like a tiny stroke

michelangelo creation

most spellbinding…most absorbing
is her gaze from beneath God’s arm
toward Adam’s last oblivion

her…my…instant dawning
empathy pierces through me
like a tiny stroke

I know…
cloud gazers see a diorama…
some halved sugar crystal Easter
egg of iconic chaos

perception varies…the magenta cloak
is brain semi-skull …is female uterus
is reminiscent Botticelli

what enthralls me absolute…
her prescience… exquisite as a
master cellist’s single bowing

this quintessential
this timeless
this Michelangelo


Bonnie Marshall

Fresco by Michelangelo Buonarroti
Sistine Chapel



Seeing Bluegrass

bluegrass banjo

Bluegrass splashed on all the walls
dripped on the window panes
slipped out the doors
and painted through the air.

Pickers eased to solo turns…
of Dobro…silver luster shine
mandolin…mint and lilac, purple
fiddle…lemon yellow flashed
with lines of tangerine
banjo…copper, blood orange bright
bass…midnight blue, tobacco

A reed-voiced tenor
sewed words to melody
against the drum and pulse
of step dancing in that hall…
each stepper’s will and breath
implicit with shared need
of just tell me caller man
and I shall follow you.

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Unknown

my Bijou

Abandoned Theaters - Urban Exploration

for Nancy…who loves old buildings

my Bijou in afternoon smells chick hatchery
dried parsley, and old woman’s shoes…
then evening steeps it to bean soup
sour laundry soap and moldy windowsills

rats nose twitch and scurry each way over
through and under…conceiving…birthing
of their kind and oblivious to faint…faint hiss
of massed cockroach mouthing glue beneath
frail wallpaper…Chinese pagoda pattern

warm brown bats swarm to fecund evening
through jag-ed shard-ed windows…
while molting doves coo guttural on ledges
snatch spiders from dew spangled webs…
and chill shrinks wood to incremental creak

my Bijou…no longer courts a populace;
it slips now historic…with attendant  new
assemblage resplendent in decay


Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Joey B. Lax-Salinas

as fleets at Samothrace

nike-victory-goddess-of-samothrace-appears-in-a-tree-bathed-in-light.jpg!Blog (1)

Nike…feral cat…preen incidental gore
from your wilding night…take residence
upon my morning porch

drop from your prim savage mouth
mangled corpses…lizard rat and wren
rewards…keen killing… savaged

all precisely voided now of gut and eyes
and heart and brain…cat you slipped
to your own  throat their pipe squeal song

and then the goldfinch…gold feather flash
its striped wings flung open… broken
claw clench… headless…voided carcass

I glance and find the trifling skull
socket blinded…still with a feathered cap
tongueless beak  akimbo in the bladed grass

no false sentiment…no…none from me
no foolish judgment of her splendid feat
instead, I’ll laud…as fleets at Samothrace


Bonnie Marshall

Painting by Salvador Dali
“Nike, Victory Goddess of Samothrace
Appears in a Tree Bathed in Light,” 1977

Anxiety for Spring

camellia 1959 kaoru kawano

on seeing the first camellias…

soft focus month     
not always winter  
just faintly spring…   
north not south  
as hemispheres go.

exception month
mostly twenty-eight
sometimes twenty-nine… 
indecision month
mostly tempest torn like March
sometimes warm promises like April.

Then yesterday I found   
proof of its intention…  
a hedge of pink camellias   
like guests arriving early  
to a party overdressed.   

Bonnie Marshall