Crone Descants

July 5, 2015

 leah chapin

naked time!

some nights then…
the three year girl twins
would freeze in place
for countdown
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

Painting  by Leah Chapin



tales told by crones catch us

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

Painting by Unknown Artist



tick tock smolder woman

(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
Painting by Pablo Picasso




Crones Tell Me Wonders

Crones tell me wonders
of times they were near death
womb warm…light beckoning…
and then harsh second birth
with sharp pain flashes
back to a gray unfolding.

Crones tell me of their dreams
for they dwell often there.
Then… like returned travelers…
they recount amazements
of places they have been.
“I dreamed laughing babies
invited me to dance.”

Her voice trailed thin laughter.
“What do you think of that…”
She wasn’t questioning…
just gazing past me…reflective,
mind back into that world.
“How lovely it would be…”
Reflection then…was mine.

Bonnie Marshall
Artwork by R. Pico

michelangelo awakening slave

Michelangelo struck marble compulsively
the way nectar bees in his wild garden
probed flower hearts…to dart and drive,
to draw life force from corporeality
be it clover or Carrara, they sweet sweat
penetrated to quartz dust pollen revelry.

I thought this thought in Italy…one day
as I hovered ‘round and ‘round and ‘round
his unfinished statue…a mighty Captive
imprisoned in unyielding custody of stone
both hands and feet gaoled in the column
where his body twisted toward free will.

And from that day in Italy…surrounded by
his finished polished blessed Sistine and his
decisive David…this is a work of art that I
savor… that I captured then.. a rich raw gold
honey life force in my comb of memory.

Bonnie Marshall

Intended In My Now

June 20, 2015



I’ll consider me to infinite…and
no longer margin think with news’
heart break despair…sensed Higgs
Boson sparking nebulous on my
event horizon about each cataclysm
in a hurting danger nether-worlding
far beyond my now intent.

I’ll fold ticking seconds into miracles
of sensing the immediate of eating
apple pie and listening to Bach and
gazing on my beloved who slumbers
on a couch oblivious to me, and words
I write about him to wash across a page.

I’ll charge me not to worry my impulses
for living of a life of infinite variety sensed
nebulous and instant into a moment’s
presence on event horizons imminent…
intended in my now.

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Allen Keating

naked naked nude

June 17, 2015


he knew…diebenkorn…the artist…
about women…naked…naked…nude
look…look…look at them…indifferent
their angles linear he captured with his pen
and he blanked faces…slouched indifferent
their bones…gazed them toward horizons
his…(mostly males paint nudes…do they not…)
women are who was handy…possibly his wife…
he knew all her edges…best
cassatt…female…knowing of the few
painted breasted mothers under clothes
their children not quite cherubim…
their daughters not quite vir-gin-al
of course…
o’keeffe…got crafty with her sex…
mostly one trick vagina flowers
there…in her goddess desert…
she caught at the heart of things


Bonnie Marshall
Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn
“Seated Nude, 1965″


Wilderness Descants

June 16, 2015


forest redwoods

Earth’s Proximity

I’ve camped out in wilderness…
seems too dense a wording for being
in a lofty congregation of breezy
whisperers whose boughs sigh
agitation above my presence there

No matter…I need humbling
on days when I shall choose
not to hear my footsteps
nor ever mark their trace…
not respond to chiming cell
nor drown in online words

I’ll be in the moment vertical…press through
to horizontal reference of see past, climb up,
tramp down to essential now of campfire,
knife, clean water, simple nourishment,
wool blanket, thick gray socks,  scuffed
worn-in trail sure leather boots.

I’ve camped out in wilderness…
with me… myself… and I…we three
for company…small presence in the
outness of earth’s  proximity.

Bonnie Marshal

Photo Credit: Michael Nichols



Its Sudden Presence

owlet on ground

She saw first its gold-flashed eyes
on-off…on-off…there before her
its mottled brownness grounded
where two spruces intertwined.
Its sudden presence shifted
in-out…in-out…of place
for when it blinked  it disappeared…
instants of camouflage

She matched its stillness…
two arrested beings
in wilderness surround.
It hissed…arched owlet wings.
“Be on about your destiny
and then leave mine to me.”

Later, beside her campfire
she considered the occurrence…
the hissing and arched wings…
and her interpretation
of its fear and its defiance
while owls hooted in the pines
and wolves howled on the ridges
fulfilling destiny.

Bonnie Marshall

Photo Credit: sanda


balthasar denner woman

Wilderness in Women

I’m old.
I can tell you this.
Women need wilderness
…especially when they’re young.
In wilderness they learn
not to trust old maps
but to swim across cold streams
when the bridges fail.

In wilderness they hear honest sounds.
Nestlings greedy cries
for raw…sustaining flesh
are healthy calls…
not symptomatic weakness
like the noise of whining.

And when they die…
women raised in wilderness
whisper remembered songs
or hum melodies to take them
from this world to the next.

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Balthazar Denner



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