★ ★ ★ ★
Angels sifting blood from blood,
exposing their angelic underthings,
aswim in light’s high beams.
Angels writing Death a mash letter,
romping among day-glo altocumulus,
breaking weather, baking sorrow’s bread.
Angels of swamp and ghetto,
hovering beside a fogbound car crash,
possessing a flower’s temperament and temper.
The angels of indigestion and football.
The angels of stones dropped
in the ocean or flung at the sky.
The angels moonlighting as messengers.
Mobs of angels rioting, rebelling,
flashing ethereal handguns,
in sharp skirts of leather and chrome,
the Lord’s will the last thing in mind;
angel-mind part foam, part thorn,
rank humans their emotional betters.
Because angels argue with time
they have inexhaustible dudgeons.
Angels are filling up the hollows
with the rainwaters of form and energy.
Pulling on the starlings’ advances,
drugging our well water, dervishing always.
They consume their weight in thunder,
blushing like a blackened rose,
half-drunk, smoke issuing from their loins,
on the wing and gliding to the far end of Forever,
riding the celestial zephyrs
that blow this way and that way
on the back of the moon.
You’re sitting on their communal lap.
They run their fingers under your sweater,
tugging on their heavenly bits,
knotted to God’ infinite locks –
oh, the mention of God,
which has them twisting their haloes,
burning as martyrs burn, pawning feathers,
hurling devilish invectives,
throwing the bricks and bottles of tantrums,
huffing and stamping their feet;
their small and perfect footsteps
making the sound of snow when it falls
Wetting the Baby’s Head
If you want to baptize a child,
for God’s sake,
wouldn’t milk be best
instead of water? Or wine?
You may bless either and call it ‘holy’.
These self-evident rites,
could the party not be held outdoors?
Say, by a river,
the question of a river
rolling toward the answer of the sea.
There’s your water.
Why not baptize the child
in a garden;
its little pate wetted
by a spigot or a lawn sprinkler?
I guess you guess
the blessed medium is liquid;
but couldn’t the sun
be poured over the dear?
Couldn’t the air serve? The wind?
Or hope that it rains,
if you need water.
And, poor thing,
whether male or female,
you’ve togged them out
in some cumbersome dress;
to be worn once
and then enshrined,
at best handed down, yellowing,
through the generations.
Better to baptize the child naked.
Naked as the day it’s born.
In all your good God’s glory.
And why a priest
or some same difference?
Let the eldest
and the youngest one attending
such sacramental duties.
if you’ll pardon the language,
why baptize a child at all?
He or she
was born blessed
in the light of all of this.
A god knows
what he’s doing.
The Devil’s Sports Car
Of course it’s red, candy-apple
metal flake, like a sinner’s lipstick.
And fast too — zero to infinity
in zero point one three nanoseconds,
its owner a demon for speed.
You might have seen him at the pumps,
stroking his chin, filling up
on baby’s blood and bitumen,
his long tail swishing
as he polishes a horn.
He may have passed you
on his rounds of infamous appointments,
the top down, his unearthly music
dehumanizing and loud,
a grin on his blacked-out lips,
your name like so much spittle.
You might have seen him stop
from time to time
for a lonely hitch-hiker
or to feign begging directions
or just to admire his own damage.
Now he’s driving up ahead of you,
the road barely hugging the earth.
You’re in his rear-view mirror,
with its fluffy dice and baby’s shoe.
You’re drawn and quartered in the wind.
Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 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) and Like As If (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).
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