Implied subject || sottofondo: by Bonnie McClellan

It is the thing that lies under
under lies
below the foundation
like a time signature
signalling in silence:
there
there
there
there
we are.

È la cosa che sta sotto
sotto    stante.
sotto il fondo.…….
come il tempo quaternario
segnalando in silenzio
ci……..
ci……..
ci……..
ci……..
siamo.

Sunrise, 30 December 2020 – by Bonnie McClellan

Sunrise, 30 December 2020
 
Now is the hour of the small birds
storming into the cypress tops,
which do not bend as they do
under the weight of magpies and ravens.
 
A murmuration of morning steam rises off the cement factory.
Disguised as fast-moving clouds, they power up the valley;
an insubstantial mother tugging at the hand of her sleepy 
puff of a child,
running off into nothing.
 
Now the sun snaps across the mountains
an incandescent ribbon of rose-lipped pink.
Clouds, scattered across the measureless pale-blue tile of sky, explode
into tulip petals, pink swans, holy doves
                                            alight.
 

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

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.

 

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

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

Paranoia

 

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