unfolding of the towels

shadow

he folds towels to horizontal squares
mound stacks them approximate
haphazard…any which…upon a shelf
size irrelevant…except utility
of indoor outdoor…kitchen bath
or car and window

she folds linens supple lengthwise
top to bottom arm stretch long way
spread longitudinal…aligns corners
proportional for use…communion table
priest precise as if their separation mattered

long years they played this game
of stubborn mind and peckish humor
other issues…willful to their natures
they would not bend into each other,
would not apportion different need

so…
they unfolded into a world
alienated… where stranger
boundaries were chaos
and…
his horizontal…her longitudinal
no longer give them certainty

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork: Unknown

against constraint…the descants

courage joan fullerton

prairie fever

windburst currents furrow prairie mounds
sweep Big Bluestem tallgrass into havoc
confuse Brown-eyed Susans into bowing
spell wet sheets on a line to bone dry

storm clouds, bruise gray, cells growing
charge atmosphere with ozone’s bleach aroma,
and lightning tongues…impersonal…predict
likelihood of a tornado’s visit

there…homesteaders fearing madness
from infinity of space and scarcity of talk
cling to one another…whisper prayers
and listen on the porch to cricket tremble
and await the onset of a prairie fever

Bonnie Marshall

Note: Prairie Fever, a mental health condition,  occurred when homesteaders on the Great Plains endured limited contact with others.

if it were to be

if it were to be
it would be now…
surf the deep-sea wave
swelling the horizon…
lock to the moment…
signal for release
into a zone where shouts
and jet ski throttle
disperse to silence

plummet from the brink
down…down…down
as if a cable snapped…
rip the board against
a gathering sea wall
where sound becomes
white noise…then
thrumming of the plane
chih-chih, chih-chi

surf its kinetic change…
slant horizontal left
mere seconds in the barrel…
spit through for chase and beat down
in whitewater crashing far from shore
he now is…
surface spent in foam
awed to awareness core
complete in a being moment
prompt of circumstance

Bonnie Marshall

she dares her world

a red geranium
once on her windowsill
dries to lifeless
in the rain barrel
withers like their chickens
and their cows
and their children…

long Kansas drought
where anything with lungs
breathes dusty air
and infants cough brown spots
and locusts gnaw ax handles
and black-widow spiders
spin erratic webs
beneath dresser drawers

as Oklahoma…Texas
blow from dirt horizons
break to silting layers
sift finely into slits
through doors and roofs and windows
muffle sounds…drift into mounds

when John enters from the barn
she swears he breathes dust smoke
through his pale cracked lips…
he says wind makes her crazy
not crazy…

she slips behind a screen
confirms there is no red
from a monthly flow
dreams of April
and prairie grass
spreading green again
across the gray…
and dares her world to blow away

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Joan Fullerton

still being float

dream blake william

 

 

if awake is land…and sea is sleep,

and shore is tangle orient,

a borderland…like autumn

where drowsy now seams next

 

and dream is litter strewn

with shard shell vision pieces,

and sea grass drifting mood,

and torn thought wrack

to wash with consciousness

 

then…still being floats illusion,

can feel its undertow…and

its surrender riptide of oblivion

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by William Blake

 

nine and twenty abalone

 

rogue wave

the Pacific is angry after storms,

spits its vehemence upon a beach

I scry for transcendental relevance

 

fool am I to want the reassurance

of a chambered Nautilus…oh, my soul

to find meaning in the glow of sea glass

 

I watch children scavenge tidals for detritus,

pocket sandy bi-valve clams…all life dissolved;

think their skeletons are treasure…none

 

why then…do I nail upon a yard fence

nine and twenty abalone…grayed…barnacled

rainbow radiance diminished…there

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Ray Ortner

heart condition

boat-in-harbour-brittany-1929 christopher wood

ellipsis…I pause eclipse a thought

with sweat beads

of think drip

ellipsis…I hesitate idea

and leave behind a

snail trail semaphore

ellipsis…I sail a breezy lift

for a slip sigh wave break

or a hull…slap…hand

ellipsis…my offbeat poem heart

ar…rhythm…mi…a

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Christopher Wood, 1929
“Boat in Harbor, Brittany”