Pinball Champion


The pinball champion

at the beginning of time

created the universe

as an entertaining aside

to watch the stars collide

and crash

constellations turn

to random stars

and galaxies swallowed

by a deep black hole

always the winner

because he makes the rules.



Mysterious Object


The archeologists agree

the object is very old

perhaps from the 24th century A.G.

and it appears to have

no practical use

except, possibly, perhaps

as a kind of kitchen tool.


The theologians and men of cloth

see it differently

as an object of religious belief

with its wheels to be spun

like Tibetan prayers

or rosary beads

counted one at a time.

or as a vision of God.


The artists, too, have their say:

it is quite apparently

a work of neoplastic, post-apocalyptic   

representational art

representing the sculptorÕs 

comments on feelings of ennui

and death.


How ignorant, seem, of history,

that they cannot recognize

a simple skate on wheels!



Lizard Story


(after native art by Johnny Warangkula



Goanna tells a tells a tale

of a hundred million years

unchanged, alone,

plodding through

desert and swamp

in search of nourishment

and power—

snake, fish, bird, or deer—

smaller than itself to eat.


Upon a time I wrestled

with a rough-scaled snake

for many hours

the snake prevailed

its venom taking its toll

but goanna fought

with tenacity and strength

sharp teeth and claws

and subdued its prey

only to be alone

in the far-flung bush

a ruler without

a kingdom to rule

and left to feed

on carrion.


Such is a goannaÕs

daily lifeit tells

of a struggle to survive

and command its fate.





(after the calligraphy of Keido Fukushoma)


Leaves gather

in green sentences


turning red,

yellow and brown


as the season



its meaning

in the readersÕ eyes.


© Neil Ellman


Bio:  Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has been widely published throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.