breakbeat bluegrass tremble



breakbeat is arrhythmia…
as flushed covey quail
on tiny speed blurred feet
mottled… plump beneath
vaguely Egyptian topknots;
they tremble in their dash

is silver Dobro hover slip
in a make up bluegrass band
at Wednesday music church

is their backcountry spillsplash
fiddle…lemon yellow flash
banjo… copper blood orange bright
bass…tobacco midnight blue

breakbeat…abrupt heart murmur
we’re this and now we’re that
out in…in out of God
out in…in out of love
out in…in out of innocence


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Carol Nelson





on swelter days
when her sweat wets cushions
and dogs breathe tooth rot,
wild boars tusk furrows through her tulips
at the summer shack

she finds jarred fireflies on the steps
mostly dead…
children left them there

once a boy pulled the glow belly from a firefly
stuck it on her finger
will you marry me?


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Jinni Thomas


protest song eternal

shane cotton the plant

I would say… oh, my friend
where’s your passion…
I would say… oh, my friend
where’s your risking…of
fortune and muscle and time

for the warnings are there
outside windows… and the
signage is there on your street
at your gate…on your steps;
hear the throwing of dice
at your wall…hear their rattle
of bones at your door

the cadence of marching
the clanging of symbols
the striking of bells in the air


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Shane Cotton

the taste of bees in honey

diebenkorn ocean park 82

I inherited a palimpsest
that once upon a time
was flayed and limed
into a golden parchment

now it has only cursive traces
here and there of iron gall ink,
for over time abrading pumice
has smoothed away intent
and fogged identity

a single word  uncensored
however perseveres…caprice
a tease…a hint… the quill strokes
of a perhaps wording…luve

I think its romance…
its silky cooing sound…oh
I think Burns’ sweeting poem
my luve is like a red, red rose…

I think velvet petal crimson
and aphid mildew thorn…oh
I think the taste…of bees…in honey


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn
“Ocean Park, 82”

sky pilots


sky pilot marc chagal

where alpine oxygen is scarce
blue phlox taproots through the talus
for nourishment… a bare existence;
the air is iced and once ached my breathing
of the urine stink of dense flower bloom
no matter…its common name is sky pilot

and chaplains who pray over airmen flying
frightened into battle are tagged…the same
along with  those…you’ll have stars in your crown
pie in the sky holy men preaching more in poverty

and Greek sophists…if ever there were sky pilots
rarefied…planting pure idea…insinuating soul seed
piercing blue sky fancy through rifts in adamantine…
oh…implications of a nothingness chill me to the bone


Bonnie Marshall

Painting by Marc Chagall
“Le Ciel Bleu”