The Poetry of Ellin Anderson


Ellin Anderson

In forest shadows laced with flower-musk,
I chased a veery through the moonless dusk,
And ran and stumbled, blindly led along,
So fascinated by his spiral song,
I did not see the darkness creeping up,
The sun's last embers quenched, as in a cup.
That voice of ether
a revolving dart,
Sped through the leaves to play upon my heart,
Whirled down like petals, fell like crystal rain
To pierce my skin and sing in every vein;
Then faded, as the forest lost the light,
And as I lost the bird to fall of night.
My steps descending with the fading sound,
I felt the ferns give way to marshy ground,
Whose blossoms, lit by Heaven left ajar,
Could match the orbs of Heaven, star for star.
Then, as the silk of twilight slid away,
The sky turned velvet, to commence the day
For owl, for fox, for bobcat, and for deer;
I did not wait to watch that troupe appear,
But leapt towards the sounds of home, and ran

Oh, there is panic in the pipes of Pan!
I crashed through brambles, and through banks of briar,
Across the stones of walls, and through the mire
And clay of streambeds, fleet as any fawn,
Until a thicket gave way to a lawn,
Where fell upon me, dissonant and loud,
The harsh and grating voices of the proud,
Who lounged with drinks in hand, or simply stood
And marveled at the spirit of the wood.
No gentleman arose, no lady smiled

Give me the night, the terrors of the wild.

In meadows where a fall of moonlight made
A summer freshet, dewing every blade
With hue of milky shell, of heron's feather,
I walked to see what we might paint together

The moon and I. No fear that I could drown
In sable darkness once her sphere went down,
Rose up to daunt me, as I paused to stand
Alone, with sunlight's canvas in my hand,
Before the black expanses of the sky

The full moon and the camera, eye to eye.
Clouds rushed across her face, a glowing swirl
Like wine dissolving Cleopatra's pearl,
And then she waxed again, within a ring
Of silver, captured in the pasture spring.
She soared through veils of mist to freeze and burn,
Then poured her light on lavender and fern,
On house and barn, and made their angles sharp.
The warm wind made the maple trees one harp,
While crickets added to that midnight song
Their symphony, a million seasons long.
Stars of the Crab, ascending high in June,
Observe cold summers on the windless moon,
And follow her with frosty eyes as she
Sustains a lasting vow of constancy:
To ride in splendor with no satellite,
A ghost by day, the poet of the night.
Strange beauty shimmers in the bright caress
That makes Earth's unseen colors colorless,
And on the glass whose magic can enthrone
A falcon's eye, where eyes see only stone:
One tiny frame
an inch that holds the All
Give me the sky, to mount upon my wall.

(Note:  The veery, or willow-thrush, is an American songbird related to the nightingale.)

2008 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
A Rabbit
Rose, Do You Know
The Two Pining Bachelors

The Harvest Chorus
The Maple Mask
Ghost Cardinal

The Little Heath-Rose
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