Three Poems by Neil Ellman

Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published approximately 1,500 poems in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice each for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

(after the painting by Roberto Matta Echaurren)

I live in a place
where there is no light
and the air, however thin,
swaddles me in its folds.

Pulsing walls imprison
and protect
rob me of my will
but keep me innocent as well.

I have always been here
it seems
alone without the words
to cry or pray.

There is no other place
but this, I fear,
with neither exit nor grace
I wait for metamorphosis.

Space Travel (Star Travel)
(after the painting by Roberto Matta Echaurren)

How far he has traveled
through dark matter, dust
and black Holes
coming out the other side
blinded by the light
of red, yellow and white suns
themselves dying slowly
but he still alive.

How far he has come
from the comfort and ease
of a home on a planet
with electric rings
and glittering diamonds
filling the sky

and then about to crash
on another new world
and plant the flag of his nation
his long-ago home
he sensed how far, too far,
he had come.

How much more ignoble
than Icarus
to realize
that this new world
and his wings
would burn to the ground.

The Remainer
(after the painting by Roberto Matta Echaurren)

When only bones remain
after the last deluge
after the final hour
of the end of days
the sword’s display
before the morning
that never comes
after the word
having once been said
fades like an October leaf
there are only bones
speaking to themselves
about themselves
in a language of their own
with no one else to hear.

More on Roberto Matta Echaurren.

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