death watch

The abandoned Palace Theater in Gary, Indiana closed in the 1970s and has stood vacant ever since.

Bijou…in afternoon is amniotic hatchery
dried parsley and old women’s shoes…
then evening steeps it to bean soup
sour laundry soap and moldy windowsills

Bijou…where rats…twitch…scurry birth
each way over under through…attentive
to faint hiss of cockroach mouthing glue
beneath pale skin wallpaper peel

Bijou…where brown bats sweep through
broken panes…strike insect flick…and smoke
white doves coo guttural on ledges…and night
shrinks wood to incremental creak

Bijou…copper stripped…stage rain warped,
house curtain velvet torn…all potent with decay
though I shall not gravely mourn for knowing
how previous gives way to new

and…I shall not be present for the wrecking
smash and crash, nor shall I recall its marquee
silhouette against an empty sky without seeing
as in dusty mirrors…my own exiting

 

Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Joey B. Lax-Salinas

 

dreaming flamingos

audubon flamingo

I’m New England woman in my mind,
a transcendental eyeball on a hill…
I’m hiking boots pacer in gray wool
sweater under layered against itch

I’m gazer at dewed spider webs,
I’m sheltered…early in a box house
of sunsilvered windblown pine

and…I dream about flamingos
pin Geographic glossies inside
my kitchen cupboard door…where
I store white cups and plates and bowls

and… I think about the hearing of
their raucous squawking in flame pink
beauty pools…and I smile to think
they synchronize direction in a gawky
urgent mating dance…there in Africa,
Peru…Belize…Galapagos…and…and
the Caribbean…in narrow arrow flight,
flower washed rose carnation amaranth

now…I gaze at tropic embers in my hearth
glimmering…resin sputters in gray ash
and I boil live lobsters in a cooking pot
and listen for their tiny scream

 

Bonnie Marshall

Art by John Audubon
“Flamingo and Roseate Spoonbill”

like a stroke

michelangelo creation

most spellbinding…most absorbing
is her gaze from beneath God’s arm
toward Adam’s last oblivion

her…my…instant dawning
empathy pierces through me
like a stroke

I know…
cloud gazers see a diorama…
some halved sugar crystal Easter
egg of iconic chaos

perception varies…the magenta cloak
is brain semi-skull …is female uterus
is reminiscent Botticelli

yet…
what enthralls me absolute…
her prescience… exquisite as a
master cellist’s single bowing

this quintessential
this timeless
this Michelangelo

 

Bonnie Marshall

Fresco by Michelangelo Buonarroti
Sistine Chapel

 

 

Seeing Bluegrass

bluegrass banjo

Bluegrass splashed on all the walls
dripped on the window panes
slipped out the doors
and painted through the air.

Pickers eased to solo turns…
of Dobro…silver luster shine
mandolin…mint and lilac, purple
fiddle…lemon yellow flashed
with lines of tangerine
banjo…copper, blood orange bright
bass…midnight blue, tobacco

A reed-voiced tenor
sewed words to melody
against the drum and pulse
of step dancing in that hall…
each stepper’s will and breath
implicit with shared need
of just tell me caller man
and I shall follow you.

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Unknown

as fleets at Samothrace

nike-victory-goddess-of-samothrace-appears-in-a-tree-bathed-in-light.jpg!Blog (1)

Nike…feral cat…preen incidental gore
from your wilding night…take residence
upon my morning porch

drop from your prim savage mouth
mangled corpses…lizard rat and wren
rewards…keen killing… savaged

all precisely voided now of gut and eyes
and heart and brain…cat you slipped
to your own  throat their pipe squeal song

and then the goldfinch…gold feather flash
its striped wings flung open… broken
claw clench… headless…voided carcass

I glance and find the trifling skull
socket blinded…still with a feathered cap
tongueless beak  akimbo in the bladed grass

no false sentiment…no…none from me
no foolish judgment of her splendid feat
instead, I’ll laud…as fleets at Samothrace

 

Bonnie Marshall

Painting by Salvador Dali
“Nike, Victory Goddess of Samothrace
Appears in a Tree Bathed in Light,” 1977