Bruce Robinson ~ Six Poems

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The evening’s wind­ing down
and for hours now the passerines

have been out of their trees,

per­haps some glob­al event
has added to their miniseries,

or pos­si­bly just a cat,

pos­si­bly the retort
of a ram­bunc­tious muffler,

or was that the neigh­bor’s child upstairs
malign­ing the piano,

at any rate some­thing ominous

at least in some of us,
or sim­ply the simple

sight of us, of every one of us.



Picks up the pur­ple glass, takes a sip,
then sets it down again, then looks at it.

It wasn’t pur­ple. It was a clear glass

but tint­ed from the light that shined through
the evening win­dows. And even then,

it wasn’t pur­ple, not even a hope

for pur­ple as much as it may have had
a vio­lent dream. Not sure what it was,

but it was a glass full of water. And

not full, either. And only a glass
as long as its mol­e­cules hung together,

con­tent with their susurra­tions, and

their prin­ci­ples, the errant charge to
con­tain the flood heed­less of any hue,

of any cry, (you knew that was coming)

unper­turbed by any sty­ro­foam incursion,
nei­ther fazed by your wan antipathy

to the mot­ley antics of the sun.



In late spring this hinge
of red began to sing

from his perch within
our pine, a squatter

I’d call him
if he did not sing so eloquently,

of what I can’t even fathom,
so her­met­ic not even the erudite

squir­rels had a clue, possibly
(giv­en his plumage) nothing

more than “I’m brighter than you.”


All in a Day’s Meals

what­so­ev­er parteth the hoof,…and cheweth the cud

Hats he steals
from the best haberdasher;
I see him do it,
and know him a thief.

Cats he kills
because they eat mice, birds
for their worms.
His spe­cial meat is men,
work­ing in twos, in trees.


A Legacy, after Avercamp

And then we come in, late to the party:
A child, yet alive, cross­es the bridge
between soli­tude and com­mu­nion to
meet his father, return­ing home. Next door

a buck­et dips, draws water from a stone.
Despite the crowd­ed win­ter ice, a fallen
skater sprawls, alone. The quail? Well, they’re
above it all. The build­ings have lit­tle to say;

like us they fol­low pro­to­col. You’ll want
to tell me this is not what the present
tense is for but I’m not so certain.
Is the present no more than what’s been left

to us, a pass­ing wave, a plane’s con­trail, harangues
and exha­la­tions of entan­gled whales?


Birds on Parole

When a song comes into their heads,
passer­ines have the good sense
to just chirp it away, get it out,
be done with it. Henry lies poised
on the win­dow sill, enrap­tured, and,
even though he’s just eaten, rav­en­ous.
Could writ­ers wish for more,
faced with the slack-jawed
awe of their audience,
spool­ing out a villanelle
that’s tak­en months to build,
their gaze rest­ing on read­ers
with­out claws, stom­achs filled?


Bruce Robinson has pub­lished poet­ry and fic­tion in Tar River, Spoon River, Fiction, Maintenant, Loud Coffee Press, and Rattle. He is a grad­u­ate of Johns Hopkins and is work­ing on his first chapbook.