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Call off your dogs. Let's talk.

this young woman

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this young woman

her skirt misfolded –

a broken china cup

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©Marie Marshall

fullmoonlight on my rock

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Fullmoonlight

falling on that rock,

all my squares are circles,

circles squares.

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You’re seeing with me

and my head’s full of you,

you sudden fullmoonlight

on my rock.

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Let’s leap the rock,

red day and black night

made white and

fullmoonlit.

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Oh, our dance, hold me,

you, square my moon,

circle my rock,

sudden, fullmoonlit!

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©Marie Marshall

Another Wooden Mary poem

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Myself was lathed, convex

and smooth where needed,

slender, grooved; once done,

myself stood straight and hard

for you when needed, as long

and until; now myself thanks

you for all the weathering,

the cracks, lines, patina are

all myself’s owned wood.

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©Marie Marshall. And while I have your attention, please visit my old, Gothic poems (from 2006):

In the Echo-Hall of Randomstone
Old stones that lead from heaven to the sea
The Crystal Ball
O Darkness, be my friend
The Marseilles Diligence

And keep your eyes open for one more before night falls on Halloween.

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What if I leave a keepsake?

What if I leave a keepsake or

a little treasure on a gravestone,

perhaps this blue gold scarab

as a possibility, as something

sacrificed, and it’s thieved

within a day, and the thief

nests it with her other swag?

There’s already been a life

and another life, journeys

like when you opened your door

and said “Dying be something

you do for other people,

same as living, the whole song;”

but then you always were

my Atlas, weight-carrier,

you rainbow-in-a-stone.

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©Marie Marshall

stand/move

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the trees all stand still

as we sway a bird tumbles

in the contrailed sky

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The Autumn 2019 Showcase at the zen space is now published – click here to visit.

©Marie Marshall

I don’t write love poems

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Yesterday the autumn sun
starked your long shadow
monumental on my path;

I don’t write love poems,
but people say, you and I,
we’re oil & water. Exactly:

you’re the sheen on me.

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©Marie Marshall

An escape from the obsessive house

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To dance an escape from the obsessive house,

with the idea in my head that all ephemera are

markers that fix us, dams against time flooding,

I gasp and kneel by the roadside, the sweat

from my hand, pressed against the red flagstone,

makes a bloodprint, I wonder why York stone

if it is red (barons chose roses, cards painted roses)

also I consider that when a friend called me her

“least favourite person” that meant that I was

still somewhere on that list of her favourites;

now I’m watching a fleet of bubbles brave

what’s left of last night’s rain in the gutter,

driven by a wind I think (only for a moment)

is my own breathing – I get up from my knees

to find my murder-print fading, and further,

to see the sun’s blood rising, day’s accusation.

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©Marie Marshall

Two hundred and seven words. 29

o holy spice, no baptismal water, not a blessing, certainly not a curse – said the hoarder – but the tintinnabulation of my ringpulls saved, threaded, hung in a draft, making conversation with all the pile-high, and (to speak of threading) I make you pace an enchanted dance around my hazarded labyrinth, there an object to make you high-step, there a space to make you side-step and take such care where I can walk precise in my sleep between the heaped continents of my house-map, my model, where things are placed you would say randomly so that boards bend and groan but don’t break, objects once found, never lost, happy misplacement in fast cupboards against which newspapers and boxes lean; I dared to store things that rot, an experiment to see what I have to surrender, but that comes hard, and often I’d let such stuff be carried away by vermin, and they’re my friends, these scavengers, I don’t begrudge them one little thing, though they shred my New York Times for their nests, all that news I’ve kept but never read and never will, so these great events have never happened, this world has no announcement, the sun fades my brownpapered windows to sullen blindness, the moon pulls

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©Marie Marshall

Two hundred and seven words. 28

old’s the word for the wind in town, that which defies the compass, blows at you from a corner and redoubles in the next street, yet on the other side of a rattling window she saw a single dandelion parachute progress at a slow diagonal, watched with her jaw on her chest, then as she reached for her phone to take a pic, that devil blowhard whisked it skywards and out of sight, its song and rhythmless dance a wild dirge that reminded her of how she pounded and punched her pillow at a recent loss, buried her face in the cotton case and screamed, she a banshee, her damped wailing for the death, she breathing in dust, mites, feeling the prick of the wrong end of wee feathers, her argument of injustice mocked at every turn, and if there was rhythm to this rhapsody it was the pulse in her ears – later she looked out on the feral butterfly-trees crooking out from each angle of neglected buildings, their desperate agreement with their sisters/brothers beyond the debatable limits of town, and told them it was the truth that tore at them, the taut columns of street lights hummed in sympathy, the whole town agreed, such unexpected harmony

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©Marie Marshall

Two hundred and seven words. 27

Each with her back to a tree trunk, she liefing smooth bark and I wanting to feel the punishment of old oak to make me aware of aliveness, she mused and I agreed that winds were the product of the trees’ impatient and frustrated conversation – as they moved, so moved the air in consequence “… and when they sleep and cease struggling with their few but subtly shaded words, so cease the hurricanes…” winds out of a clear sky being the combination of arguments from the rainforests far west of us; even in winter nudity, their words hoarser, harsher, they shout more loudly and lessly nuanced; so backed, each to her living, rooted giant, we stretched to hold hands, resolved we’d never be cremated, but rather laid in sediment and covered with a lighter grain which, one day being eroded, would reveal the pyrites or at least the depression where two old women (neither wished to outlive the other) lay, as poignant as a child’s footprint and just as anonymous – it never occurred to us to be buried with our backrests in some future carbonifer – no epitaph to say she told me nature things, e.g. the blackbird’s last to roost and first to stir, I wrote poems

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©Marie Marshall