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 11th

11MF 11

Day 11 sonja

eleven is ten continued..

I sat on the wall a while
further up a guy was painting
a cat
I watched him
clever
I heard a small noise to the left
turned
found the bloody orange thing was back
fussing around colouring up the air
smelling slightly warm
and damp

mid sucking noises the face appeared
black and white

from the bloody orange thingy.

-sbm

Murakami is my favourite Japanese writer, I remember
vaguely, a time when he did not show his face in public.
Showed his face as a series of cats. Some days, it is like
cats are the loneliest animals on the planet. I think, again,
of a book, by an author I cannot remember. I think, again,
of a time beyond myself, of these dead things, side roads,
memorialised, beyond face value; it’s more than we know.

-Alex Mazey

Journey to Fluweeltjie

The secret Map – It has been passed on by generations of
Meesters, protectors of their families and heirs to the kingdom
of Tiervlei. An existential secret map showing the way to the
land of Fluweeltjie, where essence of an eternal life force
would only be accessible to a worthy young warrior,
who would survive the treacherous Kaapse Vlaktes –
an underworld marshland filled with exploding
vrekwarm flames from below the sunken city of
Fluweeltjie – There to collect essence of the revered
Bitterbessie, ensuring longevity for all who deserve it –

The honour of collecting the precious bitterbessie
was bestowed on Sekueb Nodmai, heir to the kingdom
of Tiervlei. He followed the ancient path shown on the map,
and made his way to the secret entrance only he knew –
In the distance he spotted a lonely figure hovering just
above the ground, guarding the entrance. Sekueb
noticed that he hovered just above the ground, waiting.

Battle of the Kaapse Vlaktes – As soon as he crossed over
he was confronted by a sonskyn soldaat, ordered to
prevent any attempt at entering the dreaded Kaapse Vlaktes.
As donderwolke clouds exploded in the skies above,
the soldaat suddenly hurled a tokkelos at Sekueb, a fierce
creature which could instantly melt him, however Sekueb
only had to throw dust of poeier into its eyes to avoid
certain death. That opened the path to the gateway to
to the borrelende land of Fluweeltjie – What he did not know
was that he had to swim through the lake of souls, they who
have suffered the curse of failed missions – Looking to welcome
one more, as the water started to boil and stir…

(to be continued)

-Don Beukes

Hunters

I savor the rainbows
on wet streets,
and the pigeons without sense
who peck at nothing.
The streets are empty,
dehumanized.
As it should be, as it is.
I feel the rumbling
not of wheels or thunder;
it is the precious honey bee,
another hunter
as effortless as myself.
It’s hunting in unkept lots
the modest dandelions.
My feet dance
over faded chalk;
I fear nothing.

Elizabeth Moura

Koi feeding

You save the stale crusts from the good brown loaf.
On your early walk through the city gardens, there is a round mirror

to crumble them into, and in it an unfamiliar creature,
folded and loose in his aspect. He watches you from the water.

You have never met his eyes, although you sense they are kind.
This morning autumn has nodded at the trees

and the ember of the squalling sun catches
a plume at his throat, and he blushes bright ¬— young

with newborn flame. The wind arrives
to spread the blaze outwards in ripples

from the man standing with his hands full
of burning bread, and when the fish surface

their mouths make round holes in his body.
In one tiny circle after another

the fire goes out. Cool water ¬— O O O ¬—
welling dark and smooth. It was always the truth.

What feeds on us that steals our fire.
What we feed to remember what we are.

-Ankh Spice

 

Identity Crisis

Colorful patterns
Etched into
Our lives,
Reveal truths
We often try to hide.

Denying reality
Doesn’t cease to
Make it so.
Call a cat a turtle.
It won’t hurt his ego.

But it does cause confusion.
Then, while we’re all mixed up
Arguing over semantics,
Inscriptions become clear –
Our identity betrays us.


-st

Stripe’s the given name
Latched on anything ‘till me
Now Clingon’s your name.

-Carrie Ann Golden

Practical Cats for Gen-Z

Sandburg’s cat did not have neon feet—
time passes; things change.

Kodachrome bas-relief kitty’s impress:

JPS –
just pussy-footing silently …
but

is neon ever silent?

as it is with humans, so with felines:
we always wish
against our nature.

Eliot’s three-name theory
would not seem to apply here
unless loud, louder, loudest
are on the list …

so, is kitty a success or a failure?

impossible to say
until we know his aim—
his ineffable, effable
(f***in’ ineffable)
deep and inscrutable singular

aim …

-Rich Follett

Of Cats And Gods

It is told in the oldest book that
all cats must have two dreams.
The second a tale
of the fertile crescent,
land of Nebuchadnezzar.
A place of long ago.

Only to leave,
for reasons of their own.
On a great adventure.
Maybe they first travelled
on Abraham’s road to Canaan.

Before they became gods,
and tellers of riddles,
on the banks of that north
flowing river.

“Where one gives birth to the other,
who in turn gives birth to the first”

©️ Dai Fry 10th May 2020.

Cat Called Nothing

JPS calls me Nothing.

Catness carries being at its heart.
I am condemned to be free.
If I tremble at the slightest noise,
if each creak announces me a look

This is because I am already in the state
of being-looked-at.

Catness haunts being. Hell is other people.
Catness lies coiled at the heart of being
like a worm.

Consciousness is a being,
the nature of which is to be conscious
of the catness of its being.

-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

Here is my interview of Ankh Spice: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/09/15/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ankh-spice/

-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

Here i

-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.
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.

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, Elizabeth Moura and myself. May 11th

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