Tag Archives: The Ekphrastic Review

Living in Opryland by Javy Awan

Living in Opryland—the twang of guitars
lulls through the night, from nigh and afar,
sifting caterwauls of rhymes that plait
poignant, live plaints cataloging
mishaps, heartbreaks, pangs, turmoils,
and setbacks—the spangled world is adverse,
but we plug in and plug on like traveling
showmen, setting up tents from town
to town in Grand Ole Opryland—a downhome
expanse, where ailments vary—each citizen’s
is unique, stunning, terrifying, misericordious,
striking notes all understand and sympathize.
We sync and chime to the moves, the dances,
the choruses, the improvised instruments,
the stanzas of grief and vibrance, our tribal
tribulations—always falling in love stumblebum
with the next gorgeous person impervious
to our pleas or merits till the tell-all song
reaches double platinum—the roving sights by then
are set on a starrier mate—hair more bouffant,
figure more robust, skirts pantingly shorter—
who can pen a lyric and tonsil a tune, pick a banjo,
or bow a fiddle faster than the notes can be writ.
Living in Opryland, we’re pursuing the grand
scheme of harmonies that guide us by heart.


Javy Awan’s poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Solstice, Ghost City Review, Potomac Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, and The Ekphrastic Review; two of his poems were selected for reading at locations on the Improbable Places Poetry Tour in 2019. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts.

A City Like a Dead Man by Jake Sheff

I dreamed our city’s slender attitude,
of ruined moonlight
in the bombs. The dreamer’s femur is

the squeaky wheel. If love could only speak
and never hear, she said
between the bombs. I loved her

safe route to mercy. Lyme disease
and bombs had similar inaccuracies. On foot
she wandered through

pretentious fire. You wouldn’t think to
look at death, she said
at night, the doctor who delivered it

was darkness. As fever struck the garbage
dump, I dreamt I was her Carthage.

Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force. Poems of Jake’s are in Radius, The Ekphrastic Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. He won 1st place in the 2017 SFPA speculative poetry contest and was a finalist in the Rondeau Roundup’s 2017 triolet contest. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing).

 

Three-Window Perspectives by Ellen Chia

(The Blue Violinist by Marc Chagall)

I.

Your odes to love
Have galvanized the birds
From their slumber.
Even the moon blooms
With pleasure –
Finally, a worthy mate to
Breathe the blue air with.

II.

You drifted out of the window,
Took the chair with you.
Is it me you’re serenading to?
You’re way too high up,
Your fiddling’s lost on me.
Tonight, the moon glows with
A bouquet before her.
Wait a minute –
Isn’t that the same bouquet
You bought me this afternoon?
What’s with this love-flushed face?
How about quitting this frivolity
Before the window of opportunity
Closes on you. For good.

III.

Swing by, Fiddler,
Wash us grimy, dust-obscured
Fragile things with
A ditty of poetic bliss
Before the city awakes to
Taint us again, lulling us
With its numbing mantra humming
Money, productivity and more money.

Ellen Chia enjoys going on solitary walks in woodlands and along beaches where  Nature’s treasure trove impels her to  document her findings and impressions using the language of poetry. Her works  have recently been published in The Ekphrastic Review, NatureWriting and
forthcoming in The Honest Ulsterman, The Pangolin Review, and The Tiger Moth Review.