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 4th.


MF 4

May 4


the child psychiatrist and oh how we can spell that
lodged up the stone steps at the clinic
the air was nice that day and she was shown blobs
said they were butterflies
watched the dolls act and
said that was junk really

that father had just run off with another woman
that was how they talked then
he probably walked
maybe hurried to get away

declared sane at eleven
left at half past with the
gift of a bible kept for the ages

thought that was rubbish too

she was small in that place


-sonja benskin mesher


So many people give birth to nothing. This line is extremely
unimpressive, but knot ties, in some small way, to something
tangible, outside of the self, like this painting, like this person,
not waving nor drowning; Linkola’s cats, Murakami’s cats,
the cats in a Studio Ghibli animation, like the girl-witch from
Kiki’s Delivery Service, like the fading behind Mark Fisher,
a fisher man, a fisher man like Pentti Linkola, dying in 2020.


I am not all that impressed
with the technological ability
to view, with intricate detail,
the delicate impressions of a
wing. It seems eyes can form,
into the deoxyribonucleic acid,
into many things. Enthusiasm is
not located in a scientific word.
It is not so fascinating – really.

-Alex Mazey

Quiet Please

I take my bow,
it is really yours.
Proud bends the back
of the master.
Semaphored arms
embrace acoustic gold.

The tenants appraise,
heads in silenced rows.
Bodies rustle, anticipation is
subsumed into soft cough
and quiet creak.

All is submission
as a pin of fallen angels
sprawls across the floor.
Equations their silent recitals
while music sits patient
as an obedient hound.

So now…
To elevate a multitude
of trailing notes.
Spinning of helicopter leaves
in a brass breeze.
A syncing of vibration and desire
pitches each point perfect,
till buttercup soft
lit hard and sharp,
under home’s dull light.
Sour as summer lemon trees.
Then boom-dark crash,
as water calling dead souls
to the combe.

And all this while
in a discomfort of seats,
ears make ready to meet
the brightling core
that sits within.

-©. Dai Fry 3rd May 2020.

The Speech

Shadow Nation – We exist in cold shadows where
our fading echoes are drowned by your bulldozers
in the name of progress – Yet in the dead of night
you stalk us hunt us to delete us silence us mock us
bury us until we float away as ash a hush – Outcasts

We, the Mothers – We gave you life but your journey
crossed unknown paths, bowing down to greedy gods
sucking your soul dry but you welcomed promised riches
licked bitter molasses with gravy train false preachers,
Forgetting your inherent good essence resulting in your
Foretold death sentence. Our grief is no relief our warnings
Faded into nothing as you left us broken, eternally hurting…

Vision X – Your world is no more. You are here but
in another sphere another existence an alternative reality
because of your foolish insistence to enact nuclear
annihilation, depleting all nations. You stare at me but
your voice is muted as you attempt to explain your
existential burning pain still searing through your
perforated punctured soul – How you willingly
participated in a man-made selfish senseless
final war to claim the ultimate earthly prize – Ruling
the global village, oh how wrong you were! Thinking
you would last your nuclear winter but you melted
each other deleted each other destroyed your
earthly legacy by your insatiable hunger for power.

Well, here you are – Stuck on Planet X, destined
to find no eternal rest whilst dead stars of eons
ago further darken this existence and the light of
exploded suns now blind your new vision…

© Don Beukes

In This Place

Wings do not fly.
Mirrors do not reflect.
Arms raised ask for folk
to lie face down on the floor.

Decay is praised.
Illness is needed.
Death is requested.

Life is despised.
Nurses are criminals.
information is disinformation.

Paranoia is wanted.
Conspiracies are welcomed.
Demands are never met.

Government advice must be ignored.
All advice has a use by date.
Use by dates are decided by us all.

Control is freedom.
Take back control.

-Paul Brookes

inside my name

dream state, Monday, 2 AM
mothwing Navajo vagina;
Georgia O’Keeffe portal to an alternate universe;
Rohrschach montage of feminine puissance
with Bette Davis eyelashes and cheerleader breasts

transfixed, i plunge into its pulsing core
emerging in grade school
where I wrote my name in conté
on clean white paper
folded and then opened—
wrote so carefully, never crossing the midline—
then just as carefully
colored in the loops and angles,
folded the paper back again
(folded it like a prayer)
and rubbed it with a block of wood

we were told to expect other worlds
when we opened that fold again—
told that secrets would be revealed

i did not see other worlds
i saw only what seemed to be
sidewalk chalk art
marred by sudden summer rain

i have waited five decades
for this morphologic grace—
this mothwing Navajo vagina;
Georgia O’Keeffe portal to an alternate universe;
Rohrschach montage of feminine puissance
with Bette Davis eyelashes and cheerleader breasts

dream state, Monday, 3 AM
i wake with grateful tears,
having seen at last
inside my name …

-Rich Follett

Lockdown scored for one instrument

After noticing you have gritted your teeth
(these days contain all we cannot bite gone)
choose a tuning shape. Knot yourself closed,
or petal out your limbs
towards the constant poke of the world.
Either way you annotate a rest.
Either way you are not how you began,
and you may hear the breath
drawn at the beginning of the stave.
Music is always quivering somewhere
in the darkness of a body;
in a chamber of polished wood
in the auditorium of bone
(that same clench heavying shoulders).
Tune your knot. Turn your wood.
Poise the humming star of your frame
and play, unbowed or wound, just
play until your last string breaks.

-Ankh Spice


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” –Matt. 6:19

Trapped between
Window and pane,
Moth wings open and shut
Like pages of a book. Dust

Flutters forth
From the cover
Between which words, too,
Are trapped, unable to do

Their work, live and breathe,
Seek and find, call forth action,
Convey the power to believe.
I am a moth. Set me free.


The Artist, for Day Four, Part One

An artist’s mind
Unlike the rest of the masses
Is a visionary kind
Reality to him
May be pretend to others
He bends on a whim

-Carrie Ann Golden

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.

3 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 4th.

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

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