‘White Lilies’ from New Collection MEASURES


Love me, I ask of you.
Press your mouth to mine,
I want to say.
The contours of our limbs
are restless.

We throw ourselves from the house
at sundown, wander down the hill,
pass the milk-white folds of the lilies
yawning and rising along the fence.
I brush my body against theirs.

At once, the murmur of rainsound
like a stone skipped on the still pond,
braying of the great heron—
such a graceful
collection of angles crouching
in the sedges. 

And before I can sing
my want to slip into
mud-smell of the dark water—
we find in this a certain rapture—
you are unbuttoning your shirt.

c. B. L. Bruce
From Measures (Black Swift Press, 2021)



In Measures, B. L. Bruce’s third collection of poetry, the author deftly explores the visual measures of time and the nature of change in her celebrated, nuanced verse.In this latest collection featuring nearly sixty new poems—including works in new formats like micropoetry and American haiku—award-winning poet B. L. Bruce again echoes the lyricism and rich imagery that readers have come to praise.

Award-winning author and Pushcart Prize nominee, California poet Bri Bruce (writing as B. L. Bruce) has been called the “heiress of Mary Oliver.” With a bachelor’s degree in literature and creative writing from the University of California at Santa Cruz, her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, magazines, and literary publications, including The Wayfarer Journal, Canary, The Remnant Archive, Northwind Magazine, The Soundings Review, The Monterey Poetry Review, and the American Haiku Society’s Frogpond Journal, among many others. Bruce is the recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize and the PushPen Press Pendant Prize for Poetry, as well as the author of four books: The Weight of Snow, 28 Days of Solitude, The Starling’s Song, and Measures. Her highly praised debut collection, The Weight of Snow, was the 2014 International Book Awards poetry category finalist and the 2014 USA Best Book Awards poetry category finalist. The Starling’s Song was released in February of 2016, and was selected as Honorable Mention in the Pacific Rim Book Festival. In addition to her writing pursuits, Bruce is the Editor-in-Chief of the nature-centric literary magazine Humana Obscura , and is a painter and photographer, with work that has been featured in The Sun MagazineNear Window, and others. Follow her on Twitter @the_poesis and on Instagram @thepoesis.

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