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”

tango romance

silhouette man ray 1016 02

I watch a scorpion feed on dusty moths
trapped in a ceiling light… before I douse the sight;
before I pillow down…I follow capture as arachnid
silhouette flips ‘round a shallow globe

I dream scorpions tango in my mind
there in the moonlight of dim consciousness where
he…she…they… tangle claw to claw to sway push;
they ripple mouthings…leg wrap twist and drag
to swing spin…tilt rock…glide swirl to silent rhythm
of relentless no enchantment loveless mating

through a night dark…restless…through intimations
of an ego sting implied there  in the edges of my sleep
I awake to fading constellations….somewhere Scorpio
slips and drips though space…its constellation silhouette
implying shape to nothingness

some ancient entomologist drew it on the universe…
some inventive charter for celestial navigation

I shall erase the sky
I shall take my chances against now
I shall embrace my history in the moment
I shall tango with my love

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Man Ray

 

 

 

lying to the young is wrong

rodolpho amoedo 1887 the narrative of philetas

I taught them…each…to nose wriggle
like a rabbit…to imagine a bee sitting
at their nose tip about to sting…perhaps
unless they quickly wiggled it away…and
that there are no guarantees in real life
that they would not be hurt…I told them

I taught them…each… to close observe
the curve of listeners’ lips for secret
disbelief…disdain…the doubting shown
when lips are closed and corners flicked
down even for an instant…I told them

and then I wrote gesnorenplartz upon a screen
and told them that it meant smashed peas
and then I watched…and so did they…each other
and then they mostly knowing smiled

and then we began our reading of his tragedy…
how…what happened when…Montague and Capulet
and Friar and Nurse and Escalus of Verona lied
oh, when they lied…to their young

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Rodolpho Amoedo, 1887

to congregate with maskers

Apache Mountain Spirit Mask John Farnsworth

I shall congregate with maskers
circle dance their holy ground…
lift its soft warm dust to clouding
with my bare…bare tender feet

ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po
ai-na, ki-na-wchi, ki-na-weh

take up chants…petition spirit
croon a cadence rise and fall…
imbrue thought…and bear the
weight of a vast imagining

chi-li-li-cha, chi-li-li-cha
don-ka-va-ki, mas-i-ki-va-ki

stretch my arms to the horizon
caress air with open palms…
shoulder weave above the plaining
and think locus to the earth

kive, kive-na-meh, kive-na-meh
kive, kive-na-meh, kive-na-meh

for I’ve access…if I wish it
to a universal voice…I’ll overlay
significance…I’ll imagine wisdom
in its ancient keening howl or…
its whispering syllables

ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po, hopet*

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by John Farnsworth

“Apache Mountain Spirit Mask

*The ancient Hopi words of this chant have lost their English equivalent.