#NationalPoetryDay October 1st 2020 poetry and artwork challenge. The theme is “Vision”. Ocular or metaphorical welcome, unpublished/published work welcome. Join Rachael Ikins, Gregory Luce, Kit+CY and myself. DM me on Twitter or send a message via my WordPress site. I will feature all work submitted.

“Invisible Me” A photo series by Rachael Ikins



Rachael comments “I have always been fascinated with eyes and faces in all media of my artwork.”


the giants are here
they mollycoddle me cuddle me feed me a jugful of uncurdled milk
they spoon pureed peaches into my gurgling mouth then sing lullabies to soothe me to sleep
they promise me the world and everything that’s not extinct by the time I’m old enough to know the difference between a rhinoceros and a hippopotamus
then while I dream they go and start a revolution to save the oceans the earth the skies
they leave Argus Panoptes to watch over me
and I am safe
unaware a hundred cataracts haunt his dauntless eyes

-Spangle McQueen

See in the Dark

“When what you write about is what you see,
what do you write about when it’s dark?”
—Charles Wright

Faces of lost loves
and my sons when
they were small,
heat shimmer off
a Texas highway
when I was a boy,
the woman gesturing
to no one on the bus
this morning.
Even with the light off
it’s never completely dark:
I can see the pale green
numbers on a digital clock
and streetlight filtered
by the blinds and
ambient light from
who knows where.

-Gregory Luce

Tantalum Lenses
‘I did nothing wrong’—Dominic Cummings

I crossed the polished marble floor
and found the politician’s optician at home.
His door was always open
for eye tests and fittings.

He looked long and hard into my eyes.
He’d damaged his own eyesight
writing illuminated text
by candle light.

He said there was no need to change my prescription—
exposure to his line of sight
had scratched my tantalum* lenses
with his vision.

*Tantalum is a conflict resource used in mobile phones, DVD players, video game systems and computers.

-Kit + CY

Twenty Twenty Vision
Masked and long division
Nature human fission
The World or us…
-Mivvy Tekchandani

. a vision request .

early while driving.                     omen repeating

sometimes the sun comes lower after the crest

one moment

imagine them marching,           slow & white.

will you name them?

in the wake all things come clear.

slow & white.

later below the peaks i tell him. he said it is

the dark crystal.


A Vision by sonja


. a470 .

sun hit the sea,

i was blinded,

by my own



Shortcomings By sbm


Out of blank space
gouge out shapes
of apples and light,
as instrument digs
a blister into palm

He cannot afford mistakes,
steady handed controls
citrus bite of wives
and mistresses.

Strong stink of oxidized linseed oil,
resins, ground cork, wood flour
and pigment all pressed together
and flattened. In later life
after bull sunned atrocities.

If mistakes made
disguise, or begin again.
A head on challenge.
Black eyes carve the shapes,
Print bold red, yellow and green.
A still life, unstilled creation.

-Paul Brookes


Volunteer Work by Peter Thabit Jones

Arachne Press in their project “Stairs and Whispers”

created a whole series of poetry written in British Sign Language all available on Youtube. they have kindly allowed me to quote some examples:

Presented as part of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches Press, 2017, edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani Barokka & Daniel Sluman)

Find more BSL poetry here: BSL poetry – YouTube

Another useful link is to the British Sign Language Poetry Playlist by Kate Lovell: https://disabilityarts.online/playlist/british-sign-language-poetry/

other useful links:





Ailbhe’s Tale by Lynn Buckle

Ailbhe’s Tale – National Centre for Writing

#DeafAwarenessWeek2021 poetry and artwork. Have you written unpublished/published about deafness? Have you made artworks about it? Having to wear two hearing aids myself I have a small awareness of the difficulties that happen. Please DM me, or send a message via my WordPress blog.

David Hackbridge Johnson on Andrew Duncan: A Barbarian Tripos

The High Window

Andrew Duncan was born in Leeds, in 1956. He studied as a mediaevalist and started his writing career in punk ‘fanzines’. He has been publishing poetry since the late 1970s, serving as the editor of the magazine Angel Exhaust. Duncan worked as a labourer (in England and Germany) after leaving school, and subsequently as a project planner with a telecoms manufacturer (1978–87), and as a programmer for the Stock Exchange.


duncan_big cropped

You can read listen to Andrew Duncan reading his poems here


A Barbarian Tripos: – On Andrew Duncan
David Hackbridge Johnson

The alien cultures
punk fanzine of new vistas
mesh of a Chinese martial-arts movie
our modern mercantile mess.

This is not meant as a poem but is ‘found’ from the blurbs on the back covers of four Andrew Duncan poetry volumes. Not at all randomly culled. From these perceptive fragments it might be possible to make…

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dawn chorus day

Its not aboutdawn by soo finch

-Soo Finch

you don't have to be a lark by Jonathon Totman

-Jonathan Totman

A Dawn Chorus (Vacana 11)

O, Lady of the Breath.
how to arc in your air?

A dozen or more tiny caves
sing you into the world

from the trillbudded barkskin
volume and delivery

a root that connects with
its origin tree,

broadcasts to my ears,
territory songs,

and chat up lines, a Saturday
night on the town played out

on a morning before the wormshop,
home repair, teach bairns how to fly,

-Paul Brookes


#InternationalDawnChorusDay Have you heard the birds? Have you written unpublished/published about the dawn chorus? Have you made artworks/photosabout it? Please DM me, or send a message via my WordPress blog.

NaPoWriMo Day 31: Bonus


Holding On

If only we could all be

like the children

we once were

before we were pushed

into a harsh reality

by selfish adults.

Our laughter and openness

smothered by discipline,

verbal hands

covering our mouths.

We gathered our moments

gratefully — bits of starlight,

deep woods quiet, wild violets

and jonquils in Spring. We held them

close, like talismans for the future.

We held on until we didn’t have to.


Bonus prompt via The Wombwell Rainbow

Art by Kerfe Roig

So I missed the last two days of NaPoWriMo. I’m sad but it couldn’t be helped. I had my last COVID-19 vaccination on Wednesday and was rather sick for 48 hours after. All I wanted was to sleep or try to sleep. But I’m all better now and when I saw the bonus prompt I decided to jump in. My poem is on the sad side but…

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All Earth’s Children

The world according to RedCat

Full Of Children by Kerfe Roig

I have a dream
Of all earth’s children
Cherished and loved
Fed and clothed
Happy and safe
Free to fantasize and play
Allowed to dream
Educated to think for themselves
Regardless of gender, faith or colour
Free to choose whatever their hearts desire

Free to laugh
Free to love
Free to live


This year poetry month has an extra day. A May Day Special.

To read all poems inspired by Kerfe Roig’s artwork Full Of Children go to The Wombwell Rainbow.

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Kerfe Day: One More, Final, Final Day of the Ekphrastic Challenge

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

Kerfe Roig

A Rainbow Future After the Storm

Soft dove clouds transform to dolphin dark,
again change, and roaring black wolves

with a flash, then
the shrouded monochrome world becomes a tapestry,

a multitude of shape, color, hues. Here, a strand of azure,
here, emerald-green, glistening with diamond sparkle, woven
under and over

embroidered with the vibrant wishes of children—blue horses, red deer,
twinkling golden stars, a spotted purple dog, a striped-orange cat—

a collection, a connection of
smiling faces brighter than the sun,
dream of a rainbow future–
after the storm has passed.

There was a mixup with the images, so Kerfe has been given her own day! So, this is Day 31 of the challenge, Kerfe Day. You can read the rest of the poems here. Once again, thank you to all the artists and poets. It’s been a wonderful, creative challenge.

I don’t know why, but…

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Drop in by David Bleiman

Nigel Kent - Poet

Today I have invited David Bleiman to drop in to reflect upon a poem from his unique collection,This Kilt of Many Colours, (Dempsey and Windle, 2021).

Have you noticed how, long after a people have been cleared by war, migration and the wash of history, the name of their place persists? Why do we, hundreds of years later, still call the place by the name which was given by the people we have replaced?

My poem Place markers looks at examples from different countries. The USA is full of places which retain their native American names, or some distorted version thereof. I take Manhattan and Chicago as prominent examples. Nearer my Scottish home, the mysterious Picts, who left no writing and little language, hang on in carved stones and the names of places.

Like many of the poems in this collection, I come back to my own…

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