the emperor’s carriage.

 

The mother weeping

over dishes in a kitchen melodrama –

she hears it, clearly.

The mercenary, cutting thick necks –

he hears it too.

The song of the blue chord.

The song of December transposed into June.

Of the wrong-headed angel.

 

Music plays on a stone adze.

It slips beneath the arctic waters.

It sits very quietly at the back of a classroom,

counting its glass beads and saints’ knuckles.

Adjusting its badges and straps.

Accumulating dark knowledge.

 

You see the heart is an instrument.

The soul is a drum and a hand

pounding on the gates of a glassy heaven.

You see. The song is singing itself

in a night-stained doorway.

From out of the roof of your mouth.

 

A song about razors and cranberries.

A little song about a meteor shower,

about the rise and fall of dew.

The one we all sing, like wind under a rainbow

or chorus of doubt.

 

Beautiful shouting.

 


Space Between the Lies

 

 

Inane moon, maddened stars, cross-eyed planets,

Earth’s bell ringing in the salt and pepper lunacy,

the first night being also the last night,

existence circular in nature.

 

I’m on the light-path, one of the dark races.

I’m loving myself in a black mirror,

Deimos gesticulating, Phobos running not far behind,

Andromeda rattling her leg-irons,

gravity imposing its letter of the law,

atoms warring, space closing

like a door or an eye,

the ultimate silence thickening its broth.

 

My synapses sparkle and spar, mind delighted

with itself, its own divine machinations,

the universe a dull cliché, cosmos waterworn,

the Big Bang quaint in comparison –

like a cute little croft on Mare Frigoris,

say, or the red star of Christmas.

 

The space between the spaces expands,

while I gather in the far-off moments.

The infinite and eternal are wrestling quietly,

God in his heaven, or so I’m told,

a little brownstone bungalow

on the back steps of beyond.

 

All else, the miracle deepens.

 

 

 

A River Running Underground

 

 

In my mind is a paper mountain.

God shrugged, and that was my mind

separating one water from another water.

My mind imagined other minds.

It manufactured an idle daydream.

It made shadows after dark,

creatures without substance and form,

glass cities, ethereal fogginess,

the most beautiful of all the monsters.

 

In my mind is a sun weeping light.

Sparks star off an iron spike

while my mind paints jungle flowers,

highways of ice, celestial filaments,

an army of children crying:

“Toys and snowfall at Christmas!”

 

A vortex of quiescence,

and my mind is resting by a calm lake.

A storm’s fury and human furor

and my mind is wandering in a thick forest.

The universe is a single great thought,

my mind asleep on its downy pillow.

 

Where nothing, and no one, may wake it.

 

  

Auspicious

 

 

The weather promises to change

from man to animal.

Today’s forecast is absence,

with a chance of longing.

In the east, flying horses

and a scattering of flowers.

From the west, incursions,

barbarous hordes, black ice.

 

The weather changes its mind,

abandons its principles,

is forced to choose between

darkness and light.

They’re predicting tons

of tons and long cold showers.

They say it might break,

but we’re in for a hard spell.

 

Today’s weather is being

brought to you by sponsors

who’d rather you didn’t

put their names around.

Listener, the sea is rising

up out of its empty shell.

For all its talk of courage,

the wind is turning.

 

 

 

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island, BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with well over a thousand poems published internationally in 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), Like As If (Pski’s Porch), and Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).