Shadow Play: Fennel and Bees

•August 19, 2020 • Leave a Comment

a follow up poem to “White Skirt on the Train”

For Matthew, on the occasion of his 57th birthday: 18 June 2020

•July 10, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Old Women and Old Men at the Ferry Stop

(The old women)

We remember the harem of the walled citrus grove;

Old women, how like apple trees we gather now:

Pink, heavy with stories of

some familiar odd thing —

mimosa trees, a seagull’s wing.


The wind rattles branch and bone

creases in our skin drawn dry

the feathered marks begin


(The old men)

A grove of old men gathers at the dock

live oak, pin oak;

Backs curved, stilted up

Worn down with the effort of standing

Dry twig of a laugh cracks wry.


The empty and chaotic air,

that passing through the trumpet sounds:

Ferry outbound, ferry in


Grebes baste across the swanless surface

disappearing threads.


21 March 2020, Lombardia, Italia – by Bonnie McClellan

•May 26, 2020 • Leave a Comment

21 March 2020, Lombardia, Italia


everything stilled

the world has stopped

a spring

crowned with silence.

On the occasion of the municipality posting a letter asking people to pay their cemetery dues – by Bonnie McClellan

•May 25, 2020 • Leave a Comment

On the occasion of the municipality posting a letter asking people to pay their cemetery dues


Boxes of disremembered bones

expatriated into/out of locus

sad berth

the heartbreak of a January

blossoming cherry.

Paranoia by Bonnie McClellan

•May 24, 2020 • 2 Comments



Her eyes slide to the side

like a Sienese saint

Painted by the brothers who died in the plague

back when there were 100 stories to tell

while bodies rotted,

left where they fell.

Escape into a place where

 we can’t smell

we can’t feel

we can’t fear

But she’s convinced it’s coming:

selfie snapping

facial mapping

the lost weekend

the bottom

of the barrel.


Three Saints (oil on panel) by Lorenzetti

A Belated Poem for International Women’s Day

•March 14, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Her hair is like a flag,
like an olive branch,
distinguished by its colour,
(unique but the same,
as so many others),
flapping in the wind
fruitlessly offering

Cloud Towers

•July 12, 2018 • 1 Comment
Thunder is grumbling down again,
Out of that un-ironed pile of forgotten clouds,
towering over the Alps.
Sweltering, breaking heat
A few 11 o’clock fireworks,
Even here.


•July 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This evening’s fresh clouds burst, Scattering across the asphalt a handful of rain’s unseasonable black confetti.

A jug of wine,

No loaf.

No thou.

I feed among the lilies of this resplendent sky.


Mothers and Daughters: Communicating Vessels

•June 25, 2018 • 1 Comment

One year when the awakened plane trees
find themselves struck yellow in the night,
there will be nothing left of me but
a memory in your hands as they pull
wet laundry from the spun drum or
open the window’s case –
inviting October’s last, warm breath
to communicate the dust
between one room
and another.

by Bonnie McClellan


This was first posted in May of 2013.

False Nettle

•May 19, 2018 • 1 Comment

I am early / the train is late / the image is ubiquitous as false nettle / poetry is a red cat in a sunny window / lying to get out.

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