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.

It Is 3 Seconds Before Dawn

Several hundred miles northeast of Durban there exists a vast expanse of thick, green, marsh like brush. Home to infinite varieties of wildlife, nothing defines the brutal reality of nature more clearly as when the lowlands of the African plains transition to the highlands.

Lack of physical geographic formation is thought to blur this transition. This however, is said from the all too vocal geographers who have yet to place foot to soil on a beautifully brutal contradiction known only as Africa. For when the change occurs, the side one is standing on becomes meaningless. Lowland or highland, none is more prominent than the side which one faces.

Fictional meditations on nonfictional trajectories

Indigo sky breaking into fifty blues like
a surf break witnessing coral blues begin
to swirl, widen, and wrap within themselves
while shards of orange glass cut sky and it
is exactly three seconds before dawn when
time stops for one lion cub.

One moment, brief, absent frames of time
or reference. Before him a vast expanse
of what he does not know, his only experience
of what he does, his mother, bleeds out beside
him. Innate coils form new awareness, his fear, 
agony are bottomless though pause to look is
less than a second as he leaps to African floor.

This cub has learned physical survival equals
capacity to exist. His reality, a primal desire to
embody his own trajectory may never occur. 
There is African floor and unending sky.

Variables fatal or lifesaving.

Polarities this cub has come to know and feel. 
Staring into the emerging orange swallowing
remaining blue he screams, giving agony a
definitional reference.

There will be but two outcomes with this cub. 
He will exist, live, and endure. Or he will die.
Both with equal struggle. Every action must life
affirm or life deny; realized as lion or as prey. 
As the cub screams, blue and orange cease
to combine and three seconds before dawn
day begins on the African highlands.

 

Shifting Myths & Equations

In Between Cold Days