Sunday 5 May 2019

2 Poems by Neil Ellman

Scoop Up Water and the Moon is in Your Hand
(after calligraphy of Zenkei Shibayama)

The sun rains its light

as drops of dew;

taste them on your tongue

and see them dance

on morning grass.

On a summer night

the face of the moon

is reflected in the pond;

touch it with your fingertips

and it will smile;

throw a pebble

and it will disappear

behind a rippled cloud.

The earth is flat

say the scientists

but when I walk alone at night

listening to the croaking frogs

and counting stars

sometimes I fall off the edge

into an amaranthine space

as if the universe

were calling me home.

The Pine is Green for 1000 Years
(after the calligraphy of Keido Fukushima)

Nothing on earth lasts 1000 years

but the pine

still green, filled with anticipation

for what comes next

when its millennium is passed.

1000 years is soon enough

to learn the lessons of its past

and live again for a thousand more

but nature will have its due

and change its green to reds,

yellows and browns in the autumn

of its life.


Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published more than 1,500 poems, over 1,200 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

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