Post-weekend Poetry 099: Beginnings by Neil Ellman

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the ninety-ninth poem in this series. This week’s piece is by Neil Ellman.

Beginnings (after the painting by Kenneth Noland)

The circular logic of the universe

defines its end

denies its beginning even after it began

ending where it survives

in endless circles of the mind

the shape of destiny told as history

repeated endlessly

as a Circle of Fifths around a clock

the rings of trees

as the myth of creation that never was—

its logic is none

other than where it begins

and ends

begins again, again

and never ends.


I asked Neil what prompted this piece and he said…

The poem is ekphrastic.  It was inspired by a work of modern abstract art by Kenneth Noland.  The painting consists of colorful circles much like a target.  I have always been intrigued by that image and the concept of “circularity” and the timelessness represented by the circle.

It was intriguing. Thank you, Neil.


NeilNeil Ellman has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.  Hundreds of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journal, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. You can find out more about Neil and his writing from


If you’d like to submit your poem (60 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here or a poem for critique on the Online Poetry Writing Group (link below).

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