Three Ekphrastic Poems by Neil Ellman

Three Ekphrastic Poems by Neil Ellman
(Image courtesy of Neil Ellman)



Neil Ellman



My Home My House My Stilthouse


(after the public installation by Arne Quinze)



Where I lived is a frenzy of planks

boards and 4×4’s balanced

on precarious stilts

I walked on beams of heaving wood.

I slept in a crowded room

filled with the gnawing sounds

of the sand-consuming sea.

Here among the artifacts of my life

was my home

where time floods beneath the bed

where I was born and died.



Radiografia de una Musa


(after the watercolor by Sandra

Vásquez de la Horra)



Como se aprecia

as you can see

en la radiografia


de una Musa

el corazón

the heart in flame

the flame inside

on fire with prophecies

singing to

la danza de la muerte

the muse of life

and death


dima dónde está

telll me who

tell me where you are.


The Distance Between the Landscape

And the Dusk


(after the painting by Kansuke Yamamoto)





Is it my eye

that defines the distance

between the landscape

and the fading sun

or what the landscape is

and how the sun deceives

the eye to measure miles

as inches, then infinity

as grains of sand?





In a blink of my eye

the land becomes the sea

and the sea an island

in an amaranthine sky—

neither distance nor time

between two worlds

I watch them disappear

Into a empty space.




Twice nominated for Best of the Net, as well as for the Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  More than 800 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  His first full-length collection, Parallels: Selected Ekphrastic Poetry, 2009-2012, consists of more than 200 of his previously published works.

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