Bravado Hour

Campfire 02

we four around a desert campfire
with Kayenta Chinle Wingate distant
strata set to black on navy blue
and August brandy in our veins
were quiet…quiet…then William,
our William, offered Coleridge to our
thinking themed as it seemed there
and then to sparks and dark and cold

he voiced from memory an ancient
mariner…he lay before us staging
of a burning copper sky and chill
emerald of ice floating ominous
in far storm distant, lonely seas…
he flew an albatross above us, and
wrapped consequence around
the neck of our…imaginings

he recited to the now as in days
when he and his buddies…Mike and
Tony…sometimes Jeff…on afternoons
on park benches, lawns, basements
a park somewhere in Oklahoma…those
men… almost… brimmed with word lust
and just because they could memorize,
went forth with Whitman from a harbor
somewhere near Brooklyn where the
bard mind fucked them all…all again with
his ingraining…or one of them would
line out Homer…daze their bravado hour
when they escaped Cerberus’ mouths and
dreamed of melody that Sirens sang

Occasionally, memory fading, our William
struggled for a word or with his hand
waved off a sequence…yet…we were
spell-bound in the night around the dying
embers glow of words…imagining

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Berto Artego

when life shakes down


when life shakes down
through minutes of my day
to sieve through lattice of my mind
in drifting dust of fool’s gold…ash,
I simply sweep the hours away
under a kitchen rug, behind a bedroom
door…and scatter them with sighs

yet, there are times life lifts me…
shakes me from my ennui with
rhythmed song so fresh and true
that I must catch my breath,
and stretch my legs to walking
in its phrasing and its pulse

and search ’till I find pasture glow
of trumpet daffodils, and fill my arms
with slender stalks… and gather gold
abundance into fine-cut crystal vases
so that yellow fragrance fills my house,
and then I’ll wash the kitchen window just so
sun sweeps rainbow scatter on my wall


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Vincent van Gogh
“Forest and Undergrowth”

my skeleton and I…we dance

death and maiden james christensen


my own skeleton and I…
oh, we dance…
symbiotic to melodic
cadence drifting
incipient…much as rivers
begin with trickle rain,
a steady increase
heartbeat bound
to currents…swelled
in waves of sensuality

I and my skeleton…
rhythm merged, reach to
spine centered oneness
of stimulus response to
orienting love songs tenor
baritone soprano alto bass,
’til I mouth descant words
in soft sporadic harmony,
to bend turn slide tilt spin
within their singing moment

my skeleton and I…
we glide the boundary of
the ballroom kitchen floor
tango tangle in the arms of air
one body sense…life aware to
hold sinews…blood…bones
swaying …dancing in a melody
washed intricate with tears

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by James Christensen


it’s a flipside circus day today


upside down


it’s a flipside circus day today
because the sky is yellow pink and
porch breezes smell of sawdust
and I crave sugar in my mouth…
and choose a daisy flowered top
and scotch plaid shorts…and
wear my brother’s too big nike’s
open just to hear the slap and
to feel small and sloppy

across the road the pekingese bark
tangle…dash bossy after chitter
squirrels that bound to trunks and acrobat
from limb to limb in aerial disdain,
cross purpose to blue flash swallows
that glide butterflies from air

the water man…strong man…he
lugs bottled springs from mountains
to my house…his radio blasts beatles’
they are the eggmen…I am the walrus,
and mrs stillmore hangs her
bras and panties on a wire
between her dwarf magnolias

Bonnie Marshall

Artist Unknown