Bonaparte Crossing the Alps
Surely, you are not thinking about how poorly
This will all end one day. Does Elba even exist
On an isolated trail through the Alps in May?
Your mule already looks downtrodden. It moves.
It’s alive. The icicles are silent.
These boulders enjoy the company, I’m sure.
Don’t let them push you around.
Consider the gusts of wind
A welcoming gesture,
Kisses to your frosty cheeks.
There are easier routes to lead 40,000 men
Twisting, carrying heavy artillery.
There are warmer waist-coats to hide
A little corporal’s hand inside.
But no one would dare question the young
First Consul of the Republic. Hold on
To your bicorn & march to the rising
Drumrolls thundering along the difficult
Descent, framing a labyrinthine
Passage towards victory.
Martial flutes soar up
To that little bit of blue that peeks through
A whitewashed sky.
Perhaps a change of weather is in store, but today
There is wind in the Alps, freezing
Your afternoon gaze.
Adam J. Gellings
Adam J. Gellings is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. He received his MFA from Ashland University & currently lives in Vestal, New York.
Where Are You?
(pondering the death of a son to heroin)
My sun sets.
Where are you?
Are you sad
that I am sad?
Are you mad
I am not mad?
Would you carry my weight?
Rich Polanski is a Mathematician and Engineer who recently earned an Associates Degree in English.
Ekphrastic Haibun : Bosh
Recently the art world was rocked when a photograph of a spud, yes, the humble potato, sold for a record of a cool £750,000 (approximately $1 million).
This image by the Irish photographer Kevin Abosch was bought by an unnamed businessman, after he fell in love with the photograph hanging on Abosch’s wall, after having drinks together.
As potatoes go it isn’t even a good looking specimen, just a humble brown on a black background.
One recalls Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters which consists of five figures sitting around a square table eating potatoes in a dark room with light from an oil lamp.The Potato Eaters failed to be displayed in Salon. Today the piece is considered as being his first masterpiece.
warmed by a cup of
hot masala chai
This haibun first appeared in the other bunny.
Dr. Ms Angelee Deodhar is an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in, Chandigarh India. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites.
Did you know? Budget friendly small works, prints, and fine art photography prints by Lorette are 25% off for Ekphrastic readers and contributors.
Click here to see all the options! Use EKPHRASTIC25 at checkout to save 25%.
Ekphrastic does not use unsightly click bait ads, it does not and will not charge "submission fees" and it will always be free to read. But you can help support the time and maintenance of The Ekphrastic Review by owning an intriguing, affordable artwork.
Lorette C. Luzajic's ETSY page- click here.
I had several experiences...that could be deemed mystical. Because of this, at age 14 or so I began studying the religions of the world. Though I was being raised in the Catholic faith, other religions, cultures and mythic stories fascinated me and I believed there was much more I should learn than what I was being shown. As an adult I have partaken in religious ceremony of all of the major faiths and some of the more obscure ones, while also following my own path and desire for spiritual awakening in a much broader sense.
However, my Catholic roots do run deep, especially in the area of miracles and the stories surrounding them. Though I'm from Pennsylvania I have traveled a good bit and found a strong connection to the South West where ...I discovered Our Lady of Guadalupe. The story of her appearance in Mexico supported by the still existing cloak or apron full of roses in winter, and a painting of the Lady herself spoke deeply to me.
When I was searching to buy my first home about four years ago, I kept finding images of Our Lady of Guadalupe at every turn here in Pittsburgh. So I asked her to find me the right house to buy and promised to dedicate the home to her.
...In doing this image I took on the approach of the Icon Painters, where one clears the self and
allows the energy of the subject to guide the hand. When completed, I added areas of crystals and sparkle as in the tradition of Hindu art, which is meant to help transmit thoughts and energies between the holy one and our physical plane.
Visit Linda Varos at Etsy, click here.lindavaros.etsy.com
House of Self
I couldn’t see it from the street
but from inside her flames were bright
and blinding, though they spread too slow
to warrant an emergency
in the house where only she
abided, or could even go.
A matted coolness calmed the heat,
however, and a dark, the light.
A folded freak, an unfurled face:
Flashes that she froze and framed
hung on the walls, the edge of space,
cavorting with the unnamable, the unnamed.
And all the partitions crumbled
in a way: Room after room
diverse demonic subjects shot
from one creative womb.
And yet they were as mirrors; fun-
house ones, warped as a mind
where all the differences between,
coiled and contained, unwind.
Each like a leaf reopened
in a terrifying still
too strange for life. Yet I rejoiced
as long lost strangers will
on finding each other, not having known
the other was lost, or was,
shivering with recognition
to each other, they and I—but not
she whose work, although brief,
flash-froze her name on the back
of every glossy, ghastly leaf.
after Diane Arbus, 1923-1971
James B. Nicola
James B. Nicola's poems have appeared recently in the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, and Poetry East. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His two poetry collections, published by Word Poetry, are Manhattan Plaza (2014) and Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016). sites.google.com/site/jamesbnicola.
Spirit of the Dead Watching
“If you dive this spring, it will be the death of me!” the greying woman nagged as she glanced at the snow melting on Mica Peak. “I lost your three older brothers to spring jumps. I don’t want to lose my youngest.”
Their relationship had seasoned as Griffin learned of his gift. Once he passed through his first bubble in the plasma walls between dimensions of space and time its pull gripped him.
As winter broke in Griffin’s 17th year, he wandered the black pine forest near home more frequently. A few pockets of melting snow lingered in northward facing depressions. Hangman Creek flowed with fresh vigour out sizing its banks.
She could sense his restlessness. “Fewer young fools return from spring dives. Please wait until mid summer.”
“But mom, you don’t get it. I can handle this.”
“Don’t forget the risk of bubbles within bubbles or green frostfire. I lost your father to frostfire. I don’t want to lose you.”
“I know how to fine tune and dodge.”
She hugged him. “I share the curse of the vision my blood passed to you. I will never hold you again if you leave now.”
One cool and warm April afternoon the pull that comes with the gift hit Griffin exceptionally hard.He had not planned to jump as he approached the first bubble any more than an alcoholic plans to break the seal and dive into the shining new bottle. He gingerly closed his eyes to peer through its taupe shell into a fierce empty desert. Griffin only intended to glance at the menu while he pretended he was not ravenously hungry. Suddenly, he sensed the presence of another deeper bubble two klicks to the west. Its shimmer glowed harsher than the first but of a subtler hue. Closing his eyes to feel its edge, he caught glimpses of a tropic island, smelled clean sea breeze and felt pleasant temperatures. A sudden passion twisted his will as he grew immensely curious about the angle of that world’s sun.
The strange ground was soft. The vegetation glowed with a tangerine tinge. Griffin took cover immediately in the forest, watching for snakes or tigers or this dimension’s equivalents. At a short distance a woman in skimpy orange clothes jogged along a serpentine path followed by a dog like creature wagging its tail. Griffin traced the trail back from the direction she was travelling to a small village of thatched huts. Since swimmers can only dive possessionless and naked, Griffin covered his nakedness to the same degree as the brown skin natives who wore their black hair straight. Not sure of how peaceful the reception would be, Griffin felt for the bubble wall which was shifting ever so slightly. He could pass through in an instant if need be. As he waited in concealment, he probed the minds of villagers to piece together the rudiments of their language. Their myths felt comfortable.
With a glib tongue that belied his meagre experience, he concocted a story about swimming ashore from a shipwreck. The best approach as an alien to each world is the truth, which as his uncle would boast, is a matter of keeping one’s story straight. Griffin watched and learned their words and signs for peaceful greeting. Suddenly he felt sorrow for his mother. His impulse did not leave time for him tell her he was leaving. Still, with her vision, she would have known already. As Griffin felt his entrance ripen, he staggered into the village acting confused and limping slightly.
Two young men came forward with raised arms and sticks, their faces hard. Griffin started to cry, a gesture he had been taught to calm natives. An older woman came to his comfort. He greeted her in rudiments of their language.
Unsure of their customs with sojourners, Griffin's mind probed and flickered across their closer consciousness. He felt nothing hostile. He would probably enjoy a jaunt for a week or two at this quaint way station then head home.
In his powwow with the elders, the head woman of the village insisted, however, that he follow their customs and quarantine before mixing with them. They thrust Griffin into a thatched hut and sealed the door. In the corner on a black bed woven with lemon yellow designs a brown naked girl about his age lay on her stomach, weeping softly. Her long ebony hair shone bright against the lime green sheet.
A pale crone wearing a black habit sat behind the bed watching over her. As the stark woman faced him, her green phosphorescent eyes fell on the shapely back and smooth legs on the bed. The old woman raised her eyes to meet Griffin’s gaze. The piercing tone of her stare reminded Griffin of his mother. She turned sharply away. The girl sobbed and moaned. Griffin fell to his knees to comfort the girl who cried louder with his approach. He could not see her eyes smiling. Was she frightened of the old woman or of the old woman’s vision or of the change she would wreak from his coming?
Tyson West has published speculative fiction and poetry in free verse, form verse and haiku distilled from his mystical relationship with noxious weeds and magpies in Eastern Washington. He has no plans to quit his day job in real estate. His poetry collection “Home-Canned Forbidden Fruit” is available from Gribble Press, http://www.greymaredit.com/.
She in tekhelet, blue as
the drapes of priests or
her maid in dull crimson
His blood on sheets white as
the under-layers of their gowns
his hold on her collar
their purity intact.
It is he that is held down
and rendered, given
his head in this moment before
it becomes something other; property
for old men, proof.
She has pulled up the sleeves
of her finery, set to it
as if she has slaughtered
she has no mercy.
This is like to what we do, after all
in back rooms, in dark chambers
this is marriage, bloodletting, birth.
This is the labour of our hands, this
is woman's work.
Shannon Connor Winward
Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter. and a two-time runner up for the Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship in literature. Her work has appeared in (or is forthcoming from) Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, The Pedestal Magazine, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also an officer for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, a poetry editor for Devilfish Review and founding editor of the forthcoming Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal.
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Lisa St. John
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Janice D. Soderling
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Kim Cope Tait
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Mary Ellen Talley
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