Bruce McRae

Danger, Deep Water


At the bottom of the pool
lies the Beast of the Apocalypse,
the Bitch of Belsen,
the Angel of Verdun.

At the bottom of the pool
is grandma’s dentures,
a lucky dollar, a pocket-watch –
right twice a day.

The water is dark
as a child’s funeral,
black as a Sunday hat,
thicker than old blood.

The pool is deep and icy,
its waters untouchable.
At the bottom is a sailor’s boot
and rusted belt buckle.

And something like eyes,
like eyes and a mouth screaming.
Something is moving.
Something is coming to the surface.




The Devil Said


The devil said I’m what angels fear
as they stumble about in the Mystery.
I’m the six-foot crow of unplenty,
spreading salt on your back, licking your hair,
sniffing the fingers of the damned and dying.

That’s me in the nursery, an influence.
I’m in the nursing home outside of visiting hours,
ticking blackened berries off my inventory.
The master of evil. Death’s bitch.

The devil said I am above and below you
and wear your penance for my shawl.
Never mind faith, he spat, I’m the bull’s bollocks.
To hell with prayer, I’m the jack of spades,
the last thing you’ll see, a downpour of sharp edges.

Becoming angry with himself the devil said
come fall with me my little chickens.
I’ll show you the guts of your living.
I’ll place these burning wires in your head.
Bow low and taste sin’s splinters.

The more he spoke the less he said,
the devil blistered and twitching and red.
I am the storm he cried, clutching a fleshy fetish.
He said the worms rustle for me in their temptation,
placing his perfumed fingers around my neck.

Struggling, I tried to turn away,
but something miserable in my throat was rising.




Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His latest book out now, ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ is available on Amazon and through Cawing Crow Press, while in July of this year, another book of poems,  ‘Like As If’, will be published by Pskis Porch. His poems on video can be viewed on YouTube’s ‘BruceMcRaePoetry’


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