Invocation for Nine Muses

I shall not conjure you
into a summer’s day
nor to a winter’s night

for you are chance and timing
the missing puzzle shape
to fit wholeness in my life

essential as a fiddle
for bluegrass in a barn

or yeast to flour
to blossom warmth
and leavening for rise

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Ilya Volykhine

Amazon.com now carries a paperback edition of a collection of my poetry entitled, The Taste of Bees in Honey.  Should you buy this book, please tell me so that I may thank you. Even if not, know that I greatly appreciate my readers and value their comments.

The Taste of Bees in Honey

https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Honey-Bonnie-Trager-Marshall/dp/1543118364/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493323901&sr=1-1&keywords=the+taste+of+bees+in+honey

email: belizmarsh@gmail.com

To Love Like Alchemists

 

 

They … love like alchemists
choosing costly feeling shades
from their essential palate
reduced in the immediate
to rare precious elements
they refine like lead to gold.

She … pinches saffron pistils
in cool morning harvests
their moist crimson threads
she finger tips from crocus
to distill a golden savor
to increase their passion.

He …  plucks iridescent beetles
from arid desert cacti
choice dew sipping jewels
he pestles in a mortar
with salt and oil to scarlet
for their lips and kisses.

They … from Grecian cliffs
pick spiny snails
to milk for Tyrian dye.

They … stain purple love knots
upon each other’s wrists
and a place upon the neck
to reify lacunae.

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Peter Lee

Timbre Land

 

snow leopards … two
pace the Himalayan timberline
chuff their breaths to crystalline
on a ledge above a Bhutan valley
threaded by a glacial river

where prayer flags flutter snap
in this neither Shangri-La
nor Shambhala invention

for here is a real world nation
with a mission statement
Gross National Happiness
this is true … it is written

a whole country
with happiness ideals
mandated to official
for its sense of being

a formal charge for happy
though not always … mostly
for happy isn’t always

might be the last few minutes
tread of footsteps on pine stairs
and the timbre in his voice
calling out her name

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Ilka Gedo

There Comes Eventual

 

when her symptoms amplify
into conscious notice
of her heart’s arrhythmia,
there comes eventual
of chaired room waiting
with others symptomatic
in silent bells of worry

a public name call
to near naked isolation
in spare antiseptic space
where skinned anatomy
is postered on a wall

the white coat enters
heal me, Doctor for I am unwell
his cold hands listen at her heart
and when incision later follows
she wears its scarlet path

and when she is remorseful
comes eventual of need
for stained glass windows
and frankincense and myrrh
and a crucifix upon a wall

she slips through curtains
bless me Father, for I have sinned
and when confession follows
and she is washed in absolution
as from a basin brimmed
with Christ’s redeeming blood
she bears its consequence

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Unknown

 

For Fifteen Abalone

 

My Pacific litters debris upon a windy beach
where I scry for chance of incidental grace
of a foulish lump of black white ambergris
or a bottle message from some far off place.

I watch children plunder tidal pools,
watch them pocket sandy bi-valves…stones
‘till their pockets sag and mothers warn them
to beware of seal-ed test tubes…stray syringes.

Here, I sense no sermons in a Chambered Nautilus
nor a sea polished globe from a trawler’s float,
nor do I find significance in gray twisted wood.

Though, over years I’ve nailed upon my redwood fence
fifteen barnacled and radiant shells of abalone.
Some are cast off from the divers seeking flesh.
Some are ones to which the otters beat them.

Perhaps I augur with a magic fifteen square
or with aquatic hex signs ward off demons;
I think none of this, for they simply please me.

Now, however, I am angry pensive restless
as my best five have overnight gone missing;
I should check the neighbors’ lawns,
post a notice…inspect the market stalls.

Though, I’ll do none of this.  No.
Yet I wonder why I prize sea dregs
And I wonder why I should wonder why at all.

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Derek Bond