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 30th.

30MF 30

Avoiding Prolonged Regret

Open doors can mean
Opportunity, but
Following yellow
Brick roads often
Leads to more unknowns, and
Darkness behind doors
Ajar, can be worrisome –
Consuming, until it’s
Hard to tell the
Difference between
Brick and mortar reality, and
Fictional curiosity.
I turn away, not wanting
(Because I’m not wanting)
To squander this moment,
For the sake of expectation.

-st

Dai Fry House

Red Asylum oct 2019.

Alone with my thoughts
I park the car
and climb the
stubborn slopes
to my childhood.
Up Cockett Hill
to the Red Asylum.

I glance down
for a glimpse of my
child knees, not there.

Water tower and chimney
shoulders tight,
stark upon that hill.
A land marked Swansea bay.

Now a conglomeration
of housing,
cul-de-sacs
to a builder’s greed.
And our house
a creation
of the same
victorian red brick.

Rotted no value left
save for the slugs
and other denizens
of damp places.

A wet ruin is left
turned to a wisp,
as insubstantial as
my early memories.

Through the letterbox
sits a sad hall, mould
wet and pleading.
Listen for my mother’s voice
but its not there,
not even an echo.

A little life, unravelling.
Old damp letters
circle the mat.

My family’s absence,
this random cruelty. A
product of my time.

Once I was a child here
with a cat that purred,
I thought it was
a lion roaring.

And outside, those dark
woods that I remember.
Just six pine trees, dying.

That mighty forest,
stolen away for ever.

©️ Dai Fry 29th May 2020.

The Door of my Heart

The door of my heart
is open
and I cannot close it.

The door of my heart
is open to the wind:
a sanctuary of winter silence.

The door of my heart
is open to the sea;
oceans pass
in and out
like breath.

I know
I am broken:
the fire gone to embers,
almost drowned in the cold.

I am waiting.
I will always be waiting
for you to come
into the circle of my arms;
into the circle of my heart.

I cannot forget
your heat on my skin,
your voice in my ear.

The steady beat of your heart
under my hand.

Deep in arctic waters
embers flare.
This is a fire
that can never be drowned.

The door of my heart is open.

-Yvonne Marjot

Phoenix Rising

Red my searing childhood trauma from vicious
weak needy bullies who channelled their pathetic
insecurities onto my face my body my race my inner
sanctum invaded – I still hear their jealous raucous
laughter trying to impress their gargoyle minions
and their poisonous euphoria for seemingly gaining
more followers mocking and jeering point scoring.

The marks they gifted me are unseen yet it drags me
sometimes down their demon alleyways but they know
I cannot stay as I have something they still crave for
in my loving family glow keeping their gnashing baying
away – I now soar above their darkened memories
only their former essence still reaching out sometimes
haunting my dreamscape visions but as always I burn
their hot rod verbal darts away as I rise higher to battle
each and every challenging day trying my best to still
find my way in this life but they continue to throw
boulders my way.

I have just managed to release all my haunting bitter
Memories and I am better now my confidence lasting –
For I am Phoenix rising…

-Don Beukes

avalon

colorizing slums
does not erase black and white
spirit-killing want

-Rich Follett

*

With the motion of white feathers.
and visiting hours, and the stench,

you said, of tomato feed left in the sun, and the feeling, pickling salt
between my fingers, each morning left on the side

and wondering what was left for us and
knew, at the same time – only salt,

only pain.

-Alex Mazey

Shelter

At the end of the street, that field
eye-high with weeds – a sanctuary

for lost horses. Sad horses were snapped crayons
to country kids, but the bones

of the old villa, also haunting that field – pure myth.
In one room, ectoplasm: the huge pale ghost

of a moulded plaster ceiling, turned to dust. You spoke
to me only because I always had some limb

or another in a cast, which meant gruesome
and intriguing, so I was not unlike the lure

of a derelict house, and the plaster cast I fashioned
from ghosts and rainwater for you was heavy

and convincing. In a thing abandoned, the weight
of the fear it will happen again lives deep

in the struts. You coveted what was broken
more than once, and I pretended your Dad

was mine even when he was shouting
about your arm. It was one of many bargains

we didn’t voice, a couple of mouths busy grazing, beasts
unshod and unclaimed. I heard you never escaped

that town, and never broke a thing.
I never went back, and I don’t know

what would be worse – a new house
sitting whole on a grave

or a completely empty field
with not a horse in sight.

-Ankh Spice

Day 30 sonja

herrison.

his name is geoff with a g
not jeff with a j

was on the seat beside me
travelling to dorset

i tried to be good and quiet
yet

outside dorchester i exclaimed again, he smiled
pardon me, did you say herrison?

i did
i blushed, did not explain

closed now, shut down rotten

i went back once over the fence
it was empty dusted done

memory remains of visits
by train and special bus to alight
where patients waited

where on sunday patients paraded
to church

where i was horrified, terrified

where her head split in two

she tooks them pills constantly
sometimes too many

my brother lived away
my brother signed her over
committing her to that place

instead of st anns
we were used to that

now

my brother has dementia
he is probably dying

the roundabout is called monkey jump

-sonja benskin mesher

We Stop Decay

devote lives to prevent decay
of wood, breath, bone, brick,
gardens of our minds,
faculties of our hearts

Each day we weed, we resow,
rework, rebuild
the wood, breath, bone, brick,
gardens of our hearts,
faculties of our minds.

Laugh to heal the stench
of rot, worm eaten
brick, bone, breath, wood
landscape of flesh
fresh produce of light.

Born to decay in decay
heal the ever opening wound
brick, bone, breath, wood
flesh of landscape
light produce of flesh.

Laugh.

-Paul Brookes

cento

Brick and mortar reality, and
a couple of mouths busy grazing.

Heal the ever opening wound.

Once I was a child here
with a cat that purred,
I thought it was
a lion roaring.

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.

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 30th.

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