Bruce McRae

At The Tone

I can’t come to the phone right now,
I’m wrestling the tigers of indifference.
I’m up to my waist in holy water.
The sky is burning.

I’m not in at the moment,
I’m paddling in the piss-green sea,
herding lizards, seeding the stars.
I’m being driven to distraction –
dark-eyed men in hats and sunglasses
taking me away from myself.

If you must do, please leave a message.
But I no longer have the ability to listen.
My time is tempered by destruction.
I’m made miserable with compassion.

Reaching For The Light

The prattling pines and blazing evergreens,
the sea reflecting upon self-reflection,
morning gliding through a gap in the landscape,
sentience tattling out of turn,
so many flaws to be corrected, so many closed hands.
Hands henna’d with arthritis
or writer’s cramp or need to strike
a telling blow against injustice.
Hands pulling at what can’t be put down.
Hands pushing against the coming of light.
Clasped in acceptance of what’s thought divine.

A new dawn scratching at slate and pane,
a hand reaching into the luminescence,
plucking a wildflower from the mysterium,
that which is all around us but can never be had.
Thinking of the lost mind, its beautiful paradox,
considering its invention, humour, curiosity,
flesh speaking the vocabulary of the abyss,
something alive but not living.

Love Is Blue

Loving you
was 12,000 feet
of limestone blocks
piled to the sky.

It was a tax
on existence.
A counterfeit ruble.
A gin bottle
knocked on its side.

Loving you
was an odyssey
through the 10th dimension.
Everything was small
and blue and unmoving.

Loving you was a leap
from Devil’s Bridge.
I dreamt of flying
and wept cold butter.
The sea charged inland,
flooding the green valleys,
altering the landscape.
Sentiment and brutality
exchanged body fluids.
The once-golden spires
of our distant land
became all love’s ruin.

© Bruce McRae

Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Pushcart Prize 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 at

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