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, Yvonne Marjot and myself. May 24th.

24MF 24


one of nature’s great ironies:
to the female peacock,
the male’s display looks much like
ultra-violet iron shavings
responding to a magnet—

color seems not to be
a primary component of
romance among aves.

how, then,
would true love look in AI?

01100010 01101111 01111001
01101101 01100101 01100101 01110100 01110011 00001010
01100111 01101001 01110010 01101100 00001010 00001010 …

(some questions
are better left unanswered)
-Rich Follett


Of course, to be alive is to be a long time sick, the Twilight of the Idols,
it seems, no worse than the cold light, each new morning, that must rise
again, somehow, without a promise, without God. I don’t want to sound
like another conviction. I’ve found brass in the backroads, the cold stone,
the lonely parts of a field, dug up coins, dug up bullets, and hid them again
with my small feet, out of respect for the feet of the couple walking West,
for work, for the smaller hands, for the new morning; anything worthwhile.

-Alex Mazey

Day 24 sonja


it broke
broken reflections
of a former life

smashed as it hit the floor
things do on quarried

he mended things carefully
an art

you can learn it

place the pieces back together
look in the mended mirror


see those things



The Anomaly

Strange new mind sets reign in our heads like an interplanetary virus
spreading its unknown influential pulse causing false rumours to
intoxicate our conscience igniting our darkest most secret impulses
turning our controlled thinking into warped imagined casualties urging
us to instinctively react to keep our sanity intact ready for any ill–perceived
imaginary attack to our status quo – All
too willing to lash out speak up remove
recalibrate our usual mental state to question
more interpret differently going against our
natural impulses unknowingly suddenly
accepting a dangerous dubious anomaly…

Falling Skies

A normal morning no warning
acid rain falling spilling into man-made
crevices filling up with humanity’s
self-inflicted collected accidents nature’s
revenge overloading our senses trying our
best to make sense of this despite obvious warnings now visible in multiple aerial frescoes clogging our minds unable to comprehend the
effect or our moral neglect of what we were
meant to protect –

Our blue planet now a diminishing shrinking
entity reversing the status quo as nature’s
forces recalibrate regenerate annihilate whilst we flee from tumbling free-falling
falling skies fading fast into nothingness…

-Don Beukes


“I scourged myself today
in sea salt, wind and spray”

Take this anger, really despair,
in a blanket of gentle silence.
To lay on the rock ledge
pitted and wet,
within strike of the sea.

Something inside is
both explosive and caustic.
And as each day builds
containment appears
to be, a vain solution.

But the ocean’s
water soothes,
takes the pain and
wraps it in a sea of
love and indifference.

Wind chilled, exhilarated:
I turn for home.

And in my emptiness grows
wisdom’s warming glow”

© Dai Fry 23rd May 2020.

Never at Peace

If the earth
Were the sky,
The sky, earth –
We would already be
Of the ephemeral.

Clouds and angels
Would be the
Tangible ones
Who bear the burden
Of worldly

Maybe then,
I could
Finally be content,
Even while knowing
There are others
Who aren’t.



These days when the eye of the world
droops nearly closed, nictating milk-light.

These days when the skin opaques
stretched thin over the rattle, barely containing it.

These days when the embers of seeds
must fall far from the branch to even think about growing.

These days when the earth licks away
the scrapes of machines, revives the microbe armies.

These days when we hold each other drowning
in the choppy wake of our dwindling water.

These days when we talk and talk
and talk until tongues fork from trying to mean.

These days when we tilt our heads giddy and can’t recall
what we spent every hour worried about.

These days when everyone is made of knives.

These days when the empty sky reflects
only single trees, standing dead still.

=Ankh Spice

The Becoming

stilled. Exploded view
of change from one form to another.
Explosion is creation
of something new.

Multiverse ever expands
until it collapses into itself
draws all into it,
hoards its wealth.

Watercolour drips ever suspended,
raindrops hang over greenery,
wait for the remainder
of the fall in silent liquidity.

All forests are rainforests.
Rain explodes on branches,
Inside your skull the forest
regrows on its haunches.

-Paul Brookes


These days when we talk and talk
I scourge myself today
in sea salt, wind and spray.
finally to be content

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.

-Yvonne Marjot

is a lost kiwi, now living on a Scottish island. She has been making up stories and poems for as long as she can remember. Her first volume of poetry, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, won the Brit Writers Award for poetry in 2012. She loves her job, running a small public library, and has published four novels and a book of short stories. Twitter handle: @alayanabeth

-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, Yvonne Marjot and myself. May 24th.

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