From This Distance

A Gift of Island Poetry ft. Brent MacLaine

The space between the stars is merely millimetres wide.
Some are just a kiss apart,

while close at hand
there may be lightyears between my fingers and your skin.

Distances can be breached,
reachable as the reddest apple on the lowest branch – 
just a tongue-tip away.

Yet, the spruce tree’s blue shadow on the field of snow
drifts farther and farther from its home,

and the river’s rift between its iced-up shores
makes an easy route for mallards moving downstream.

We sail with winds whose source we scarcely know.
First departures and then we sidle up to things – 
ships bumping the pier.

Here comes a dove in its classy greys
pecking the roadway grit; its separateness
hurts the eye, for it will not be stayed.

Meanwhile, the seasons nudge each other:
frost laying jewellery on the necks of sprouted bulbs.

We are either side by side or singly in between – 
watching, waiting for green shoots to crack the cold earth.

By Brent MacLaine. From his forthcoming collection, A Skeptic in Springtime, published by Island Studies Press.

Each month Deirdre Kessler selects a poem by an Island poet for The Buzz.