Poems| Bruce McRae

Pink As the Dawn's Restless Kisses by Bill Wolak

Resounding Melody

All through the day
the night’s song was heard.
It filled the battered books
and cracked ceramic jars.
It lay like water
on a flat surface.
The night’s song whistled
like a tea kettle,
staining the porcelain,
marring the fingerboard,
stunning in simplicity.

Waiting for the lights to change,
the night’s song hummed.
It purred, almost violently.
As I read the newspaper
I could hear each chilled note
echoing over the water.
It moved through the woods
in the heat of day.
We heard its elusive pitch,
its suggestions of sleep,
the dream’s temptations.

As evening approached
the melody grew stronger,
an old music, but timeless in nature.
Its measure of stardust
an irreducible pleasure.

Rent Day
A landlord strutting among poets.
Who walks on air,
his red garments flowing
in the perfumed winds.
Whose heels click,
making music of his majesty.
Come, says the ghetto-king,
deliver to me your offerings
of rent and worry;
bow low and I’ll allow you
the keys to the world
and all its freely running waters.
The lord of the slums says
I’ve got the power
and you may speak of it
in the hushed tones of a penitent;
one who for thirty days and nights
has walked the pathways into penury.

The poets twitter, or consume themselves.
They altogether abandon the word,
taking up causes of self-righteousness.
Feral city children have stopped cold,
putting down their stones,
quitting their catcalls and wolf-whistles.
Women weep, their clothing rendered.
Time falters and birds fall from the sky.

No longer do our deaths have purpose.

Poems For Men

Poems for men usually begin with a knife fight
or explosion or brawling argument.
Soon a blonde walks in, upsetting the hormonal balance.
There’s talk of beer and baseball,
the setting a downtown bar
filled with reprobates, drunkards and all-round losers.
In these poems youth is considered a regrettable misadventure.
War is undoubtedly mentioned.

In poems for men wives are benignly beautiful,
at least they were, once, before she left him.
“You and your bloody poems,” she’ll complain
before slamming a door in a dramatic exit.
This is when the men in poems for men get moody.
There’s no other response but to sulk,
moping around in their dingy rented rooms.
To brood while looking out a window.
The city’s lights in the rain
a blur of memories and words and nights.
The last glass drained of all its sorrows.

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