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 31st.


Version 2

Alex Mazey has not contributed to this last day. He says
“I wasn’t going to write a poem for day 31. I quite like the idea of having a day in the month dedicated to silence.”

-Alex Mazey

These walls and windows
Are tearing me apart
Yet my soul’s untouched

There are no heroes
No one to claim my worn heart
My spirit’s a black muck

This vessel holds all my sorrows
Tears filling each bodily part
There are no short cuts.

-Carrie Anne Golden


“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” -Eccl. 3:1

Withered pathos
Strung out with
Dead deer along the
Traffic-lined highway
On the route of life.
Today is death and
Unsafe circumstances,
Creating distrust
At best.
At worst, disgust.
But we are a renewal people.
As long as we’re able,
Seeking rebirth – moving
Beyond crumbling leaves,
Dead carcasses –
Continuing the journey.



These bodies we sail like the first boats,
knots and all, ignoring the leaks
until they sink us. When we stripped
away the bark and sank the chisel
and saw the rill of rings, the chambers
left by families of owls, the shapes
of organs left us wanting green. So natural
that liverwort’s fleshy lobes
would prime the filter, or that a walnut
oiled every tongue and groove
inside the hard wood of a head. That saxifrage
unroots the stones among the beans. And I know
we’ve died of willingness to believe
in a hand that signs the manifest
more legibly than all our jokes about physicians.
And yet I see the ivy boats, their jute-brown sails
snapping in the wind of a trunk’s horizon – eyes slide
to watch our passage from the grain, above
full-throated choirs of leaves. My manifest is scrawled
with names of illnesses that boarded ages back –
new cures are shaped like tiny stones. Some boats
are stabilised by ballast, and some go under
sinking slow
when magic leaves the wood.

-Ankh Spice

Day 31 sonja

the model.


it comes as horrendous, we have been
brainwashed by those about
how to look
how to be liked

like a manequin

five men
those men who desire
who speak in three voices
is all i will say here, you know who you are

too late i have learned and carry on learning

i am covered in ivy




ant’s-eye perspective:
Lilliputian Appenines
beckon pathfinders

-Rich Follett

Faux Eternity

I seek to make
a journey of a kind,
into the buddha face.
As if soft eyes hold,
answers to hope.

A lustre that says
I do not sleep,
but time my breath
my circadian dreams,
to the rhythm of stars.

We are all travellers
within the enigma
of a conscious mind.

Do you know to hope,
see what I see?
Do you cleave green seas?

I hold my life entire
in fragments of
long forgotten song.
My visage serene, or
maybe too tired to frown.

Step away now, or feel
my chameleon breath
enter your eyes and
stir the fronds
of a faux eternity.

©️ Dai Fry 30th May 2020.

(A final letter to Humanity)

Whoever you are or wherever you are
no matter what your culture, religion,
sexual orientation or political and social
views are in this sea of souls we refer to as life,
you do not have to exist alone in this complex
natural world we all battle to understand and
for some of you, it might even feel like you are
the only one of your kind, like no one else really sees
who you really are – Do not doubt your existence in this
world of billions of personalities, attitudes, mentalities and a
myriad of perspectives. You are unique. You are relevant.
You matter. You have a place in this global village of la Vida.

This human race is admittedly complex. Our lives are increasingly
becoming stifled by inept governments and gravy train drip
leaders unable to unite citizens or ensuring freedom of speech
or access to basic human needs, although there are capable
exemplary leaders of nations who thrive in a multilingual and
multi-faith society. Some of you might find yourself on a
predestined elected path forged by your religious and cultural
beliefs, as well as your unique customs; maybe even expected
to continue family traditions. However, there comes a moment
in our lives where we find ourselves at an existential crossroads
with a multitude of voices urging us to follow a designated path.
This is that pivotal moment when you have to decide if the time
has come to follow your own path, fuelled by an inner stirring
of emotions, frustrations and a need to get the opportunity to
explore this earthly existence. Some of you might battle with
your own spirituality or questions of faith. Trust your instincts
and never feel guilty to question,
to investigate, to open your mind. You might be pleasantly
surprised by the human spirit, despite our differences.

Be bold. Be brave. Explore new places, even if you never leave
your hometown, city, province, state or country. Trust your inner
moral compass, to help steer you through challenging circumstances
and new experiences. Go beyond your perceived limitations.
Learn from those around you. Be receptive to strange new
experiences. Explore our natural world. Each strange unknown
face you encounter in this life has a story, a history, a legacy.
Even a genuine smile can be a healing gift to someone who has
nothing or no-one. Be kind to each other. Be helpful in
any way possible. Live righteously. We all experience
love, loss and laughter but those of you who do not –
You are not alone. Strive to become who you know
you were always meant to be. If ever you doubt yourself
or feel undervalued, discarded or invisible –

Turn the impossible into ‘I’m possible’…

-Don Beukes

A Stilled Mannequin

leaf washed up by gust
on performative shores.

Trees lose their masks,
and gloves. No longer
use protection so open

window display tall,
thin models who wear well
the cost of living, open

doors to our flotsam insides,
our efforts to sell
the right image.

Mannequins in our image,
not just hangers for clothes
but sustenance providers

for soil hardened to weather.
Goodness givers res-seed barrenness.
A gift left on the doorstep by kindness.

Trees will remask, reglove
in the Spring. We hope to lose
our masks when a cure is found.
When we take off the gloves
washed up on familiar shores
to hug, warm the winter into spring.
strangers into old friends.

-Paul Brookes


Seeking rebirth – moving

I do not sleep,
but time my breath
my circadian dreams,
to the rhythm of stars.

We’ve died of willingness to believe.

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.

5 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 31st.

  1. Pingback: Broken #Poetry #Writing – A writer & her adolescent muse

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