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

to congregate with maskers

Apache Mountain Spirit Mask John Farnsworth

I shall congregate with maskers
circle dance their holy ground…
lift its soft warm dust to clouding
with my bare…bare tender feet

ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po
ai-na, ki-na-wchi, ki-na-weh

take up chants…petition spirit
croon a cadence rise and fall…
imbrue thought…and bear the
weight of a vast imagining

chi-li-li-cha, chi-li-li-cha
don-ka-va-ki, mas-i-ki-va-ki

stretch my arms to the horizon
caress air with open palms…
shoulder weave above the plaining
and think locus to the earth

kive, kive-na-meh, kive-na-meh
kive, kive-na-meh, kive-na-meh

for I’ve access…if I wish it
to a universal voice…I’ll overlay
significance…I’ll imagine wisdom
in its ancient keening howl or…
its whispering syllables

ki-tana-po, ki-tana-po, hopet*

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by John Farnsworth

“Apache Mountain Spirit Mask

*The ancient Hopi words of this chant have lost their English equivalent.

 

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

 

in another room

other voices jamie wyeth

we swim in amniotic warmth
and trampoline her shore;
we taste her sweet and salty,
scent vanilla carrot mint

her soft voicedrift descants
heartdrum… throb whoosh
murmur burble wash…of
our presence in her space

then…pulse and pulse
crown pressure and release
for skinness to be air lit
inner outer brash and thrash

sometimes…
when we step to darkness
when we enter light
comes remembrance…place
comes remembrance…rhythm
comes remembrance…music dance
in another room

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artist: Jamie Wyeth

for deep need of edges

francois knopf castle cat

and…we shall go to someplace
by the sea for deep need of edges
there…having swung long in days
cocooned and rocked in space
of seconds…minutes…hours
of our forwarding in time

and…we shall listen to the cat
and regulate our breathing
to nothing but its purr…
blur our sensing to its
mesmerizing burr against
our knowing metronome

and…we shall dismiss
chance rice cake words,
so devoid of season to the
tasting of our thoughts…and
we shall seek only limits to
our consciousness of touch

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Francois Knopf