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 29th

29MF 29

Phantom Whispers

Echoes of regret weaving a widening
tightening net in my brittle porous psyche
bouncing off unstable walls in the hollow halls
of hurried pocketed memories meant to remain
hidden but that is not a given as I urgently attempt
to suppress decaying regrets doing my best to stay
afloat in my secret sheltered harbour where I am
commander and master electing to sail or drown
in wailing gales of deepening untreated depression
with only my fading reflection as a fellow passenger
to endear to as I have no more trusted confidantes
nor allies to maybe expect a reassuring hug maybe
even just a brief passing touch of support in this
broken moral compass world we now live in, so
I just lie down in an imagined embrace –
My self-esteem in pieces my worth leaking out
as I listen to soothing phantom Whispers…

The Bees are Dead

Fading flowers signalling a worrying neglect
of nature’s gifts to our species but our kind not
that kind to our existential nourishing life-giving
necessities – We just take it for granted to have
continuous uninterrupted access to our culinary
needs but how can we possibly allow a decline
in responsibly tending to our flora and fauna in
our mad race to build the biggest, construct the
tallest, creating the most award winning concrete
jungles, expanding urban megacities whilst
removing nature’s bounty?

Deforestation annihilation the destruction of fauna
Migration to natural kingdoms in which to multiply
and thrive but the bees are dead the flowers wilting
the rivers disappearing our food sources diminishing
due to our irresponsible neglect our insatiable
need to destroy or change the status quo whilst
bowing down to corporate powers puppet shows
guiding our disappearing moral compass steering –
I cry as I yearn for common sense to prevail
but maybe it is too late as the bees are dead…

-Don Beukes

Gardening with B. F. Skinner and St. Bede
To look at a human face and perceive a black box
is a philosopher’s way of saying ‘what flies through the lighted room
between your ears is unknowable to me’. But there I go already
mixing my philosophers and my monks. The point of the black box
is that it is lightless from the outside looking in, and I can’t ever imagine
being so closed down that no face held a candle up to the eyes – no
lambent glow left flickering in the window
to guide the traveller home, to indicate a hearth to share.
So I’m still thinking about all of you as rooms,
and inside the conservatory that I am, there are petals
all over the floor. A bird rushed through the hydrangeas
I keep in here just yesterday, and now all the soft colours we wrap
our children tightly with, those same ones that label
the boxes before we can philosophise or parable at all,
are drifting deep. And maybe my subconscious chose those flowers
for this room because they’re a litmus.
Don’t you want to see what’s going on
underneath in the dark, where all the growing really happens –
who’s hurting acid, who’s blanding base. Can’t you see
that the light beacons in and out
through bird-shaped holes in the walls, and if you look
at a person without thinking about boxes
sometimes you find a garden
telling you what it needs the most.
-Ankh Spice


partygoers gone,
weary lawn goes back to work:
confetti concedes

-Rich Follett

Ekphrasis 290520

Breath of spring wind
caressing my skin with fingers
cooler than water.

Feeling you so close.
Am I alone with you now,
or just by myself?

Poignant memory,
stops my heart for a moment:
your voice in my ear.

-Yvonne Marjot

Soul Sunrise

Weeping may last for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” -Ps. 30:5

Lavender lilac
Petals fall from
The past
On dusty
Dirt roads and
Brittle dry grass.

The spring wind
That carries the
Scent of the years,
Becomes memory and
Mourning and
Sentimental tears.

Evening dark
Frees the senses to
Rise with the moon.
Night is relief,
Depth, release –
Bringing forth new.


Newtonian Fluid

As I birth, so I draw
this first breath
through my reflection,
no features yet.
No memory to spoil.

Newtonian forces
ripple the fluid
that holds all,
in divine tension.

To wonder aloud,
alone and pointless,
as if in
a dream or yet now

Like Alice pulled,
then stretched long.
From the mirror
to the looking glass room.
As her old times cling
distorting memories,
of her left behind world.

Once stories and
dreams ran freely,
before language gripped
and took our sight.

Wondering at last,
near death
what if, and
will the dream
continue alone.

The remnants lie in
stranger’s eyes,
a leaf that blows
all wrong.
A thing that cannot be,
a dream detection.

©️ Dai Fry 28th May 2020.

Day 29 sonja


flowers fall
petals separate

this is not confetti
not a wedding for these are not permitted
we cannot see each other face to face yet
nor marry
we must live alone on lockdown




I remember growing an herb garden in your mother’s garden, and one
morning, finding white feathers. You told me, then, angels were near,
and I thought about every incremental – angels and God, and small
hands digging the cold earth, the rose bush, and the clay, and every
forgotten car park, walked between the sign posts, faded in long grass.
Once stood in a puddle of water, and looking up at the blue sky, saw
the blue holding something out of place, the motions of white feathers.

-Alex Mazey


Is looking in the mirror
To see a formless face
Who am I
To think I am someone
Who matters
In a world that cares not
But I desire
To be seen if only by
Just a few
Perhaps then the image
In the mirror
Becomes the person
I can believe in

-Carrie Anne Golden

The Face

the petals of a flower
expressionless without wrinkles
crisps in the sun,
laughter lines increase

sheds colourful skin after skin,
gusts make them wings,
energy returns to the bulb
There is always next year.

-Paul Brookes


Brittle dry grass.
Don’t you want to see what’s going on.

There is always next year.

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 29th

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