Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for May. Artworks from Mary Frances, James Knight and Sue Harpham will be the inspiration for writers, Alex Mazey, Ankh Spice, Samantha Terrell, Dai Fry, Carrie Ann Golden, sonja benskin mesher, Rich Follett, Don Beukes and myself. May 2nd

May 2

May 2nd Sonia painting


quiet now

we can hear the birds no problem
one lorry on the road essential travel


we hear the scratching

when dark comes
comes the scuttlings

flutterings outside

bats fly round our houses

others live and die

the fly


the moth comes lovely
soft and tasteful

nothing distasteful

we saves them
lifts them out the bath
a dry flannel as assistance

remember that fly in the room you wanted to swat
annoying. left alone it went quietly away

night came full of sounds

scratching enough to leave


enough to leave marks

the fly does

buzz when it flies
buzz as it dies


-sonia benskin mesher


Inclined to mention the halo of a mountain, somewhere
I am fourteen years old. This is a mountain behind a house
where I still remain, in this thought-process, every child
chews spearmint gum. It is definitely spearmint gum, and
the mountain is only a halo, now, this time, elsewhere. Like,
I don’t know, like Mark Fisher says, this stasis has been
buried – ‘the inventor of the term, a frustrating thinker’.


In the summer’s
taped shut windows,
without seeing
flies in years.

Hit mosquitos
against the wall,
once observing
blood left behind.

-Alex Mazey


Soul rumbles as grumble
dark bellows push
their boiling fist.
Hot drops, boiled rain.

Angry fats splatter
into faint signs, streaks of
early mournful light.

Fire waters bubble and churn
chained by conventions,
damned by convection.
In breaking songs of earth’s heat,
brash displays of prorogued grief.

Water crouches, fluid evasive.
As pain it cannot be broken.
Desire free to flow,
hurt a haunt of generations.

So strictures die
and violence will be
a multiple of passing times.

-©️ Dai Fry 1st May 2020.

In memory of those left behind : 9 December 2019

Sun’s first sleep-breath
sweets the dropped shoulder
of te puia whakaari, her bones

in early mistlight, are all grace
and delicate pickings, gulled
clavicles of a hard dancer, stilled. Coiled tension, resting.

It is hard to recognise a haunting, in the rose-gilt of sunrise.
Do you know her name? When you recognised it, did you forget
to exhale? Release your living now to cloud

the pane we do not see – watch deep scratches creep
across this vision. The guardians are always here, and the light
oh the light may change any moment.

-Ankh Spice

The Yellow Forest

Awakening – Dry mouth burning eyes skin burn, breathe.
Pin point vision echoing mission failed fission, inhale.
Heavy feet slow reaction no connection – A siren a siren!
Wake up stand up react retract, breathe.

Forest Walk – Dislodge move seek react engage stop!
Burning embers leaves glowing eagles falling feathers
floating, breathe. Listen observe – A lark hark the warning
A flash a flash, breathe. Eyes open sight broken, breathe.

Chokehold – Black river dead fish foul odour slow down,
Breathe. Soil on fire charcoal roots sprouting rotten fruit –
Stop smell retreat, breathe. Dead of night presence sucking
remaining air laboured breathing heartbeat slowing – Find
the opening, breathe. Look beware – Run!

The Gamdroela

Far beyond the Hottentotshuisie Mountains,
a mythical creature awaits to reward the chosen
one – Elected by the Bokmakierie Korrelkop,
a strange elusive soothsayer, traditionally
enshrined to make a wise choice – A new ruler
for the remote Belhar nation to once again wear
the sacred crown of Sekueb Nodmai, she whose
voice still echo from deep within the Bolemakiesie
marshlands –
A treacherous journey awaits the young Tandpyn,
Prince of the Bloekomboom tree nation, whose
Lands have nearly been scorched bare by the
Fiery blizzards of Macassar – Now charged
with the ultimate sacrifice, crossing the
Moddergat fynbos wetlands to eventually
reach the steep trail leading up to Fluweeltjie –
Lair of the ancient Gamdroela , a kleurvolle
Colourful but powerful oracle who will
Decide on the worthiness of the young Tandpyn…

-Don Beukes

The Dream

I had a dream last night
Of walking thru a forest-like place
Filled with earthy illuminances

I could barely make out the sharp
Round edges of branches and limbs
Bathed in a heavenly glow

These trees, so strange yet so familiar
These giants, so murky yet so real
Their aromatic odors filled my essence

And for the briefest of moments
I believed to be back home among these ancient pines
Until my eyes opened to the sterile white walls

-Carrie Ann Golden

Fly Away, Dream

When television broadcasting
Ended after late night news
And comedy shows, yellow, blue, magenta hues

On test patterns
Would send humanity
To bed, to fly away wistfully,

As on insect wings,
To a place of dreams
And endless possibilities.



what to us is dross
is a rainbow to the fly
perspective is key

-Rich Follett

Her Splash Of Veins

flutters, is still, proboscis twitch.
Flutters, is still, twitch.

Splash of wheat in fields,
Flutters as flywings.

Strands of wheat flywalk skin
as she passes she swats the touch away.

Till as she treads down more stalks
into the unmade bread of the field
bunches of wheat stroke her thighs
and she smiles at the bright sun of it all.

Snatches a stalk, lets it hang from her mouth
a proboscis tremble in the gust of her dreams
of flight above the ready to be harvested grain
rises toward sun blaze newly risen

warm bread a splash of veins in full colour,
breathes in her baked youth like goodness.

-Paul Brookes
Bios and Links

-Alex Mazey

(b.1991) received his MA (distinction) from Keele University in 2017. He later won The Roy Fisher Prize for Poetry with his debut pamphlet, ‘Bread and Salt’ (Flarestack, TBA). He was also the recipient of a Creative Future Writers’ Award in 2019. His poetry has featured regularly in anthologies and literary press magazines, most notably in The London Magazine. His collection of essays, ‘Living in Disneyland’, will be available from Broken Sleep Books in October 2020. Alex spent 2018 as a resident of The People’s Republic of China, where he taught the English Language in a school run by the Ministry of Education. His writing has been described as ‘wry and knowing,’ with ‘an edge that tears rather than cuts or deals blows.’

Twitter: @AlexzanderMazey

Instagram: alexmazey

Here is my interview of Alex:


-Rich Follett

is a High School English and Creative Writing teacher who has been writing poems and songs for more than forty years. His poems have been featured in numerous online and print journals, including BlazeVox, The Montucky Review, Paraphilia, Leaf Garden Press and the late Felino Soriano’s CounterExample Poetics, for which he was a featured artist. Three volumes of poetry, Responsorials (with Constance Stadler), Silence, Inhabited, and Human &c. are available through NeoPoiesis Press (www.neopoiesispress.com.)

As a singer-songwriter, Rich has released five albums of independent contemporary folk music. His latest. Somewhere in the Stars, is available at http://www.richfollett.com. He lives with his wife Mary Ruth Alred Follett in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he also pursues his interests as a professional actor, playwright, and director.

-Ankh Spice

is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa (NZ). His poetry has appeared in a wide range of international publications and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He truly believes that words have the power to change the place we’re in, and you’ll find him doing his best to prove it on

Twitter: @SeaGoatScreams
or on Facebook: @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry

-Carrie Ann Golden

is a deafblind writer from the mystical Adirondack Mountains now living on a farmstead in northeastern North Dakota. She writes dark fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in places like Piker Press, Edify Fiction, Doll Hospital Journal, The Hungry Chimera, GFT Press, Asylum Ink, and Visual Verse.

-sonja benskin mesher

born , Bournemouth.


lives and works in North Wales
as an independent artist

‘i am a multidisciplinary artist, crafting paint, charcoal, words and whatever comes to hand, to explain ideas and issues

words have not come easily. I draw on experience, remember and write. speak of a small life’.

Elected as a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and the United Artists Society
The work has been in solo exhibitions through Wales and England, and in selected and solo worldwide.
Much of the work is now in both private, and public collections, and has been featured in several television documentaries, radio programmes and magazines.

Here is my interview of sonja benskin mesher:


-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:


-Don Beukes

is a South African and British writer. He is the author of ‘The Salamander Chronicles’ (CTU) and ‘Icarus Rising-Volume 1’ (ABP), an ekphrastic collection. He taught English and Geography in both South Africa and the UK. His poetry has been anthologized in numerous collections and translated into Afrikaans, Persian, French and Albanian. He was nominated by Roxana Nastase, editor of Scarlet Leaf Review for the ‘Best of the Net’ in 2017 as well as the Pushcart Poetry Prize (USA) in 2016. He was published in his first SA Anthology ‘In Pursuit of Poetic Perfection’ in 2018 (Libbo Publishers) and his second ‘Cape Sounds’ in 2019 (Gavin Joachims Publishing). He is also an amateur photographer and his debut Photographic publication appeared in Spirit Fire Review in June 2019. His new book, ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’/Thus Passes the Glory of this World’ is due to be published by Concrete Mist Press.

Here is my interview of Don Beukes:


-Dai Fry

is an old new poet. He worked in social care but now has no day job. A keen photographer and eater of literature and lurid covers. Fascinated by nature, physics, pagans, sea and storm. His poetry seeks to capture image and tell philosophical tales. Published in Black Bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore Press and the Pangolin Review. He can be seen reading on #InternationalPoetryCircle and regularly appears on #TopTweetTuesday.
Twitter. @thnargg
Web    seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter

-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.

-Mary Frances

is an artist and writer based in the UK. She takes a few photos every day, for inspiration and to use in her work. The images for this project were all taken in the last two years on walks during in the month of May. Her words and images have been published by Penteract Press, Metambesen, Ice Floe Press, Burning House Press, Inside the Outside, Luvina Rivista Literaria, and Lone Women in Flashes of Wilderness.

-James Knight

is an experimental poet and digital artist. His books include Void Voices (Hesterglock Press) and Self Portrait by Night (Sampson Low). His visual poems have been published in several places, including the Penteract Press anthology Reflections and Temporary Spaces (Pamenar Press). Chimera, a book of visual poems, is due from Penteract Press in July 2020.

Website: thebirdking.com.

Twitter: @badbadpoet

Here is my interview of James Knight:


4 thoughts on “Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for May. Artworks from Mary Frances, James Knight and Sue Harpham will be the inspiration for writers, Alex Mazey, Ankh Spice, Samantha Terrell, Dai Fry, Carrie Ann Golden, sonja benskin mesher, Rich Follett, Don Beukes and myself. May 2nd

  1. Pingback: The Dream #Poetry #Writing – A writer & her adolescent muse

  2. Pingback: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for May. Artworks from Mary Frances, James Knight and Sue Harpham will be the inspiration for writers, Alex Mazey, Ankh Spice, Samantha Terrell, Dai Fry, Carrie Ann Golden, sonja benskin mesher, Rich Follett, Don

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