The Arsenic Hour


Go draw the window curtains,
for it’s the arsenic hour
when sad memories make visits,
and wait for us to answer
their knocks upon the door.

They mustn’t know we’re home,
so click off all the music…
turn pictures to the wall…
sit motionless with cushions.

For they will test the door locks,
peer through the window shades,
and listen for the sounds
of footsteps on the stairs.

Bonnie Marshall


Artwork by Louis le Brocquy

Whispers In the Fine Print

deus ex machina 02



Always… it comes down to
how badly we could be hurt
by whispers in the fine print.


What the hell…
we balance bright promise,
pain ease, smile…to brush away
side effects possible dire…grim
repercussions for a now relief.


Deus ex machina…
–ex. Snow coughed up coma
apple when her coffin bearer tripped–
can’t be trusted, for we’re on our own.
–ex. Dorothy looked behind curtains,
Gretel baked a raving cannibal…and
Cinderella…for a warning… pigeon
blinded her bloody footed sisters
against their duplicity.


Happily ever after…nebulous it
drifts…sleeps…dreams within us.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
who’s the fairest we can be
with one weird trick…the secret they
always they…those gods whispering
in machinery…want us to know
might cost us in the fine print.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by theycallmeteddy


we argue silently

 two jon b paulsen

my self and I are out again;
we argue silently…and
if anyone is watching us
they’ll nothing angry see

no blush-ed face, no tightened lips
betray our inner din…no deepened
sighs, nor teary eyes betray our
out of sync within

complexity…time’s rusting of a life…
erodes us…ravels us at seams, as self
warps ever more from me, and sane
psyche…merely…drifts…in dreams

then simplicity…implicit in annealing
power of poetry and of music sculpture art…
heals the raveling of my soul, seals the rifting
and the sifting of essential self to me…to be
again graced blessed and myself whole

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Jon B. Paulsen