Marilyn Cole








(From the collection, Love in Time)


The night is dark and cold

A million lights illuminate the sky

The emptiness is just a place

for them to be for now


The cold wind rushes by me

running fingers through my hair

I close my eyes,

a chill runs down my spine


I feel you


Through the countless lifetimes

flashing at the speed of light,

through the void you leave in me

each time even when somehow

I know you will be back


They were the same, the stars

The emptiness was where we stood

not knowing all that we know now

All we will forget by then, when

we stand in this same place again


The night is dark and cold

but easy to embrace

The morning light is warm

Was that in truth we fell?

Was that in love we were?


We spoke of that and more

We spoke before we knew the words.






The Color of Wine


She lived alone in a house at the end of the

road. Her mother now gone, it was only she

and her cat, Moon. And Moon kept pretty

much to himself.


She didn’t have friends. When she went into

town, some of the women looked the other

way, whispering as she walked by. You know

how small towns can be.


But ask the children and they would say she

was funny and warm, that she read to them,

and gave them cookies and milk. And when

she substituted at school, she stayed until the

last child was picked up, no matter how late.


Her home she always kept in perfect order,

never one thing out of place. Not in the parlor.

Nor in the bedroom. Nor in the kitchen. And

everything always perfectly fresh.


Every plate washed after dinner and put away.

Every cutting knife, washed, dried and placed

in its base. The bed perfectly made, and twice

a week with her best, white linen sheets with

the beautiful lace.


She had only one caller. He came in the evening,

two times a week. They had dinner and talked

for a while drinking white wine. Last time he said

« one of these days, you must make it red. »


They would then go in the bedroom and lay on

the white linen sheets. He later would kiss her

and leave. Always the same for the last two

years, two times a week without fail.


This Saturday she rushed into town. She wanted

to buy a new dress. He had called mid morning.

Said he would like to come over that night. He

never had called on a Saturday. She was filled

with excitement after he told her that there was

something he needed to say.


She went to the market, bought the best cut of

meat, and a bottle of very expensive red wine.

Tonight would be special, the way she dreamed

it would be. And the bed would be dressed with

the white linen sheets with the beautiful lace.


As she walked out of the store, she picked up

a copy of the town’s morning paper. There was

a photograph on the front page, an engagement

announcement. It said that the couple had plans

after the wedding to move away.


What a wonderful life they would have!

What a beautiful bride she would make!

They looked like the perfect couple to her.


She went home, took a long bath. Combed her

hair up, and wore the new dress. She looked at

herself in the mirror. Not quite as pretty as the

young bride to be on the paper’s front page, but

there was something different about her that day.


He had said so himself, when she opened the

door. He had paused before walking in, and took

a few moments just to look at her.


They sat down to eat. The meal was perfection.

He said it was the best food he had ever had, with

special compliments for the red wine. They moved

to the parlor with glasses, and the bottle of wine,


He seemed very anxious to talk. She drank the red

wine, and told him not yet, she would rather wait.

He insisted again, but when she proposed « talk to

me later, let’s go to the bedroom instead, » well,

in that case, he said she knew best.


In the early morning hours of Sunday, she sat on

her front porch, rocking back and forth. A glass of

red wine in her hand, and Moon by her feet, stayed

very close. In the distance, two cars rapidly approached.


On the table, laid the soiled dinner plates.

In the kitchen, a sharp cutting knife was not in its base.

In her bedroom, the white linen sheets, ever so fine,

were stained the color of that evening’s wine.


* * *


Across town, a young woman cries the loss of her

fiancee since the morning before when he stopped

to say he did not want to hurt her, but regretted

he could not go through with the wedding.


He knew it would cost him her father’s business

as well, and tried to explain that seeing their photo

together in that morning’s paper, he thought of the

prospect of his whole life ahead, and realized just

how much he loved someone else.






On a day like this


                            It is so easy to forgive

and remember only the good that laid

hidden within you

                                   On a day like this

when the sun shines on the window glass

full of specs of dust and water stains that

make it hard to see beyond to the beauty

of the mountains in the distance

                                                        And the

blinding yellow sphere turns into a perfect

orange ball on the horizon painting the sky

a crimson red

                            And I hear the music in my

head and hum the notes of love and

promises and remember the color of your

eyes and how they smiled when they

kissed me

                     And I look around and you are

there in every corner of my mind and I hear

your voice calling me, trapped inside my

being with a thousand haunting memories


On a day like this it is so easy to forgive

and remember only the good that laid

hidden within you.







The Approach


I could look down and see the outline of the city in the distance as the plane started to descend, the darkness of the ocean, and the glow of the full moon as it lit the clouds underneath me…or, I could look down and see a wet sidewalk under my feet, full of dirt and paint stains. There is more than one way of looking at things. (The Approach. Sidewalk art series, wet cement, dirt, paint, stains.)







The boy and the balloon


I was happily gliding in circles over the field, enjoying the breezy winter afternoon and the first snowflakes falling when something caught my eye. Right below, rapidly rising and coming in my direction was a balloon with its string trailing in the air, and under it on the field stood a boy looking up at me. Hmm…I was faced with two options, I thought. One, continue on my merry flight as before…or two, catch the string and bring it down to the boy, which would be a pretty decent thing for a bird like me to do. I had just about decided on option number one when I heard his young voice yell out, « Hey, bird! The balloon is for you! » I had not considered that third option. It is hard for humans to know when birds smile, so I let out a light chirp to somewhat of a trill, to let him know he had made me happy, and flew away string in beak, balloon trailing behind me. (The boy and the balloon, 2016. Sidewalk art series, stains on cement.)













Marilyn was born in Cuba, later moving with her family to reside in the United States. She studied piano and ballet, graduating from piano at a very young age. Art and advertising were taught to her by her father, a groundbreaking pioneer in the advertising field, as well as an accomplished painter, who also conducted special classes at Havana University and the National Academy of Fine Arts. Marilyn’s diverse background includes TV and print news production and reporting. In the publishing field, she produced and edited hundreds of educational music publications, including illustrating covers and text for many of them. As production coordinator of a highly respected piano method series, she has been the recipient of several Paul Revere awards (excellence in music publishing). Marilyn also served as director of the Spanish publications division of Columbia Pictures Publications, for which she translated to Spanish the top piano and organ methods, and their popular rock guitar series. Concurrently, she was a consultant to Billboard Magazine in the production of their Spanish editions. Years later, Marilyn became interested in photography and partnered with her husband in his photography business, developing a special children portraiture style using experimental cameras, and creating a unique series of fine art photo book works. Marilyn is actively working on a series of black and white abstract paintings, and having fun creating stories and works of art from the accidentally occurring markings on streets, sidewalks, and walls which she photographs and is compiling for publication. She enjoys writing fiction and poetry, and is currently writing poems for her collection, « Love in Time ». 



Photo by Keith Knight.


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