The Missing Man Table/Ekphrastic Poems

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On Saturday, September 26, I’m scheduled to participate in an event at the Thin Man Watts Amphitheater at the African American Museum of Arts at 325 South Clara Avenue in DeLand, Florida. It is an outside event–my first live event since the coronavirus quarantine.

I’ve been asked to read my ekphrastic poem, “Running on Air.” It’s a competition for best ekphrastic poem, and follows a Breakin’ Bad Poetry Slam. I’ll wear my mask when I’m not reading.

Ekphrastic poems are defined as poems written about works of art. My poem is about a work of art currently on display at the Museum of Art located on Woodland Boulevard across from Stetson University.

I rarely write ekphrastic poems, except for the August Postcard Poetry Festival poems I write in response to postcard photos. However, my first ekphrastic poem was in response to the Missing Man Table located in the Veterans Museum & Education Center above the Tic-Toc Store in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Yesterday, I was reminded of the poem and The Missing Man Table when I walked into a restaurant in Wildwood, Florida.

The same table arrangement sits at the entrance to the restaurant as the one I saw in Daytona Beach.

Although it is not on canvas, this table is the most inspiring work of art I’ve ever seen. It makes me want to write poetry. What ignites your inner fire?