Thursday, October 15, 2015

Neil Ellman- Three Poems

It Was All a Dream

(Wangechi Mutu, mixed media painting)

As we were told from the pulpit
so many times
it was there for the taking
like a ripe apple
having fallen to the ground.

Here at the mountain top
where the sermons were said
our lives should begin
as if they had never been lived
now, in the first day
of a heaven on earth.

It was all a dream, of course:
freedom from the hunting dogs  
chasing us up a tree,
the whip, the ball and chain—
all illusion and nothing more
than slavery of another kind.

The Witnesses

(Wilfredo Lam, painting)

Witness the birth of a galaxy
light years away
as if it we were our child.

Witness its change from infancy
to maturity
and to its death in fire.

To be witness to the end  
and know how we will end
Is recompense enough.

We Are Waiting

(Wilfredo Lam, painting)

for the train to Ainilam on Orion’s Belt
for a missive from the Monarch of utopia
for the second coming of the second word
for phoenix resurrected as an odalisque
for Quetzalcoatl to fly above the pyramids
for a dinner for two in Valhalla’s hall
for the birth of a goddess rising from a clam
for peace, honor and eternity  
for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow now.

Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published more than 1,150 poems, many of them ekphrastic, in print and online journals, anthologies, and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. The original draft of my reply (below) was deleted after I realized it had been posted with an egregious typo. I couldn't figure out how to edit it!

  2. "We Are Waiting" is a remarkable poem, and a strikingly original one, I think--both for its economy, and the way it encompasses the whole range of mythological experience in a very few lines. It has a great deal of resonance for so brief a piece. Well done!