fish in child’s hair ~ ekphrastic poem

Claudia McGill’s Miniscule Illustrations: Transformation includes her pen and brush illustration and says:

This story is my favorite one in the Minuscule book, and when I was very young, almost 60 years ago, a tiny silver fish did swim into my hair on my first visit to the ocean – I was not quite five years old. I clearly remember the incident and the memory is a cherished one for me – almost a magical happening.

Her illustration inspired this poem, which I’ve layered into her art.

fish in child’s hair
planting seed of desire
to be a swimmer

Poem Up at The Ekphrastic Review ~&~ Mark Rothko Blues

My poem “the differences subtle” appears at Ekphrastic Writing Challenge Responses: Mark Rothko. It can be seen here, with other deserving reads. The painting “Untitled (Black on Red, 1957),” by Mark Rothko, is the inspiration for the challenge.  Once again, I’m fortunate to be on the same page as Kerfe Roig.
My thanks go to Lorette C. Luzajic, Editor at The Ekphrastic Review, for including my poem.

After submitting this, I read about the “Rothko” in a post by Paul Szlosek, and I decide to try the form. The “Rothko” was created by poet Bob Holman. Following Mark Rothko’s practice of using three distinct colors, it contains three lines, three words per line, in a tic-tac-toe pattern (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) – written while standing in front of a Rothko painting (here, viewing the image).

Mark Rothko Blues

red heat surrounding
scarlet barely surviving
blackness consuming all

Ken G.

Image source: Tate – Untitled (Black on Red, 1957), by Mark Rothko

Peripheral Divisions ~ ekphrastic poem


Peripheral Divisions

The past is open to interpretation,
memories just shadows of the stories
we want to hear but are afraid
to tell. Like the black cat
on the edge of vision, holding
the truth to the darker side
of those shadows, the slide show
we play in our minds
is the truth behind our reason,
each frame with the potential
to be our downfall.

A recent prompt at The Ekphrastic Review featured a painting, Untitled (2011) by Omar Odeh, an Iraqi artist living in Canada, as an open challenge for ekphrastic poetry. I started a draft, the first two-thirds of this poem, then promptly forgot about it, until seeing the responses chosen for the final results. The writing process started with the thought of “memory,” as the shadowed half of the painting reminds me of elephants.

Poem Up at The Ekphrastic Review

My ekphrastic poem, “Ageless,” is published today at The Ekphrastic Review. It is inspired by the acrylic on canvas painting “The Eternal Question,” by Mary Winifred Hood Schwaner, as well as the poem with which it appeared last year, “Saproxylic,” by Jeff Schwaner. Mary graciously allowed her painting to appear beside my poem.

Editor Lorette C. Luzajic continues to present a wide variety of art and poetry at The Ekphrastic Review, and I thank her for accepting this poem.

More Than Lip Service – video poem

This may be a first for me – an ekphrastic video poem. I’m not sure if it’s a complete work, or if it’s just a work-in-progress. It’s inspired by a clay sculpture by Claudia McGill (who also writes poetry).  I’ve been wanting to write something around the piece for the past few weeks. Looking at it this morning, I just let the shape and patterns take me where they would, and I put together the video this afternoon.
(Thank you, Claudia.)

More Than Lip Service

Never just black and white,
there are many sides to the blues.

What is a door that opens, if you don’t enter it?
Or a rose, without water?

Enter, and I will water your rose,
scale any height to stay by your side.

This is more than lip service,
the many facets coming to you in turns.

What I reveal is already there
for the knowing.


Poem Up at The Ekphrastic Review

My ekphrastic poem, “Fallen Leaves, after the Rain,” inspired by “Untitled (acrylic collage)” by Ron Schira, is published today at The Ekphrastic Review. Schira is an artist in Reading, Pennsylvania, and has worked in various media. The “assembled painting” is part of a series composed of acrylic layers placed on canvas, presenting a textured, three-dimensional aspect, each piece unique in its own right. I have long been familiar with his work, and the words of my poem were forming in my mind from my first viewing of this piece.

The photo is my own, as the painting is now in my home. The painting presents even more light from different angles, with silver and white seeming to emanate from hidden layers, which draws my eye to it at unexpected moments.

My thanks go to Editor Lorette C. Luzajic, who continues to present a wide variety of art and poetry at The Ekphrastic Review, for accepting this poem.

Ken G.

Yowling Pussy-Cat

Yowling Pussy-Cat

Yowling Pussy-Cat

Sailing with an elephant
Beneath the starry skies,
Hoping that their tiny boat
Would not sink or capsize,

Was not how a pussy-cat,
Caught in this dreadful plight,
Wished to spend what should have been
A sweet romantic night.

Sadness gripped poor pussy-cat
Upon this mournful cruise,
Setting sail without her love
Was giving her the blues.

She dreamt of floating in peace
With her romantic owl.
Not content enough to purr,
All she could do was yowl.

No owl with a sweet guitar,
This lumb’ring elephant.
Thrumming, drumming as he stomped,
Was how her voyage went.

Shadowed by his mighty bulk
And bathing in his musk,
Most sullenly she suffered
As he bragged of his tusks.

No love songs beneath the stars,
No meal of mince or quince.
Neither marriage nor a ring
From handsome feathered prince.

So it was that pussy-cat,
By the light of the moon,
Spent one very lonely night
That could not end too soon.

A bit of whimsy in my second response to the dVerse prompt provided by Lillian, Inspired by Art, to write around one of four images by Catrin Welz-Stein. This one is titled, “Silent Night,” and is used with her permission. Her gallery can be found here.
(With apologies to Edward Lear)