The Taste of Sea in Salt



Pacific Ocean swash
leaves hints upon the sand
of its nether world below

discards abyssal remnants
for moon jellyfish dissolve
and blue mussel shell wreck
and blur of flea hazed kelp

erases imprint of a barefoot path
mizzles spray soak to a chill
and dims wave crash to a hiss

between our separate range
there will be no translation
no easy blending to exist

only recognition of circumference
where the taste of sea in salt
is faint as watermark


Bonnie Marshall

Artist: John Miller

no longer hospice for the leaves

park-view van gogh

no longer hospice for transfigured death of leaves
limbs…bare raked…transmogrified by wind and sleet,
line etch against gray smearing blur of winter sky

all gathering into… like suppression of a breath
a withholding …latent…dormant through the
binding and the blinding of pale moratorium

as if dense curtains close the ending of Act Two
when a yellow orange red plot falls destined into stop
when nothing can be done…intermission and suspend

when deep green urge awaits the fusing of the sun,
for we’ve read the story…know the stages in
the play…sense inevitable shift…abide waiting
and show patience…and know seasons change that way

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Vincent van Gogh, 1887

moaning of the turtle



jarred honey caught her musing
its nectar gold reflecting sun
there on the kitchen table…
routine of the house,
placed for breakfast,
one with bee murmur
somewhere in the walls
somewhere with disconnect
to sting …that sweetness
to flash her thought
to twelve-year girlness
on a pond path to the hives
for honeycomb…

she’d spied turtles mating
bright yellow spotted black
there at the shore edge…so
she watched their coupling
ungainly…female intent
on beaking sedge into her maw
oblivious to male’s mounting
struggle to grasp her for his need
moaning rhythmic breath bleed
air… for the intersect

still…in a morning mood
she fingers honey sweetness
to her tongue…tasting music…
blending turtle moaning memory
with bee hum in the walls

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by David M. Carroll

Exotics Under Glass

flower house

breathe orchids’ breath
in a greenhouse
where fans whisper
in corners…misty
drifting scents of
evolving from Triassic
pinned scientific to a page…
as cymbidium and laelia,

watch lizards dart
erratic on fir shred…
diminished reptile traces
evolving from Triassic
they gorge stinging bee,
and armored beetle….
instinct killers pinned
scientific to a page
as iguania, gekkola,
and komodo

breathe and watch
in a greenhouse
evolving from Triassic
scientific to a page
oh…primate, hominidae
and sapiens

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Eric Ravilious

air descants


warm thermals lift the condor
to swing his perfect wings
above a steep surround
his raptor head and dagger claws
attentive to his hunt
to fill his craw with carrion’s
sweet tang like apricots
and sweep fresh currents
through invisibles of air

* * * *

swirling air currents surge
over prairie mounds to break
along sides…create confusion
in tall grass and brown-eyed Susans

nimbus clouds…bruise gray
shroud storm cells…
and flicking lightning tongues
predict tornado visits

homesteaders fearing madness
of space infinity…scarcity of talk
cling to one another…whisper prayers

* * * *

fly with me
cirque du soleil,
a body lightness
through airy space
above jade meadows
with scarlet poppies scarved…
’til we emerge to hillsides
where clowns with floppy shoes
whistle, hoot and gesture…
we pass them by
to drift above the azure sea
where dark shapes undulate,
swim arbitrary…ominous
in sunlight shattered twilight,
’til they surface…dolphins
bewitched with speed…
we’ll ride their silver transport
spring forward with their rush
and with arms upraised through air
we’ll embrace their haste,
then, flipping we shall tumble
laughing…gasping breath,
reconnecting with the earth,
mere driftwood on the sand

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Deborah Richardson