Two Poems by Neil Ellman
Attacked by Birds
(after the painting by André Masson)
Whatever reason is, if there is, for the malevolence of birds
born of proto-feathers even before they had wings
something in the marrow of their bones
commands attack as much to fly,
talons to hold, beaks to tear, not for sustenance alone
or evolution’s shrill and shriek
they know what they are and the reason why
there is sense in the senselessness of blood.
The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself
with Her Shadows
(after the painting by Man Ray)
She is never alone
alone on the rope
her birth and death.
She accompanies herself
herself while alone
alone with death.
They barely speak
her shadows and she
they move together
as if they were one.
They are joined
at their fate
she followed by she
to their death below.
Neil Ellman has been nominated for thePushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Hundreds of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.