Anxiety for Spring

camellia 1959 kaoru kawano

on seeing the first camellias…

soft focus month     
not always winter  
just faintly spring…   
north not south  
as hemispheres go.

exception month
mostly twenty-eight
sometimes twenty-nine… 
indecision month
mostly tempest torn like March
sometimes warm promises like April.

Then yesterday I found   
proof of its intention…  
a hedge of pink camellias   
like guests arriving early  
to a party overdressed.   

Bonnie Marshall

Swan Spell

cygne atterrisage 01

Her knuckle rap broke a spell
on ice glaze in a pail at the cabin door.
Then as if it were the signal for descent 
a sixteen wedge of swans…
…brazen as Valkyries…
arrived from the north to claim residence
at that March pond wilderness.
Their five cubit wingspans
rasped currents in clear air…
though brassy throated honking
flawed white-shimmered elegance.
They…she and the swans…
existed easy at awareness edges
in that swan days progression
as she became a watcher…
watched their preening with unguents 
  drawn deep from dazzling feathers
watched their courting bustle on woody muskrat berms…
watched the intertwining of their mating thrash…
watched nests like floating barges 
 gently rocking eggs that broke to downy cygnets
watched promenades of pen…cygnets…cob…
 as they paused to dabble pondweed…
    wild celery…bluestem…brome.
Then one November morning pail water glazed,
and she watched…entranced…as swans ascended
lifting heavy bodies…earth free…magnificent.
Bonnie Marshall

Time for Drowsy

Artist: Bill Vincent
Artist: Bill Vincent

Time for Drowsy

Time for drowsy
to yawn and stretch
and burrow under quilts
against a winter chill…
to think of brown bats
close folded into caves
or cooing doves
all snugged in cotes
with easy breaths
and resting hearts.

Time for drowsy
to calm anxiety…
forget the stress of time
think seconds and not days
pearl quiet not brass noise.

For there will come a morning
to waken to warm kisses
and welcome restlessness
and quicken back to life.

Bonnie Marshall

Their Complexity

Carnation-4-480x360Their Complexity

In her dressing ritual
my Agnes posed at
a floor length mirror…
stroked perfume…
Caron’s Bellodgia…
to her wrists and throat
carnation redolent
with deep layered notes
of sandalwood and jasmine.
I’d gaze at my Agnes
the two of us reflected
Then my Sim would appear
with his father aroma
of pipe tobacco…
and Old Spice nutmeg
cinnamon and cedar.
We’d stand a family portrait
framed in the moment
‘til restless I’d break free
from the heady blend
of their complexity.

Bonnie Marshall

Belly Button

il_570xN_289288534Belly Button

The new tenant found
an age-hazed canning jar
brimmed with cast off buttons
beneath the kitchen sink
in the old farmhouse.
She scattered them like runes…
like a button fortune-telling…
upon a wear stained counter.
Now released to morning sunlight,
they spilled to a profusion
of fake emerald… shell luster
dull plastic…metal shine.
She had set them free
from their glass time-capsule…
these past generation closures.
Oh, the stories they could tell…
if buttons could tell stories.
Smiling, she chose one above the many…
a round wood pink…inked belly…
to nestle in her palm.

Bonnie Marshall