Bruce McRae

 Night Meets Day


More poems about darkness and the heft of night.

It’s midnight in the Hellespont, Glasgow, Martha’s Vineyard.

It’s 3 a.m., 4 a.m., dawn; first light glazing the horizon,

an electromagnetic humjob, moonglow of a Dark Age,

the last stargazer slack-jawed and penning worry,

asking ‘Why am I here?’, asking ‘Where am I?’.

Time, a thing to be endured. Place, where we start and we end.




A cage went in search of a bird, wrote Kafka .

I decide nothing, said Sextus Empericus. I understand nothing.

It is possible, he also said. It is not possible.

Existential distemper de rigeur, estrangement bordering tranquility,

or, natural selection sprinkled over with semi-divine intervention?




A moon-frozen night in the back end of beyond.

Deep night quavers among quivering star-shine.

I’m expecting dawn to arrive eventually and fill out light’s equations.

I’m waiting for history to repeat itself. I’m anxious over Christmas,

anticipation its own reward, disappointment our punishment.




Darkness, wrote Rumi, is your candle.

It defies and denies the new day’s sun.

It is a gift and defines itself with light.

So I suppose I must suppose I must suppose…




Nightwork is guesswork, estimation and assumption,

a poisoned dagger and hood, darkness’s uncertain weather.

We’re night and day in the quantum realm.

A neural net thrown over electromagnetic sparkle,

we sieve the sensual, squinting and wincing, a curious delve,

seeking noise, beseeching signal, peering through celestial evanescence

while juggling the senses and a sense of self.

Tonight is the night, then, day breaking like a robin’s egg.




Almost ashamed, dawn blushes.

Only the owl and moth would utter contempt for morning.

Dayspring. Sunup. Cockscrow. Morningtide.

However it’s said or written, whichever way you cut it,

another day is in the offing. Dragged from a bed of dreams I rise. 

Another day is in the offering.




Dayclean, now and at the hour of our death, amen.

Sunrise’s arty cliché, point of reference, autumnal dwell.

Waiting for the last star to wobble and daily ghost-train.

For luminous exultations, and to throw a little light on the matter.

Awaiting dawn’s early light, its chink a symbol of awakening.

Waiting for enchantment, as one would when expecting a letter.

Waiting for night’s business and daylight’s industry to merge.

For a light to read by. For illumination and its perpetual burn,

the sky like smoke from an underworld on fire; or so you like 

to imagine, an image also in mind of the planet’s pages turning.

What will tomorrow bring? we ask. When it’s already tomorrow.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,600 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); ‘Hearsay’ (The Poet’s Haven).