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 3rd

3MF 3

Sue 1

May 3.

May 3 sonja

.severn bridge.

it was a long journey

well you do don’t you. you travel .

you do what you has to do with love

even if things are difficult.

I feel it was just before the bridge

later they changed the name of it

there was this tree in a garden and I guess still there

through april we saw it bud as we passed going down

bloomed as we returned

later petals fell

then the reason for the journey failed and



when I see a magnolia tree I remember

I remember sultry days in the long grass dried over

by cuckoo woods over there

catching them, dry creatures singing

looking them over and gently placing them back

the woman on the corner watched, looking over

the back

one arm missing

I remember a lot of things

-sonja benskin mesher


To be as impressed with flowers, as other people, is to achieve
something worthwhile. Here, Pentti Linkola – deep ecology,
disappointment, hands, prying open a bird box. Dead mammals,
the small bones of a petal, inside, the entire remit of clichés
involving death. Yes, another listy death poem, another regression.
Another impressive notion of right and wrong. Cats underwater,
drowning, observing these flowers in my hands, the branches, etc.


To be as impressed with bugs, as other people, is to achieve
something worthwhile.

-Alex Mazey

Tears For Lichen

On the flat stone she
wept her thousand regrets.
Wax petals, a mother’s
confetti of pink tears.

This was a song a
descant to winter-tide.
Of lighter months,
not to the stone of
dark grey lands
carrying lichen kisses.

And as the lichen looks,
death’s breath rattles
and waxed tears wash
abandoned to stoney seas.

A flower’s shower
a softer form of rain.
As the tree reaches out,
tentative fingers touch
her children’s clothes.

Ancient fruits that grew
before first flight arced,
beetles climbed these trees:
ancient crawling bees.

Mitochondrial Eve,
as magnolia flowers breathed,
oxygen rich and rot
from the seas.

©️ Dai Fry 2nd May 2020.

Lullaby of the Cicadas

The Flood – Stuck in mourning darkness every
twilight sadness for loved ones lost, I weakly
attempt to bravely to bravely attempt my inner
flood walls but then despair breaks through,
Threatening my brittle fading halo, so I let it seep
a little- Just to taste the pain once more but as
always like before, I allow a faint chorus to
penetrate through the dark cavities of my soul as
I listen to a lullaby of cicadas calming me healing
me comforting me shielding me – Saving me.

Chorus of the Nymphs – We come from dormant
Slumber to share our essence with you. Allow us
to numb the melancholic hum in your soul. Let us
gather notes of eons ago echoing from ancient
forest trees to deliver a new symphony – Hoping
to set your mind free from recurring soul-eating

Emergence – The mornings seem to radiate brighter
into these faded streets of my mind, where dagger
smiles are replaced with hopeful eyes, willing me to
turn back into a brightening awakening aura,
beckoning my new tomorrow, so I willingly follow
the faint strange welcoming sounds of a new song –
Joining the throng of lost souls eager to emerge
Renewed, healed. Fading sadness penetrated by a
lullaby of cicadas…

© Don Beukes

We Are the Wildflowers

Wildflowers and weeds
Bear a striking resemblance
To one another,
Differentiated mostly
By the kindness of time and
Human trials. What one calls
A weed, another calls a perennial.
And, garden walls meant to
Contain them are
Only masquerading as effective barriers.
Aren’t we all held back by
Human hands that pull and grab, or
Allowed to thrive,
By the grace of the benevolent?


Tanka for the last of the magnolias

Long smooth clouds bloom high
sugar-pink tower turrets
domes open to wind
fall reborn – coracles sail
lichen archipelago

-Ankh Spice

southern descent

sweet magnolia
summer storm
wind-strewn petals on
lichen and stone

feather-soft gentility
belies a core of tempered steel

southern by grace—
survivor by design
survivor by

-Rich Follett

A Locust

In our oral tales others
see us as plague.
Let us starve to feed
their children.

I don’t swarm.

I contemplate sat
on the viscous membrane
of this water.

Oppose my senses:

To avoid mirrors.
Fly around them
not into them
as death will be
your final image.

I only see
an image of myself.

-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:


-Sue Harpham

is an admin worker, currently not in work Married, 2 sons. Loves poetry and words. She considers herself a writer of scribble rather than a poet. She has written a novel and is using her spare time to finally get it published (self-publishing) which has been an ambition of her for the last 10 years.

2 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 3rd

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