In the House of Fortune

autumn maples

I’ll tug at her apron while she reads books,
and whistle off tune while she bakes bread,
and I’ll climb in clogs on bare wood stairs…up
and down, and up and down until she looks at me.

Then, with permission, I’ll sit at her feet and
tell her that I see visions and hear voices…and
she will tell me I am dying soon…not today…not
tomorrow,  for I’ll have days to assign the giving,
and to choose right order of the songs on lists
I’ll paste on doors and where people hang their coats.

She has pockets in her apron, and from them
she fills my hands with question marks and
exclamations…and ending marks of periods
she’s gathered  from my life when I,  so very
careless…thoughtless…dropped them from
my notice as trifling to its needing.

And I…downcast with regret…leaving her…
shall wish I had not asked.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Tosa Mitsuoki

green apple harm joy

green apple man

she warned me
I’d get bellyache
from tart green apples
that cracked open to my teeth
and made me so mouth happy
I dripped juice…
and, later then
her smirk and narrow eyes
pure Schadenfreude
at me doubled over
groaning on a couch
in the living room

how could she…not,
and I fault her…not,
for I, too, think harm joy–
know the gentle sense of it…
There! I landed on her space
and sent her back to Go!
Aha…I won. She lost!

or pious contemplation of…
There but for the grace of God go I.
or…She had it coming–stupid ass.
or the killer one…I’d never say,
She’s such a sweet thing.
heartless thought…not
far away from me,  a lot like
Don’t think bluebirds.
I’ll not disown it…never could,
this bite of human nature
that still aches inside of me


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Rene Magritte

blurred vision


here in a hangar
in oppressive…stagnant air
I pay a visit where above me
dust motes sift to aircraft
there in suspended instants
of arrested flight

below these…parked…
in angled strategy
are salvaged planes
some with human names…
Jenny, George, Enola Gay
Genevieve and Nick

here is neatness…here is order
where no black oil drips
to gray smooth pavement…
and battle disarray is washed
to near vanishing

my viewing hours are ending
and visitors are few…
sound is muffled
here where laughter bursts
are sparse as merriment
in a funeral home

I take a final look above me
and movement blurs my sight…
where barn swallows swoop
and dip and glide and slip and bank…
and amplify regret

bonnie marshall