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 27th.

27MF 27

Sue Day 7

Reflection

The mirror of my soul
I dare not look
But she stares up at me
With eyes of
black
abyss

-Carrie Anne Golden

Gold versus Silver

We argued aesthetics that whole year –
you with gold-dust in your corner, me mooning

over silver. The sighs that left your lips
whenever the lecturer mentioned Zoia

substantiated spangled curls– your gaudy Fibonaccis.
Your opinions sprung the air for days. Austerity

they’d tinkle over my preference for Saint Petersburg
in winter, all lunar-and-pale-blue. Second place.

And I only smiled gibbous, because the game
was to remain the ghost, to haunt your gilt. We’re so needy

of the wind-up, when there’s tension that can never spring.
So when you went and split, three days before

that long-awaited trip, I thought you’d simply
struck it rich, embraced the god I knew you were. Ripe-

sprouting corn or wheat somewhere, or suffocating for your art
in a second molten skin.

When I heard you’d succumbed
to quite ordinary water, I was flying over Siberia – hours of nothing

but blinding ice, silverblue and wounded deep with rivers.
The sun arrived like a cough –

loud, and with no thought for breath,
and it turned out you were right the whole time.

-Ankh Spice

Day 27 sonja

..stains..

all the while while

twinned atop currently

heads split in two
to remember it

rust and mould grows steadily

we are all under now
be careful what you wish for

be steady in your own place now
you made slide and stain your outer
clothing

rust and mould

sbm.

 *

Never really understood the appeal of these southern seas, looking north,
tiny sail boats, a grey sky. I wiped the walls with the backs of my hands,
once, and again, once more, every day develops as a week, as a lifetime.
Some days, you only have the kitchen towel to hold. A half can of beans
all to yourself, each bowl of hot water regarding, warm regards, relativity
like a new freedom. Hung shirts on the kitchen door, despite everything,
despite your incessance to the way things are, and the way they should be.

-Alex Mazey

Twisted Gemini

Castor – I dwell here willingly, feeding on ancient moss,
The remains of us –
What we once were so I syphon my nourishment from below sucking any life left of a once
shared existence in a reality with no morality, for this I do
not apologise as my essence relies on the gift of her sacrifice for we are still one even though I was shunned from the
enrichment of many suns, so now I exist here in my elected sphere knowing I last eternally whist her light is fading…

Pollux – I dwell here unwillingly resting on rotten ancient moss long since decayed since the memory of us went up in flames now licking my remains as I suck from the core of a fallen star burning tongue to the point where I feed on distant planets just to ensure my fading essence does not become part of this galaxy’s eternal darkness – I sometimes sense his presence and for a fleeting starburst moment I want to wrap my arms around him as we used to be, entwined in interstellar nourishing dust but then I realise that was just a disguise to cloak unexpected darkening skies…

We are Gemini – We still dwell here each one of us doing our best to somehow confess that we were meant for this unnatural symbiotic existence of life and death our own consequential neglect so we still exist here and nowhere –

A twisted ill-fated star ejected doomed Gemini…

-Don Beukes

Reflections

Can you see
What you need
To see in reflection pools
That haunt
With their half-truths, broken imagery –
Taunting

Us to look harder,
Search deeper?
But reaching
In too far, disrupts the picture
Completely. Causes a
Fissure

In understanding.
And attempting
To restore a lost vision
Is flirting with the impossible.
To discern, seamlessly
Examine life’s ripples.

-st

Tangled

This tangle I’m in
of root and branch
where abandoned
horizons crossing
lines across
an angry devil’s brow
between the barbs
the horns that hold
my flickering life
in their cupped hands.

Feared of the moss
green dampening dark
as every year
my tangle grows
imperceptibly slow
and croaky cry so
crowed and cawed
to stay or go within
the limits of the flow.

As I stare out of my bulging
wide this baby’s eye
and the innocence sighs
of old souls dribbling
torrential gushing truth
in streams that roar comes
from the corners of their
river mouth now
a gaping Hades gate
a maw.

More than a view
a dream what might
or could have been
stretched into each limb
to calculate a figurine’s
life of brittle comforts
as prelude not to preclude
the kicks and rage
when even to live
with cherub face pressed
to muddy ground is
taking a stand for the choice
and not to be held
in thrall to your dreams.

©️ Dai Fry 26th May 2020.

ignis fatuus

concrete wall acne?
clogged artery cross-section?
(point?) in g*d we t/rust

-Rich Follett

My Shape That

pleases gravity
my stone head cradled

in an ant’s mandibles
dappled in the glade
of a bird bath a city
rises from canals
of rust, a blue and gold
of decay.

-Paul Brookes

cento

Dappled in the glade

we’re so needy
with their half-truths, broken imagery.

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

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.
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.

One thought 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 27th.

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