moaning of the turtle



jarred honey caught her musing
its nectar gold reflecting sun
there on the kitchen table…
routine of the house,
placed for breakfast,
one with bee murmur
somewhere in the walls
somewhere with disconnect
to sting …that sweetness
to flash her thought
to twelve-year girlness
on a pond path to the hives
for honeycomb…

she’d spied turtles mating
bright yellow spotted black
there at the shore edge…so
she watched their coupling
ungainly…female intent
on beaking sedge into her maw
oblivious to male’s mounting
struggle to grasp her for his need
moaning rhythmic breath bleed
air… for the intersect

still…in a morning mood
she fingers honey sweetness
to her tongue…tasting music…
blending turtle moaning memory
with bee hum in the walls

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by David M. Carroll

Window Shop on Stanyan Street

window shopping

window shop
where hand strung crystals
spark in storefront windows
go in…buy anklets, bracelets
to tickle on your feet
distract your wrist and neck
it’s easy

to window shop
where gardenia scented candles
lift their tropic velvet
through wide open doors
go in…buy presence
to smolder by your bed
it’s easy

to window shop
where copper chimes
breeze strike in doorways
to pale blue notes…
to silver…to vermillion
go in…buy their harmonies
to charm within your ears
it’s easy

to walk by windows
indulge the beckoning
of crystals, candles, chimes
distraction, presence, music
go in…it’s so easy
to buy remembrance

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Nancy Franke

shadow rocking

yellow porch chair

I know rocking
impetus through
toes and hips and spine,
know that pressure
of soothing contradiction
inherent in the rhythm
that balance dances me
forward… backward
in a tipsy edging
drift through
shadow afternoons
of restlessness

where wanting gathers
in my arms and lap…
in summoned memory
of infants nourishing
and dozing…and laughing
to songs I’d lilting sing
in cadence to the bowing
and the gliding and the
tilting and the swaying
and the loving of this place

Bonnie Marshall

Art Photography by Susan Savad

Exotics Under Glass

flower house

breathe orchids’ breath
in a greenhouse
where fans whisper
in corners…misty
drifting scents of
evolving from Triassic
pinned scientific to a page…
as cymbidium and laelia,

watch lizards dart
erratic on fir shred…
diminished reptile traces
evolving from Triassic
they gorge stinging bee,
and armored beetle….
instinct killers pinned
scientific to a page
as iguania, gekkola,
and komodo

breathe and watch
in a greenhouse
evolving from Triassic
scientific to a page
oh…primate, hominidae
and sapiens

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Eric Ravilious

‘nother beer here


his first reading word
loud, distinct,
learned from seeing
Iron City billboards
everywhere in Pittsburgh…
his proud family
steel mill generations
with beer bellies…
men and women,
hang out on stoops
with Pirates’ baseball
on plugged in radios
and never miss a score
on those hilly streets

until the layoffs
and empty family porches
and women hiding bruises
from sour smelling men
who slept late restless
swearing in their dreams
at hellish glowing rivers
and masters of the universe
who built skyscrapers
poured from pig iron
fed by “coke monkeys”
into fiery crucibles

now he slurs it
beer…’nother beer here
in a slag heap sports bar
strange neighborhood
where Pirates’ hits,
runs and errors…
and men left on base
blur to meaningless

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Edouard Manet