A few of Bonnie's "many poetic faces." "I can't take myself seriously ALL the time," she says. "Most of the time, I play and laugh, find moments of peace--or scream and hide."
"When people tell you that I am a survivor, they are certainly right. But I have also loved living--and have lived and loved--and sometimes flourished--despite appearances."
I would have given everything
for a house of wood and stone,
anchored on a cliff by the sea, any sea.
A house that would not have blown away.
Only the unbendable cables,
fathoms into the hardening earth,
would have moaned out,
and the tethered house would have prayed
its songs of longing to fly away.
But the cables would have held firm.
I would have stayed cozy by the stove,
knitting dreams in the sleeves of sweaters.
I would have given everything
for a giant-hearted man to have anchored me,
one who could have loved me,
with the strength of moaning cables
that could keep a sea woman
from blowing away.
But who could have kept the white sheets on the line,
the wind socks on the pier, the scarves I wore in my hair
from turning to sails?
Who could have kept me pressed into the mattress down
beside the candle and shuttered window
while the quiet distant bells of the harbor boats rang
their love songs to the sea?
Because all is drawn to the depths of the sea.
Even the clouds that billow far, far above the waves.
All my houses have blown away.
Long-ago friends and lovers glide like unfettered ghosts
through fog at the wharf
and across the smooth boulders of the jetty.
My mother, my father, my sister
float gently in the sea foam or gloaming.
All houses must be free to blow away.
Else they cry in the night, their warped boards pull and shake,
windows crack, foundations give way to broken pebbles.
I was blown away.
And swam back.
Strong enough to hold a man, a child,
strong enough to hold my life.
Brave enough to swim the dolphin waters of gray light
and the impenetrable phosphorous waters
where stars follow the movement of my hands
and make a shining angel of my face.
I am buoyed up on the waves, my anchors falling away,
moaning as they go,
cables unraveling like in a terrible storm,
telling their stories of captivity and pain
to the very dark, sandy,
Previously published in Only the Sea Keeps, 2005, winner of the 2005 Skipping Stones Award, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award (2nd place), and Best Small Press Award, Autumn Pick. Royalties from Only the Sea Keeps, over $6,000, were donated to aid victims of the tsunamis in Asia and to help the efforts of organizations such as Mercy Corps and Doctors without Borders. In 2008, Only the Sea Keeps became India’s best-seller.
Bonnie Reading at the Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, 1986
With all that said, I have to tell you that I have a manuscript out right now. I want to be heard, to be read. I know it's not about "fortune and glory." (Well, most certainly, for poets, not about "fortune.") It can't be about ego and spirit (or soul--whatever that means) at the same time. That's the main thing I've learned over more than thirty years of writing.
I'll be wrestling that ego down for as long as I live.
Chaucer, Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty, John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Kate Chopin, Walt Whitman, Harry Crews (contemporary), Marcel Proust, Garcia Marquez, Charles Baudelaire, Edward Starr, the writer of "The Hokey Pokey," Flaubert, Albert Camus, Colette
Major World Philosophers, Thinkers, Leaders I Have Looked To
St. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, Thomas Merton, Carl Jung, Betty Giardini, Friederich Nietzsche, Joseph Campbell, Marvin Bell, Kurt Vonnegurt, William Pitt (contemporary), Jesus of Nazareth, The Dalai Lama (contemporary), Jane Goodall, Annie Dillard, Loren Eiseley, Anwar Sadat, Edward R. Murrow, E.O. Wilson, Mother Teresa, Walt Whitman, Carl Malm, Sister Eleanor Harrison, Martin Luther King, Jr., The Right Reverend Shuttlesworth
"All people are not born human beings; until they learn compassion they are mostly walking, talking hunks of protoplasm."--James William Brooks Gibbs
My dad was of a similar mindset as Little Big Man, though he never read the book. My dad could be, like his daughter, a bit "hard" in his judgments on discompassionate people. He and I once agreed that one of our flaws was intolerance. We were both intolerant of intolerance, and could be quite opinionated--to say the very least--on the issues of compassion and tolerance--and, therefore, quite judgmental, too. Dispassion has never been my most noticeable trait. The words "complacent," "apathetic," and "un-engaged" would not apply to me, except when it comes to the world of engineering and most things "metal" or having to do with tar. Even those things give me a headache, and I wish they didn't have to exist.
I engage with all trees, especially sea trees that have been shaped and formed by wind, rain, storms, sea salt. These are my favorite Carmel, California trees. I have favorite trees in all the places to which I have traveled in the world.
Poets and Writers You Can Read About on This Site, on the NEWS and FRIENDS Pages.
Send Me a Piece of Current News about Your Writing Career.
Monica Williams-Murphy, M. D.
ThePoet Natasha Hoover
Over time, I hope this list will grow and grow.
More pre-primordial paintings coming in October--if you think you can bear it! More poetry! Video-taped poetry readings! Please send me your news!