February 25, 2013

Fear by Neil Ellman

(after the painting by Yves Tanguy)

There is nothing to fear
but this body of land we occupied
this anatomy of glass shards and bone
barbed wire, unexploded bombs
and worn-down teeth

      where wooden crosses grow
from stumps of splintered trees
the sweet scent of mustard seeds
falling from the sky

      here the promise of war
echoes in open wounds of earth and flesh
while the certainty of decay
stands guard against less certain peace

      from here the young have passed
horse-drawn with blood-soaked flanks
from here eternity and then beyond
the battlefield, the burial ground—

there is nothing to fear
in this body of land we called home
where the footprints of all hope
were lost to anarchy.

Twice nominated for Best of the Net, Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey.  More than 700 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and based on works of modern art, appear in international print and online journals, anthologies, broadsides and eleven chapbooks.

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