I am a trap inside a trap,
an inhabited inhabitant,
an embraced embrace,
a question in answer to a question.

Wisława Szymborska
The Sky

Morning in the Burned House

February 9, 2019

In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.

The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.

Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,

their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,

every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,

the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.

I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.

I can’t see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything

in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,

including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,

bare child’s feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts

and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.

Margaret Atwood


October 31, 2018

lichtwelt, Light,

I want to write a book about the silences that fall between spoken sentences. Those moments of hesitancy between two people. It is, after all, such silences that we try so hard to fill – with words, with music, with the world’s endless cacophony. These silences reflect the distances between stars, the emptiness of space that traps the unwary dreamer in icy solitude. These silences can be the making or breaking of us.


December 19, 2015


This is the inside-out
composed of lead and heavy water.
This is the hook, entangled:
wired nets of nails and self;
no way for light’s escape,
no cries of freed at last.

A cage that’s made of night,
a quicksand of clever knots
tightening in your struggle:
the one way out is in.
Do we not scream
to be undone?

I’m in a rounded room
and seeking corners;
into the box — out of the loop:
snared and snared alike.
Tormenting me — a rattled key
in the distance, in the morning.

Here is the upside-down,
the tripwire of kidology:
lose the hand to save the arm
and pace and pace and pace.
See those high walls and razor-wire?
All life is breaking out.

Bruce McRae

(Pushcart nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 900 publications,including Poetry.com and The North American Review. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’, is available from Silenced Press website or via Amazon Books. To hear his music and hear more poems go to ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel’ on Youtube.)


April 15, 2015