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, Leela Soma and myself. May 10th

10MF 10

Day 10 sonja

orange it came flaring
while I was
minding
my business as always
looking at to sea hoping
for a boat

on the horizon
I got this thing whizzing round my face
warm emulsifying, wreaking havoc with
the serenity
buzzed my ears and stayed there
until defeated I moved to the wall
and sat there a while

undeniably tracing honesty in air
with one finger
pointing

it came clear later

-sbm.

*

Most people have a penchant for rocks – dry stone walls
with spiders inside. I once shook the leaves by a wall
to see what fell out, and every night, when I came home,
picked handfuls on my way, breadcrumb leaves to tear,
carefully, like prayer beads once blessed by spit, by piss,
by rain fall. Nobody knows why they do these things,
least of all, tear leaves, and tear, and scatter leaves away.

*

I have always imagined / galaxies shaped like / the inside of a pomegranate fruit. /
Authenticity interspersed with a tragic sense of irony. / Why do we write / like this?

-Alex Mazey

The Dream

I plunge into the depths of

nowhere, of empty uninhabited

space glowing like s beacon almost

beckoning like an empty womb ready

to cocoon new life – Expectant

nourishing, life-giving.

I fall further reaching unexplored cavities

of my questioning mind, witnessing

memories not even born yet, of

revelations still to come – I hear

faint whispers of familiar voices guiding

me teaching me protecting me.

My vision now clearer as I enter the
domain of forever – My former melancholy
turning into a joyous cacophony of encompassing
love. I breathe again. I laugh again. I live again…

Memories of Us

I still sometimes hear the
echoes of our laugher as we
reminisce of our shared happiness –
Our joy of creating new planting borders
Of days languishing in the sun until
the moonrise beckoned daily
reflections of love in various sessions,
of togetherness of silliness of happiness.

I feel such a fool not having shared more
thoughts with you, or not having told you
I forgive you for misinterpreted heated
arguments, of hating my foolish pride
but I cannot linger on anything bitter
as I still feel you with me in poignant
memories of us…

-Don Beukes

Wild Imagination

Yesterday I walked down a path in the woods
And spied a crumbling cornerstone of a building
Lost to past floods
Hidden in its base was a hole
Nearly encased in the shadows of hardwoods
Unsure if it was created by some mole
I moved near the edge and spotted a thick coiled string
Most of it vanished in the dried mud
Vivid images of mystical places down below
Filled my mind to the point that was maddening
With a headache I reluctantly returned to my neighborhood

-Carrie Ann Golden

Shiva’s Dance

All stones, a conglomeration
of illusion and desire.
All dawns, pre-set to rise and fall
breathe and grow
and yet…
all are followed by a drowning sun.

Not a stone story or tellers myth.
For souls so bound in greed and gold.
My house is as opium dreams…
in these whispers of life.

No movement, in still darkling corners
where life and dust move so slowly that
luxing shadows, low and subdued, can
hold a spirit in sleeping deeps.

So dance the ring of fire
without question,
for being must flow
in these meriel seas
and shaded rivers.
Apocalypse and creation
my coin.
You my currency.

Your hair is made
of flowers and death,
your breath mud baked
yet star sparkle sweet.
Your compassion always
greater than your parts.

So dance your dance
on life’s highest mountain,
in low dead seas.
No choice no chance
All else illusion’s flattery.

©️ Dai Fry 9th May 2020.

colloquy

chestnut and stone wall
speaking of patience and time
passersby know naught

-Rich Follett

Interstellar Connections

You are a small planet,
Unique in every way.
I reach out the solid branch
Of my being, as far as I can
To see if I can touch your greatness,
Learn more about the mysterious

Known and unknown parts
And the pre-existing orbit
Of my earthbound heart,
Causing me to overcome all fears,
To cross the void of space and find
What happens when we collide.

-st

Ishigaki music (the ballad of Rat and Cat)

Each day of that hot summer
the stonemason let the river sing to him
as he ate his noon meal, the moonsweet rice
the pink auras of salmon and ginger
and from his front hedge of rushes
crept sleek black Rat with his shinobue tail
and from the temple’s gap-toothed wall
ambled marmalade Cat with her koto miaow
and for a few grains of lunar rice
Rat conjured a rill of silver notes from his flute
and for a sliver of translucent spirit-fish
Cat would wail her strange ghost’s vibrato
and the inkbrush river shushed its rhythm
onto the clean white page of each day.
For a whole season the stonemason laid every rock
with songs in his head and his hands and his heart
and should you visit the temple
you will see the black Rat and the ginger Cat
who live forever in his tendered wall
and should you put your ear to the sweet stones
all placed just so, the music there
in the neat grains of them
will build and build inside you
a thousand years of comfort.

-Ankh Spice

Stars

Stars, are they the lost group of family?
Mists as memories, I long to see their faces
The navy sky lit by a sparkle of joy
ancestors in their glowing blessings looking
down, as the perfumed night air wafts gently.
A rare manuscript, an album of belonging
Generations bound by dna blood sweat and tears
A remembrance this darkest day of November
I turn the pages of love and belonging
a feeling of euphoria before the melancholy
sets in clinging like the frost on a rose bud
remembering ancestors, the stars in my eyes.

-Leela Soma

My Night

is a bag of nerve dripped stars
under lit lamposts.

Silence is a window strummed
by shadows.

Stone is a cloud announced as married
to dizzy soil.

Walls are rainbowed unicorn skin and bone
petrified by virgins.

Sugar is a grumble made by galaxies seen
by cardboard homeless.

Darkness is the locked door of a whisper
you cannot fully hear.

-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:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/12/18/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-alex-mazey/

-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.

now

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:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/10/16/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-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:

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

-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:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/11/02/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-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
#TopTweetTuesday

-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.

Leela Soma

was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications, including the National newspaper The Scotsman, The Grind, Visual Verses, New Voices, Gutter, Bangalore Review in India and Steel Bellows in the USA. ‘From Madras to Milngavie’ was her first poetry pamphlet. She has served on the committee for the Milngavie Books and Arts Festivals and on the Scottish Writer’s Centre Committee. Her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland.
Author of ‘Twice Born’, ‘Bombay Baby’ and ‘Boxed In’
Available on Amazon and Kindle.
Her website is http://www.leelasoma.wordpress.com

Here is a link to my interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/04/20/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-leela-soma/

 

-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.
Twitter:
@maryfrancesness

-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:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/01/06/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-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.

7 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, Elizabeth Moura, Leela Soma and myself. May 10th

  1. Some wonderful poems here. Inspired me to write one.

    Here’s my response to one of the images.

    Stars
    Stars, are they the lost group of family?
    Mists as memories, I long to see their faces
    The navy sky lit by a sparkle of joy
    ancestors in their glowing blessings looking
    down, as the perfumed night air wafts gently.
    A rare manuscript, an album of belonging
    Generations bound by dna blood sweat and tears
    A remembrance this darkest day of November
    I turn the pages of love and belonging
    a feeling of euphoria before the melancholy
    sets in clinging like the frost on a rose bud
    remembering ancestors, the stars in my eyes.

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