Excerpt from 2017 Pacific Rim Book Awards Honorable Mention in Poetry: “The Starling’s Song”



In a similar vein as her award-winning The Weight of Snow, Bruce’s newest collection of poetry explores the themes of love, loss, and nature, both human and not. Written in its entirety during a twenty-eight day stay in a remote cabin in the forests of Northern California, B. L. Bruce’s chapbook, The Starling’s Song, affirms and renews the author’s proclaimed lyricism in thirty-five new poems.

• • • • •


Once I begged to forget you.
Yet there you were,
beneath the old cypress
and then in the rain,
the sound of surfbeat echoing
against the small white house.

Often I’d dream of what it might be like
to love you, the art of it,
being recreated again and again.
Always, the dreams followed me
through the morning like a ghost.
I’d begin wanting you to love me:
the moth destroyed in pursuit,
all delicateness destroyed by flame.

And in the hours I am most lonely,
still I think of you. All those
long suffered months
learning to forgive myself,
your uncertainty, your judgment,
feeling foolishly weak-willed
and driven mad as a magpie
into those desperate breaths
before dawn.


c. B. L. Bruce

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