To Give a Damn




from someone else’s mind
I gathered image word
and feeling meaning

it sorted to my brain
somewhere in a neuron
synapse cell to cell

I hear him say it …
that Rhett Butler voice …
that cocksure gaze …

brilliant framing of the
door between his worlds

at the turning point
he didn’t give a damn

about her

flawless timing  … always
absolutely perfect for
remembering of know



Giles from Salem
beat someone’s heart
to stopping … damn you
Giles from Salem

old Giles from Salem
they witch hung his love wife
for mumbling in a corner

cried him out for wizard
to claim the family land
if he, innocent,  confessed

plank and boulder pressed him
rigid … Puritan … earth
three days to eye bulge, tongue loll

“Confess you are a witch!”  they shouted
one on the plank to crush his heart

“More weight … more weight.”  his dying words
damn them, Giles from Salem



in the revealing black and white of it
The public doesn’t give a damn about integrity.
A town that won’t defend itself
deserves no help.
Lon Cheney’s  jaded sheriff lines, High Noon

Katy Jurado tells Lloyd Bridges
And, it takes more than big broad shoulders
to make a man.
she is a survival realist
leaves on the high noon train

before she leaves she talks with Cooper
Jurado: Kane, if you’re smart, you will get out, too.
Cooper: I can’t.
Jurado: I know


Bonnie Marshall
artist unknown

Thinking Mobius

Thinking Mobius…and
Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
ends of being and ideal grace
all…at the same time…
synapses firing in my brain
glister sparked like fireflies
seeking instant satisfaction
in dark recess evening trees
of acrobatic whimsy stretch.

I’ll slide idea surface in my
playland mind around around
until sheer dizziness…or boredom
spins me tumbling from the loop
abrupt to contemplate a stop…
that Mobii don’t merge unless
they’re quantum…linear
equations in a genius mind
primed to such disintegration.

I’ll think integral…especially
not damaged…be complete…
and lacking nothing…content
and undiminished…and…

Bonnie Marshall

Sculpture: Instituto Nacional de Mathematica
Pura e Aplicado (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

so tight a frame

ethereal berndnaut smilde

so tight a frame encloses me
I cannot…sometimes breathe
through strictures into free

for its six planes of miming air
all hedge me from a touch of
even thinnest window glass
to shatter as a choice

more ambient than substance
more neon glow encased
more galvanic spark aurora
more atmospheric edge

ethereal…its framed presence
sensed…netherworld embrace
at once availing and restricting
ipseity…of fierce held sheltering

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Berndnaut Smilde

floating home

sausalito floating homesrain waited off the coast
for its attendant storm
to gust and bluster
entrance to the bay

wool-layered, slicker, boots
stood witness for Poseidon’s
assault upon the shore

she’d built her home
nearer sea than land
aromas of cedar…pine
and redwood…winded, fogged, sunned
rough-ridged beneath her hand

for treed robins and bluebirds
she’d traded pelicans and seals
gulls…whale’s white spout
kayak-trailing lemon sharks

she told time with tides
and slant of brightness…
she moved to subtle rock
of the water push

then when rain appeared
she tasted salt upon her lips
breathed in the ocean air
heard distant Nereids sing

Bonnie Marshall