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, Elizabeth Moura and myself. May 8th

8MF 8


silver yew bows to
war-torn stone and brick patchwork—
alhaya renews

-Rich Follett

Ash-coloured trees, a forest, a liquidated referential, perhaps
against the valley wall. There’s a thousand-year-old olive tree,
somewhere, in a mountain town, where a child serves coffee,
and burgers. Outside, grandmother’s goat stew – blow it first,
child, with a cold spoon, intricate handle, intricately handled.
There are some parts to this world we will never understand.
Ash-coloured trees in the night are like, I don’t want to say it.


A page of Baudrillard is a fatal strategy
avoid meaning indefinitely, bore them
with a senseless finality – reverse evil.
Poetry as ecstatic object, secret qualities,
sworn to extremes and quiet synthesis,
the visible to the hidden, more hidden
metamorphosis, (Kafka as a lonely man

laughing at the still living, the digitalised
still life – still born). Illusion plays speech
instantaneously – the nature of seduction,
nostalgic slowness as a merry-go-round.
Silenced once; the silent dialogue of signs.
Fashioned vapid character, aesthetic form,
immoral form, fragile, sentimental desire

shapes superlative power, the objective;
an achieved attraction, our only passion.

-Alex Mazey

..albert & Victoria..

how to tell a picture in words?
egfrasic & I cannot spell
it only in placid moments.

do we describe what we see or maybe
tell the tale inside

albert and victoria
a safe place now
yet round the corner on the wall
are the bullet holes while in dublin
the same on a statue

blood shed
they killed horses too when they
fired their guns, dropped the bombs
what then oh butterflies wing?

I can spell ekphrastic here
but not up there

today there is no image
nor a recording of the voice
just look at the holes in walls.


Life after all

This is where it happened.

You weren’t there,
not that you were ever there

whenever I needed you there.

I’ve often dipped my fingers
in the hollows grief makes.

Here is where it happened.

We climb, but our feet slip,
we don’t fall, but we dangle.

How I needed you there,
to save me from
being myself being there.

Whose life was it, after all?

-Elizabeth Moura

Walls Are

Bed bent wall bound,
less human now as
broken into this square.

Run five fingers
feather light, to
feel walls behind
these closed eyes.

A stony glance
holds a soul
eternal captive, hate
an emotional geometry.

Stone four squared.
Secrets whispered
ear to ear.
Shed tears, wet straw.
Awake, a greeting of
dawn light under the door.

Dream in winds
and creaking trees,
a soul free to run
and run,
until breath is not sufficient.

©️ Dai Fry 7th May 2020.

The Institute

White noise cracking in my headspace

Phantoms in their nightly forced circus

A horse dancing on a rainbow beckoning

Me to follow – I just want to lie my head

down and crawl through my safety tunnel

where I can hear myself think maybe whistle

my favourite tune – Where I choose the paths

in the backstreets of my mind, master of my

own symphony unlike the invasive unwelcome

poking into my private psyche room where

my mental defences are muted by unstable

needy self-elected pharaohs enacting random

healing punishments – I am so done with this!

Dear Self

I am slowly drowning in this mental haze choking

me repeatedly – I need to hear your voice

again even just a faint whisper to remind me

I am still here. Here comes that choking red

Mist again, darkening my vision – My existential

Failed mission no escape… Are you there?

The Trees are Dead

Sour earth neglected responsibilities

toxic oxygen the result of inaction by

Clueless wise men waving their untested

theories yet ignoring increasing revelatory

fatalities from untested remedies meant to

heal nations – Our mortality affected by

inept irrational policy makers hoping to

gain one more vote but we are all in the

same boat – Frantically trying to stay afloat

but worrying cracks are deepening our

livelihoods darkening, so we gather en masse

to finally protest along a charred boulevard

hoping in vain but it is of no use when the

guilty refuse to attempt to reverse recalculate

regenerate for future generations all nations

so we keep the faith even though the trees are dead.

-Don Beukes

Take Me Around Again

Carousel horses,
Are all your circles meant to comfort, or to mock?
And, where will you take me today?
To that bustling park
In West Endicott,
Near the house we almost bought?

Or maybe, all the way back to my childhood dinner time,
When everyone else had moved from home,
And you were three sad napkin rings,
Trotting repetitively around the lonely table. You know
Your steady pace marks time perfectly, while I’m distracted by the bright colors and scenery,
Until I’m caught between once, and today.


For #1 of Day Eight:

The Shaft

Within the mine’s walls
I hear the dead’s calls
As my feet pound these halls
Blinded by charging fireballs

#2 of Day Eight:

I remember as a child an elder spoke
of a ghost town deep in the mountains
where a single wall’s all that remained
Its crumbling façade brimmed with untold stories
Of former residents trapped within the wailing barrier

-Carrie Ann Golden

My Olive

tree is a horse whose mane of leaves
shakes in a gust, whose bark whinnies
when she moves. When I press myself
into her flanks she is the oil
that brightens my meals.

I am calm under her canopy of mane.
Her favourite place is beside the pitted wall.
A Roman wall with close knit red bricks and stone.
The stone is sculpted by round ammunition holes,
but has not fallen. They did not break through here.

I look down at my horse, the olive tree beside the wall
from my balcony. History is always here.

-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

-Elizabeth Moura

lives in a converted factory and works with elders. She has had poetry, flash fiction or photographs published in online and print publications Human/Kind Journal, Rose Quartz Poetry Magazine, Hawk & Whippoorwill, The Cormorant, Radical: A Lit Zine, Chrysanthemum, Occulum, Flash, Paragraph Planet, and Flash Fiction Magazine. On Twitter @mourapoet, Instagram mourathepoet and mourastudio.wordpress.com.

-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.

One thought 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, Elizabeth Moura and myself. May 8th

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