Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Poetry by Neil Ellman

Before the Blitz 

(after the painting by Paul Klee, 1939)
Before the Blitz
up was up, down was down
we knew the time of day
by the blazing sun
the length of night
by the transit of the moon
across our dreams
green in innocence
we spoke in rhymes
and played a bagatelle
on currents in the air
a moment before
the sky fell in
when down turned up
and up turned down
as time stood still
around an incoherent sun.  

- Neil Ellman 2013

The Mask with the Little Flag

(after the watercolor by Paul Klee)

Every flag in every hue
every stripe
heraldic coat of arms
crosses, crests and stars
perform a masquerade for patriots      
and pierrots
soldiers marching off to war
to die behind their masks
with little flags on shallow graves
without their names.

- Neil Ellman 2013

New Angel

(after the painting by Paul Klee)
Neither a bird nor butterfly
at first unformed
what creature this
with demonic, incipient wings
that dares provoke
the world to fear

new-born, hallowed child
of night
fallen from the maker
of its maker’s mind
an angel first, transmogrified
a bat
would wrap its wings
around the sun
to suffocate the light.

- Neil Ellman 2013

Twice nominated for Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  Hundreds 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, consists of more than 200 of his previously published efforts.

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