The Women Descants

balance Maeve-Harris

After Her Divorce

After her divorce…
she lived with paintings
rented month to month…
much like borrowed books
or casual acquaintance.
She bought flowers freshly cut,
not plants…for she would stay
distant from commitment.

Leased one vaguely abstract
yellow peach green blue
March to June…still with
no long-term contract,
and no binding promise…
she placed it on a bedroom
wall to cover gouges there.

March…day and day after,
all seeming arbitrary,
drew her in the night to
Rorschach introspection
of that painting’s certitude,

until one April morning
when sunshine lit it golden…
she sensed tumblers fall
within assurance locks.

She patched the bedroom wall in May,
moved that painting to her den
to hang it where it would not fade.
In June she bought the thing.

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Maeve Harris

 

banksy cave painting

not graffiti prone

handprints on fresh paint
impetuous gesture
my handprints on fresh paint…
why not use aerosol
to claim that wall…
then I reflect
that women are not
graffiti prone

where is their fire
to cast life drawn large
across imagined space
like Michelangelo’s
naked…sacred homilies
scraped and frescoed
on a Sistine dome

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by banksy

balthasar denner woman

 A Wilderness in Women

I’m old…
I can tell you this.
Women need wilderness
…especially when they’re young.
For in wilderness they learn
not to trust worn maps;
and to swim cold streams
when bridges are down.

In wilderness…
they hear honest sounds,
know when nestlings cry
for raw, sustaining flesh
they’re healthy calls,
…not the noise of whining.
And on the day they die,
women raised in wilderness
whisper remembered songs
to take them from this world
to the next.

Bonnie Marshall
Revised September, 2013

Artwork by Balthasar Denner

Galatea Childe Hassam

Down from the Pedestal

Grief showers
chilled her
to immobility
there in the middle
of a crowded city sidewalk.
I’m lost without him.
Don’t know where I’m going.

No medical emergency,
it was a sorrow spell
where street sounds
turned to hissing
a static in the senses.
I cannot move…
I’m statue…

Now, for this living Galatea
there was no longer
a Pygmalion
to smooth her into life
with his strong, warm hands.
Is this what dying is?
Am I invisible?

“WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING, LADY!”

The rough jostle
shook her mind
back to awareness,
and city sounds and colors
merged to coherency.

She resumed walking.
Steps…just steps.
I’m taking steps…
down from the pedestal.

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Childe Hassam

22 thoughts on “The Women Descants

  1. I knew the tumblers would fall – like a bank vault … just as you mentioned them – psshhhhhhhh; you are SO RIGHT that ‘women need wilderness’ and I am not woman; and then I stepped down off that pedestal with her …

  2. Good heavens, Bonnie! I struggle to get a poem done, you do them in a group of 4?!? Wow! I am amazed at your quality and productivity. 🙂

    1. Well, John, some like “A Wilderness in Women” are early ones…often with major revisions. Can’t keep my mind off them!! And…it’s fun to set them in opposition to one another. It’s fun…think that is the key. Smile.

  3. I am man but not exiled from the deep emotions and sensitive perceptions I hear and read in this quartet. Whenever I am able to dig you out from the avalanche of my Reader I eat your words as if starving. I am awed and inspired by your poetry Bonnie…

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