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Andrea McKenzie Raine

Andrea McKenzie Raine was born in Smithers, BC and grew up in Victoria, BC where she still resides. She was enrolled in the Creative Writing program and earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Victoria in 2000, and completed a post-degree Public Relations certificate program. She has attended the successful Planet Earth Poetry reading series (formerly known as Mocambopo) in Victoria, BC since 1997, and participated in the Glenairley writing retreats led by Canadian poet and novelist Patrick Lane in Sooke, BC. In 2005, she published her first book of poetry, titled A Mother’s String, through Ekstasis Editions. Her poetry has also appeared in Mocambo Nights, Canadian Literature, Quills, Borderlines anthology (Ascent Aspirations magazine), Tempus anthology (Rubicon Press), Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press), Tongues of Fire anthology, and several Glenairley chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane (Leaf Press). Raine has also published two novels through Inkwater Press: Turnstiles is her debut novel and her second novel, A Crowded Heart, is a prequel to Turnstiles. She lives with her husband and two young sons.

from Spring

A first bird sings to morning light, a tinkling of glasses;
the way we slowly rub one finger along the rim, arouse our eardrums.

Calculating weeks, looking down the growing beanstalk.
We passed cloud nine many months ago.

The cats look out like coast guards on this soggy day;
watch the birds bathe and squirrels run out of trees.

Spring clean the litter away, sunlight
picking up every speck of winter’s gray evidence.

The rain has stopped, and I want him
to photograph the cherry blossoms, in such a way.

This renovated space falls apart, old pipe
and broken balcony; the impermanence of things.

Thoughts shared on an open site – an invitation to write,
more text to read; another angle of the word.

A red flare rockets, a piece of an old ship
carries ghosts and artifacts, time and uncertainty.

Paint a picture of a past event; blend the colours.
Something imagined, based on story.

Possibilities lift from our pillows, and manifest
into real time, a real day – the future not so far.


A phone call can tell you who you are;
where you’re going next, the weight of those thin lines that connect.

The alarm clock fails to tell him it is morning;
a sudden burst of shower and swearing, cats scatter.

A flurry to sign up before deadline;
another toss into the hat for some slight recognition.

His ear punctured by morning purrs, head butts –
extended claws; her oblivion in being.

On Monday, I have to get rid of the weekend;
accept that I’ve done what is possible in two sun-filled days.


He traces a raised line of cat claws with kisses.
An ointment to draw out the sting, gone down by morning.

Everything I can’t think of from yesterday;
what I can’t say is caught and tangled in a dream catcher.

I mourn the death of pre-children, a sigh of not quite relief;
my boy cat lies outside the bathroom door, waits with me.

I don’t believe this is spring, not yet; still a breeze,
as I walk to work under discarded petals and gray sky.

My cat attacks my toes under the covers,
an unidentified alien thing moving.


From A Year of Mornings
by Andrea McKenzie Raine
© 2017 Andrea McKenzie Raine
Published by Ekstasis Editions