To Love Like Alchemists

 

 

They … love like alchemists
choosing costly feeling shades
from their essential palate
reduced in the immediate
to rare precious elements
they refine like lead to gold.

She … pinches saffron pistils
in cool morning harvests
their moist crimson threads
she finger tips from crocus
to distill a golden savor
to increase their passion.

He …  plucks iridescent beetles
from arid desert cacti
choice dew sipping jewels
he pestles in a mortar
with salt and oil to scarlet
for their lips and kisses.

They … from Grecian cliffs
pick spiny snails
to milk for Tyrian dye.

They … stain purple love knots
upon each other’s wrists
and a place upon the neck
to reify lacunae.

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Peter Lee

Timbre Land

 

snow leopards … two
pace the Himalayan timberline
chuff their breaths to crystalline
on a ledge above a Bhutan valley
threaded by a glacial river

where prayer flags flutter snap
in this neither Shangri-La
nor Shambhala invention

for here is a real world nation
with a mission statement
Gross National Happiness
this is true … it is written

a whole country
with happiness ideals
mandated to official
for its sense of being

a formal charge for happy
though not always … mostly
for happy isn’t always

might be the last few minutes
tread of footsteps on pine stairs
and the timbre in his voice
calling out her name

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Ilka Gedo

the taste of bees in honey

diebenkorn ocean park 82

I inherited a palimpsest
that once upon a time
was flayed and limed
into a golden parchment

now it has only cursive traces
here and there of iron gall ink,
for over time abrading pumice
has smoothed away intent
and fogged identity

a single word  uncensored
however perseveres…caprice
a tease…a hint… the quill strokes
of a perhaps wording…luve

I think its romance…
its silky cooing sound…oh
I think Burns’ sweeting poem
my luve is like a red, red rose…

I think velvet petal crimson
and aphid mildew thorn…oh
I think the taste…of bees…in honey

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn
“Ocean Park, 82”

tango romance

silhouette man ray 1016 02

I watch a scorpion feed on dusty moths
trapped in a ceiling light… before I douse the sight;
before I pillow down…I follow capture as arachnid
silhouette flips ‘round a shallow globe

I dream scorpions tango in my mind
there in the moonlight of dim consciousness where
he…she…they… tangle claw to claw to sway push;
they ripple mouthings…leg wrap twist and drag
to swing spin…tilt rock…glide swirl to silent rhythm
of relentless no enchantment loveless mating

through a night dark…restless…through intimations
of an ego sting implied there  in the edges of my sleep
I awake to fading constellations….somewhere Scorpio
slips and drips though space…its constellation silhouette
implying shape to nothingness

some ancient entomologist drew it on the universe…
some inventive charter for celestial navigation

I shall erase the sky
I shall take my chances against now
I shall embrace my history in the moment
I shall tango with my love

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Man Ray

 

 

 

unfolding of the towels

shadow

he folds towels to horizontal squares
mound stacks them approximate
haphazard…any which…upon a shelf
size irrelevant…except utility
of indoor outdoor…kitchen bath
or car and window

she folds linens supple lengthwise
top to bottom arm stretch long way
spread longitudinal…aligns corners
proportional for use…communion table
priest precise as if their separation mattered

long years they played this game
of stubborn mind and peckish humor
other issues…willful to their natures
they would not bend into each other,
would not apportion different need

so…
they unfolded into a world
alienated… where stranger
boundaries were chaos
and…
his horizontal…her longitudinal
no longer give them certainty

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork: Unknown