For Their Deserving Notions


she told me…
she…being my Mother…one day at Church…
never to place a book upon a Holy Bible
and her caveat stays me…to this day,
though not like The Ten Commandments
that I should not break…for the No Book
on Top caution was Her bent, not mine

he told me…
he…being a law student Prince from Africa
that his Father…the Kisi tribal King…told him
his oath on a bible in a British court was illegal
for it’s someone else’s foreign sacred thought
yet…a Human Blood Oath…now That to him
was Holy…not indifferent like a beer oath, or
one sworn with chicken blood, depending
as they did, upon individual intent

on occasion when I shelve my Books
aged faintly aromatic vanilla almond hay,
the ones I cherish near me place to place…
their sweet fragrance on occasion keys my
Saturday remembrance of Mother…me…on
Communion Service duty in a damp Church
basement breaking shortbread wafers onto
silver plated trays…and pouring  grape juice
into tiny plastic cups

I drank the Blood…I ate the Body

my Mother banished me


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Welsh Dragon

Limehouse Blues


Diebenkorn blue

There has to be fog in Limehouse
soft as whispers
trailing grayness
misting storefront windows
where old men sit at tables
still as crickets
when the mating season’s passed.

There have to be mirrors in Limehouse
above unnumbered doorways
so that restless evil spirits
drift unknowing by.

There must be a woman in Limehouse
gazing at a dresser top
where there’s an unlit lamp…
pink shade…red fringe.
She considers implications
of a single fortune cookie
upon a thin white saucer.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Richard Diebenkorn

Crayola Pathways


She felt strange perceptions
when she touched old crayons
from her childhood.
Lettering…strong and bright
on the battered box…
crossed sensations
in a most unusual way.

A 6 emerged timberwolf gray,
and 4 was antique brass.
The C flipped greasy salmon pink,
while R throbbed auro metal saurus.
A spun electric blue in circles,
and bitter Y stretched inchworm green.
O smoked acrid burnt sienna,
while N dripped arsenic black.
Then S slid hissing into silver.

She blinked her eyes.
The crossed sensations faded.
It could mean migraine onset …
hereditary in her family…
or imagination tricked
back to remembered pathways.

Bonnie Marshall

In the Weeds

the Great Piece of Turf
Great Piece of Turf
Albrecht Durer, 1503

In the Weeds

Let your mind slip to his painting
and breathe rank earthiness of bog
to contemplate the chaos
of Durer’s grand anatomy
of a humble clod.
yarrow…hound’s tongue…
heath rush…pimpernel…

Note the absence of earthworms
of beetles or of bees,
for this exclusion is perplexing
from a detail-loving master,
though perhaps it was on purpose.
germander speedwell…dandelion…
creeping bent…burnet saxifrage…

Roots knocked of mud
beneath this plant profusion
he exposed for closer viewing,
though perhaps it was on purpose
for our understanding
of nature’s worth and balance,
or…interrelation of our own humanity.
greater plantain…cock’s foot…
smooth meadow grass…daisy…

Bonnie Marshall