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 15th

15MF 15


Lilies, petal wrapped,
their colour smiles
in water’s drift.

A summer’s dreamer,
her flowers are
purple rain catchers.

Tanks: ancient reservoirs,
lilies far as sight permits.

Under chlorophyll isles
drift tangled fronds
where swimmers weave
their cool green,
hydraulic dreams.

Elephants drink here
and stick legged
avians break journeys.
To stand pensive, in these
time worn water fields.

Marvel at floating leaves,
whose island dreams
and water songs,
play rippling gently.

In the distance
where lilies meet sky:
A white chalk bright
Stupa topped with
Buddha head spike,
pierces the unbroken blue.

Once neolithic mounds
to hold our dead,
now giants of brick
and stone…
who bow their heads
to passing flowers
and greenway archipelagos.

To drink a deep fill,
a quench of lake water.

©️ Dai Fry 14th May 2020.

Da doo Ra Ra ran

cowardly sun god sperm cell
suffers performance anxiety;
flees from opportunity —
future world goes dark

-Rich Follett


I will remember lily pads. Each floating universe resting on time,
itself, water like time, like the streams of an eternal reoccurrence.
Every poem is permitted one act of being unnecessarily outlandish,
every life is permitted one or two acts of being unnecessarily
outlandish. Outlandish is not the word I am looking for, here.
There are other words, of course, words like lily pad, to describe
what I am seeing. ( , .)

-Alex Mazey


As children, weren’t we all beguiled by water lilies?
I was sure the little rafts were stepping stones for traipsing
Sufficient to
Support my weight.

Although they are well-established,
Rooted deep
Beneath water bodies, on the surface
They are delicate creatures,
It seems.

You once asked if
We wanted to keep trying
To put the tent pegs in,
Only to have them continue to
Slip out again.

I’m grateful I learned the difference between
Solid and superficial, and that we, too, can be fastened
Tight to the ground,
More securely established
Than I might’ve imagined.


Day 15 sonja

the lily pond.

go down along the coast
through the village and up
the hill

find the lily pond
miles from anyone

you will find creatures among
the plants and reverie

some are tadpoles come recently

while others spawn later

this is the magic that
some have forgotten
with all their money
and sexual innuendos

the small plane still flies over
most days


The first escape

We were lucky, when the fire came for us.
A murmur of orange, mumming
grey dust – in the night-ashes from the grate,
their bucket on the porch. The bloom
must have been beautiful, I thought,
a thing come to life
when our eyes were all closed.
In the morning, one wall of the house was croaking
with blisters, toadskin paint
still slick with the rain. With persuasion
from a disobedient finger, they popped,
and the stink of the fire was alive
inside each one. Even at five,
I set free a lot of near-death.
Tiny craters left behind,
none yet satisfied with a sacrifice.

-Ankh Spice

The Institute
(Part Four)

The Prequel – ‘ Welcome back Mr and Mrs Sullivan,
I finally have the news you’ve been waiting for. One of
our cloned samples has survived the delicate procedure.
However, it will have to grow here until its fifth birthday,
Just to ensure total success. After all, we owe it to you
to return a perfect specimen. Have you decided on a
name yet?’ Ah yes, her name will be Rachel. We trust
that you will do your best, doctor…

Dear Self – It’s me, Rachel. You don’t know me yet but
I somehow know who you are. I saw you in a memory
not even born yet but quite significant to my survival.
I finally left that strange place, after getting rid of my
overly attentive nurse – A bit too keen for my liking!
The more I insisted for her to leave me alone, the more
she repeated, ‘There, there my dear child, Nurse Marsh
will take very good care of you, after all we will be together
for five years!

Homecoming – Dear Self, I am in my new home. The
Sullivans are weird but I cannot complain. Five years is long to wait for a new home. I made sure my new mother understood when I jabbed my finger deep into one eye and just giggled about it – It felt good, even though father had to call for help. Are you still there, hello?

-Don Beukes

Of Man Of Dust

Buses are butterflies
all blue and gold
Blind Mary and I catch one
to the black glass wedding

young, dead Lozzy comes
walks on water down the canal bright and shiny
like a new kitchen surface

the man’s landrover is a poisonous
lily packed with dust of death
climbs out of the lily
dust flying like red flour

politest of men.
Pardon me, young Lady
to Blind Mary who coughs,
overcome by dust

lozzy, my poor dead son
a vacuum cleaner
with severe asthma
inhales the man of dust
and knows what it means.

man of dusts’ minder of water
floods the vacuum cleaner
lozzy coughs splutters.

Blind Mary’s wedding gift,
a carved coal elephant inhales.

sprays water over his back,
as if having a wash

black dust billows.
black mingles with red dust.

lozzy vacuums up
the man of dust
disposes of him
in the Place of No Breath

and if the dust meets breath,

life. dust waits.

-Paul Brookes

Dai’s Jungian Idea: Lines nominated from their poems today by the poets

The small plane still flies over

tiny craters left behind
rooted deep
beneath water bodies.

A summer’s dreamer,
her flowers are
purple rain catchers.

walks on water
down the canal
bright and shiny
like a new kitchen surface

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 15th

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