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 14th

14MF 14

Right before the fall

A heartbeat before the slide
you know you’re going down
A monkey brain knows
when the branch is about to crack
And a kid feels the birth
of the tiny split in the ice
spreading from his last footstep
We learn to fall before we know
the promise we make by beginning to walk
which is to keep on doing it, even knowing
the ground will fail beneath us some day
And they say you time-travel just a little
before the cold takes you, the years
all that good footwork stamped into you
go for a wander under your lids, maybe
just trying to escape the inevitable. Did you know
what takes us under is not spared? This pass
through the mountains where your car went over
once lingered her beat, slicking sediment-ghosts
just before the blast split her. And that glacier
down south, undermined by a warming sea
shimmered with Pleistocene spring
just as her heart went to holes. Oh but wait,
that one went alone. The bones she holds
too deep to see the sudden blossoms
spiriting the ice.

-Ankh Spice


cherry trees blooming
in unexpected places
cheer world-weary hearts

-Rich Follett


I recall vending machines in a small side street, someplace
I’ve not yet been, maybe in a dreamscape, anyway. Someone
will take me to Mt. Fuji, one day. Someone will take my hand
through Aokigahara, the Sea of Trees, and we will buy iced tea
in a carpark vending machine. Have I told you the trick to a good
car park? They will say – yes – it’s in the flower arrangements,
the peeling memory of bright sakura trees. I will remember this.

-Alex Mazey

Day 14 sonja


it starts at thirteen, moves forward

teenage years spinning


a few stimming
later we watch the trees spinning
going about in a muddle
going down in trouble

those years

asked if there was a maypole
it was suggested to have a

it is all a gift



In my memory a
late snow had dried,
-leaving no trace-
though it still flaked
eggshell brittle from
the damp cellar walls.

I recall the deer park.
Richmond in early April,
probably a lifetime ago.

The pink and white a
growing bloom,
was joy within.

Did I dance the blossom
under ruck sacked back
and in leather shoes?

Dappled tree shadow,
as petalled canopies filled
the obscured skies.

A morning,
those trudging ways.
And everything was white
and pink. I loved
the pastel rain.
It made me cry.

©️ Dai Fry 13th May 2020.

The Institute
(Part Three)

The Revelation – Dear Self, I finally woke up to my reality,
As that wretched red mist cleared, my surroundings were
finally revealed. At first, I became aware of an annoying
hovering buzz – Invisible but audible. As my eyes adjusted
to where I was, I could swear I saw a cluster of microscopic
drones leave my body! ‘Oh, you are awake!’ I heard a
familiar voice say. I instinctively realised where the voices
in my head originated from and why I thought I was going
crazy. Next to me in similar pods wherein identical bodies
like mine were attached to, one of them spoke directly to
me! ‘I tried to warn you but you were too stubborn to
listen. We’ve got to get out of here before dear Marsh
returns to command more drones to replicate me’ –
But who are you? I don’t understand. ‘What do mean?’

‘It’s me, my name is Rachel.’

What? Impossible! I am Rachel!

‘Calm down dear – We are all Rachel…’

The Pink Forest

Cream screams ruby dreams
Strange happenings
White skies blood cries
Yellow wailing soul
Destroying – Hark the pink
Lark spreading false truths
Growing strange fruits
Falling on sour earth burning
Barren soil to reveal new growth
Where strange sounds can be
Heard – A fluttering of falling birds
A spluttering of green rain fauna
and flora in pain – Get out go back
retreat attack leave retrieve collect
reflect. You are not needed here –
This is our new sphere. No, go!
A broken nation shattered moral
Compass – You could have
prevented this…

-Don Beukes


Heated chambers roil
with entrancing
little bugs, creeping out
the little ladies
who refuse to look
because their mascara
will collapse like tar.
Whipping off my myopia,
I alone am delighted.
If I could crawl through
to dance with the motley
harbingers of the abnormal,
I would squeeze myself
onto the slide, no regrets,
and wave to my companions,
who aren’t looking at me;
me, happy at last, fitting in,
dancing on a glass yacht.

-Elizabeth Moura

Finding Your Place

Paint peeling
From ancient walls
Reveals nothing of note.
But the preserved picture,
Of three parallel trees, once bespoke

By some
Now unknown admirer
Of the arts,
Leaves behind enough, perhaps,
To inspire a new start.

The patron, artist and
Onlooker may know
The unparalleled merit of
Their respective roles.



is the strength to put one foot
in front of another against the gust.

is endurance of pain you inhale
and exhale as you catch your breath.

is a tree growing on ground known to dissolve
beneath the roots as a short life is lived.

is the sharp, severe loss of mam and dad
as your bones ask for a hug from the disappeared.

-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.


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, Elizabeth Moura and myself. May 14th

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