Sliding Glass

shoji glass

I built him a cliff place…
precipitous
with sliding glass
and shoji panels,
and I embrace him there
with songs and incantations
‘gainst wild Pacific rain.
We lie together in down quilts
on cedar floors,
mingle kisses…laughter
and warm breathing,
infuse body fragrance
to sea air…
me…Tuscany rose, fresh linen,
tangerines, new-mown grass
him…bergamot, Moroccan leather
juniper berries…smoke
We two…one space in time,
tide measured by the moon,
and precarious to shatter
in each other’s arms.

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Dawn Ash

two muses drinking coffee

coffee

silliness strikes me… at the oddest times
like funerals and weddings
really…it’s an affliction…
a social handicap…
I’m in recovery…

except yesterday in a coffee shop
too much caffeine struck…
two muses drinking mocha cappuccino
yes…they were real muses
…one was mine…

sitting on a sofa behind me
wearing street clothes
them…not the sofa
(awful…I know it)
and I was their topic
yes…I knew it…
of course, I listened
I’m not dense…
though I admit to being
perhaps… maybe… paranoid
suspicious…in a trendy way

“She uses ellipsis.”
(like I was taking drugs)
“Well…it’s been there for years…
reappears like locusts.”
“She says it’s where her poems breathe.”
“Then she must be hyperventilating.”
“Does she pass out much?”
“No…just her poetry gets wispy.”
“Lack of inspiration?”
“No…that’s the trouble.”

I sighed…do that a lot.

Bonnie Marshall

Photo Credit: Trent Redmann

charcoal mountains

cattails lake

for a lark she tacks butcher paper,
arms’ reach horizon stretch,
to boathouse plywood siding…
view of the lake’s west shore

with sketching charcoal
she arches mountains shoulder thrust
a blur of shore…wrist smudged
all barefoot energy…and then
with edges incomplete…
she stops
lured to the shore
spiked with water dials
of sable seeded cattails
that track a downing sun

then across the gap-planked dock,
past cleated runabouts
that rock to water slap…
she sits cross-legged
on day warmed wood…
to hold in memory
the lonesome croons
of grebes and loons…
and chart a spreading set
that slides to lie gold burst
behind black charcoal mountains

Bonnie Marshall

He carved her in elm to last…

FallsofClydeFigurehead

He carved her in elm to last…
smoothed her to soft folds…all roundness
to slip easily through elements…
set her eyes to wide gaze anticipation…
and folded her arms upon her breasts
as a calming gesture conveying readiness.

He shaped her for strength
so that when gales encased her
in spume and brittle sea glaze
and her ship groaned with oceans’ turmoil
and mounting billows fought to drown her…
there would come eventual righting
and gentle rocking through soothed waves.

Just as he crafted her for storm,
so he protected her from ravages
of sharp winds…destroying sun
with costly lacquers from Japan…
and from his body…sweat and weariness.

Yet always in his mind…a fantasy
that she would fly with silver dolphins
and circumnavigate the world.

Bonnie Marshall

The figurehead in the photo is on the ship “Falls of Clyde.” It was carved by Jack Whitehead (1913-2002).

unsentimental

dickinson handwriting

Emily Dickinson…
New England spinster…recluse
rarely strayed from Amherst…
where she heard profundities in rain…
where she sequestered ribboned stacks
… fierce…unpublished poems…
where she stalked her own death
nipping at its heels…baying in its distance
where her mind…a surgeon’s scalpel…
excised experience to place it
…exposed…raw…
on sheets of linen paper
where she wrote letters…poetry itself…
asking if inspiration were
“like Melody—or Witchcraft”
asking…for her work…
“Should you think it breathed?”
She knew her worth.
How could she not.

Bonnie Marshall

March, 2012