Sonnets by Bruce McRae

1/3. Wonderful Moonlight

The effect of moonshine on water,
like cries of a wood owl or cigar smoke;
like a cushion being primped
or cat treading in new snowfall.

The water wears the face of the moon.
The moon drinks the water, bathes in it,
swims among its milky currents.

It’s enough to make a fox laugh,
moonlight skimming along a surface;
like an ice-skater on a frozen canal
or a cold blade being dragged
through the warm ashes of human remains.

Like a virgin’s skirt being lifted,
as she weeps, high over her head.

2/3. Can’t See For Looking

Who’s sneezing at four in the morning?
Who’s eaten half the insomnia pie?

This is what it’s like to be bushwacked
or have an eye seeing an eye.
I feel like a scorched buttercup
or an indelible blackberry stain.
I daren’t entertain even a midge’s opinion.

Night is groping for its spectacles.
It’s as black as the devil’s dishrag,
a shoe-button, as a dog’s mouth.
My mood is as dark as Egypt. As sin.

Not so anyone’s noticed, as such,
but the more I look the less I see.

And the more I know the less I like it.

3/3. Hinting At Eternity

My stars, if I may be so familiar,
what’s with the silent routine, the timeless aplomb,
this whole ‘distant and aloof’ business?
You are, en masse, incorrigibly gifted,
dripping with syrupy mysteries, and these
suggesting inner depths and untapped powers.

It is we who endowed you with abilities
never stated, and never intended.
We say you are birds just released
or souls or goddesses or burning sands.
We ponder our existence as compared to yours,
dabble in sophistry just because we can;
we who are so instilled with awe,
with the wonder of beauty.

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: