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, Yvonne Marjot, Don Beukes, Elizabeth Moura and myself. May 23rd.

Processed with RookieMF 23

Day 23 sonja

.. there is a dampness..

they called it heavy
the adults
before a storm

pits hang damp
lips prickling

then he said it

he said it

so I hid in the plant house amongst the smell; the frogs
should I add fetid air or will that just be another cliché

look my device added the required accent there

so it was all dripping down reminding of grandma’s kitchen
brown gloss paint & mustard walls running in cabbage juice

she boiled it dreadful
well they did in those days

no al dente then
it was after the war

now where was i
yes hiding

my heart beating my head out
breath catching
oh no is this my asthma or the disease
going round, have you heard of it

if I tell him I have it will he go, leave me alone
should I cough a lot or is that against the guidelines
even in this situation

I hid a long time, maybe days and when I was sure he
had left

I finally breathed out



Aokigahara Jukai

countless tortured souls
lost to memory and moss–
sad trees bear witness

-Rich Follett


I want to crush a leaf into the palm of my hand, one day’s chlorophyll,
how many times have you appeared in poems, chlorophyll and ghosts,
and death – another listy chlorophyll poem defines the prize category
in an endless sea, sea, sea, and waves, and eternity, and love and hate.
I want to write about a lolly pop touching your lips, I suppose, I’m just
intense in that way, like to see, like to see how many poems are kept
in deep. Kept in a drawer, you heard me – show us your worst poems.

-Alex Mazey

Standing Stones

We walked here once,
stumbling over mossy boulders,
the air thick with moisture,
and scent of pine.

It took hours to find
the standing stones:
man-sized, leaning, marking
a way no longer travelled.

We thought we’d last forever,
leaning in,
I mossy – you lichened –
shoulders to the wind.

Now you are gone,
and the forest felled.
The stones stand under open sky.
I can never go back.

For Mark 23/6/62 – 1/12/16

-Yvonne Marjot


as a child I ran
bare legged
where only me
could see
moss breathing
trees pausing
where am i
that i left
wood a life
whole built
from the there


the peaceful of end of days when you walk through wearing only flesh the light
just right pain forgotten slipping through and away a way

-Elizabeth Moura


Runners find bodies. We don’t talk
about it, but it haunts miles in advance.

I’m the kind who follows
his feet. They remember the time

when they were fins – it’s right there
in the bone. The way they swim

this shadow sleeker than the shape I am
turning currents in the silk-cool air

of an early morning trail. An old sea left its dead
beneath my sweep – shells are gritted teeth. A sea

never follows a path – creatures washed deep
into trench-roots and leaf-dark. Ghost pincers nip

my heels, calves, thighs. Don’t trip. Don’t crush
anything human. Would I know it if it happened.

-Ankh Spice


Red hues in green
Tree nature
Are wild shades,
Saying things
No one expected
Them to say –
Drawing unnecessary
Attention, some might claim.
When we spin
The color wheel of the world,
There’s much to learn.
I don’t know all the answers.
I try to listen,
Even when we aren’t
Discussing trees.


Deep Forest

In deep forest
moss cushions of brown leaves.
Branches take their bow.
In deep forest all are strangers.

In deep forest
I carry my shame slowly.
In light’s paucity,
I ponder my place.
Never been worthy
locked down tight,
in the deep forest.

In deep forest
you may think
that I breathe
long in green meadows,
That I walk
in thoughts lost,
That I hold
my lover’s hand, fingers woven.
But my heart I pledge
To deep forest.

In deep forest
they call my name,
shame my sex
and spike me cruel.
I feel less then I should
or care to do.
In sweet melancholia,
I find release.
So in my deep forest,
alone I mourn,
the passing of my turn.

©️ Dai Fry revised May 22nd 2020.

Vivid Visions

Ancient murmurs of subterranean
wise whispers lure me into fantastical
vivid visions of forgotten overgrown forests
of evergreen tired giants from days of past
once glorious existence nature’s persistence
of delivering floral brilliance visible from distant
horizons casting a hazy golden glow turning into
purple halo sound waves emitting secret existential
messages of astonishing dire warnings of indigo
firestorms sweeping a planet not meant to be
neglected –
Of green flames licking the sour earth to alleviate and soothe its neglect whilst
a horde of unknown creatures scatter from bursting volcanoes disappearing into deep bottomless fissures –

I drown in agony from horrid vivid visions…

-Don Beukes

haiku for #2 image:

Life is like the stairs
Falling down the steps cause more
Pain than going up

-Carrie Anne Golden

Your Head Is A

greenhouse full of forest.
Branches fallen across streams
are barbed wire over ditches.
When folk peer into your eyes
as into windows they see leaves.

There is deep greenhouse in roots
that are veins in your brain,
neural pathways you wander down,
inhale decay and growth,
sweetness and sourness,
umami of dry earth.

Imagination is electric impulses
passed between the tree roots
in your head.

Wander the dark, dark
forest hear where twigs break underfoot
slip on the moss of your memory.

-Paul Brookes


Don’t trip
when we spin
in deep forest
they call my name,
shame my sex
and spike me cruel.

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, Yvonne Marjot, Don Beukes, Elizabeth Moura and myself. May 23rd.

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