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



13 thoughts on “like a tiny stroke

  1. to use your words, what enthralls me is your lines “her prescience… exquisite as a
    master cellist’s single bowing.” have been listening to cellos a lot recently, so immediately i heard a sustained tone in my head, warm and burnished. it’s wonderful writing. the whole piece, actually.

  2. Bonnie, I too have never noticed that beautiful woman and arresting look under God’s arm. I understand there is some dispute about whether it is Eve or the Virgin Mary, but if the latter it is a most unusual depiction. This poem is definitely one of your more intriguing ones. Thank you so much, I really enjoyed listening to you recite while looking at the picture.

    1. Malcolm, I gratefully appreciate your interest in this woman who I think is Virgin Mary. Notice God has his hand on a stylized Jesus cherubim…yet his Mary seems virginal, intelligent and knowing. His depiction of Eve…later down the ceiling is almost bestial. I sense Buonarotti is giving a brave sermon in that chapel, yet we haven’t caught all of his irony nor his humor. It’s fun to search for it. Smiles, dear reader.

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