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 26th.

26MF 26

In these moments

Roots take the shape of their container,
bound by how they began. And still what grows up

and out from there is all its own – a plant
in tight square shoes opens leaves

as the hands of a supplicant, fingers spread
to receive the manna of the light. You might say oh

but that’s in the hum of the seed, I say we sing
ourselves beyond the plans of these bodies.

And really isn’t any plan just a bargain
between a beast and Chronos – we ink our water

with intent to stay the course, and hope that means
he holds the dust and lets us sail. No harvest

until we’re done. We seldom win that bet.
Well, I unplan these bones, I am throwing all that

to the wild. The pots are smashed, the shoes
are lost, my hungry leaves

are opening all at once. The world I am is tired
of holding steady and the world

beyond this skin is tired. What I’m sure about
is this honey rain of light, every second

waiting to be eaten. What I’m sure about
is your eyes on me, that look as bright and full of time

as a newly-watered thing, still growing
until it can’t. What I’m sure about

is that we grew so hard we lifted off the roof
and now the sun makes long, long moments of our shadows.

-Ankh Spice

future pasha

lush palmetto fronds,
cinquefoil Byzantine backdrop—
sedan chair daydreams

-Rich Follett


Ruins can be presented as a victory, often are, cheap seats and cold tea,
the impressions of a palm leaf – some people are so happy God is dead,
it is their greatest achievement to never meditate on cold stones at 6AM,
to never consider those lasting implications, each food bank, each action
like a palm leaf, miniature achievement, occasionally revised upon death
like it still mattered, somehow, some things will never change, no matter
Ulrike Meinhof, no matter the litany of crimes in a bank – or on the way.

-Alex Mazey


Day 26 sonja

.the plant house.

oh dear me, I find myself back in the plant house
where all things grow

where the piano plays though we don’t know that tune
we hear

here we only know fear
and hiding again it splits
in two

of us

splits into fragments, pieces
that don’t fit

it is all a puzzle
it is a challenge

unless you are back in the plant house



“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”
W.B.Yeats, The Second Coming.

We are all in pieces.
Shattered light kicks out
across empty skies,
and we are particles
in a distorted field,
fighting the magnetism
that draws us back together.

We are all in places
far from those we love.
The actions of others
confuse and distress.
Am I my brother’s keeper
from so far away?
And what do I owe
to strangers?

We all pay the price
of isolation and fear,
watching as the world changes.
But when we come
together at last,
the shattered lights of our
separated lives
will shine

We are all pieces of the pattern.

-Yvonne Marjot

Twilight Asylum – Epilogue

Silence descending as dissident muted voices
start disappearing – A muffled screech a candle
snuff hush, ‘Let me go, I…where – Hello?
Hollow footsteps signal unknown consequences
to our failed resistance against warped mental
masters. A frantic hush as the memories of us
slowly melt into digital nanonite archives keeping
our fried minds alive but we are not us anymore –

Our protests are not heard anymore only facial
contortions marking our silent revolutionary
protestations in this neon nation mental nerve-end
best – Our echoes now mere static clues to our
accelerated induced darkness, ‘Let us out!’ I hear
ourselves collectively urge our familiar captors
flailing about hoping to permanently silence us
into sacrificial submission causing a confusing
existential mental stirring – A toxic injected rush
a molecular ignition prompting a defiant sensation
against darkening domination by career obsessed
psychological head-hunters attempting to tweak
us clone us modify us end us in this, our twilight
asylum our declining fading flat lining hum…

-Don Beukes

Now And Then

The beginning
of memory.
Such simplicity,
for I was summer born.

Scents of sun warmed wool,
over wild flowered grass.

And now in myself
mercurial, natural.
Every sense
each impression,
Is both now and then.

I was
passive in its presence.
Enjoying laughter,
its sweet tones.
And it burnt
my language away.

For I did not
have the need of it,
where I was that day.

©️ Dai Fry 25th May 2020.

Log Picture

God Wants Us to Be Snails

And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” -Revelation 8:11

Eradicate snails with
Garlic, wormwood or
They’re slow enough to
Catch and pick off
If you have the patience.
But maybe we shouldn’t.

Maybe, we should
Learn from them instead –
Sequestered in their
Homes, taking life
More slowly than the
Surrounding world,
Social-distancing to
Keep themselves safe.


My Container

My green house skull container environment
is dynamic and can be hard to follow.

I need a container map
and reality facing container view,
So I can visualise
the health of my container.

My thoughts were once Ptolemaic planets:
complicated. It’s pretty hard to account
for the movement of thoughts this way.
I live in a cloud.

My greenhouse skull container is a host
that comes and goes every few minutes.
Life is miserable because my brain always thinks
half of my infrastructure is on fire.
My thoughts are now Copernican,
I am no longer the centre. I am unearthed.

-Paul Brookes


We seldom win the bet.
If you have the patience.

I can visualise the health.

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

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

-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, Yvonne Marjot and myself. May 26th.

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