blade sting


we near death are not yet as
pocket lint…soft gray felting

we are crisp ironed  alpine forest
spice thread saffron…and we
blush carnadine to water with
our hands

your conversation in the other room
is noisome to us as mosquito drone

and if we gaze at you as if we
do not comprehend it is because
we do…hear over under ‘round
above and through you

did you know…inside…we laugh
at…do not go gentle…lost the battle
did you know at brink we do not care

for tissue rustle dry cough tearless
we dismiss your presence…and
we know our blade stings  and…how
soon you’ll heal the cut


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Elizabeth Opalenik



green grazing pastures

Diebenkorn 1

keep silent…silent…and listen
listen…to these words…sieve
for wisdom like your need for breathing air,
then, when you speak…sing arias of words
with silver clarity like the ringing of a coin

dance meaning with your hands arms shoulders
for they’re the angels of your mind…they’re the
touching and the pinching and the caressing reach
for a human amplitude

pace the walking of your days for new risk
to follow comfort paths to exploration
where stepping is tentative to bold with
the going and the coming of a rich intent

bless the beating of your heart…touch
its stroking in your pulse…note its rippling
under the dear marvel of your skin

engage more life aware…splash cool water
on your face…your arms…your neck…
from the kitchen faucet, from the garden hose,
from the river, from the lake, from the sea…
to feel brisk…awake

Bonnie Marshall

Poem Reading: Permission of Kenneth Brauchler

Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn

as at a birthing

john singer sargent bedroom window

spread day clean within your mind…
unfold it into waves of knowing
from first waking to the geometry
of room…of so many rectangles
predictable in place behind the clutter

rouse day with frequency of sounds
of wind in trees…of traffic motor rub;
enact the pretense it is waves abrading
shore…a white noise wash irregular
as driftwood of first thoughts

smooth initial moments…lift
them…easy…to shower warmth
then rough cotton them to life
as at a birthing


Bonnie Marshall
Art by John Singer Sargent

Prompting of the Now

dali head-bombarded-with-grains-of-wheat-village-of-cadaques


I think in portioned harvest
gleaned from sustaining waves
of teemed fish-ed sea and stiff
stem seed-ed fields of now’s
swift  impression…all…all image
destined straightaway for decline
in my tissued memory.

I touch instants with my fingers,
hold the seconds of encounter
with dimensional perception
of rough smooth…warm chill,
and I calibrate distinction without
looking for some vast dimension…
for I seek a sensate knowing now
acquaintance with my world.

I command the moment…adjust
choirs of sound…salt sweet sour the
taste within my mouth…and withdraw
to dream sleep quietus until morning’s
promptings of the now.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Salvador Dali

we argue silently

 two jon b paulsen

my self and I are out again;
we argue silently…and
if anyone is watching us
they’ll nothing angry see

no blush-ed face, no tightened lips
betray our inner din…no deepened
sighs, nor teary eyes betray our
out of sync within

complexity…time’s rusting of a life…
erodes us…ravels us at seams, as self
warps ever more from me, and sane
psyche…merely…drifts…in dreams

then simplicity…implicit in annealing
power of poetry and of music sculpture art…
heals the raveling of my soul, seals the rifting
and the sifting of essential self to me…to be
again graced blessed and myself whole

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Jon B. Paulsen