Two Poems

Poetry by Bruce McRae


In August

“The first week of August hangs

at the very top of summer.”

—Natalie Babbit

Dolorous heat and summery torpor,

the cat under the verandah

clinging to the pre-dawn chill,

insect life in loose and bumbling swarms,

airy flotsam in a humid wake,

tourists cavorting like barbarous infidels,

a suggestion of autumn as light abbreviates,

the ant and grasshopper at odds in their art,

karma and dharma settled in the dune grass…

The days grown still, protracted evenings

letting out line so the fish may tire,

salmon planning their sure return, geese charged

on electromagnetic waves, bobbing in ferry wash,

tides moving out and so forth, an inexorable measure

of the new moon’s allure casting itself

upon the open waters of Captain’s Passage,

the first stars clanging in this heady atmosphere—

so many bells and all’s well.

The Dust Settles

It’s after midnight in the wherewithal.

Stars are swarming the autumnal pitch,

Ursa Minor foraging the last of summer’s honeyjar,

July an aftertaste, August in memoriam.

Either very early or very late,

the pop-eyed optimist lies baffled by time’s disregard.

A village idiot suspended between otherwise and elsewhere,

he’s lightheaded, woozy with sleepless vertigo,

bearing a message which is no message.

And this is his unpoem, his grog-muddled hypothesis.

A comic sketch about a shooting star in love with a cow.

A skit concerning a man being drawn and quartered.

If you listen very closely you can hear him murmuring afar.

He’s the one lip-synching in the celestial choir.

That’s him waving a stick under any number of noses,

attempting to catch the Unknowable One’s attention,

oration’s underlord thoroughly lost among the multitudes.

First light is crouching along the windowsill,

our little laird fluttering his lids then nodding like a pup.

Finally his dime is spent, the page’s bottom rearing.

There’s only another word more in his exceptionally long story.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a Pushcart nominee with 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), and Like As If (Pskis Porch), all available via Amazon.

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