lion teeth in weeds


dandelion….from French dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth”

to cast a land with sorcery
weeds nestle…burrow deep
with incremental stealth
as tap roots pierce
hard soil near roads
or disturbed loam in fields
receptive to their riot…
some…like dandelions
bloom yellow teeth
on rigid milky stems
to open…close…
sun conjured
to lure honeybees
then at a witching moment
flowers trance…florets drop,
bracts arch to airiness,
and morph to globes
with seeded sails…
tempting breezes
with a breath of wishes

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Jean Francois Millet

hunter gather


This was part of it…
to preserve rare Mojave cacti
from destruction of the
gypsum blasting mines

to be mildly appreciative
when pros told her a Latin name
cylindropuntia enchinocarpa
for shimmering silver cholla

she’d arrive predawn
drink coffee, choose tools…trident rake,
an arrow pointed trowel…thick gloves

yet her intent was always other
just to be there watching
the skipping stoned trajectory
of desert big brown bats
in flight to roosts in distant caves
their tiny bellies tight
from a raiding night…
of bronze carapace beetles
blood engorged mosquitoes
and dew sipped from prickly pear

they stitched night to dawn
on those color striped horizons
of awareness levels to ease her
to supremacy of sun

when her intent revealed itself
to celebrate life in harshness…
with the drought adapted,
the self-protection poisonous,
the sharp pricked keep aways…

and so she gathered wisdom
to take with her
from true survivalists

Bonnie Marshall
…or a persona thereof

Artist: Tina Bluefield

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

Goldfinch Variations

photo-gordon-langsbury1.jpgGoldfinch Variations
I have affinity for birdsong
otherworldly though it be…
a peacock’s shrieking promenade,
or owl’s chill whooo at dusk.
No matter.
I plant sunflowers…
to lure mockingbirds
whose themes and variations
will lull me through long nights.
I hang thistle seed from branches
so goldfinches will charm me
with avian libretti through blue-sky summer days.
They trill a foreign language
between the house and barn,
and chirp choruses from pine boughs
as I…silent and earth-grounded…
savor purchased company.

Bonnie Marshall

In Presence of a Rain

Photo Credit: Frank Christopher Talbot
Photo Credit: Frank Christopher Talbot

In Presence of a Rain

In presence of a rain
grey-dry stalks of ocotillo
desert flame pines…
spined with thorns…
slit to leafing.

At their tips bloom
scarlet blossom torches
luring ministrations
of persistent droning bees
and ticking hummingbirds.

Again the southwest desert
sunburns…inevitable… to aridity
and leaves drop…deciduous…
while this spindly evolution
spikes still viable
against heat-wavering blue…
a testament.. to resiliency.

Bonnie Marshall