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“You stay and settle me,
..determine my heart, its
..hours, how the lie of my

..land belies the rhythm
..of the tappity-tap made
..by the chalk against my

..board, I word B R E A
..T H L E S S plain there
..for all the world to see.”


..Rogue mist that robs a
..city of its law, the grey
..bridge’s pylons, more
..lands across half-river
..– when the sun burns
..you back, then the raw
..prestige will show, a
..false town, coloured,
..your harlequin deceit.


Bill Blood, your room
-to-room range (ah!) a
couthie nuik to secure,

Grandiloquent sound of
your content, p-piano to
the burthen of the huff

from Mr Unmentioned
by the TV-chair; try as
we may, not remoting!


jupiter©Marie Marshall



“The moons and the
..seas and skies of a
..blind man’s dream,

..the music made by
..rasping a calloused
..nail against a lover’s

..cool side, fleet cars’
..livery, shapes made
..by bold-bare letters.”


..Morning, pale plague
..strikes carse and old
..concrete waste alike,
..makes the flank and
..lake pipes of the road-
..tanker anthem its way;
..what right does this
..glory have to pick and
..choose its own slaves?


Cat rolls in the dust
and the breeze-blown
blossom of the fruit

trees that heave the
tarmac, she bids us
ask what’s in her eye,

we speculate, she’s
silent in the way of
her kind, till killing.


jupiter@Marie Marshall

Dry-stone wall

What we have in our minds
amounts to straight lines, the
courts and gardens of all our

handhelds ordered in the way
typical of an Isfahan carpet,
in the detail of a life-tree in

the plumb of the way an apple
falls from a tree or the battery
in our watch or the coin caught

when we last flipped the case
that cowers our phone; but –
and here’s the thing – there’s

nothing straighter than twine
between two stakes that the
waller plants to mark his way,

and then the ditch he sinks half
a stone deep according to the
happenstance of stone, and then

those silent chancers he lowers
and snugs, and all the courses
between ground and cam, and

the stones smaller than a fist to
little more than an acorn each
falling and fitting, keys to the

whole growth, fine adjustments
to the line that marches up a hill;
but – and here’s another thing –

what’s left is the hill in patches
where very little matches at all;
the wonder is that only he carried

the stones that he didn’t find and
did so with a bird’s joy until the
steepth defeated all, yes, making

peaceful work from just gods’
punishment, dedicated this job
– left no signature, no me fecit.


jupiterThis poem comes from some idle jottings I have had lying round for a while, since reading (at long last) Basil Bunting’s ‘Briggflatts’.
©Marie Marshall


“If you want jingles
..about how your old
..granny turned bags

..inside out, so that
..she could cuckold
..one supermarket at

..another, then go to
..the next booth and
..buy their skylarks!”


..Why wrangle about
..whether day or night
..is the cover when it
..is obvious who stole
..the stars, broke into
..sleep, sent us slavery,
..bobbed and docked
..our freedom, ended
..the tenancy of mind?


Perfectibility: she’s
shaped on her lover’s
lathe, made go in that

chantier, until one day
she awakes and finds
her bed’s too small, at

which point she flits a
city, piques her hairdo,
reshuffles her top ace.


jupiter©Marie Marshall


“Holy stones may break my
..bones but luck’ll not desert
..me; I’ll dance and skylark,

..dit and dot biography on this
..here tablet, this table made of
..virtual stone – indestructible

..print of life, hold up my cup
..to catch your kopek, token,
..broken mark of little worth.”


.Kogals make snowmen, winter,
.and wickermen (summer) with
.cantops for eyes and grass for
.beards, detailing earbuds, and
.phones secreted in sidepockets,
.are feared of matches and fire –
.belabour (not burn) them with
.canes filched from farmshops,
.break their legs, leave all to rot.


..you have (today) a fleet of
..clouds to shift, that gap in
..the city roofs, the accusing

..old chimneys, sky dishes’
..brittle objections, making
..the job into a brutal chore;

..we urge you to love again,
..but you’ve shot the puppy,
..gone shifting more clouds.


jupiter©Marie Marshall

’45’, ‘104’, and poems for Burning Man 2016.

Underfoot Poetry – thanks to guest editor Daniel Paul Marshall (no relation!) – has been kind enough to publish three of my poems, or rather one poem and two clusters. None of them match precisely what I’m writing at the moment, but they have never seen the light of day until now – I had been holding them back, for a reason I can’t now remember. ‘104’ and ’45’ belong to the numbered poems I was writing in 2017. The ‘Potty Poetry’ cluster contains some of the pieces I dashed off at the request of an attender at the 2016 ‘Burning Man’ festival – “Write me some poems I can leave in the bathrooms,” she said. So I did. Thank you, Underfoot, Tim, and Daniel, for doing me the honour of allowing me to share my work. Please visit, and please (if you like!) ‘like’ them both here and there. Thank you.

Underfoot Poetry


The river’s in constant re-set mode,
sighting by its hand against the banks
what’s up and what’s down. It has
the tattoo of the sky in its eye. Two
girls, leaning against the wall, ignore
it, choosing instead to contemplate
hills and the warmth of each other’s
shoulder, but each has plashed puddles
that have (since) closed up, that eye
winking out. The river’s voice is
understated, catch some in a bucket
and it’s abated. Call by to see brother
Perch in his green-and-silver suit, to
maintain a plastic pot for washing
your brushes, to extract and filter.
Renew! The sun turns you to molten
copper. The river’s dare is born of
hills and ephemeral daymare tails.

from Potty Poetry
(a handful of poems printed on cards and left in the toilets at Burning Man 2016 )

We met right here,
but this is no sleazy…

View original post 1,219 more words


“The fair’s often so merry I
..dance it up (on the spot, of
..course!) lifting foot after

..foot, careless of my long-
..forgotten rhythms; strange
..how I could strip an assault

..rifle still, micrometer finger
..nipping every precise piece,
..but such is the blind riddle!”


..Day again, another lie, a sick
..dog crawling from its bed, a
..dawn being the Styx, the curse
..of light being death, cars that
..creep the hill, each thinking to
..be salmon against the flood are
..the lice that plague their backs,
..our food a paste of dust, tears,
..our voices songless lamenting.


If you can’t deliver love to its
bullseye, pull back, hold it so,
and simply shift yourself; hire

a mute mahout to flit to the new
premises with the elephant – no
one will peek from the windows,

everyone will turn their backs,
only Bill Bloodwhiskers stalks
the walls, keeps a severe watch.


jupiter©Marie Marshall


‘s.’ – the latest in my current series – is the daily poem over at Angélique Jamail’s excellent blog site, as part of her April Poem-a-day series. Please visit, and please do two ‘likes’, one here and one there, if you do happen to like the poem. Thank you. 🙂

Sappho's Torque

I always want to post a poem in April by Scotland-based Marie Marshall because she does such wonderful and thought-provoking work. She also defies description — as in she literally defies it, which you may glean from her unconventional bio below. Her poetry and poetic style evolve and seek to push formal boundaries. She also writes fiction and posts it at her blog from time to time and has a few books out.

Probably the less I say the better. I think she would appreciate your having the chance to parse out her work for yourself.


Today’s poem

“I was sevened and all
willowed-out, left and
bereft, reeling, punch-

loved; take an honest
hour to tour me; thumb
my spine, read what’s

implied by the rises &
falls, find where scars
crisscross to deviate.”

High over Spitzbergen
it moved from aurora to
real morning, the song
of dying stars…

View original post 64 more words


“Blindness overstated, I can
..judge you by your mouth’s
..taste when we kiss; it’s like

..the cap of a baby’s head, or
..the milky breath of calves;
..I take your tread even when

..you creep; believe no bullshit
..about acuity, just (for God’s
..sake) learn to read the signs.”


..Being somewhere where the
..sun isn’t seen but more heard,
..bringing a blinding triumph of
..trumpets to the old Magdalen
..Green; yesterday was the richt
..hure of a city’s mourning white
..while today’s brah verdant is
..every inch gladrags, handbags,
..and Halleluiah hoorah reeling.


Break a pane of church glass
and whisper your vows in the
dark, witnessed only by the

elephant in the transept, old
Bloodwhiskers on the tiles, &
the poor, covert mice; do not

steal, but rearrange the silver,
reverse the pews, leave in chalk
suggestions to dancing heresy.


jupiter©Marie Marshall


“Eternity and expectation: one does
..not need to have seen the other side
..of the river; one boards the boat in

..expectation of arriving, no matter
..that one is borne downstream; we
..are all blind in the future; we were

..all sighted in the past; so your sister
..lied – she would have needed a new
..language for everything dreamed.”


Immense, the great Aleutian light,
the same illumination here creeps,
thieves peace, reveals the mountain
that is, douses the conundrum; what
the goal is no bugger can say; every
law is bound in falsehood, is kith to
its crime, calls to its wedded whip,
bespeaks its punishment – even the
statute of the photon has no escape


Grandmother Eve birthed the city,
the smartphone, the sodium light that
days the snowed night, the pads and

pawprints of vixens, the poems drawn
at stickpoint, old shoon, roadkill, the
whisper of still sea on gabions, moved

from room to room in an inspection,
observing, recording, stopping by the
sudden, urban trees, and marveling.


jupiter©Marie Marshall