Ekphrasis 1 (NaPoMo #3)

April 6, 2016


open-mouthed sky
speaking over water

lightning punctuation

sun cowers in corner
while zeus corrects poseidon

Picture source

Today you shined, today you defined
the thrill of the unmaligned mind
and love, returned in kind.

Time itself unwinds and I am of one mind.
Spirit and body aligned, love for humankind
I feel as well as find. Am I of sane mind?

Have I joined the kingdom of the blind
where oppression is not enshrined?
I must be losing my blighted mind.

Is my state of mind a design?
The sun seems disinclined
in the manner of the divine
to provide reason or rhyme.

I want to take a hard line
but my anger, the sun declined
and I stay in a lovely frame of mind.

I blame it on the sunshine,
calling it an enemy of mine
but the sun stays benign
and I know I’m out of line.

Poetically speaking, growing up is mediocrity
– Ned Rorem

Neither rosy nor prim
not cousin to the cowslip
nor the extravagant fuchsia-
I doubt anyone has ever
picked one for show,
though the woods must be fringed
with their lemony effusions.

Sun blathers its baronial
endorsement, but they refuse
to join the ranks. Summer
brings them in armfuls,
yet, when the day is large,
you won’t see them fluttering
the length of the road.

They’ll wait until the world’s
tucked in and the sky’s
one ceaseless shimmer-then
lift their saturated eyelids
and blaze, blaze
all night long
for  no one.


Excerpted from Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry


Strange but true is the story
of the sea-turtle and the shark-
the instinctive drive of the weak to survive
in the oceanic dark.
by hunger
from abyss to shoal,
sometimes the shark swallows
the sea-turtle whole.

The sly reptilian marine
into the shell
of his undersea craft,
his leathery head and the rapacious claws
that can rip
a rhinoceros’ hide
or strip
a crocodile to fare-thee-well;
inside the shark,
the sea-turtle begins the churning seesaws
of his descent into pelagic hell;
with ravenous jaws
that can cut sheet steel scrap,
the sea-turtle gnaws
…and gnaws…and gnaws
his way in a way that appalls-
his way to freedom,
beyond the vomiting dark
beyond the stomach walls
of the shark.


excerpted from Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry