By – Marina Bonomi

There was a monk, so long ago
Living in Gotokuji
The temple had been so great and big
But now was falling in.

There was a cat, who lived there
Together with the monk
She was a stray with patched fur
Of white with black and gold.

Late one night, a leaden sky
Unleashed a thunderstorm
A great, high lord, with all his train
Took shelter under a bough.

In  flashing light, a curious sight
Attracted the highborn lord
A patched cat under a bush
Beckoning with its paw.

‘What wants she, there?’ Asked his heir
Rain running down his brow
So lord and heir, and all their train
Went following , bent low.

A blinding flash, and with a crash
The bough came falling down
But lord and heir, they weren’t there
Nor was their loyal crowd.

All safe and sound, they sat around
A merry, blazing fire
And the old monk  he brew them tea,
With leaves from yesteryear.

After a week, they were asleep
The monk and the she-cat
Sweet  in the rain, they heard the strain
Of flutes, drums and brass.

“Where’s the monk, where’s the cat”
An herald then cried out
“Who saved my lord from killing storm
When he was  here-about?”

They came outside, the cat yawned wide
At seeing all the crowd
Who gaped at the food and riches
Servants were putting down.

And from that day, there’s a say
That goes around the world
Beckoning cat, she knows the path
To luck,  friendship and gold.


By – Marina Bonomi

No, this is not that famous lake,
Truly it’s just my backyard pond,
That flash of silver in the water
It’s simply a fish, and not a sword.

I’m not a druidess, nor a fey
A normal woman is what I am
A common job, household chores…
Just now and then I play with words.

I wear no torque, I bear no crown
I’m neither Morgan or Guinevere
Or Nimue, Enid or poor Iseult
All those you know from books or songs.

And yet, when standing upon the shore
Within the quiet and the twilight
Sometimes I think that there’s more
To it than fables and play-of-light.

As the Wind rises from the Water,
As Fire flickers on the Ground,
It feels like I hear a voice
Whispering words, without a sound.

‘My daughter, strong and loyal be,
There is still magic in the world:
In love, in duty freely chosen,
In friendship true, in honest word’.

Arthur is gone, the Lake’s a pond,
Merlin is here no more
But if your need is great enough
That flash of silver…may be a sword.

By – Marina Bonomi

I dreamt I was a falcon,
or am I dreaming now?
Wisteria bells are chiming
in the wind from the South.

The hunters are a-gathering
with their red-eared hounds

I dreamt I was a hind
with golden-dappled fur
a silver collar gleaming
on my neck, in the run.

The hunters are a-gathering
with their red-eared hounds

I dreamt I was a hare
with ruby-gleaming eyes
a pale flash of moonlight
hiding in thorny edges.

The hunters are a-gathering
with their red-eared hounds

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…
how did that ancient rhyme go?
Will holly, birch, rowan and ash
be any avail ‘gainst the good folk?

The hunters are a-gathering
with their red-eared hounds

By – Marina Bonomi

It was so long ago…
I sat, happily

Croaking my song of spring

To an empty sky.

The arrow fell

Stiff, cold, alien iron

Writ from above

Still unknown.
He came, young,

Youngest of three

Looking for his gage,

Looking for his bride.

I went to him

To his slumping shoulders

To his hope-lost eyes

To his honest heart.
The Tsar amused himself

Judging the brides.

What has baking to do

With ruling kingdoms?

But for the youngest’ s eyes

I shed my skin

And showed them what baking is,

What weaving is, what dancing is.
And now, so long a queen

On gilded throne,

Inside how I still long

For the taste of flies.