The Poetry of Ellin Anderson


Ellin Anderson

The fog of war has cleared, the sky has not.
This is the ghost of Junes remembered — hot
As if the sun shed crimson coals, to give
A crueler warmth — but this, the negative,
Shows daylong dusk, and rain as through a sieve.
The rose is waterlogged, the lilacs rot
But oh, the cat, the cat
Leaps leopard-like from cold stones where he sat
And sees me as I was — his happiness
Like sun on snowy pastures, nothing less.

With petals drenched, the peony droops down —
Friend to the sun-god weighted with renown
For storied acts of healing — lauded feat
That neither god nor laureate complete
When hearts and hopes are lost, or in retreat.
The planters brim with rain, the pansies drown —
But oh, the cat, the cat
Treasured by gods, himself an autocrat,
Arches his back, and butts me with his head,
And summons sunlit kisses to my bed.

The blinds are closed, the roof accepts the rain
As I accept the cold, fatigue, and pain
That rattle in a place where thoughts and fear
Lie blended, and refracted through a tear:
Where legions swim, leviathans appear.
The world is green, the wintry winds remain —
But oh, the cat, the cat
Pads upon paws as soft as petals that
Press the crisp sheets, and lulls me with a hum
Sweet as a hug, and warm as chugs of rum.

Why should I fear a June without a star
When further wounds may heal a fading scar?
The grass is lush, it rushes meadow-high
As thrushes contradict the bleary sky
To conjure clearing as the raindrops fly.
The well is full — likewise the reservoir —
And oh, the cat, the cat
Curls up in slumber on my old straw hat
To dream of endless summers where we run
Through calico fields, broad bridges to the sun.


2020 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be copied or used in any way
without written permission from the author.

St. Patrick's Day
Tiger and Blue Jewel

Winter's Hill
Maple-Key Song
November in Camelot

Wassail Song
The Rooster at Midsummer
Liberty Enlightens the People

The Leap
The Goldfinch
Three Bears
Song of the Lily
White Tree at Twilight
The Christmas Tree

Grand Bois du Nord
The Owl
Moth Summer
The Little God of Joy
Photographing the Moon
A Rabbit
Rose, Do You Know
The Two Pining Bachelors

The Harvest Chorus
The Maple Mask
Ghost Cardinal

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Song for the Harp

The Spinner
The Prayer of Cephalus
Circe and Ulysses
The Black Arts
Tristan and Isolde & Jupiter's Two Casks

Home Page

More Poems by Ellin Anderson

The Little Mermaid
Anne's Hearth