EKPHRASIS | Ekphrastic writing seeks to give visual art a second life, to describe it, extend it, deepen it.  Our experience of visual art is shaped by what it is we seek, whether viewing it or creating it, and the personal and social connections it elicits or those connections we wish to express, as well our readiness to be moved, our state of mind, our emotional state, all of which we may choose to describe, analyze, share, speak and write about; and indeed, we often do.

These are the images that stirred in me a need to write, to explore or amplify feelings and ideas, or that resonated with particular passages from my reading in literature. In some cases, the writing came first.

In the Tombs of the Living

In the Tombs of the Living

A walk in the winter woods at the end of the day. The once green turrets of the trees empty in the lavender sky. The dance of shadows at their feet falling still. A final photograph, then home—a martini and the evening news. Crushed beneath...

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Mahler’s Adagietto?

Mahler’s Adagietto?

Was it here we ascended Mahler’s Adagietto, and embraced, on this pyramid of sound? Where, betrayed, we fell lifeless? Our hearts torn from our chests? Here! Are these spiraling, plaintive strings, these cold stones, in our decent all that is left?...

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Spring!

Spring!

How I yearn for its voice. Yet how I fear it. Into the liquid grottoes of my sleep it comes, a green spirit stirring in a palace of shadows. Into the murmuring mill race of my dreams it comes bearing its songs, the trilling tongues that form its...

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Waves

Waves

Here flows an exotic froth. On a shore of sand: aluminoferrite, tricalcium silicate, calcium hidroxide. But chemistry is just the beginning. It’s concrete poured on folded stone. Ponderous, weathered, blocks supplanting soil. The base of trees...

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Vanishing Light

Vanishing Light

This is the moment when the thinness of life first opens into view for Rachel Vinrace. Rachel is a single, 24-year old, British ingénue at the center of Viginia Woolf’s early work, The Voyage Out, a story of self-discovery. She is sitting alone in...

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On the Narrow Ledge

On the Narrow Ledge

Biology is not destiny. Each of us should be be free to choose our life, free of children or not, mindful of the admonishment, “Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Consider the emptiness of a life without choice....

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What Shall I Cry?

What Shall I Cry?

Was it a dream? On my knees? The house shuddering, rearing up into the storm. Looming over me, a coarsening, dark funnel swallowing up the morning’s light? Did I wake? Survive that fury? Hear that voice repeating, “Are You Ready? Are You Ready?”...

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Now a Stranger

Now a Stranger

Before I was a man, I was a child in a world of strangers, whose soft, palpable truths hardened, then splintered. A youth who saw the foreshadowing of disappointment in promise, weakness hiding in strength, tragedy shadowing life. Now seeking...

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