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 20th.

20MF 20


Day Zero – A voice an echo hazy halo no human hello
This place this existence a murmur a glitch strange
Sounds no memories faded dreams chrome screams
A tunnel narrowing bright lights prickling skermunkels
Piercing my skin igniting my molecular wiring in this
Outer world existence a sudden intake of forgotten
Breath from eons ago yet vaguely familiar to let go
of these life-giving biological cellular feeding –
I can hear it, a warming accompanying droning
Announcing my awakening to Day Zero…

Memories of Us – A voice white noise entering my
My grey consciousness waking up in this warp speed
Existence no immediate sense only the monotone
Voice of an enigma haunting phenomena, reminding
Us of our former selves now only bionic shells –
Light-years have passed beyond Mars our journey
Only just slowing down this nowhere town our floating
Host transporting dried out souls controlling our
Current state – Floating ash as it reminds recurring
Memories of us in a never-ending interstellar rush…

-Don Beukes

Merrily We Go

Round you go.
See your life,
you catch a glimpse
of what’s to come?

Round you go,
lights and blur
pan piped carousel.
Having fun?

Round you go,
just starting so
get used to these
new circular days.

Round you go,
finally figured it out.
Round and round,
you just go round.

Round you go.
Bell rings,
it starts to slow.
This ride’s at an end.

© Dai Fry 19th May 2020.

Fairest of them all

Once a year you and Spangles
circumnavigated the world. At least
the slice of it that turntabled
a jerky Greensleeves orbit
at the racetrack fair, and Spangles
very secret name known only to you
and fibreglass, frozen forever mid-leap.
And once a year you’d watch yourself transform.
The mirrors on that carousel were cut
with stars, and hungry
for their bites – an elbow or a shank,
each year a bigger meal. And faces licked
to change – in one you glowed, or stretched
to spiderboy, another drooped you grim.
Your future as a jockey-gnome, or sidestep
down a well. It’s not the turn-and-turn
that makes us sick, but reflecting
on all the up-and-down. Each queasy maybe
born beneath a different cut-glass star –
you touched them all
until your fingerprints were sore.

-Ankh Spice

No Standing Room Only

Carousels haunt me
More than skeletons
These days

Maybe it’s the way
They keep showing up

Or how no one
Is allowed to
Stand together,

Let alone,
On the carousel ride,

Maybe, though, it’s
The way they
Keep us moving,

Going nowhere –
Human hamsters
On our wheel.


Day 20 sonja

.lockdown ladders.

the bones of snow

wait until spring arrives


my legs would not

hold me up that day without the thought

of iron rods to help


ladders to support us

they said no standing

some of us are determined

ladders to support us

gifts of merry go

round we go again….



An entire childhood can be played out at ten o’clock, on channel four,
an entire childhood can be relived as a streaming service. Jackie Chan
informed – an ontological outlook – took years finding another copy
of New Police Story; took years to find The awful rowing toward God.
Wonder if you ever found God, backseat, vodka on the rocks, fume pipe
like a telephone, another drive through televangelist. This isn’t about
being in the world, reoccurrence, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week.


Recall the skeleton
of each science classroom,

the bleached, painted anatomy, it seemed,
awful to this one teacher, one time,

his baseball cap,
my scarf in winter.

-Alex Mazey


No standing.


The urchin in me is outraged:
“This thing was made to move!
Sure, pistons and cranks and cylinders
may not be pretty but come on!
This whole thing was meant to spin
and whirr and dazzle and gallop and
play the coolest music …”

Yet, here it sits;
not paused for new riders to mount
(no, never so lucky)—
just run down, abandoned,
neglected, just …

With that word
uttered only in my head,
the grownup apprehends:

No ponies today;
no standing, either:
newly aware,
renewed in purpose,
I trot on—
nose to the wind and
determined to run.

-Rich Follett

A Merry-Go-Round

“They leapt upon it, Mary Poppins on a black horse and [Bert] on a grey. And when the music started again and they began to move, they rode all the way to Yarmouth and back, because that was the place they both wanted most to see.”

So P.L Travers described the carousel in Mary Poppins.
When she requested the added animation of ponies freed of the merry go round to win horse races and join fox hunts be removed
Disney replied “That ship has sailed”.

And the painted ponies go up and down
Joni Mitchell answers Neil Young’s barkers
On Sugar Mountain
In The Circle Game. Art inspires art.

Adds sinew to bare bones. So this digital art
Of a human skeleton with a feather in its lungs
And landscape photo of a carousel without
the ponies sails other ships.

Art has its own life
a form of flattery
Not always enjoyed
By the original creator.

And this energy goes round
And round
And round
Occasionally breaks free
And endures

-Paul Brookes


Keep us moving
round you go

And once a year you’d watch yourself transform.

Occasionally break free
and endure.

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.

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 20th.

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