A Decree for the Rain

 

Westminster Quarters chime
partitions in the air
and orient for place
a pacing in the hours

and sleepy cockcrows wake
to first ordain the dawn
with much the surety
of rows of daffodils
unclenching in the sun

it is a gentle doing

it is not blast ordained
like thunder lightning storm
from heavy-lidded clouds
decreeing lines for rain

then let us sing … my love
impromptu melodies
to delegate our days
in measured harmony

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Vincent van Gogh
“Wheat Fields in Rain” 1889

wilderness in women

balthasar-denner-woman

 

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

 

blade sting

efbfbdopalenik2013_reflecting013

we near death are not yet as
pocket lint…soft gray felting
re-mem-brance

instead…
we are crisp ironed  alpine forest
spice thread saffron…and we
blush carnadine to water with
our hands

your conversation in the other room
is noisome to us as mosquito drone

and if we gaze at you as if we
do not comprehend it is because
we do…hear over under ‘round
above and through you

did you know…inside…we laugh
at…do not go gentle…lost the battle
did you know at brink we do not care

for tissue rustle dry cough tearless
we dismiss your presence…and
we know our blade stings  and…how
soon you’ll heal the cut

 

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Elizabeth Opalenik

 

 

green grazing pastures

Diebenkorn 1

keep silent…silent…and listen
listen…to these words…sieve
for wisdom like your need for breathing air,
then, when you speak…sing arias of words
with silver clarity like the ringing of a coin

dance meaning with your hands arms shoulders
for they’re the angels of your mind…they’re the
touching and the pinching and the caressing reach
for a human amplitude

pace the walking of your days for new risk
to follow comfort paths to exploration
where stepping is tentative to bold with
the going and the coming of a rich intent

bless the beating of your heart…touch
its stroking in your pulse…note its rippling
under the dear marvel of your skin

engage more life aware…splash cool water
on your face…your arms…your neck…
from the kitchen faucet, from the garden hose,
from the river, from the lake, from the sea…
to feel brisk…awake

Bonnie Marshall

Poem Reading: Permission of Kenneth Brauchler

Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn

as at a birthing

john singer sargent bedroom window

spread day clean within your mind…
unfold it into waves of knowing
from first waking to the geometry
of room…of so many rectangles
predictable in place behind the clutter

rouse day with frequency of sounds
of wind in trees…of traffic motor rub;
enact the pretense it is waves abrading
shore…a white noise wash irregular
as driftwood of first thoughts

smooth initial moments…lift
them…easy…to shower warmth
then rough cotton them to life
as at a birthing

 

Bonnie Marshall
Art by John Singer Sargent