Allan Rae

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Welcome to my online portfolio, home to what I feel constitutes my best literary nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, & photography, with links to my published work, as well as the occasional editorial or research update.

You Ask Why It Is I Write, So I Will Tell You

It is to capture what is behind the fear of a
silence no one dare break. It is to lie
awake at 3am aching for a way that
might show you why it is someone
cries when all others laugh.

It is to construct this sentence and revise it
with that sentence. To remove this word
and find the better word. To find that one
perfect word even though I am aware there
will never be just one perfect word. To write
the book that has never been written even
though it will be a book that will likely
never be read.

It is to know the you that goes unseen when
you are certain no one is looking, and to find
the words that let you know I see beyond
the shadows cast by your doubts.

And to tell you I am better for it.

To understand the way out of grief when
there appears to be no way. To know the
lie that says what doesn’t kill us makes us
stronger, and to know the truth that is the
potential to make us kinder.

To know why it is that some of us are fine
yet obsessed, and why some stir dinner
through the bombings.

To feel the resignation of the ones never
chosen, and to know the shame of those
we were sure had given it away for free.

It is to know the rejection of a lonely dog
passed over once too often.

To know what it is to yearn for a grace on
offer from a God I don’t believe in.

And to recognize the scent of crackling cedar
on a mid November indigo sky.

To know what it means when my mother says
“horses teach us much”, or the story behind
her warning of still waters running deep.

To know the terror behind that pit of silence
when a rabbit howls.

I write to know the tale of misery, the will of
devotion, the absolution denied, and the trust
that is faith. To bear witness to what happens
when we honor common humanity.

Water Reading

My Own Private Blue