Myth Triptych

Bacchus in Vineyard

brix rising

silver sheen grapes burst
on the vintner’s tongue…
sipped with air
open lipped
not this time…
not now…yet soon
the sugar brix will rise

as omens must precede
god Bacchus entrance…
spirit Bacchus, Bacchus blessing,
for potency in old stock

crows caw…restless in poplars…
grape leaves rustle in rows
where there is no wind
against the vintner’s skin

as he waits…
lying beneath a stretch of vines
haunch warmed…stilled
inhaling dense promise of the wine

then intensity of light
a pressing down of heat
a momentary sleepy spell

crows angle from the poplars
into a haze of sun…
a  breeze
a stirring against clusters…
and rising in the brix…
time certain of  blessing
in the grapes

Bonnie Marshall

Art by James Lively




Unintended Consequences

When Prometheus,
that rebellious, wily Titan,
caught sparks of fire
from shining Apollo’s
globe-circling chariot,
and carried them
in a fennel stalk
as gift to shivering mortals…
it was nothing more
than simple giving
born of trickster mischief.

In consequence, when angered Zeus
chained Prometheus to a ledge
where daily on Caucasus wind
an eagle swooped to tear a beak of liver
from mankind’s suffering hero…
it was nothing more
than Zeus’ well-known retribution.

And when fair Pandora,
Zeus’ punishment to mankind
for Prometheus’ sinning,
one day…astonished…
heard muted rustling
inside a sealed wine jar…
it was nothing more
than interest born of a curious mind.

So, when her husband, daft Epimetheus,
set out for days of hunting,
having warned her not to break the wax
that sealed the clay jar’s mouth,
she resented his direction…
and held her breath…and acted.

Ills of the world, like fireflies,
hung glittering in their chaos
then spiraled out the door…
as hope slipped from the vessel’s lip,
following like an afterthought.

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Miriam Schapiro


Graiai Sisters

against Perseus in the night

sleep, blind sister dread
blind sister horror, sleep
and I…alarm sister
shall watch for him
while sea-foam hiss
your senses charm

now, sight be my turning
against his thievery…he
mighty gods empowered…he
who would steal my vision
to catch the flash of moonlight
upon his mirrored shield

and I would not open to him
access to sequestered power
of sister serpent hair
for she will petrify him
to behold the potent
in her beauty…

Art by LMessecar
“The Graeae Sisters”

Bonnie Marshall

10 thoughts on “Myth Triptych

  1. Lovely Bonnie…I can smell the fresh picked grapes and feel their flesh pop in my mouth sucking the juice from the sour skins rapidly propelling the skins out the car window as I work my way through the brimming basket riding shotgun as I make my way home through the valley….’brix’ whispered on the breath of a muse.

  2. Bonnie, I love “Brix Rising”, especially. I can feel the late sun, vineyard dust in the air. A moment’s rest in the cool atrium, its mosaics telling old stories in beautiful bits, like you’ve done in words. Bravo!
    – Chris

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