seance in a gallery

October 17, 2014

mirror art pistoletto

at the gallery with
standers…standing me
apart…as it should be
me… and the whoever
there pendant in the rooms

I search for connection
to be with that distant one
who’s thinking me the ropes…
some grasp of their experience…
though tenuous at best and
not meant to be a séance

except when I’m in the moment
and…I stroll and stop and stroll
and stop, and gaze and gaze and
read title cards…

“Tropic Table Afternoon”
still life…papaya…guava…mango
coconut’s monkey eyes looking
back at me

“Henry James’ Dinner Tales of Asparagus”
abstract…white…silver…faded green
ice tink to cut crystal in a distant room

“Cold Cereal at Midnight”
impressionist…bare light bulb
open window…barren kitchen
November raining in my mind

all flat painted canvas on flat painted wall
and I turn outside from in…restless
for store front windows on busy streets,
unless it’s Banksy…then all bets are off
keep away the rain…take pictures for a book
on a coffee table

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Michelangelo Pistoletto

to apprehend the tip

October 13, 2014

death dali

if I close my eyes…
there–then is a shadow realm
on my emergent vision screen
where dim discrepancies of blind
fall to the floor of my consciousness;
and I pause to orient my fingers’ touch
and mouth taste…edge of salt…
and to belly breathe this airiness of life

for I discern emergent
in these veil-ed moments
deeps and shadows…
edges… angles… planes
faintly…faintly there…mere
vagaries of  imaginings,
for I bring with me to this instant
brief apprehension of a vaguely
conscious ending…and…
a tipping place to dark

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Salvador Dali

J. Wyeth black spruce


when weather moods to strange,
the townies look a certain look
of distance as storm clouds scud
from a silver crystal north and
litter sweeps its moveable graffiti
across their streets and walks

townies orient to steeples
and listen for the Angelus…
sweep cushions from the porch…
plan indoor birthday parties
and consult the almanac

they think omens when
black swans glide to shelter
under weeping willow boughs,
and when a wedge of geese
disintegrates to strands of
frantic clamor…townies
gaze unfocused at the chaos
for already…
they have gone to ground

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Jamie Wyeth

small act of mercy

October 9, 2014


what the hell she do that for
her goldfish on the desk
gasped for life…still water glistening
its gill slits opened… closed
to sip burning oxygen

my fish…just felt like doing it
experiment…a testing of their nerve
perhaps they’d let it die this year
not buck authority…and teach is boss
her property…and she’s a crazy woman
to dip her hand into the bowl
to kill in front of them

hey….do something
some dying in its eye
a slowing will to breathe
no thrashing in its tail
no cavalry in sight

oh, Christ…I’ll do it
he splashed it to the bowl
it floated on its side

it’s dead…
then awareness righting
and orienting thrust to
claim its element

it’s yours now…
her implication dawned
some cheered…some jeered
his rash accomplishment…
she left it to them to think
the sense or nonsense of it
and…she never lost a fish

Bonnie Marshall

Note to dear Readers…this is a true story.


Artwork by Color Jar

Myth Triptych

September 27, 2014

Bacchus in Vineyard

brix rising

silver sheen grapes burst
on the vintner’s tongue…
sipped with air
open lipped
not this time…
not now…yet soon
the sugar brix will rise

as omens must precede
god Bacchus entrance…
spirit Bacchus, Bacchus blessing,
for potency in old stock

crows caw…restless in poplars…
grape leaves rustle in rows
where there is no wind
against the vintner’s skin

as he waits…
lying beneath a stretch of vines
haunch warmed…stilled
inhaling dense promise of the wine

then intensity of light
a pressing down of heat
a momentary sleepy spell

crows angle from the poplars
into a haze of sun…
a  breeze
a stirring against clusters…
and rising in the brix…
time certain of  blessing
in the grapes

Bonnie Marshall

Art by James Lively




Unintended Consequences

When Prometheus,
that rebellious, wily Titan,
caught sparks of fire
from shining Apollo’s
globe-circling chariot,
and carried them
in a fennel stalk
as gift to shivering mortals…
it was nothing more
than simple giving
born of trickster mischief.

In consequence, when angered Zeus
chained Prometheus to a ledge
where daily on Caucasus wind
an eagle swooped to tear a beak of liver
from mankind’s suffering hero…
it was nothing more
than Zeus’ well-known retribution.

And when fair Pandora,
Zeus’ punishment to mankind
for Prometheus’ sinning,
one day…astonished…
heard muted rustling
inside a sealed wine jar…
it was nothing more
than interest born of a curious mind.

So, when her husband, daft Epimetheus,
set out for days of hunting,
having warned her not to break the wax
that sealed the clay jar’s mouth,
she resented his direction…
and held her breath…and acted.

Ills of the world, like fireflies,
hung glittering in their chaos
then spiraled out the door…
as hope slipped from the vessel’s lip,
following like an afterthought.

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Miriam Schapiro


Graiai Sisters

against Perseus in the night

sleep, blind sister dread
blind sister horror, sleep
and I…alarm sister
shall watch for him
while sea-foam hiss
your senses charm

now, sight be my turning
against his thievery…he
mighty gods empowered…he
who would steal my vision
to catch the flash of moonlight
upon his mirrored shield

and I would not open to him
access to sequestered power
of sister serpent hair
for she will petrify him
to behold the potent
in her beauty…

Art by LMessecar
“The Graeae Sisters”

Bonnie Marshall


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