thoughts for the color blind



love is shade movable as shadow;
it is scintillant brightness;
it cannot be defined as if it were
a color described to someone blind
as orange…azure…emerald… a
dainty pink…a blood deep red

its thinking etches or erases like
lace edged sea foam on a beach

it is invisible as gravity…sensed
like space between tick…tock

no spell is implicit in its sounding
for its spelling is not sacrosanct…
it may as well be evol…olev…velo

enough…for we think of it as warm
or chill or thrill or pain or ecstasy…as
literal as pinch…sustaining as if breath

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Thomas Pollock Anshutz




Money Mecca in the Desert

vegas-LeRoy Neiman

Money mecca first is glow behind dark hills
then flames to razzle-dazzle boulevards of sidewalked
believers seeing visions…offering flashing idols
metal paper plastic…handing chips and cards to proxies
in temples where prayers of the faithful…please god please
rise to heaven through tobacco incense haze toward
all seeing watchers over them.

Where devotion…caffeine stoked…blurs lines
of day and night as acolytes peak intensity
with alcohol and speed, and where testosterone
sifts in city air to blend with auto fumes.
Where dulled disciples receive comfort
at the altars of buffet, and toss trample
paper icons of nude gods and goddesses
offered from street stationed church of
Eros zealots.

Where each Monday, delegated deacons
follow morning rites, bag chips left in
collection plates at Sunday’s mecca churches,
appear at the temples’ gates for a ritual
of redemption.

Bonnie Marshall


Artwork by Leroy Neiman

let questions hang to ripen

Mary Cassatt child picking apple

let questions hang to ripen into asking
for consequence of too rash decision
is a bellyache

know when to be wise lawyer
to anticipate the answer  if you would
lead others on a path

and when you are the other
judge the question not as
functionary or a puzzle piece
shaved for fitting in a space

do not opt for quickness of reply
and be wise  in reflective silence
for there is ease in a waiting time

know there is dignity in ignorance
when maturity is in the greenness
of  a young  child’s mind…
rather sprinkle questions like a salt
to increase their thirstiness


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Mary Cassatt

there’s certainty in secrets

balance Maeve-Harris

she told me…she knew…there’s certainty in secrets

involving semblance…distance… voice…that’s

been with us since beings noticed privilege


she told me…brain deep balances weigh

passioned envy love malevolence and spite

‘til their accrual slips overflow to power


she said secrets are prime colors

shading light and dark, and that they stain

like pomegranates or bitter cochineal;

that they are tension circle dance that breaks

to partnered waltz with accompanying missteps

and blurred edge dizziness


she told me secrets are music…notes so timbred

and distinct, toned and played, that they capture bind

indelible with voicing


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Maeve-Harris


small act of mercy


what the hell she do that for
her goldfish on the desk
gasped for life…still water glistening
its gill slits opened… closed
to sip burning oxygen

my fish…just felt like doing it
experiment…a testing of their nerve
perhaps they’d let it die this year
not buck authority…and teach is boss
her property…and she’s a crazy woman
to dip her hand into the bowl
to kill in front of them

hey….do something
some dying in its eye
a slowing will to breathe
no thrashing in its tail
no cavalry in sight

oh, Christ…I’ll do it
he splashed it to the bowl
it floated on its side

it’s dead…
then awareness righting
and orienting thrust to
claim its element

it’s yours now…
her implication dawned
some cheered…some jeered
his rash accomplishment…
she left it to them to think
the sense or nonsense of it
and…she never lost a fish

Bonnie Marshall

Note to dear Readers…this is a true story.


Artwork by Color Jar