wilderness in women



I’m old…
I can tell you this

women need wilderness
…especially when they’re young

for in wilderness they learn
not to trust old maps;
and they swim in icy streams
if bridges are washed down

in wilderness…
they hear honest sounds,
and know when nestlings
rasp for raw sustaining flesh
they hear healthiness…
not the noise of whining

and on the day they die
women raised in wilderness
sing to themselves…remembered
songs to float with them from
this world to the next


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork Balthazar Denner


there is a ritual for waking


coffee 02 diebenkorn

there is a ritual for waking

as dreaming traces disappear

like misty steam upon a shower

wall…involving cotton plush

then cloth petal layering

for naked bodyness

there are burnt berry aromatics

poured in a thick white cup

a scratch of knife on toast

news brash of voices, and

the purring of a cat…

then gathering of encumbrances

an instant catch of breath…before

the opening…and closing of

a door

Bonnie Marshall

Art: Richard Diebenkorn


what matters elemental is the rain


what matters elemental is the rain
…more than even love…
for rain is prime alchemical
with earth and wind and fire;
it nourishes essential as mere
caring cannot do

what matters elemental is the music
…more than even hate…
for euphony is evil-free
it bathes us in our soul;
it lifts us into thought
it floats us into dream

what matters elemental is intent
…more than even peace…
for persist is primum mobile
to navigate our destiny…to chart
us… berth us…sail us brave across
life’s storming of our days


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Adrian Borda