The Ekphrastic Poem


not my batik, by the way, but an image from

POETRYisEVERTHING‘s prompt for day 9 is to write an Ekphrastic poem, a poem based on a painting or another art form. As Chris explains, the ekphrastic poem can be a response to a painting, or it can give a painting a voice. To read more, you might check out a handout that I found at

I make no claims for this. Long day. Long nap in the afternoon.

Keeping the Lights on Late

The batik of the blue city with its orange lights,
its dark moon in a cracked white sky

has hung on the wall of every house I’ve lived in
for 30 years. My older daughters, when toddlers, tore it

from its frame one afternoon while I made their lunch.
Now it’s high up, unassailable,

in the two-story entry. On top of its highest tower,
a lightning rod draws the eye. There are no people ambling

the grid of the streets. But the windows are lit–
writers awake all night, scribbling.

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