Graeae Sisters against Perseus




blind sister dread
blind sister horror, sleep
and I … alarm sister
shall watch for him
while sea-foam hiss
your senses charm
there … there … dreaming

now, sight be my turning
against his thievery … he
mighty gods empowered … he
who would steal my vision
to catch the flash of moonlight
upon his mirrored shield

and I would not open to him
access to sequestered power
of sister serpent hair
for she will petrify him
to behold the potent
in her image


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork: LMessecar
“The Graeae Sisters

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

A Dominance of Lines



Snap_the_Whip_1872_Winslow_Homer (1)

In Spring, when Aeolus breathes
across their farms, girls boys lift
diamond butcher paper balsa wood
tied kites into his breath to feel out
currents, pull and sway…to test for
dominance of distance draft and lift.

Should such taunting pastime flag…
especially when Zeus streaks bolts
of lightning from his distant clouds…
their sporting turns to trouting with
live worms on hooks on lines on fish
poles by Naiades’ stream, in wordless
rivalry for the longest rainbow…best
tussle with a catch…finesse in reeling
out a gasping fish onto the grass.

When distant shouts bell whistle,
or the slant of shadow from a tree,
summon them to home, they end
camaraderie for one last sport…
these young contenders on a field.

They grasp hands tight slippery
with dirt spit sweat…link a ragged
crack-the-whip-snap for one last
quick elbow jab, foot trip, arm jerk,
stubbed toe, let go, fall dizzy to the
ground…as they play out their mythic
childhood of no tears, first middle last,
win lose…high tension…limit testing
dominance of lines.


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Winslow Homer, 1872


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


she…the listener for gods

campfire andrew wyeth 02

she…the listener for gods
often came where they were not
or just had been

sometimes from her Sequoia redwood grove
she heard their thunder voices echo mountained
heard cursing thunderbolts crease high Sierra air
anger sharp as ax strokes blading firewood

in dark drowsy of her morning sleeping bag
she felt vibration beneath her on the earth
the thudding of their charge as they chased
crashing through the forest or were chased…
heard their deep rasped breathing…later
found fresh prints of their padded feet

they rushed sighing through pine branches
brushing there invisible with their whispering,
and they left hieroglyphs with cryptic meaning
for her to scry in ash and embers of her campfire’s
blazing crackling tongues of blue gold lift
up to the clank and whistle of far distant stars

as she…the listener for gods…she bat like
heard presence of their ultrasound that
often came from where they were not…
or where they just had been


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Andrew Wyeth