Cyanotype inspired ekphrastic poems penned by poet Erren Kelly

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Dreaming of northern lights

As I’m walking the streets with you

The stars burn white like your thighs

From my touch


We,re the only children of

Twilight , tonight

Though our breaths replicate



A leaf burns white in the

Night, like your thighs


A dream we share becomes

Real as I hold you

The night is a film negative

Truths revealed,as I

Hold your hand


On a a maple leaf night

That burns white

As your thighs


I watch as the will

Of your dreams

Control you


You climb up a hill

No scheme lies before



Such are the choices we make

Fragile, as a leaf falling

Are the breaths we take


On a maple leaf night

The sky burns white

Like your thighs


-Erren Kelly,  2-20-14, Burlington, VT



Down feathers make the

best Pillows,

which rests on Cotton sheets

Because she feels like

An ivory snow baby

When she falls Asleep

Like cotton sheets

And. Down feather pillows

She is an acquired taste

Not pretty

but Amazingly beautiful as

She lies on her brass bed

Like an ivory snow baby

She,s always been good

At  getting what she wants

She’s more trouble than

She,s worth

But she,s all the trouble

You Need

-Erren Kelly, 2-21-14, Burlington, VT


Loggerhead sea turtle skull #2  (Caretta caretta)

sometimes, i walk the streets
because i know if i stop moving
i’ll become prey for predators
i’ll become extinct
god is my friend, though sometimes i
wonder if he hears me when i call
the cries rippling, echoing on
the waters the turtle swims under
in the coffeehouse, my true habitat
i sit, listening to jazz or trance or dubstep
or electronic music, using any form of
art as ekphrasis, to strengthen
my own art, to toughen up
my shell, which is still
art toughens up every part of me
but always soften up my
the loggerhead sea turtle has a life span of 47 to 67
the men in my family never live
my father, daredevil he was,
managed to make it to 70
survived three automobile accidents
and three triple bypass heart  surgeries
my baby brother,  roderick
lived for 15 years waiting on a kidney
finally laid down
on night
and made his grand exit
he told the world ” fuck it”
as if life was a currency
that had lost its value
like the loggerhead sea  turtle
i have brown skin, i am enormous
roaming the streets, like it roams the sea
my natural habitat
cops watch me, like undersea predators
cops watch me, like they shoud’ve watched adam lanza
before he walked into an elementary
school in sandy hook
opened fire and made kids eternal
cops track my movement by satellite and gps, like
they should’ve stalked those russians
who bombed the boston
and made sweet
the mourning hymn of a broken
but cops keep me under surveillance
because i’m brown
and because my pen and tongue are
liquid swords
words are the habitat i swim in
like my father and
brother, i know i will die
the men in my family don’t live to be old
but i can look at death, like a turtle
looks at larger prey
and laugh
cos i know there are
better worlds than
better oceans to swim in
to make my mark, to leave my
the loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive
females lay an average of 3 or 4 egg clutches  and then
become quiescent, producing no eggs
for 2 or 3
the loggerhead sea turtle reaches sexual maturity
within 17 to 33 years
once, the turtles reach adulthood,  their
formidable size limits
predation to large marine animals
such as
i am fighting to exist
i am making sure my name lives on
after i’m gone
after daddy died
i thought about kids
at first, i wanted a
a nice little brown
who would carry on
my name
who would have me and my father
inside him
who would be
if he wanted to play sports
i wouldn’t stop him
but i’d prefer he’s
paint, write or draw
maybe play jazz the way miles or monk did
the loggerhead sea turtle’s
sex cannot be determined
externally until it
reaches adulthood,fully grown
i have been told i have feminine traits
i’m big but, i’m hypersensitive
i’m strong,   but i’m vulnerable
in a coffeehouse
a man walks up to me and touches me
saying,” i’m just trying to be friendly.”
i show restraint and do everything
humanly possible not
to beat him down into a grease
i have this thing about
men touching me:
it’s a violation of my space
the female loggerhead turtle
only breeds 3 or 4 clutches of eggs
and sometimes can
go 3 or 4 years
without having babies
the loggerhead sea  turtle eggs are
especially vulnerable to marine predators
kinda like living on
the streets, isn’t it?
survival of the fittest
i get up everyday
doing my best to be the lion instead of
the gazelle
i apply for a job and an interviewer
assumes i have a criminal record
never mentioning my b.a. degree  in english
” you speak too well and articulate too good
for a black person”
but i keep reading books
like they’re oxygen
i look at women’s breasts
for their fullness
there hips for their
i not only want a woman to love
i want a woman who
will keep the line
who will swim with me
under the ocean and bring my kind
back from
                                                     erren geraud kelly/ february 23, 2014

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