The Collected Special Ekphrastic Challenge for May 2020. The Final Days. Artworks from Mary Frances, James Knight and Sue Harpham the inspiration for writers: Alex Mazey, Ankh Spice, Samantha Terrell, Dai Fry, Carrie Ann Golden, sonja benskin mesher, Rich Follett, Don Beukes, Yvonne Marjot, and Paul Brookes

May Ekphrastic challenge white 2[78440]

Acknowledgements

Thankyou to Jane Cornwell for designing the front cover

Day 23

Processed with RookieMF 23

Day 23 sonja

.. there is a dampness..

they called it heavy
the adults
before a storm

pits hang damp
lips prickling

then he said it

he said it

so I hid in the plant house amongst the smell; the frogs
should I add fetid air or will that just be another cliché

look my device added the required accent there

so it was all dripping down reminding of grandma’s kitchen
brown gloss paint & mustard walls running in cabbage juice

she boiled it dreadful
well they did in those days

no al dente then
it was after the war

now where was i
yes hiding

my heart beating my head out
breath catching
oh no is this my asthma or the disease
going round, have you heard of it

if I tell him I have it will he go, leave me alone
should I cough a lot or is that against the guidelines
even in this situation

I hid a long time, maybe days and when I was sure he
had left

I finally breathed out

flowers

-sbm

Aokigahara Jukai

countless tortured souls
lost to memory and moss–
sad trees bear witness

-Rich Follett

*

I want to crush a leaf into the palm of my hand, one day’s chlorophyll,
how many times have you appeared in poems, chlorophyll and ghosts,
and death – another listy chlorophyll poem defines the prize category
in an endless sea, sea, sea, and waves, and eternity, and love and hate.
I want to write about a lolly pop touching your lips, I suppose, I’m just
intense in that way, like to see, like to see how many poems are kept
in deep. Kept in a drawer, you heard me – show us your worst poems.

-Alex Mazey

Standing Stones

We walked here once,
stumbling over mossy boulders,
the air thick with moisture,
and scent of pine.

It took hours to find
the standing stones:
man-sized, leaning, marking
a way no longer travelled.

We thought we’d last forever,
leaning in,
I mossy – you lichened –
shoulders to the wind.

Now you are gone,
and the forest felled.
The stones stand under open sky.
I can never go back.

For Mark 23/6/62 – 1/12/16

-Yvonne Marjot

#23

as a child I ran
bare legged
where only me
could see
moss breathing
trees pausing
where am i
that i left
behind
wood a life
whole built
mindfully
absent
from the there

#23MF

the peaceful of end of days when you walk through wearing only flesh the light
just right pain forgotten slipping through and away a way

-Elizabeth Moura

Statistics

Runners find bodies. We don’t talk
about it, but it haunts miles in advance.

I’m the kind who follows
his feet. They remember the time

when they were fins – it’s right there
in the bone. The way they swim

this shadow sleeker than the shape I am
turning currents in the silk-cool air

of an early morning trail. An old sea left its dead
beneath my sweep – shells are gritted teeth. A sea

never follows a path – creatures washed deep
into trench-roots and leaf-dark. Ghost pincers nip

my heels, calves, thighs. Don’t trip. Don’t crush
anything human. Would I know it if it happened.

-Ankh Spice

Communicating

Red hues in green
Tree nature
Are wild shades,
Saying things
No one expected
Them to say –
Drawing unnecessary
Attention, some might claim.
When we spin
The color wheel of the world,
There’s much to learn.
I don’t know all the answers.
I try to listen,
Even when we aren’t
Discussing trees.

-st

Deep Forest

In deep forest
moss cushions of brown leaves.
Branches take their bow.
In deep forest all are strangers.

In deep forest
I carry my shame slowly.
In light’s paucity,
I ponder my place.
Never been worthy
locked down tight,
in the deep forest.

In deep forest
you may think
that I breathe
long in green meadows,
That I walk
in thoughts lost,
That I hold
my lover’s hand, fingers woven.
But my heart I pledge
To deep forest.

In deep forest
they call my name,
shame my sex
and spike me cruel.
I feel less then I should
or care to do.
In sweet melancholia,
I find release.
So in my deep forest,
alone I mourn,
the passing of my turn.

©️ Dai Fry revised May 22nd 2020.

Vivid Visions

Ancient murmurs of subterranean
wise whispers lure me into fantastical
vivid visions of forgotten overgrown forests
of evergreen tired giants from days of past
once glorious existence nature’s persistence
of delivering floral brilliance visible from distant
horizons casting a hazy golden glow turning into
purple halo sound waves emitting secret existential
messages of astonishing dire warnings of indigo
firestorms sweeping a planet not meant to be
neglected –
Of green flames licking the sour earth to alleviate and soothe its neglect whilst
a horde of unknown creatures scatter from bursting volcanoes disappearing into deep bottomless fissures –

I drown in agony from horrid vivid visions…

-Don Beukes

haiku for #2 image:

Life is like the stairs
Falling down the steps cause more
Pain than going up

-Carrie Anne Golden

Your Head Is A

greenhouse full of forest.
Branches fallen across streams
are barbed wire over ditches.
When folk peer into your eyes
as into windows they see leaves.

There is deep greenhouse in roots
that are veins in your brain,
neural pathways you wander down,
inhale decay and growth,
sweetness and sourness,
umami of dry earth.

Imagination is electric impulses
passed between the tree roots
in your head.

Wander the dark, dark
forest hear where twigs break underfoot
slip on the moss of your memory.

-Paul Brookes

cento

Don’t trip
when we spin
in deep forest
they call my name,
shame my sex
and spike me cruel.

Day 24

 

24MF 24

helix

one of nature’s great ironies:
to the female peacock,
the male’s display looks much like
ultra-violet iron shavings
responding to a magnet—

color seems not to be
a primary component of
romance among aves.

how, then,
would true love look in AI?

01100010 01101111 01111001
01101101 01100101 01100101 01110100 01110011 00001010
01100111 01101001 01110010 01101100 00001010 00001010 …

(some questions
are better left unanswered)
!
-Rich Follett

*

Of course, to be alive is to be a long time sick, the Twilight of the Idols,
it seems, no worse than the cold light, each new morning, that must rise
again, somehow, without a promise, without God. I don’t want to sound
like another conviction. I’ve found brass in the backroads, the cold stone,
the lonely parts of a field, dug up coins, dug up bullets, and hid them again
with my small feet, out of respect for the feet of the couple walking West,
for work, for the smaller hands, for the new morning; anything worthwhile.

-Alex Mazey

Day 24 sonja

.deflecting.

it broke
shattered
broken reflections
of a former life

smashed as it hit the floor
things do on quarried
slate

he mended things carefully
an art

watch
you can learn it
too

place the pieces back together
look in the mended mirror

carefully

see those things

deflected

-sbm.

The Anomaly

Strange new mind sets reign in our heads like an interplanetary virus
spreading its unknown influential pulse causing false rumours to
intoxicate our conscience igniting our darkest most secret impulses
turning our controlled thinking into warped imagined casualties urging
us to instinctively react to keep our sanity intact ready for any ill–perceived
imaginary attack to our status quo – All
too willing to lash out speak up remove
recalibrate our usual mental state to question
more interpret differently going against our
natural impulses unknowingly suddenly
accepting a dangerous dubious anomaly…

Falling Skies

A normal morning no warning
acid rain falling spilling into man-made
crevices filling up with humanity’s
self-inflicted collected accidents nature’s
revenge overloading our senses trying our
best to make sense of this despite obvious warnings now visible in multiple aerial frescoes clogging our minds unable to comprehend the
effect or our moral neglect of what we were
meant to protect –

Our blue planet now a diminishing shrinking
entity reversing the status quo as nature’s
forces recalibrate regenerate annihilate whilst we flee from tumbling free-falling
falling skies fading fast into nothingness…

-Don Beukes

Explosion

“I scourged myself today
in sea salt, wind and spray”

Take this anger, really despair,
in a blanket of gentle silence.
To lay on the rock ledge
pitted and wet,
within strike of the sea.

Something inside is
both explosive and caustic.
And as each day builds
containment appears
to be, a vain solution.

But the ocean’s
water soothes,
takes the pain and
wraps it in a sea of
love and indifference.

Wind chilled, exhilarated:
I turn for home.

And in my emptiness grows
wisdom’s warming glow”

© Dai Fry 23rd May 2020.

Never at Peace

If the earth
Were the sky,
The sky, earth –
We would already be
Creatures
Of the ephemeral.

Clouds and angels
Would be the
Tangible ones
Who bear the burden
Of worldly
Caregiving.

Maybe then,
I could
Finally be content,
Even while knowing
There are others
Who aren’t.

-st

Hold

These days when the eye of the world
droops nearly closed, nictating milk-light.

These days when the skin opaques
stretched thin over the rattle, barely containing it.

These days when the embers of seeds
must fall far from the branch to even think about growing.

These days when the earth licks away
the scrapes of machines, revives the microbe armies.

These days when we hold each other drowning
in the choppy wake of our dwindling water.

These days when we talk and talk
and talk until tongues fork from trying to mean.

These days when we tilt our heads giddy and can’t recall
what we spent every hour worried about.

These days when everyone is made of knives.

These days when the empty sky reflects
only single trees, standing dead still.

=Ankh Spice

The Becoming

stilled. Exploded view
of change from one form to another.
Explosion is creation
of something new.

Multiverse ever expands
until it collapses into itself
draws all into it,
hoards its wealth.

Watercolour drips ever suspended,
raindrops hang over greenery,
wait for the remainder
of the fall in silent liquidity.

All forests are rainforests.
Rain explodes on branches,
Inside your skull the forest
regrows on its haunches.

-Paul Brookes

Cento

These days when we talk and talk
I scourge myself today
in sea salt, wind and spray.
finally to be content

Day 25

 

25MF 25

A sleeping angel
Or demon in dormant state
The eyes know the truth

-Carrie Anne Golden

Day 25 sonja

.angel.

the word came involuntarily,
others were stuck, yet i knew
them to be beautiful, and
so they are.
powers and dominions,
virtues, re search them.
it was cool there,
we learned about protection,
quiet spaces.
there is an hierarchy, yet
some words remain faultless.
some need to be remembered
numbers came suddenly soon after one.
nothing added any more, all began to subtract, divide,
the result algebraic there are no rulers, lines to divide, the total is irrelevant now, the addition foremost.

i have been to the counting.
initially, crossed the sea to the land, from one to another, then, talking. crossed the narrow bridge spoke of the past, you know what i mean. courage to walk
away

angel

-sbm

seraph in silk

arachnid angel
dreaming sacred prophecies—
spinners weave their thanks

-Rich Follett

*

You see it in the statues,
sometimes, of great places, a sadness so great you cannot bring yourself
to look. Each preposition becomes another promise, a word breathed into
a dealt card. Say – I bought three for two on oranges, bought an orange
tree, and planted it in the back garden of my teacher’s house, and when
it rained, felt something, ate my tea on Sundays, ate my tea like a dinner.
We are awful to each other – behind windows – that which matters most.

-Alex Mazey

Return to Zero

Chrome dreams black diamond memories meandering into charcoal
screams – A sudden starburst mercurial
thirst sucking liquid stars licking comet hearts frozen parallel worlds ignited light years burning into multiple far flung spheres – A
a peculiar anomaly rising in another galaxy
growing stronger melting unknown matter
scattered across distant burnt out moons
their cores still simmering from brilliant blue
fumes – Desperate to return to zero teasing
the time continuum bending the status quo
disappearing into a strange new halo absorbing
foreign entities on a rush to return at l costs
to a world under the dust of us –

What we once
was as versions of us the memories of ash…

-Don Beukes

Now Angel

Now angel, far
dreams lie fallow.
Tear ducts, weep
falls of dust.

Wither my arms,
so I can soar.
Stone chest, a brace
for god like wings.

And of earthly hunger.
Love and anger.
Of triumphs, the
ache of human pain.

Or an early love,
when the bedside light
went black.

Will you take my sadness,
strip it out. Gutted on
the butcher’s floor.
Once all I was.

Do angels get indigestion?
I pray that they do.

©️ Dai Fry Revised 24th May 2020..

Emancipation

I am
Counter-relief,
Sunk in to the
Background,
Eyes closed.
At first, I was
Biding time,
Utilizing all manner of
Self-control,
Resisting every urge at
Instant gratification.
But after all that waiting,
In the alcove of
My heart –
Until cobwebs threatened
To grow over me –
The time was never right
To break free from the
Plaster façade of
My reality.
Besides,
No one wanted
The esoteric substance I’d
Painstakingly acquired while
My eyes were closed
Tightly in meditation.
But in the hand of an ironic sculptor,
The immaterial becomes material, and
Fetters, the catalyst for freedom.

-st

Elegy

We grew centimetres in cemeteries. Books
and candles, sans the bell. To sit among the ghosts
is to solid yourself, by comparison. Halfway between the stone
and the spirit – some days the blank-eyed angel. Your features
were inclined towards the sweet, your hands
drawn strong to bitter. The hard paints they found
to chase the human from your face
convinced the mirror. I, so unreflective,
knew you hollow beneath the round, a blown egg
painted black. We edged brittle
around the needle-poke, the cracks. And when you smashed
to bits, they glued you wrong – pillowed on a colour
you’d toddlered. Your cheeks apples, rosy,
long poisoned. I saw you beckon in the worm.

-Ankh Spice

Message

This is not a message.
I am not a messenger.

I am not communicating with you.
I do not give you a pattern
To decipher.

These symbols do not mean anything.
These pictures do not say anything.

You cannot name anything
in the pictures. Meaning does
Not exist. Any names you do give
Are wrong. Names mean nothing.
These pictures mean nothing.

I am not a namer.
Things should not be named.
It limits things. Classifies them.
I will not cllassify.
I will not limit.

I have nothing to say,
So I am saying nothing.

-Paul Brookes

cento, nominate:

Until cobwebs threatened

Day 26

 

26MF 26

In these moments

Roots take the shape of their container,
bound by how they began. And still what grows up

and out from there is all its own – a plant
in tight square shoes opens leaves

as the hands of a supplicant, fingers spread
to receive the manna of the light. You might say oh

but that’s in the hum of the seed, I say we sing
ourselves beyond the plans of these bodies.

And really isn’t any plan just a bargain
between a beast and Chronos – we ink our water

with intent to stay the course, and hope that means
he holds the dust and lets us sail. No harvest

until we’re done. We seldom win that bet.
Well, I unplan these bones, I am throwing all that

to the wild. The pots are smashed, the shoes
are lost, my hungry leaves

are opening all at once. The world I am is tired
of holding steady and the world

beyond this skin is tired. What I’m sure about
is this honey rain of light, every second

waiting to be eaten. What I’m sure about
is your eyes on me, that look as bright and full of time

as a newly-watered thing, still growing
until it can’t. What I’m sure about

is that we grew so hard we lifted off the roof
and now the sun makes long, long moments of our shadows.

-Ankh Spice

future pasha

lush palmetto fronds,
cinquefoil Byzantine backdrop—
sedan chair daydreams

-Rich Follett

*

Ruins can be presented as a victory, often are, cheap seats and cold tea,
the impressions of a palm leaf – some people are so happy God is dead,
it is their greatest achievement to never meditate on cold stones at 6AM,
to never consider those lasting implications, each food bank, each action
like a palm leaf, miniature achievement, occasionally revised upon death
like it still mattered, somehow, some things will never change, no matter
Ulrike Meinhof, no matter the litany of crimes in a bank – or on the way.

-Alex Mazey

Day 26 sonja

.the plant house.

oh dear me, I find myself back in the plant house
where all things grow
lush

where the piano plays though we don’t know that tune
we hear

here we only know fear
and hiding again it splits
in two

of us

splits into fragments, pieces
that don’t fit

it is all a puzzle
it is a challenge

unless you are back in the plant house

sbm.

Pieces

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”
W.B.Yeats, The Second Coming.

We are all in pieces.
Shattered light kicks out
across empty skies,
and we are particles
in a distorted field,
fighting the magnetism
that draws us back together.

We are all in places
far from those we love.
The actions of others
confuse and distress.
Am I my brother’s keeper
from so far away?
And what do I owe
to strangers?

We all pay the price
of isolation and fear,
watching as the world changes.
But when we come
together at last,
the shattered lights of our
separated lives
will shine

We are all pieces of the pattern.

-Yvonne Marjot

Twilight Asylum – Epilogue

Silence descending as dissident muted voices
start disappearing – A muffled screech a candle
snuff hush, ‘Let me go, I…where – Hello?
Hollow footsteps signal unknown consequences
to our failed resistance against warped mental
masters. A frantic hush as the memories of us
slowly melt into digital nanonite archives keeping
our fried minds alive but we are not us anymore –

Our protests are not heard anymore only facial
contortions marking our silent revolutionary
protestations in this neon nation mental nerve-end
best – Our echoes now mere static clues to our
accelerated induced darkness, ‘Let us out!’ I hear
ourselves collectively urge our familiar captors
flailing about hoping to permanently silence us
into sacrificial submission causing a confusing
existential mental stirring – A toxic injected rush
a molecular ignition prompting a defiant sensation
against darkening domination by career obsessed
psychological head-hunters attempting to tweak
us clone us modify us end us in this, our twilight
asylum our declining fading flat lining hum…

-Don Beukes

Now And Then

The beginning
of memory.
Such simplicity,
for I was summer born.

Scents of sun warmed wool,
over wild flowered grass.

And now in myself
mercurial, natural.
Every sense
each impression,
Is both now and then.

I was
passive in its presence.
Enjoying laughter,
its sweet tones.
And it burnt
my language away.

For I did not
have the need of it,
where I was that day.

©️ Dai Fry 25th May 2020.

Log Picture

God Wants Us to Be Snails

And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” -Revelation 8:11

Eradicate snails with
Garlic, wormwood or
Copper.
They’re slow enough to
Catch and pick off
One-by-one,
If you have the patience.
But maybe we shouldn’t.

Maybe, we should
Learn from them instead –
Sequestered in their
Homes, taking life
More slowly than the
Surrounding world,
Social-distancing to
Keep themselves safe.

-st

My Container

My green house skull container environment
is dynamic and can be hard to follow.

I need a container map
and reality facing container view,
So I can visualise
the health of my container.

My thoughts were once Ptolemaic planets:
complicated. It’s pretty hard to account
for the movement of thoughts this way.
I live in a cloud.

My greenhouse skull container is a host
that comes and goes every few minutes.
Life is miserable because my brain always thinks
half of my infrastructure is on fire.
My thoughts are now Copernican,
I am no longer the centre. I am unearthed.

-Paul Brookes

cento

We seldom win the bet.
If you have the patience.

I can visualise the health.

Day 27

 

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.

Day 28

 

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

..utility..

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,
knowing
it is all worth it in the end.

you would be surprised

torn paper can be fish

or hungry birds

dave

-sbm.

*

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.
Sizzling
on my counterpane.

©️ Dai Fry 27th May 2020.

Middle-age

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.

-st

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

History

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

Cento

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.

Day 29

 

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

Après-fête

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.

-st

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
awake.

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

29.

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

flowers

sbm.

*

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

Obscurity

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

cento

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

There is always next year.

Day 30

 

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.

Day 31

 

31

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

Renewal

“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.

-st

Manifest

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.

31.

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
now

i am covered in ivy

sir

-sbm

formicidae

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.

Epilogue
(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

cento

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:

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.

 

Contributors describe their experience of this challenge

This challenge forces out poetry regardless of mood or inspiration. Puts you into a circle not of your choosing. But what results and feelings of fellowship. An intense and satisfying experience. You have to put out what you have every single day. I couldn’t have done this a year ago.

-Dai Fry

Oh, tough question, that character limit! Hm. Every poet is a garden. At the beginning of May, I believed mine was fallowing. The images fed and watered the word-soil, and cotyledons flourished for all of us. Some became plants I had forgotten the names for. Some popped strange rare flowers whose names no-one knows.

-Ankh Spice

This challenge has helped me grow in my discipline and commitment to my craft. Brilliant opportunity!

-Samantha Terrell

 

2 thoughts on “The Collected Special Ekphrastic Challenge for May 2020. The Final Days. Artworks from Mary Frances, James Knight and Sue Harpham the inspiration for writers: Alex Mazey, Ankh Spice, Samantha Terrell, Dai Fry, Carrie Ann Golden, sonja benskin mesher, Rich Follett, Don Beukes, Yvonne Marjot, and Paul Brookes

  1. Pingback: The Collected Special Ekphrastic Challenge for May 2020. The Final Days. Artworks from Mary Frances, James Knight and Sue Harpham the inspiration for writers: Alex Mazey, Ankh Spice, Samantha Terrell, Dai Fry, Carrie Ann Golden, sonja benskin mesher, Rich

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