Thursday, January 23, 2014

Neil Ellman- Three Poems

The Furniture of Time
 (after the painting by Yves Tanguy)

On the surface of the moon
cluttered by the detritus of war;
planets feuding for their place
in time, stubborn anarchy,
the earth itself on fire;
the wounded lie
about the battlefield
like broken furniture
the truth is in the wood
misshapen flesh
with grievances too old
to hold their shape
too new to comprehend—         
we who gather bones
like flowers from the field
gather history
divine the future’s shape.


(after the woodcut from the Home is a
Foreign Place series by Zarina Hashmi)

To its beginning
halved to halve again   
the moon in retrograde
when even light was swaddled
in the shroud of night
motionless tightly bound
to break free and scatter
into a profusion
of stars and galaxies
a minion of moons
then one, now one alone
without the sun to guide its way.

Surrealist Composition with Invisible Figures

(after the painting by Salvador Dalí)

She’s there, he’s there
of course
lying along the shore 
in a granite pall
as silent as the earth
he by her side, hand-in-hand
invisible to each other
touching, not feeling
speaking, not hearing
the other’s words
two lovers coupled in bone
can never feel the wind
or see that the passersby
are less alive than they.

Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and the Rhysling Award.  Close to 1000 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journal, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

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