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 13th

13MF 13


A cataract blackens my right eye,
the one I used to look at the sun;
no one is left to ask why,
because you are lost in dust,
and our friends are lost with you
at that final beach-mob outpost.
Looking into the sun, then at you
spread out, lovely and moist,
all I could see were black dots
on your face as it smooched air,
and on your knees, now way too hot
raised up, like dream castles, there
were lines and arrows instead
of your smooth knobs, smoothly red.

-Elizabeth Moura


on the cosmic timeline
humankind appeared minutes ago—
aeons later (by our reckoning),
like one primeval furrowed brow
or the disappointed jowls of
a disgruntled mage
with a bumbling apprentice,
earth sighed …

-Rich Follett


My heart

Is like a vast desert

Since you left this world

No amount of water

Can revive

My soul

Wanders an endless wasteland

Hopeless and lost

I don’t want to be found

I don’t need rescuing

I just want to sink in this endless abyss

Of your sweet embrace

-Carrie Ann Golden

Day 13 sonja

13. some folk are superstitious
some are not
some thought that tomorrow
would come different

did not look to see

so some may be disappointed
that the orange terror remains

like the alien in some 1950s film
or tv show
talking pictures

some listened to journey into space
on the radio, imagined such things
scared themselves silly
from behind cushions

this thing can suck the life even from
those hiding in soft furnishings

so they may go live underground
war of the worlds

I saw it live



Out of this grey-peak mountainside, I did not always realise,
that animals, like dogs, might comprehend another language.
There are only so many times. Only, so many times, a boy
can talk in different languages, hoping to find the right one –
would you like a sandwich? St. Bernard, only here for the tuna.
So, what? – an owner appeared, as beautiful as I imagined any
person could be. Hallo, guten tag, blonde lady… gut, danke.

-Alex Mazey

A Desire

I walk your edgeland desire lines.
Your fingers daylight a xenotopia in me.
A riverwalk into your heart’s sussurus.

-Paul Brookes


A plant’s wrong ways, take
shape on chancing breeze.
Anarchy rises to sap
at butchered lands.

Outsiders, friendless
purpose unknown.
Immigrants from the without.

We are frightened,
held rigid
by the different beauty
of their strange song.

These alien ways
like a wild yeast that
comes to a baker’s call.
Fresh, different
much raised in
our estimations.

Re-wilding gods,
stand to let
the ground grow
as it will.
A flower meadow
not a lawn.
Bees see it,
twice as sweet.

Flown, travelling seeds
on wind blown songs.
Till the loam of
a stranger’s town.
Taking the balance
of a natural palette.

And soon we will have a place
of rare delight.
Watered with joy and tears,
cooled by butterflies.

©️ Dai Fry 12th May 2020.

Hold the river

You told me you haven’t been outside in 57 days
and tonight the river is a dropped ribbon, limp and lost
and the sharp stones of the trail as I begin to run
become the sound of something chewing. The faster
we go, the faster we’re eaten. You are moving,
in the lines of your confinement, so slowly now
you have become a painting in my head – static –
existing not to be touched. And in the guilty, lucky air
down here we’re starting up the engines
and on my knees in the soft mud I can hear the first plane
for months, idling beyond the water. I’d wish you were here,
but the wind is whipping up cold, and the coming dark
is frantic with sudden birds, woken startled
from their neat new nests along the runway.

-Ankh Spice

Searching the Depths

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” -Matt. 4:19

Seven worms
Squiggle out from the depths
After rain
Seeking sunshine,
Not too much.
They crawl into
Small hands
Making ready
To make a meal
Not of them, but
Creatures from different depths.
Get to the truck, Daddy’s got the poles!”


The Institute
(Part Two)

Dear Self – I am drowning in this blinding haze of red,
Locked in this current state, ‘ shut up! Leave my headspace
or I will end you! Are you still there? I cannot go on like this.
Last night another one made herself known to me taunting me,
mockingly. I can hear her in the walls of my deepest most
private secret space – ‘A voice, a voice! No, I refuse to submit
to you! Stop this ridiculous lie you knit every chance you get!’

Flashback – I am back in my childhood room, thirteen again.
I hear my parents bang the door down. I struggle to breathe.
I feel my dad forcing my fingers open as I clamp them
Tighter around my throat…
‘Good morning Mr and Mrs Sullivan. No need to look so
sullen. Rachel will be treated with the utmost respect and
care here at Clarence House. My name is Ms Marsh.
You have nothing to worry about. Are you ready Rachel?

The Confrontation – ‘Ow, You’re hurting me! Where are you
Taking me? Shut up you spoiled brat! You will soon find
out how we heal misfits like you. Let me go you old hag!
Now you listen to me you pathetic little creature. You better
get used to me. After all, you have been placed into my care,
so don’t you dare! You will soon realise you’re not that
special at all. The others will reveal themselves to you soon.
You better get some rest my dear. No need to fear, I promise.

Dear Self – I feel so lost. I heard it again last night – A faint
tapping deep inside my head. Someone also tried to reach me
but it was a faint whisper. What is wrong with me? What is
this place? I’ve got to get out of here. This spiral prison is
making my head burst. Please show me a way out! ‘Hello?’

-Don Beukes

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 13th

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