Limehouse Blues

December 16, 2014


Diebenkorn blue

There has to be fog in Limehouse
soft as whispers
trailing grayness
misting storefront windows
where old men sit at tables
still as crickets
when the mating season’s passed.

There have to be mirrors in Limehouse
above unnumbered doorways
so that restless evil spirits
drift unknowing by.

There must be a woman in Limehouse
gazing at a dresser top
where there’s an unlit lamp…
pink shade…red fringe.
She considers implications
of a single fortune cookie
upon a thin white saucer.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn

tales told by crones catch us

December 13, 2014


tales told by crones catch us
in thorns of awe full disbelief
and tangle us in rawness at
beguiling edges of credulity

as when they tell us Mandragora
screams its loosening from earth…
kills the first to hear its  shriek and
carries in its brew a potent sleep
like death enough to bury Cleopatra
in deep hallucinating dreams…unclasp
her wanting until Anthony’s return

as when Circe warned Odysseus
to place bee’s wax warmed… still
honey sweet against the eardrums
of his loyal oarsmen…lash himself
with ropes fast to the mast, so as
crazed with lust…not to dash
their bodies into wine-dark sea
toward distant Sirens singing

as when we scoff at fortune tellers,
psychics, casters charting horoscopes
and refrain from seeing meaning in
crows angling through the sky….and
just at midnight…in darkness outside
our bedroom window… owl hoots
that we muffle with our pillows

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Unknown Artist

a Picasso kind of love

December 1, 2014

picasso bullring

he says…
evaluate love’s edges of
juxtaposing angles…
estimate the length of
constricting planes…
judge shadow depth of
ardor in each new arena

he says…
be aware of ceremony,
private in a crowd of
deflowered expectations…
where brave costumes
paint stark nakedness

he says…
beware soft warm mouths
that speak barb-ed words…
watch from framing stands
a ritual catharsis where torn
shouldering–weakened tissue
of resolve–flutters banners of
defeat in a final agony of
spilled lust and love

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Pablo Picasso

to be gently wilded

November 30, 2014


to be gently wilded…
solitary walk a rooky wood
where sharp beaked crows
black purple blue…caw threats
and imprecations, and swoop
irritated branch to  branch–
stern monarchs of their territory

to be gently wilded…
shed the confining shoeness of
your city soul…tread barefoot-minded
silent on resilient soil where thought
breaks through awareness much as
pine trees lift to air…abandon memory
of rank orange rinds…scorch-ed coffee
paper shifting…plastic foam

to be gently wilded…
browse for mallow…lemoned clover
wade a moss slicked brook where
trout fingerlings dart frantic past
your toes…scrape the bank for silky
clay to smear your sweaty skin to
dry to dustiness…lie belly pressed
upon a granite boulder–solar warmed,
then tongue its mineral to taste
stars coalesced in space

to be gently wilded…
stay through evening…bear the chill
for remembrance of the sonar squeak
of nocturnal bats and the flutter hoots
of swivel headed owls and persistent
rustling in the brush of a restless fox


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Alice Marcella


A Science in Her Madding

November 26, 2014

precious metals

Her madding…is words cratered,
embedded deep in strata of her brain,
tremored there to avalanche the sticks
and stones of the other’s enmity.

Her madding…is cumulus resent circling
counter clockwise…building distaff
preliminary for tornadic downdraft
of erratic striking…devastating path.

Her madding…is continents of drift
on tension plates that tectonic slide
beneath composure rifts…and slip
abrupt to swift accommodate her
emotion’s shift.

Her madding…is kindling set to blaze
on smolder coals of grievance…old fires
banked sequentially on the hearth
of her stricken heart.

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Carol Nelson


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