Charge of the Hand-Me-Downs

 

a nation dawned

from deep knowing

 

a first emblem … documented

 and sewn  hasty … necessary

 

from

red flannel petticoats

the white of soldiers’ shirts

blue of a captain’s coat

 

now there are signs of wear

gaps open between stripes

 

an infiltrating must

fast threatens warp and woof

 

watch out

you worn conservators

 you are accountable

 

though you

were given hand-me-downs

your charge is to preserve

 

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork: Shane Cotton

protest song eternal


shane cotton the plant

I would say… oh, my friend
where’s your passion…
I would say… oh, my friend
where’s your risking…of
fortune and muscle and time

for the warnings are there
outside windows… and the
signage is there on your street
at your gate…on your steps;
hear the throwing of dice
at your wall…hear their rattle
of bones at your door

hear…
the cadence of marching
the clanging of symbols
the striking of bells in the air

 

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Shane Cotton

dreaming flamingos

audubon flamingo

I’m New England woman in my mind,
a transcendental eyeball on a hill…
I’m hiking boots pacer in gray wool
sweater under layered against itch

I’m gazer at dewed spider webs,
I’m sheltered…early in a box house
of sunsilvered windblown pine

and…I dream about flamingos
pin Geographic glossies inside
my kitchen cupboard door…where
I store white cups and plates and bowls

and… I think about the hearing of
their raucous squawking in flame pink
beauty pools…and I smile to think
they synchronize direction in a gawky
urgent mating dance…there in Africa,
Peru…Belize…Galapagos…and…and
the Caribbean…in narrow arrow flight,
flower washed rose carnation amaranth

now…I gaze at tropic embers in my hearth
glimmering…resin sputters in gray ash
and I boil live lobsters in a cooking pot
and listen for their tiny scream

 

Bonnie Marshall

Art by John Audubon
“Flamingo and Roseate Spoonbill”