In the Detritus
in the detritus
Frank Gehry’s crumpled napkin
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.
Van Gogh's Grave
on the headstone over your bones
are the saddest words to be seen
in this lonely French cemetery
on this bleak mid-winter’s day.
You died neglected at thirty-seven
after years of abject poverty
your life a living Hell ending
in insanity, then suicide.
I pray you are in Heaven
for though your soul has departed
your art lives on in our hearts
inspiring mankind in perpetuity
with its beauty and humanity.
Many visitors pass this way
during the bright daytime hours
some simply paying their respects
others leaving bouquets of flowers
but this churchyard closes at dusk
leaving your grave to the cold light
of the moon and the starry, starry night.
Born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, Ian has an MA in English from Oxford University. He lives in Taiwan with his wife, two daughters and cat. He teaches English in a high school. He has had poems and short stories published in The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Dead Snakes, Schlock! Webzine, Short-story.me, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, and in various anthologies.
Stumped at my English homework.
We'd read Edward Lear
and homework says write
an absurd poem.
I can't. I cry,
in front of Mam,
who writes one for me,
and titles it:
"The Elephant With A Propeller For A Nose"
"The elephant died and from his grave
Where would be a stone a propeller rose."
is all I can recall.
Now good friends buy us
this elephant and her calf.
I see dark wooden sculptures
of lions, giraffes and elephants
stare down at me from mahogany
sideboards below Clwydian hills
in Grandad's home.
Only later does Dad tell me
he was a merchant mariner
for his National Service.
In my memory home
I place the elephant and calf
on a coffee table.
Paul Brookes was shop assistant, security guard, postman, admin. Assistant, performer in poetry group "Rats for Love" and is included in their "Rats for Love: The Book" Bristol Broadsides, 1989. His first chapbook was "The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley" by Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live.
While Hennig Paints the Girl Reading
Strokes show how Gustav loved her pious head, bent
in submission to the small book, all hushed, bound
and corseted in quiet black, including the inked
words. What edifice flows from beige
page to pink forehead, only the Girl knows. Eyes
closed, perhaps she is rewriting the prose
into her own image.
Crystal Snoddon is addicted to words, and enjoys both reading and writing to make some sense of the world. Previous and forthcoming publications of poetry can be found at SickLit Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, The Quarterday Review, Poetry Breakfast among others.
Merry Christmas to all of our readers, writers, and artists! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a tremendous year.
The Ekphrastic Review
Reflections on the Painting, Flight, by Carl Spitzweg
So many murdered children behind him,
Joseph leads the donkey, step by step,
laden with Mary and her baby Jesus
through a canyon that leads to Egypt,
dark and close despite the blue sky,
perfect for robbers to lie in wait,
or worse yet Herod’s operatives.
It must have crossed his mind
that he was too old for frantic escapes,
that he might have to live out his days
in Egypt, far from his home,
and even if he dared to return,
he would have to keep a low profile,
pay someone off, change his identity.
In any case, his life was behind him.
The future belonged to the child—
who might sit on his lap, stroked
by calloused hands, his face pressed
to a beard and worried breathing--
but soon returned to the dark
haven of the mother’s breast.
Mark Trechock has been writing and submitting poems since 1974. He has lived in Dickinson, North Dakota since 1993, and retired in 2012 from the grassroots community organizing project, Dakota Resource Council. After a 20-year hiatus in writing for publication, Trechock resumed submitting his work last year. Since then, he has placed more than 30 poems in a variety of magazines, includingCanary, Limestone, Wilderness House Literary Review, Badlands Literary Journal, El Portal, and Off the Coast. Three of his poems appeared in the book Fracture, a multi-author book on the impact of hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas industry.
The Ekphrastic Review
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