Obsessive Case

July 22, 2014

st jerome in his study

counts eighteen window panes
left to right…top to bottom
bottom top…again…again;
to chart his number thought;
sums four knives
three spoons, one fork
to individual drawers;
calculates the ceiling
of twelve-inch tiles
in multiples of ten
times twenty-two;
thinks a twelve-twelve mantra
to purge his tally spell
definitive…to plant
his sense of self to there.
foretells sine, cosine for
sweep of ocean waves that
tangent to a beach;
orients his charting for
a rising…waning…setting
yin moon…yang sun phasing;
twists cords to Celtic knots;
sculpts wood…all Mobius
to ground his intimation
of truth and beauty’s source
of balance in proportion
of exquisite simplicity
of eloquent equation
of profound implication
that one plus one is


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by H. Steenwick
“St Jerome in His Study”

Soul Sift

July 18, 2014



My soul has barbs…
it does not glisten smooth
for it has threads…and latches
to my being hoop.
With no spider avarice to
spin nourishment from air,
it sieves existence from
all music passing by.

My soul is blind…
it reels invisible from
a time space spool.
Without sighting percept
it intuits its own is.

My soul is…mine.
It binds me into life
with intrinsic fusion
identical to fire.

Bonnie Marshall

Sculpture by Maud Cotter

Love Descants

July 14, 2014

flash flood

flash flood

there is heartbreak ache
in tears welled fresh
from thought somewhere
runoff from distant storms
in emotion mountains

they carve new span
through hidden caverns;
wash incremental steep
to eroding cliffs…
flash flood remorse
to swell with longing

Bonnie Marshall
Art by S. J. W. Grogan

Words for Snow

I love you.
No you don’t.
You mean affection,
or warm regard,
for love is unthinkable
with one single word
to sense the thought…
like…eternity and God.
Eskimos know life depends
on knowing snow drifting
from snow drift; falling
snow in storm…from slush.
So tell me love’s complexity
that I am in your life
more than anyone.

Bonnie Marshall
Art by Itaya


Young boy and young girl outdoors holding hands in a park

In Praise of Holding Hands

We sense intent
in a newborn’s grasp…
surprising strength…
instinctive…reaching out
for confirmation
of humanity.

So begin
synaptic pathways
for mindfulness of touch…
summoned remembrance
from deep realms of feeling…
lingering and sensate…
of those whose hands
we have truly held.

Bonnie Marshall


dream slip 03

There is a tipping place
in sleep’s dark symphony…
a dream proscenium through night
where actors enter…exit
to execute a scene–develop plot
with swift tangling images…

A felucca sweeps Nile’s noon
where on its desert shore
a Sanddorn shaman
clear chants Gregorian
to nest palm fronds
on one eagle feather…

Against the hull waves lap adagio
to rock a queen there standing
crowned with empty oyster shells,
naked, jeweled with scarabs
necklaced on her breasts.

Antler crowned…in leather,
her drunk king mumbles
that to be king is nothing…nothing…
but to be safely thus.

She picks three corn husks
from deep inside her mouth,
spits teeth into her hand
to cast them to the shore
where they turn crocodile.

The thrashing of their tails’
crescendo ripples Nile
to torrents…flips the tossing craft;
its sails dip horizontal…
it slips beneath the surge.

Upon the shore the shaman,
to storm’s allegro heedless,
lifts the last palm spine;
it hovers…spelled in air
diminuendo against nothing
but span of eagle feather.

Photo Credit: Sorella


saints marching in

July 6, 2014

parade nola

beat death drummers…tap
a cadence rat a tat…
to strike the mourner’s gait
of step step shuffle step…

twirl death dancers spin
with eclipsing turns…
for our sun shadow washes,
our moon spreads red as blood…

blow horn man…blast
notes Gabriel would crave
to penetrate our gauzy dread
of a mournful dirge

march passion… into joy
with trumpet, drum and dance
to sublimate despair…
to seconds life aware
against apocalypse


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by J. Guilliame


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