My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry and myself. April 24th

24 twitter size rannoch moor

Broken Heart Stone

The drovers road
ran through this moor,
stone people in their days.

Between times,raiders from
the west
just walked the beef away.

Railways came to check the lie,
on mattresses of wood and roots.
Took sleep on earth and ash.

Sheep in heavy jumpers
came aboard the train,
in a festive holiday mood
bound once, Firth of Moray.

When glaciers departed
the land breathed a relief
like proven bread raised
on bubbles of yeast.

At black woods edge
on Rannock Moor
the heart stone
marked the way,
glacial erratic.

Near there I saw a heron
take a rest from flight.

A heart is mended
in a dream this Isles way.

– © Dai Fry 23rd April 2020

Old Whistler

He has stalked the pool,
Statuesque for many years,
Wading with tattered wings
Through the shallows.

Once, a human took aim
And fired a shot, his wing
Bears the evidence, of a
Perfect O, that sings

When he dives into the wind.
Sometimes scars bring strength,
And the creatures down below
Still can’t hear him coming

-Ali Jones

The Sinking Sun

I am not a tree,
barren branches that stretch
through the sunset,
thirsty for morsels of light.
A tangle of veins
pressing into the sky
to keep night from falling.

I have no bloodline to the sun,
no call to warmth.
As the night chill falls at my feet
and the path in front of me
loses its texture,
the ache is wiped from my eyes.

I am free to wander
In the delight of my other senses.
The world comes alive
in the smell of satiated earth,
in the sound of rain tapping
a gentle rhythm against the sidewalk,
and the touch of my husband’s fingers
brushing the tears from my cheek.

With every sunset I collapse,
relief filling my breath
as I untether myself
from the rough touch of the day.
I find comfort in the darkness,
respite from the pain.
I am emancipated
in the sinking of the sun.
I am not a tree.

-Susan Richardson

Live On, Sweet Mother

In your serenity,
You offer more than
We proud humans can grasp,
Despite our categorizing,
Classifying, labeling.
Help us know our smallness
Before you, eventually, call us
To take us home.


-st

Change

Every day it’s the same scorching sun,
same moon, same trees & same birds.
The beach is same, same is the sand,
the waters are same, same are the tides.
I suffer same pain from heartbreaks.
Process of processing sadness hasn’t
changed. The excitement of a new
relationship and anxiety of whether
I will hold it together are still the same.
My mother loves me unconditionally,
my father cares about me, my brother
empathises with me — my support
system is the same. The time taken
by earth to rotate & revolve are same.
Springs & falls are cyclic. Rains, winter
and summer are cyclic. When a child
is born, the heart begins to beat.
Same is the heart which stops at death.
The cycle of life and death is cyclic.

-Jay Gandhi

Silence

Focus intently in the dusk.
You know what is to come,
but will not say it.

In your hall of mists
you know the secret knowledge
that moves beneath the waters.

Everyday you stab at that fact,
lift its writhe and wrestle
into the colours of day.

Swallow it whole, then raise
your vast wings and float
over moorland a white silence.

-Paul Brookes

Was is that thing that walks?

What is that thing that walks?
I can’t walk
Neither can I
But I can sway
You can sway?
I can’t sway
I can sway
But I can’t walk
I can’t shit either
Like that thing
It can shit as well?
It can also eat
It can shit and eat
And walk?
And you, you can sway?
Well, I can’t sway
By myself
It’s the wind that makes me sway
Oh well, that’s alright then
But I can grow
So can I
But you grow so slowly
Imperceptibly so
Well how do you grow then?
Up
I grow up
From the smallest of things
To the biggest of things
It’s just not fair
And that thing that walks
It can fly
Come on please
Stop with this
It can fly?
I shouldn’t have asked
But you always ask
Do I?
And then you forget
And ask again
I do?
You asked when I grew near you
And when the algae grew on you
And when the bug crawled over you
And when the fish swam round you
And then
When that thing walked past me?
Yes, the bird
I’m afraid so
You’re very kind
To repeat it all for me
Each time
You’re welcome old friend.

-The Fishpie Sky April 2020

Bios and links

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

-Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, coming from Potter’s Grove Press in 2020, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

Here is my updated 2018 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-susan-richardson/

-Ali Jones

is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.

Here is my 2019 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/12/28/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ali-jones/

-Jay Gandhi

is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at Amazon.in The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.

His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of PoetryCircle.com & OpenArtsForum.com. In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.

Here is my 2018 interview with him: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/09/23/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-jay-Gandhi/

-Samantha Terrell

is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)

Website: poetrybysamantha.weebly.com
Twitter: @honestypoetry

Here is my 2020 interview of her:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-samantha-terrell/

-Dai-Fry

is an x social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.

Twitter                  @thnargg

Web.                       seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
#TopTweetTuesday

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

3 thoughts on “My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry and myself. April 24th

  1. Paul, I sent what follows to Susan Richardson who suggested I send it on to you as you are mastering the Challenge:
    Saw the above painting and an idea emerged:

    Was is that thing that walks? Written by The Fishpie Sky.

    What is that thing that walks?
    I can’t walk

    Neither can I
    But I can sway

    You can sway?
    I can’t sway

    I can sway
    But I can’t walk
    I can’t shit either
    Like that thing

    It can shit as well?

    It can also eat

    It can shit and eat
    And walk?
    And you, you can sway?

    Well, I can’t sway
    By myself
    It’s the wind that makes me sway

    Oh well, that’s alright then

    But I can grow

    So can I

    But you grow so slowly
    Imperceptibly so

    Well how do you grow then?

    Up
    I grow up
    From the smallest of things
    To the biggest of things

    It’s just not fair

    And that thing that walks
    It can fly

    Come on please
    Stop with this
    It can fly?
    I shouldn’t have asked

    But you always ask

    Do I?

    And then you forget
    And ask again

    I do?

    You asked when I grew near you
    And when the algae grew on you
    And when the bug crawled over you
    And when the fish swam round you

    And then
    When that thing walked past me?

    Yes, the bird
    I’m afraid so

    You’re very kind
    To repeat it all for me
    Each time

    You’re welcome old friend.

    Written by The Fishpie Sky April 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.