Monday, December 15, 2014

Three Poems by Neil Ellman

Woods (2)
     after the painting by Gerhard Richter 
In the woods a lexicon’s
concentric rings
speak ancient dialects
of seasons come and gone
broken promises
civilizations’ rise and fall
liaisons in the shade
of twisted limbs
names carved in weathered bark
of the forgiven and unforgiving
confessions and lies
the birth and death of gods
straining to the light
trees endure, survive
to teach the earth its past.

Woods (5)
     after the painting by Gerhard Richter
Blue and yellow trees
with purple bark
Inhabit a world of black and grey
grow old
grow leaves that shift to red
as they escape this time
this place
along the speed of fall and light
with a reason to survive
the end of time
as blue and yellow trees
that will not die
when the woods grow dark
in the winter of the sun

Woods (10)
     after the painting by Gerhard Richter 
Who live among the trees
on hallowed ground
in the hollows of the earth
hold communion with            
the gods of wind and rain
who gather in the sediment
of falling leaves
to feed eternity
as if it were their child
who comes to know
that destiny is a tree
that sometimes dies
to live again and again
to command the forest floor.
Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published more than 1,000 poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

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