Tag Archives: Ekphrasic poetry

The Third Man

A haunting zither’s lament permeates

the dank misty alleyway,

from a high up apartment window

a jingle-jangle music-box

is serenading a peek-a-boo moon;

A streetcar is stuttering

grinding to a halt,

silhouetted by lamplight

a solitary figure disembarks,

he quickly merges into a doorway

a shadow within shadows;

he lights up a Lucky Strike and waits,

his friend Holly Martins is late,

something..someone..has kept him

from this rendezvous;

After a while

emerging from the doorway

rapid click-clacks carry him

across the cobblestones toward

Vienna’s labyrinthine sewers,

where Harry Lime

loses himself

and is lost:

Cultural Footnote:-
( ” The Third Man ” 1949..a film Directed by Carol Reed, screenplay by Graham Greene )

Picture in the Gallery

The Picture in the gallery

the painting no-one else

ever seems to look at;

That street scene from another century,

with its muted colours of a

long lost summer afternoon;

the carriages,the hats,the uniforms,

street urchins,shopkeepers and

at the railway station entrance

a newspaper vendor and stood next to him

reading the headline,” Archduke Ferdinand assassinated!”

a man without a face.

Ancient Voices



their expression,

their emotion,

their surreal evocation

of an Age

long since past,

beyond memory:


to seduce


in the Here,

the for Now

everlasting Here,


nigh on five centuries

how vibrant,



the notation

the phrasing

the passion

the exultation;

erasing all

of the dull quotidian

and its stifling mediocrity,

ancient voices,



Author’s footnote :-

On July 12, 2016 BBC Radio 3 broadcast live from York Minster’s Early Music Festival.

And I found myself beginning to scribble furiously whilst listening to the performance from the private songbook collection of Ann Boleyn.



Boulevard of Broken Dreams

The photographer ” snaps ” her subject ,
Danna ,in front of a shuttered building
at 6323 Hollywood Boulevard ;
Her story is a familiar one ,
the fresh-faced girl who came to
L.A. in hopes of hitting the big-time ,
a time that never was ,
instead there is this time ,
right here and now
lingering in parking lots and windows ,
looking into the life that ,
once was within her grasp ;

The photographer ” snaps ” her subjects ,
Zoe , with her cigarettes and coffee ,
outside a diner at Fairfax & Willoughby ,
geographical surroundings affect emotional behaviour ;
Elizabeth , hanging around outside a club
at Sunset & North Poinsettia ,
circumstances determine consciousness;
there was something about their small town ,
something wasn’t satisfactory ,
so they moved here ,
to embrace a future where
their dreams eluded them .

Saleswomen , dancers , strippers , junkies ,
fetishists , unknown actresses , out of towners ,
all of them at the end of their rope .

The photographer ” snaps ” her subject ,
outside of 4306 Beverly Boulevard ,
Kelly , smoking a cigarette ,
pensive , reflective , vulnerable ,
waiting for her big break ;

The photographer ” snaps ” her subject…

( Footnote:- poem inspired by newspaper article on Lise Arfati’s
photographic exhibition, “On Hollywood” )