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 28th.

28MF 28

Fire Below

Rising protesting urban tired voices collectively
announcing shared smouldering frustrations
red hot emotions surging steadily to the surface
whilst in secret shady alleys a growing army
of protesters march in unison – Their steps
echoing flat-lining as it reaches a choking city
strangled by social stagnation in this shadow
nation where political fat cats slurp up burnt
left over bitter molasses – Their spoils from
prolonged corruption denying their part in
destroying a nation’s heart whilst pretending
it was all done in good spirit but their gargoyle
eyes reflect their burnt out lies!
Anger boiling over emotions flaring revolution
stirring igniting a ravishing existential fire
below in this charred charcoal urban halo…

Still Here

Historical halo still illuminating our inner
moral compass despite our forced hindrance
to conform follow the norm remain silent ‘Yes
sir no ma’am me sir please ma’am’ – No
violence scream in silence, yet our common
sense still rage within as we pass our past scars
daily in urban shadows only mural concrete echoes
chronicling our attempts to change the status quo
revive our intended blood flow but only fractions
remain of our liberty dance now mere urban
legend frescoes in sleazy shadows as if we have
never lit up the skies to try and kill forced
lies from authoritarian clowns even now the
midnight crow still mock their pathetic show
so we will persist and resist as we are still
here in huddled numbers maintaining our
continuing necessary monitoring…

-Don Beukes

Day 28 sonja


anyway, dave, over here, we had rationing as you know,
which continued afterward. things had to be simple,
saving stuff and time, and had a mark like two hungry birds.

utility mark
summer winds scattering paper
cut with a ruler, smudged and marked.

tearing the words, categorising,
it is all worth it in the end.

you would be surprised

torn paper can be fish

or hungry birds




Once had a student who wanted to learn English, maybe as another help,
a mother with fruits and vegetables on the docks of another bay. Good
mornings spent pacing the wooden slats of the seafront, recounting numbers
and colours, and the names of things she already knew. Had a student who,
after homework and dinner had been addressed, sold water to cooing tourists
at a newspaper stand with his grandfather, maybe wouldn’t work long hours
above the wooden slates – with another help, the reoccurrence of each sun.

-Alex Mazey

Soon Gibbous

Unglazed crescent.
Fear your light should
fall from grace, through
crystal panes.

In early night
blue, an electric,
sharp as any knife.

A promise has arisen
from the middle east, as
desert sands softly glow.
Soon to be gibbous,
not yet full.

Celestial forevers
and on its tail,
Venus the even-star,
sister of the morning.

Cold luminosity
exotic geometry
hung in a childhood’s sky,
and there in rheumy eyes.

Without it why
would I loose a
lycanthrope’s howl.

Or grassland to blood
outside my bars.
Far ocean panting as it
licks the shore,
amorphous too big
for a beast.

Something unnatural
about this moon.
Born spilling red
and silvered fear.
on my counterpane.

©️ Dai Fry 27th May 2020.


I am old, and
I am young.

I am fear of failure,
And satisfaction of success.

I am the painting and
The canvass –

The rising moon and stars,
But also the setting sun.


Hathor’s gift

Last night you called me from the bottom of a well
and I pictured the signal between us as a rope ladder
woven from a bunch of years. A bit frayed, this connection,
and this metaphor, but both holding together just enough
for you to see the ladder just a little bit more clearly
than you were seeing the rope. And I don’t care if we’ve not spoken
since before the world cracked its lid, I’m just grateful
I look like some kind of stick when the alligators find the ass.
Often it’s hard to respect the tree in someone who’s fallen
in a quiet, intolerant forest, over and over,
and when you’re soft wood, well. Did you know that Hathor
kicked out the crocodile god even though she was
at least partly a cow. I bet they underestimated just how fierce
a prey animal waxes when her herd is in the dark
and feeling the closing teeth. I bet they underestimated her
even after she teamed up with the sun
and gored the darkness of her loved ones on the tips
of her kind, soft horns. Stabbed it until it was striped
with secondhand light, then drowned it
in the milk of inhuman kindness.

-Ankh Spice

moderne extempore

layered opinions,
shameless promotional shards:
accidental art

-Rich Follett


is a wall of torn posters
we walk past as it is only part
messages in foreign languages
we struggle to comprehend.

There was no Golden Age
of good food, good living,
good government. Only in our
imagination the posters

are not torn. the messages are clear.
We do not pass them by
but stand and read into the gaps.
We reinvent the occasion.

-Paul Brookes


I am the painting and
far ocean panting as it
licks the shore,
amorphous too big
for a beast.

We struggle to comprehend

I bet they underestimated her.

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 28th.

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