Another Fire in California

a_walk_in_the_clouds_the_vineyard_burns (1)


I wonder … when its sulky breath
shrouds their valley vineyards,
shall we taste it in our Cabernet,
and will its wind storm char
translate to their Sauvignon
before cavalry Pacific mist
is temperance enough.

Insensitive of me … I know Napa Valley,
know the genuine of people there,
and taught Shakespeare to their children,
to some now staying with the land
to grow their family and their grapes.

And I wonder …
in the midst of conflagration
how The Tempest fancy
helps them to face the present.

How crass of me to think it might,
now as fire breathes across their land
melting trampolines and bikes and trucks
and wide porched reality.


Bonnie Marshall
Published in August, 2015

Movie Scene: A Walk in the Clouds

Sonnets of His Tears


Sonnets of His Tears

Brooding thoughts escaped
circumference in his brain
to scratch…ink black…
from sharpened quills
across dun parchment sheets…  

“Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
and all my soul, and all my every part;
and for this sin there is no remedy……”*

And then…

“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone  beweep my outcast state,
and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries……”**

Self-love…self-pity…angst…soak through centuries
and wring to consciousness the sonnets of his tears.
How much is pretense…how much is true…
how much is for effect…remain a mystery.
One sonnet is cautionary. I’d prize it on a shelf.
Yet… the other I’d memorize to cherish in my mind
as pure gold investment for deep troubled times.
Bonnie Marshall

   *Shakespeare/de Vere, “Sonnet 62:1-3”
**Shakespeare/de Vere, “Sonnet 29:1-3”

Master of the Stalking Horse

Gaston Phebus

Master of the Stalking Horse

Deer forage rapt in clover
oblivious to the nearness
of an arrowed moment…
oblivious to the nearness
of the hunter slouched behind
the cover of his stalking horse.
Stalking horses…
controlled by…
anonymous third persons
powers behind thrones
people behind proxies
eminences grise.
Imagine stalking horses
on Globe’s London stage.
Macbeth kills for his wife,
and Brutus is led by Cassius.
Puck flies at Oberon’s command,
and Roderigo follows Iago,
while Ariel stalks for Prospero,
and Shakespeare for de Vere.

Bonnie Marshall