October 18, 2014


Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published more than 1,000 poems in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.


Small Worlds II

(after the lithograph by Wassily Kandinsky)

"Small Worlds II" by Wassily Kandinsky 1922
Sails to the solar wind
infinite circuits around their suns
from light to dark
the speed of white
to the stillness of black
they navigate    
the space between the heart
and mind                                              
toward zero’s absolute
blood boils
then turns to ice
stone breaks
to multitudes of worlds
from a single birth
singular meaning       
of the light  
in a myriad of nights.

Small Worlds VI

(after the woodcut by Wassily Kandinsky)

"Small Worlds VI" by Wassily Kandinsky 1922
Inhabited, desolate
in the fire-light of diamonds
and obsidian’s black
impossible counting them all
not even knowing their names
their voices
the shape of their gods
their separate myths
of creation
and then apocalypse
some of eternity in a bowl of fish
others of death as a wish
these other worlds
not ours
defy the logic of the universe
determined to survive
their inconsequence.

Small Worlds X

(after the drypoint by Wassily Kandinsky)

How huge we are
to drops of rain
snowflakes melting
on our hands
"Small Worlds X" by Wassily Kandisky 1922

greater than
the continents
we tamed, subdued
with arms across the sea

we size the stars
at the end
of our fingertips
how small they are

how long the orbits
of our lives
how short are theirs
sputtering specks of light—

creatures of those worlds
must themselves
be smaller than
our minds

not at all like us
at the center
of the universe
where we belong.

 ~Neil Ellman

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