en plein air descants

August 20, 2014

en plein air

Surf Woman, Edward’s Beach

She stepped Pacific sand
barefoot  leaving  prints
feeling alien…moody
edging worlds with
solemn purpose
to seem appropriate
in case the artist
on the dune included
her human interest
in his plein air art.

Perhaps he’d single her,
choose her for immortal…
“Woman, Edward’s Beach”
holding sun hat…
ankle-deep in ocean…
beach dress edging foam…
gravely solitary.

For the moment’s drama
she faced away from land
posed…closed her eyes
to set memory…then
rogue waves Triton pushed
abrupt… unpinned her
to founder in their chaos.
Grasping sand and gasping,
laughing in the soak,
she wrapped herself in kelp
to off-balance stagger
in more ocean surge.

That’s how he painted her…
“Surf Woman, Edward’s Beach”

Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Bryan Mark Taylor
cherubs

naked time!

some nights then…
the three year girl twins
would freeze in place
for countdown
ten…nine…eight….
then…naked time!
to rowdy monkeyness…
throw play clothes on the floor
bounce trampoline the couch
whoop laughter in the hall
slow tumble carpet steps
tag “germs!”…foot tickle
hair pull…sneaky pinch
rain shower tears…all better
ice cream dribble on their toes
to bubble bath…pajamas…bed

sometimes now…
they’re in their eighties…
one will call the other
of an evening…before bed
…shout…naked time!
then hang up listening to
the other’s merriment

Bonnie Marshall
Art by Wenceslas Hollar

 

cattails lake

en plein air

for a lark she tacks butcher paper,
arms’ reach horizon stretch,
to boathouse plywood siding…
view of the lake’s west shore

with sketching charcoal
she arches mountains shoulder thrust
a blur of shore…wrist smudged
all barefoot energy…and then
with edges incomplete…
she stops
lured to the shore
spiked with water dials
of sable seeded cattails
that track a downing sun

then across the gap-planked dock,
past cleated runabouts
that rock to water slap…
she sits cross-legged
on day warmed wood…
to hold in memory
the lonesome croons
of grebes and loons…
and chart a spreading set
that slides to lie gold burst
behind black charcoal mountains

Bonnie Marshall
October, 2013

 

 

she’s lost her balance

August 14, 2014

She balances his love
a curious attention
as if it were commodity
to equate on a scale…

she scientific measures
annoyance in his voice
and calibrates declension
at corners of his mouth…

trips mental thermostats
for coolness in his manner
marks chill in attitude,
or stillness in his mood…

takes daily passion readings
as if it were diabetic,
adjusts her love drip insulin
to sweetness or to sour…

notes pro and con
in two uneven lengths
that some place in her brain
charts equilibrium,
yet nowhere in the notice
heeds her instability.

 

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Jan Vermeer

Hexing with Joy Bugs

August 12, 2014

hex child

She rolled armored sow bugs
in her five-year wild child
rebellion hellion hand…
flicked them at flowers
against  implication
boys were better suited
to go on quests, look under rocks,
and seek the wonder there…
false logic to her thinking.

So… she mounted expeditions
armed with trowel and jelly jar
to track forest insects,
some with one hundred legs
where they swarmed in rotted logs
or the damp of black leaf mold.

Once she jarred four hundred ladybugs
…they tickled in her ears…
…she loved it.
With her parents safely dozing
she tiptoed through the house
hexing ladybugs to corners
across tables under chairs.
Bug joy showed up in the pantry,
sloshed with the daily laundry,
oozed from beneath couch cushions,
and crawled on all the windows.
Her mother knew…and frowned.
Her daddy called her Ladybug.

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Franz Hals

tick tock smolder woman

August 11, 2014

old-woman-stretching-out-her-hands-to-the-fire

(for Aggie)

old woman floats the

putting of an order in

the day…tick tock… no

aspirin for two hours…

while toxic juice leaks

from defrosting chicken

and cat sleeps in-different

upon floored Bargello

pillows…stitch in time…when

Eddie was in high school…

hear his music tin-tinnitus

dry rot the wallboards in

her ears to muffle pumping

metronome…tick tock…flutter

somewhere in her ribs on

tree limb bones wrapped

cotton bark to tingle fire

of roots in woolen socks on

old… tick tock…smolder woman

 

Bonnie Marshall
Art by Pablo Picasso

 

the sand man speaks

August 10, 2014

sandman

no more talk of dreams
that trailing…buzzing sound
dreamzzz is for another day
no more of sleepeee…drowseee
dilute diminutive  of  “e”
I’m sand man…I’m for sleep
that closing consonant
a “puh” as if…
to blow a candle out

no more talk of drugs
that slurring trick of alcohol
to stagger brain and tongue
masquerading…slumber thought
I’m sand man…I’m for sleep
to prompt light track circadian
to awake shining with the sun
and slumber deeply with the moon

no more talk of death…
some mornings I place evidence
just a tiny grit of tears
that there has been rehearsal
for certain submissive…loom, yet
I’m sand man…I’m for sleep
to rest you for the lighting
and the blazing of the flame

Bonnie Marshall

Art by J. R. R. Tolkien

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