Crone Descants

 leah chapin

naked time!

some nights then…
the three year girl twins
would freeze in place
for countdown
ten…nine…eight….
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

Painting  by Leah Chapin

 

mandrake

tales told by crones catch us

tales told by crones catch us
in thorns of awe full disbelief
and tangle us in rawness at
beguiling edges of credulity

as when they tell us Mandragora
screams its loosening from earth…
kills the first to hear its  shriek and
carries in its brew a potent sleep
like death enough to bury Cleopatra
in deep hallucinating dreams…unclasp
her wanting until Anthony’s return

as when Circe warned Odysseus
to place bee’s wax warmed… still
honey sweet against the eardrums
of his loyal oarsmen…lash himself
with ropes fast to the mast, so as
crazed with lust…not to dash
their bodies into wine-dark sea
toward distant Sirens singing
prophesies

as when we scoff at fortune tellers,
psychics, casters charting horoscopes
and refrain from seeing meaning in
crows angling through the sky….and
just at midnight…in darkness outside
our bedroom window… owl hoots
that we muffle with our pillows

Bonnie Marshall

Painting by Unknown Artist

 

old-woman-stretching-out-her-hands-to-the-fire

tick tock smolder woman

(for Aggie)

old woman floats the
putting of an order in
the day…tick tock… no
aspirin for two hours…
while toxic juice leaks
from defrosting chicken
and cat sleeps in-different
upon floored Bargello
pillows…stitch in time…when
Eddie was in high school…
hear his music tin-tinnitus
dry rot the wallboards in
her ears to muffle pumping
metronome…tick tock…flutter
somewhere in her ribs on
tree limb bones wrapped
cotton bark to tingle fire
of roots in woolen socks on
old… tick tock…smolder woman

Bonnie Marshall
Painting by Pablo Picasso

 

cherubs

 

Crones Tell Me Wonders

Crones tell me wonders
of times they were near death
womb warm…light beckoning…
and then harsh second birth
with sharp pain flashes
back to a gray unfolding.

Crones tell me of their dreams
for they dwell often there.
Then… like returned travelers…
they recount amazements
of places they have been.
“I dreamed laughing babies
invited me to dance.”

Her voice trailed thin laughter.
“What do you think of that…”
She wasn’t questioning…
just gazing past me…reflective,
mind back into that world.
“How lovely it would be…”
Reflection then…was mine.

Bonnie Marshall
Artwork by R. Pico

16 thoughts on “Crone Descants

  1. I enjoyed all your series of poems. Your reading emphasized the poems, themselves and made them real for me. My favorite poems were the first about the twins “Naked Time.” It’s precious. “tick tock smolder woman” was about the little things that one goes through in the aging process. The last one was the “Two responses to Crone Descants” recanted past. I loved them all.

  2. Thank you for following my blog. I loved your comment in the Profile that you were lost somewhere in your poetry. I think that’s the best place anyone could get lost in. I hope my readers feel that when they read my next novel.

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