Inspired by Frank Relle’s “Amano,” Jack Bedell composed his ekphrastic poem of the same name.


—Frank Relle Gallery, NOLA¹

Even what’s left of this broken cypress tree
     hasn’t given up reaching for the sky.

Busted dead center, and toppled over
     into the lake, its branches still climb
toward the stars bursting over this swamp. The sun has surrendered its sky, glowing

just under the horizon line, the lake’s surface
     stilled to exhaustion absent any breeze.

Even herons have tucked in for the night.
     This old tree, though, standing tip-toed

on its roots, just won’t cede to the pull
     of water, the notion that all things

must go to ground patiently. As long
     as there is light somewhere, it’s worth the reach.

1. Frank Relle is a photographer born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Tulane University with degrees in Cognitive Science and Philosophy. His photographs have been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Southern Review, and The Oxford American. His website is
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