Cannot read nor concentrate,
am filling days with endless
songs or numberless walks, and
water-blue, stain-less steel still
matter, for you no longer bring
me birdsong without fall.
I will, you must, just trust, and
wrap up in a thousand white sheets
or dress up in your satin silk, for
jewelry has different looks as long
as we together.
The eyes open to avoid the shadow-side
of amber windows, and I still scrawl
your fears, mine, the ginger-bogey-man
has to leave once and for all, nightmares,
dreams will fill with summer orange and
And someone else than us might see dark
on the doorstep, so lets carry empty envelopes,
smile some red cherry smiles, and see our later
when it turns light, no shadow days or bluer nights
are left to stare at, and we will do nothing less, we.
Kate Copeland started absorbing stories ever since a little lass. Her love for words led her to teaching & translating some sweet languages, her love for art, lyrics & water led her to poetry ...with readings & publications sealed alright! Find her words @ The Ekphrastic Review, Poetry Barn & Poetry Distillery, Spirit Fire Review, First Lit.Review-East, GrandLittleThings, New Feathers Anthology & Metaworker. She has recently joined Lisa Freedman at her Breathe-Read-Write workshops and works at Poetry Festivals in Holland and California. Kate was born in Rotterdam 52 ages ago & adores housesitting in Spain, the UK & USA.
In blue and black hues when amber glows
I like to think of Vedic Trimurti.
Such an idea may agitate the tenet of Trinity. Yet
I see the brilliance of my blue god and black expanse
of the cosmos where Brahma sits and creates.
Vishnu always loves to tease and play.
The trident-bearer Shiva wears a crescent
moon, eyeing its eventual death. Dancing
is his way of surrender to Shakti.
If you ask, between stillness and play
what if colours had our human lens? Will they praise
or question how we shade and grade them?
As a child I often played with rain, our all-time pal.
It drew arches in pink-purple-blue-green-yellow-orange-red.
When it rode with god Indra the archer vanishing as fast
as he arrived, we said, together with Surya, rain did the magic.
Varsha Saraiya-Shah authored “VOICES,” a poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press. Her work appears in journals such as Borderlands, Cha, Convergence, Echoes of the Cordillera, Mutabilis Press, Penguin Random House India, Skylark-UK, UT Press etc. She has presented ekphrastic poems at Words & Art programs for Houston’s Rice Gallery and CAMH museum installations. Her poetry has been broadcast on Public Radio and performed in a multi-language/century dance program: “Poetry in Motion.”
Let's take off our clothes
Then unbind our captive souls
Here comes heaven
Toshiji Kawagoe, Ph.D. is a professor at Future University Hakodate. He lives in Hokkaido, Japan. His haiku was selected in the 21 Best Haiku of 2021 at the Society of Classical Poets and his poems in classical Chinese have been published in the an thologies of Chinese poetry. His academic works in economics are also published in many books and academic journals.
They look your way, but you are not what they see. The way you don’t see the photographer who takes your school picture. The way you don’t see the writer when they draw you on the page. You are behind the painter, the writer, the creator together in a room, but you are invisible. For years you wanted to be unnoticed. You wanted to fit in with the smokers in front of Safeway, with the hoopsters playing half court at lunch, with the debaters who argued the sky wasn’t blue and made a believer of you. Now on the other end of the dream, you discover that invisibility is not what you thought it would be. You see that now, as they gaze but don’t notice. One month from today, you will be older than your mother, father, stepfather, and sister when they died, older than beloved Rip in dog years when he passed. You’re not sure what that says, or what that means, or doesn’t mean. Sometimes a fact is just a fact. There’s an intimacy to invisibility. You write a poem. A stranger sees your poem and writes one in response. And the two poems see each other and share an exchange in some imagined sphere, apart from you and the other poet, connected with no ties. Eternity has no measure, imagination no limit. What’s unseen may still be there. Together and alone, you roam through creation, staring in wonder at what we call home.
Guy Biederman is a plank walker, pareidolia doula, and nomadic coffee drinker on the dock in the late afternoon. With deep respect for the short form, Guy writes in between his full time duties as a Tuxedo cat valet, grateful that his boss sleeps 23 hours a day. Learn more about his work at guybiederman.com
Me, Myself, and I
We once were one, but now we’re three –
exploring life in different races,
and traveling as He or She
to test how others read our faces.
At first we found it difficult
to give up unearned privilege
or guess what habits or taboos
we’d meet in each new tribe or village.
Yet lessons learned when we felt brave
empower us when we meet fear,
and lessons learned when we felt weak
make our lifelong mission clear.
No matter who we seem to be,
in dreams we know we’re still each other –
a single soul, united heart,
determined not to hurt another.
Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. Thanks to fellow poets, who generously share the hottest poetry news, Alarie visited The Ekphrastic Review a few months after its birth and decided to move in to stay. She’s been a consultant for prizes, occasional judge, and received one of the first Fantastic Ekphrastic Awards in 2020. Please check out her three poetry collections on the Ekphrastic Bookshelf.
I have no choice
but to be the white woman
naked and with my whole body
thrust forward into view
except my face, seen only
as through a scrim,
looking straight out, saying
here I am
while the black man
and the blue man
stand beside and behind,
so we form a triangle
and call it togetherness
though it is hard to know
the nature of our union,
each of us projected
in segments and incompletely,
so we begin with facts –
our prize-winning and our grave-digging,
the lives we’ve lived or lost –
into each other’s eyes
through which now
we look at you,
who do you see?
Lisken Van Pelt Dus
Lisken Van Pelt Dus teaches languages, writing, and martial arts in western Massachusetts. Her poetry can be found in a variety of print and online journals and anthologies, as well as in her book, What We’re Made Of (Cherry Grove, 2016). http://liskenvanpeltduspoetry.blogspot.com/
You three again!
What do you want from me?
Who are you?
You only come when I'm alone
and I'm never sure I'm not dreaming.
Your eyes bore into my very soul
telling me you see the darkness within,
omniscient, searching, accusing,
unrelenting tacit disapproval
of a battle-weary spiritual combatant.
We're all the same.
We're all conscripts with no choice.
So why pick on me with your accusing eyes
as I struggle with spiritual schizophrenia?
Finite mind and body versus infinite soul.
You can accuse but you can't convict.
My penalty has been paid,
so get behind me.
Biography: Stephen Poole served for 31 years in the Metropolitan Police in London, England. As a freelance journalist, he has written for a variety of British county and national magazines. Passionate about poetry since boyhood, his poems have appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Poetry on the Lake, LPP Magazine and two anthologies.
Naked, transparent, exposed,
she is the very portrait
of white fragility.
She begs: Why can’t
I have some clothes,
or a loincloth, at the least?
When someone speaks of race,
I am uncovered,
how I profit from the sins
of my father and forefathers,
from the tilt of our laws,
the shape of our neighbourhoods.
She implores us to drape her
in some camouflage--
perhaps a law to ban
the remembrance of history,
that unflinching x-ray machine
into the secret heart of darkness.
Eileen Ivey Sirota
Eileen Ivey Sirota is a psychotherapist and a poet. Her chapbook Out of Order was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020. Her poems have been published in District Lines, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Lighten Up, NewVerseNews, Ekphrastic Review, The Poeming Pigeon’s issue From Pandemic to Protest, Calyx, and Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists. She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and an ever-shifting blend of rage and wonder.
My Blue Brother
my Black Friend
Look at me
my body screams
Donna-Lee Smith recently began submitting poetry at 72.
How can we be together
when we are so different?
For you, everything is work
and must be done with full energy,
and loud commotion.
All is heavy;
You are capable to lift and move.
You shun rest:
you are a servant,
open, directable, quiet, committed, skilled.
You pour coffee without splashing
stack metal chairs as in a silent movie,
put the necessary documents on the desk
before the boss asks for them.
You are invisible,
never daring to wonder
what original spark
you might shine into darkness.
I am obsessed with
the purpose of one moment:
how to draw attention to the kindness
in a hand resting for a moment on a shoulder
or the gentleness in the exhale that ends
a long life.
I have no patience for those
choose to ignore
what is below the surface.
How can we three possibly move together?
Perhaps it is enough to be in the same room
facing the same direction
for one hour.
Sheila Murphy writes poems to get closer to things. She is a musician, a pastoral minister, a spiritual director, retreat leader and adventurer. She has published poems in Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction and The Ekphrastic Review. Sheila lives in coastal Maine, is married and has two college-age children.
Spot the difference,
those that show,
and those that are hidden
inside our bodies,
inside our heads.
that make us special,
the things that make us
interesting to each other.
But the basics,
are the same
and it’s that sameness
when we see it
should bind us,
to each other.
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Vagabond Press, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes Journal. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com///www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/
Measurement Times Three
Three people walked down the street. One man worked 40 hours per week, in a five-day work week, but he had to travel 20 hours per week back and forth between his home and his workplace.
The man next to him, wearing one black stocking and one blue, said, “I work from home, but my hours may be 20 one week, 13 the next, or even 60 the next. I spend no time on transportation to and from work. However, in a 20-hour week I sometimes need to get outside for at least five one-hour walks. “Would you like to walk with me, during one of those weeks?” he asked.
The first man said yes, but it would have to be on a Saturday. “I always reserve Sundays for other purposes.”
The black-and-blue-stockinged man said he’d consider that, so long as he was not having a 60-hour work week.
The third person, a woman, laughed and laughed. Their talk was both admirable and amusing to her, for her work was very minimal. If she saved one life in a year it was for her “a good year.” If she lost a life, it was devastating, and in those cases her yearly income represented to her a net loss. For she, as surgeon, could not measure life in terms of actual wages, hours of labor spent, hours of transportation required by the labor, or any other traditional methods of calculation.
She was a good person, but she deemed her life much harder than the males’. She wished for new methods of calculating her life’s situation. She sensed, however, that new measurement methods would not increase her enjoyment of life, for she was, on normal days, a very happy person.
New methods would only require her to do more thinking and might cause her to lose her state of “calm mind.” She feared she could even lose her position as surgeon, being so distracted by this additional thinking. Therefore, she decided momentarily, to continue walking with her fellows, considering lightly how they viewed their lives, interjecting a few comments now and again. Their walking journey might become quite long this day, but all three were enjoying being together.
Carole Mertz appreciates the Kasule Challenge as brief respite from shoveling snow. Her life continues to carry her into writing challenges she can’t quite handle. Enjoying the effort, nonetheless, she is published recently at Quill and Parchment, at Wilderness House, and in Dreamers Creative Writing. She is the author of Color and Line, a poetry collection.
Barcelona’s Carrer d'Avinyó
The distortion of the human body,
wearing African Fang masks
flat, splintered planes
angular and disjointed shapes
reddish unworked background,
after months of revision
oil painting in his Paris studio
a slice of melon in the still life
at the bottom of the canvas
Picasso’s Les Demoiselles
five nudes on Carrer d'Avinyó.
In the rendering of plazas
night on an acacia-lined street
of the Gothic Quarter,
paella and tapas bars
small hotel by the railway station
summer of our divorcing.
Flamenco music played on a guitar.
Ilona Martonfi is a poet, editor, literary curator, and activist; she is the author of four poetry books, Blue Poppy (Coracle Press, 2009), Black Grass (Broken Rules Press, 2012), The Snow Kimono (Inanna, 2015) and Salt Bride (Inanna, 2019). Forthcoming, The Tempest (Inanna, 2022). Her work has published in seven chapbooks, journals across North America and abroad. Recently, her poem "My Brother's Ashes" was nominated by The Ekphrastic Review for the Best Microfiction Awards Anthology, 2021. She is the curator Argo Bookshop Reading Series. She is also the recipient of the Quebec Writers’ Federation 2010 Community Award.
Juxtaposed As Truth Disclosed?
Intention might escape me here,
but questions raised are very clear.
What really does "together" mean --
illusion formed to be so seen?
Or must our solidarity
mean absence of disparity
where souls have been homogenized
and all behaviors normalized?
Or should we just be juxataposed,
although to one another closed,
to gather strength from common need
becoming shared as common deed
that births municipality
by building on morality
the law that we can all agree
reserves to each the sovreignty
of fostered opportunity
committed to community.
Portly Bard: Old man. Ekphrastic fan.
Prefers to craft with sole intent
of verse becoming complement...
...and by such homage being lent...
ideally also compliment...
Ekphrastic joy comes not from praise
for words but from returning gaze
far more aware of fortune art
becomes to eyes that fathom heart.
The Same but Different
Together we stand side by shoulder
Others may see us as black/brown/white
Genders differ but eyes view the same injustice
Equal we are in symmetry, limbs, brain- though
They shaved all hair; don’t gawk- her severed breasts
Her denuded sex, ploy to normalize, humanize
Everyone the same, but different we remain, men
Revered, breechclouts cover, leave the female
Nude, vulnerable; act as defenders of honour, no
Equity here, neutered feminine alongside zombie
Stare, let no one dare blink lest they be deemed the
Same- height, stance let us dance to individuality
Julie A. Dickson
Julie A. Dickson is hooked on ekphrastic poems, has been dabbling with them for over three years, a new genre after over 45 years of writing formed and free verse poems. Dickson has poems appearing in many journals including Misfit, Sledgehammer, Open Word and The Ekphrastic Review, or in full length works on Amazon. She advocates for captive elephants and shares her home with two rescued cats, Cam and JoJo.
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