Bravado Hour

Campfire 02

we four around a desert campfire
with Kayenta Chinle Wingate distant
strata set to black on navy blue
and August brandy in our veins
were quiet…quiet…then William,
our William, offered Coleridge to our
thinking themed as it seemed there
and then to sparks and dark and cold

he voiced from memory an ancient
mariner…he lay before us staging
of a burning copper sky and chill
emerald of ice floating ominous
in far storm distant, lonely seas…
he flew an albatross above us, and
wrapped consequence around
the neck of our…imaginings

he recited to the now as in days
when he and his buddies…Mike and
Tony…sometimes Jeff…on afternoons
on park benches, lawns, basements
a park somewhere in Oklahoma…those
men… almost… brimmed with word lust
and just because they could memorize,
went forth with Whitman from a harbor
somewhere near Brooklyn where the
bard mind fucked them all…all again with
his ingraining…or one of them would
line out Homer…daze their bravado hour
when they escaped Cerberus’ mouths and
dreamed of melody that Sirens sang

Occasionally, memory fading, our William
struggled for a word or with his hand
waved off a sequence…yet…we were
spell-bound in the night around the dying
embers glow of words…imagining

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Berto Artego

tales told by crones catch us

mandrake

tales told by crones catch us
in thorns of awe full disbelief
and tangle us in rawness at
beguiling edges of credulity

as when they tell us Mandragora
screams its loosening from earth…
kills the first to hear its  shriek and
carries in its brew a potent sleep
like death enough to bury Cleopatra
in deep hallucinating dreams…unclasp
her wanting until Anthony’s return

as when Circe warned Odysseus
to place bee’s wax warmed… still
honey sweet against the eardrums
of his loyal oarsmen…lash himself
with ropes fast to the mast, so as
crazed with lust…not to dash
their bodies into wine-dark sea
toward distant Sirens singing
prophesies

as when we scoff at fortune tellers,
psychics, casters charting horoscopes
and refrain from seeing meaning in
crows angling through the sky….and
just at midnight…in darkness outside
our bedroom window… owl hoots
that we muffle with our pillows

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Unknown Artist