soul I tear



these days my brain
is sequential solitaire…
flips present moment
into bits and pieces
through a shuffle time

no matter…luck of the draw…
my flimsy card slip apprehension
plays sequential consequence of now
with all time wasted…scattered to a table
where a three dimensioned plane
is littered with distraction

oh…there is no damnation…none

somewhere beyond this sphere
that pulls upon me…holds me down
spreads immensity of space
where stars collapse and recombine
in chaos of a deep design
I cannot think to think


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Salvador Dali

wilderness in women



I’m old…
I can tell you this

women need wilderness
…especially when they’re young

for in wilderness they learn
not to trust old maps;
and they swim in icy streams
if bridges are washed down

in wilderness…
they hear honest sounds,
and know when nestlings
rasp for raw sustaining flesh
they hear healthiness…
not the noise of whining

and on the day they die
women raised in wilderness
sing to themselves…remembered
songs to float with them from
this world to the next


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork Balthazar Denner


my untitled 10 26 2016




she needs silver needle rain
upon her shiver skin
to startle her away from
frequency of hand sewn quilts
and layered down fill pillows

and she craves stove brewed Arabica
in a thick ceramic;  her narrow fingers
tight embrace the radiating heat;
she breathes its draught of steam mist
and thinks the pitch of darkness

and grows turnip, carrot, parsnip
earthy things to blacken in a skillet
and tumble to a pewter plate; she
jars pickles…soaks beets in vinegar
and salt and bitter herbs

she needs the prick of cat claws
upon her thighs and knees…
and disdains the warm wet slop
of dog lick on her hands

would choose a harpsichord than harp
and do away with birth day…and
lines on maps…and forced smiles; she
lives beside the sea for its tempestuous


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Andrew Wyeth
“Corner of the Woods” 1954


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