en plein air descants

en plein air

Surf Woman, Edward’s Beach

She stepped Pacific sand
barefoot  leaving  prints
feeling alien…moody
edging worlds with
solemn purpose
to seem appropriate
in case the artist
on the dune included
her human interest
in his plein air art.

Perhaps he’d single her,
choose her for immortal…
“Woman, Edward’s Beach”
holding sun hat…
ankle-deep in ocean…
beach dress edging foam…
gravely solitary.

For the moment’s drama
she faced away from land
posed…closed her eyes
to set memory…then
rogue waves Triton pushed
abrupt… unpinned her
to founder in their chaos.
Grasping sand and gasping,
laughing in the soak,
she wrapped herself in kelp
to off-balance stagger
in more ocean surge.

That’s how he painted her…
“Surf Woman, Edward’s Beach”

Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Bryan Mark Taylor

naked time!

some nights then…
the three year girl twins
would freeze in place
for countdown
then…naked time!
to rowdy monkeyness…
throw play clothes on the floor
bounce trampoline the couch
whoop laughter in the hall
slow tumble carpet steps
tag “germs!”…foot tickle
hair pull…sneaky pinch
rain shower tears…all better
ice cream dribble on their toes
to bubble bath…pajamas…bed

sometimes now…
they’re in their eighties…
one will call the other
of an evening…before bed
…shout…naked time!
then hang up listening to
the other’s merriment

Bonnie Marshall
Art by Wenceslas Hollar


cattails lake

en plein air

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
October, 2013



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