Another Fire in California

a_walk_in_the_clouds_the_vineyard_burns (1)

 

I wonder … when its sulky breath
shrouds their valley vineyards,
shall we taste it in our Cabernet,
and will its wind storm char
translate to their Sauvignon
before cavalry Pacific mist
is temperance enough.

Insensitive of me … I know Napa Valley,
know the genuine of people there,
and taught Shakespeare to their children,
to some now staying with the land
to grow their family and their grapes.

And I wonder …
in the midst of conflagration
how The Tempest fancy
helps them to face the present.

How crass of me to think it might,
now as fire breathes across their land
melting trampolines and bikes and trucks
and wide porched reality.

 

Bonnie Marshall
Published in August, 2015

Movie Scene: A Walk in the Clouds

when townies go to ground…

J. Wyeth black spruce

 

when weather moods go strange
the townies look a certain distant look

watch storm clouds scudding from a silvered north,
scry wind sweep litter’s moveable graffiti
across their streets and walks

they orient to steeples
and listen for the Angelus,
sweep cushions from the porch,
plan indoor birthday parties
and consult the almanac

the townies think in omens
when black swans glide to shelter
under weeping willow boughs

and when a wedge of geese
disintegrates to strands of
frantic clamor…townies
gaze unfocused at the chaos
for already they have gone to ground

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Jamie Wyeth

Dear Reader: If already you have purchased your copy of The Taste of Bees in Honey, then I wish to thank you,  and I hope you have the time to write a brief review of it on its Amazon site.

The revised poem you read here will appear in the next volume of my work and it will appear for sale sometime near this coming December.  Smile … I’ve been a busy poet.

 

death watch

The abandoned Palace Theater in Gary, Indiana closed in the 1970s and has stood vacant ever since.

Bijou…in afternoon is amniotic hatchery
dried parsley and old women’s shoes…
then evening steeps it to bean soup
sour laundry soap and moldy windowsills

Bijou…where rats…twitch…scurry birth
each way over under through…attentive
to faint hiss of cockroach mouthing glue
beneath pale skin wallpaper peel

Bijou…where brown bats sweep through
broken panes…strike insect flick…and smoke
white doves coo guttural on ledges…and night
shrinks wood to incremental creak

Bijou…copper stripped…stage rain warped,
house curtain velvet torn…all potent with decay
though I shall not gravely mourn for knowing
how previous gives way to new

and…I shall not be present for the wrecking
smash and crash, nor shall I recall its marquee
silhouette against an empty sky without seeing
as in dusty mirrors…my own exiting

 

Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Joey B. Lax-Salinas

 

close as Venice

drafts-for-metal-relief-1904 kolmon moser

and if shores wash orange with sea change
and flamingos wade a pink foamed beach
and meridians slip north and south…where
ice islands…harmless…circle earth cool clear
cubes of iridescence

and people sing to each other close like Venice
and hand-write words to paper…slips pinned
to color coded windows…walls and doors shaded
for degrees of dark despair…and lightened for
the bloom of promises…and hope

we shall become a silent movie stuff of need
to tell and touch with bonds direct..profound and
strange as emerald studded starfish on the sands
and oysters hatching diamonds in our hands

 

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Kolmon Moser
Draft for a Metal Relief, 1904