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 17th.

17MF 17

*

Murakami’s cats, the peeling memory, an unhealthy preoccupation
with Studio Ghibli animation, an unhealthy preoccupation with
certain social media accounts, with line breaks that you have to
get over – eventually. Ninety-percent of my life is devoted to
upsetting people with a line break, forming only at the preposition.
It seems, most of the time, this is more upsetting to / some people
than the combined human rights violations of, say, North Korea.

-Alex Mazey

Day 17 sonja

.foam.

foam is ok , like this sea stuff
yet pea foam leaves me wanting for regular
food
without the mouth sensation

unlike mousse which is more like
solid froth
or should I say foam again
and spoil the muse

light is wonderful
lifts the brain and limbs
beyond
sparkles rain the morning
once again we have the repetition
of words

shapes fly
foam flies
the salted wind

by the sea
seagulls fly

over

-sbm

The Gift

You never asked what happened
to your favourite mug. On my way to the ocean
I walk past the home for the elderly around the corner
from where I now live. Me, this unanticipated adult.
With these unscheduled steps.
Sometimes I look up
at the little bubbles of convex windows, angled
to catch the last of the sunlight. Treated to rainbows.
The last we spoke I was fourteen
and you were alive and I was barely.
The last word you said to me was ‘anything’.
One of those windows heard anything you spoke last
of all. I smashed that mug on purpose, and I took the bits
to the ocean and I fed them to the sea. She swallowed them
without a sound – broken pieces
far too small to make a splash.
Decades in the dark change a thing.
This fragment of tidegift blue in my palm is heavy
and has no sharp edges at all.

-Ankh Spice

A Sea Spat

You leave treasures
on your golden table,
swept crumb clean
by tiny waves.

Taken home and placed
on sun bleached pine,
with sprigs of sea’s weed
and pebble soothed glass.

When age takes away
the wave and sandy shore.
When sight dims and
eyes fill with rheum.

Then touch her treasures,
smell her salty airs,
remember the crash
and rattle of sea scree.

Draw each breath
and with it,
memories of sand winds
and young limbs.

Remembering when
gulls cried their fish hunger,
and sun backed silhouettes
passed in wet sea skies.

Wistfulness marks you,
a desire for foam and dunes
where land gets up from the sea.

A bringing of comfort, this
distillation of mindfulness,
as a pause in your day.

In a dawn filled room
flax bed and polish, sense
curtains caught in sea breeze.
These billowing angels greet
you on this, your last day.

©️ Dai Fry 16th May 2020.

Legacies

I long to be consistent through change,
On blue sky days,
Or in city stink claustrophobia.

Repeatedly sharing life energy,
Repeatedly sharing life energy,
Repeatedly.

Duplicate skeletons
With a singular message –
Love, love, love, love, love.

-st

minutiae

a shard of delft cradled in seafoam
has survived four centuries of fortunes made and lost,
piracy, war, and brave exploration

perhaps its story is our story;
perhaps it is just a castaway—
why should we even wonder?

still, one thought remains,
unyielding to time and tide—
if this montage truly does not signify,
how is it that one fragment
tossed by wind and waves
can come to rest as
a splendid mountain range
across a lilliputian continent of spume?

-Rich Follett

The Visitors

They came on a moonless night
shedding black rain on us
our bodies
folded and melted
like some block cheese
drip, dripping over a plate
’till only the skeletons
greeted the rising sun

-Carrie Ann Golden

Phantoms in my Mind

Demon Alley – Each liquid dead of night nightmare
continues to deliver a blinding glare of my inner
light darkened by familiar fears snuffed out by
freezing whispers of false rumours of my former
self – My childhood nightmares and insecurities
clashing in a nightly showdown of my inner sanctum
my perceived existential survival, compounded
by recurrent mocking voices singing their cutting
questioning of my existence, my brave resistance –

I used to take their punches even their toxic
repetitive slashing remarks but I am better
now, so I willingly enter demon alley – Just
to make sure none of them is left to jeer and
sneer or chiselling my former brittle veneer.

Emergence – My mind now calmer as I reflect
On my former neglect of my inner core my
personal war but I have won that battle against
myself as I emerge renewed healing my mood…

New Atlantis

Earth barren and bare
Our oceans chalk dry no
No surprise we just did not
Care so we still question our
Actions but we all know the truth –
Humanity complacent ignoring the signs
Mocking the science of those in the know
Dismissing rumours of the final day so here
We dwell in our new Atlantis no more the
Masters of our former existence, having
To journey far just to hope and find
Even just a drop of water – To
Touch our parched lips which cannot
Even speak our regret of our former
Proud existence – Now a mere
Ancient memory in our
New Atlantis…

-Don Beukes

In Our Skulls

of multi story car parks
that foam at the mouth
with the spit of the sea,
ogres and demons deep in the waves
wash the bairn of you clean,
scatter your old ash with their tides.

Multi story car parks are epics,
mountains to be read or heard.
with their twists and turns,
as you try to park your message
safe and secure in the company
of other folk’s narratives.

-Paul Brookes
Cento 3

When sight dims and
eyes fill with rheum
in city stink claustrophobia
we dwell in our new Atlantis
no more the Masters
of our former existence
safe and secure in the company
of other folk’s narratives.
Decades in the dark change a thing.

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.

-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.

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 17th.

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