Day One: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, and iamjustavisualperson will also be joining in as a writer too and the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Hokis, Sally O’Dowd, Peach Delphine, sonja benskin mesher, Liam Michael Stainsby, Helen Allison, Sarah Connor, S Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 1st.

November 1st

TC1. A quiet read
A Quiet Read by Terry Chipp

1MH After Minnie left, mixed media on canvas panel, 24 x 30 cm, 2020
After Minnie Left by Marcel Herms

After you left

4am and I’m still reading
old love letters, wondering
if there was ever was
any truth in them.

yes, I’m a mess.

4am, and I can’t face
another fag, and look,
I’ve drunk myself back
into life. I won’t sleep now.

4am, and it’s still
hours ’til morning
and I am sick of coffee
and of crying
and of emptiness.

-Sarah Connor

A quiet read

She was reading about a lake,
a boy rowing towards an island,
a temple rising from the trees,
a storm blowing up. She read
about love and first kisses,
about a stranger passing through.
She read a pregnancy, heavy-bellied,
tight-breasted, pain-ripped
and motherhood – the child held tightly.
She read black stilettos clacking
down a corridor, Armani suits.
She read bare feet in red clay.
She read flight.
She read a glass of wine,
a plate of thin sliced meat.
She read dreams and dragons
and a girl sailing across the water
and the sun rising over new lands.
She read alone, always,
back turned to the window.

-Sarah Connor


Pulled to the shoreline
by the salt in her blood,
the waves call louder now.

She seeks anchor in books
but knows that one day soon
she’ll pour into a fishtail dress,

sequin scales shimmering blue
green as she submerges –
learns how to breathe underwater.

-Susan Darlington

“View Finders”

Excitement and knowledge
Transparency and truth
Deception and frailty
Begin to unwind

Messages of all kinds
Have a place with their
Own windows into
Another’s own reflections

“A New Chapter”

They begin every day
And I like it that way

After Minnie Left

“A Conversation Somewhere”

One said frankly to the other: coping skills vary
Depending on our own needs
Situations and interests are numerous


Chaos came to rummage around in our ordered life
It showed us what was hiding under the neat lines

-Lydia Wist

After Minnie left

Color is not the echo
of your face, voice is not the hole
opening in space and time,
you thrust aside miasma
shouldering such wings
not yet feathered in stone.

There is blood
a darker syrup
than what is boiled
down from sugar cane, this angular
landscape dissolves
with every touch
what seemed absence
only the smoke of my burning,
sawdust and paint
maybe an old shoe.

-Peach Delphine

Minnie, Quiet Road

those ears see all
intently, lounging unaware
darkness consuming
beauty of auburn heir

horizon once on fire
tromp l’oeil disguise
-S Reeson

Grow Your Own

She was reading How to Grow Your Own Poem
hoping to cultivate some verse. To take the seed
of an idea, germinate it with grammar
and fertilise it with feelings. To sow similes
and mulch them with metaphors before
hardening them off against hyperbole.
Harvesting haiku and haibuns
and protecting perennial poems
to survive all seasons.

-Gaynor Kane

An Afternoon Read – When I Am Not Myself

She had left all this behind her
to chase each word in print –
to see all this – we left for her;
to leave at dusk, under phantom light
to a mirrored shore
by a dying sea
with the broken creatures
host to our symphony of pain –
louder here – than ever before
a song for the men
and the women that we were
left dancing here – beneath the waves
and tethered to the shadows
of all that we had tried to leave behind.

-Liam Stainsby

After Minnie Left

Minnie Lee slung her Martin D28 into the old Volkswagen,
turquoise with yellow interior, sliced with white stripes
like lemon for shrimp cocktail. Tossed her pink duffle
with the broken zipper on top, mouth open,
bulimic passenger spilling half its contents onto the floor.

She slid behind the wheel, snapped on the radio,
Little Big Town blared in competition with the car horn.
She leaned on it — long, sorry blow on a saxophone — yelled,
‘Don’t you never come near me again, Dylan Sloane!’
Another blast of the horn. She swooped a wad of nylon from the dash,
launched it from the driver’s side window: Chloe’s panties
caught on the aerial antenna, slutty flag.

Tears stormed like bees from a hive. Minnie slammed
on windshield wipers as if they might help her see.
Maybelline violets ran down her cheeks. She winced,
checked the rear-view mirror with the swinging Minnie
Mouse, backed down the drive. Dylan bolted from the house,
one leg in his pants, waving his shirt overhead in surrender.

‘Minnie! It won’t never happen again. I swear!’
Same old accompaniment to the knuckle in her eye,
fist to her jaw, handful of hair on the floor. She jerked
the gear into first, careened onto the dirt road — Chloe’s
panties waving goodbye to the cheater on her doorstep.
Tires kicked up gravel, wipers pumped percussion.

She began to hum

– Gayle J. Greenlea


I was struck.
My molecules, hasty
and rearranged.
She came in from my blue side
like a rock star in
an American car.
And her music displaced me.

I now read different books
and drink in strange bars,
but am forced to admit…
there is nothing after Minnie.

-©️ Dai Fry 27th October 2020.

The mouse in the corner

She had blood in her hair
and down her dress dripped,
her eyes wild with reflections of what had been,
seen and clean sheered away.

She ran out in the street with her wild hair
and bloodied lip, but she knew it would end
when the pavement ran out,
and her feet turned about,

that she’d hang her hurt head,
wipe the blood from her lip, tears shed,
and the sky would fall so low,
so hard and grinding grey.

Caught between stone and waiting fists,
shed tears, raining stony blows and blood-gout,
she would turn herself about,
and walk,


-Jane Dougherty

A quiet read

Field of boundary, within wall
or without structure, sea
languid with light, a headland
holds all our yesterdays,
a wind lives there,
residency contains blue,
beyond ridgeline horizon
conceals the curvature
sea reveals, text of place
flows across the page,
a narrow bay where moon swims
in the turtle dark ride,
even from a high window
this current of singing
flows through her hair.

-Peach Delphine

For David in English Class, who looks like Paul Newman

Neither inside nor out of the picture,
mermaid hair framing her face, she searches
the poem for Christ figures her professor
insists are there. –But I see only trees
she says. –I’m the one with expertise,
he says. –Look again. So she looks
again. –Trees.  –You are wrong,
he says. She thinks she might give up
and leave. Scarlet turmoil fills
her black and white brain, spinning her golden
mind away from class, from the poem,
its elusive Jesus. Endless remaining
minutes she kills, passing double entendre
notes to her neighbor David. Next day, keen
for green, she changes her major to botany.

–Holly York, 2020

:: the print skirt::

day one

you would not come back
except for visits

you came again in auto fill
last evening sat alone

we still cannot understand
there is no explanation for that
nor what you did

you are a ghost to us now
we watched it on tv

you thought we were broken
yet we watch you solidly, bravely like joan
with just one comma throughout

we no longer come ragged
we watch you leave
tell you this
there are some do not believe

will not sleep while others will
and some

wish to be invited
some photos show nothing
while paintings can come
more personal
it means something if
you go to look
it means more if you sit quietly
in the light and read

there were challenges
one was print and pattern


A Quiet Read

was all she ever wanted
sat in the window
with an open book.

Half way into the printed world
a bird twitters, an animal
crashes through grass,
a worm thunders through soil.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Terry Chipp

grew up in Thurnscoe and is now living in Doncaster via Wath Grammar school, Doncaster Art College, Bede College in Durham and 30 years teaching.

He sold his first painting at the Goldthorpe Welfare Hall annual exhibition at the age of 17 and he haven’t stopped painting since.

He escaped the classroom 20 years ago to devote more time to his artwork.  Since then he has set up his own studio in Doncaster, exhibited across the north of England as a member of the Leeds Fine Artists group and had his painting demonstrations featured on the SAA’s Painting and drawing TV channel.  Further afield he has accepted invitations to work with international artists’ groups in Spain, Macedonia, Montenegro and USA where his paintings are held in public and private collections. In 2018 he had a solo exhibition in Warsaw, Poland and a joint exhibition in Germany.

His pictures cover a wide range of styles and subjects from abstract to photo-realism though he frequently returns to his main loves of landscape and people.

Visitors are welcome at his studio in the old Art College on Church View, Doncaster.


Facebook:  Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting


-Marcel Herms

is a Dutch visual artist. He is also one of the two men behind the publishing house Petrichor. Freedom is very important in the visual work of Marcel Herms. In his paintings he can express who he really is in complete freedom. Without the social barriers of everyday life.
There is a strong relationship with music. Like music, Herms’ art is about autonomy, freedom, passion, color and rhythm. You can hear the rhythm of the colors, the rhythm of the brushstrokes, the raging cry of the pencil, the subtle melody of a collage. The figures in his paintings rotate around you in shock, they are heavily abstracted, making it unclear what they are doing. Sometimes they look like people, monsters, children or animals, or something in between. Sometimes they disappear to be replaced immediately or to take on a different guise. The paintings invite the viewer to join this journey. Free-spirited.

He collaborates with many different authors, poets, visual artists and audio artists from around the world and his work is published by many different publishers.


Hokis is an American Poet of Armenian descent. She is senior editor of Headline Poetry & Press and a regular contributor to Reclamation Magazine. Her work is found digitally and in numerous print anthologies, including SMITTEN (Indie Blu(e), Oct 2019), Pandemic Poetry Anthology (Gloucester Poetry Festival, Oct. 2020), and Heron Clan VII(Heron Clain). You can her digital work and information on her debut collection, UnBecoming, at

-Jane Dougherty

writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog

-Peach Delphine

is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Former cook. Has had poems in Cypress Press, Feral Poetry, IceFloe Press, Petrichor. Can be found on Twitter@Peach Delphine

-Dai Fry

is a poet living on the south coast of England. Originally from Swansea. Wales was and still is a huge influence on everything. My pen is my brush. Twitter:  



-Susan Darlington

Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington    

-Holly York

lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her two large, frightening lapdogs. A PhD in French language and literature, she has retired from teaching French to university students, as well as from fierce competition in martial arts and distance running. She has produced the chapbooks Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen, Scapes, and Postcard Poetry 2020. When she isn’t hard at work writing poems in English, she might be found reading them in French to her long-suffering grandchildren, who don’t yet speak French.

-Gayle J. Greenlea

is an award-winning poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel Zero Gravity at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Astronomy Magazine, Headline Poetry and Press and The Australian Health Review.

-Helen Allison

lives in the North East of Scotland. Her first poetry collection ‘ Tree standing small’ was published in 2018 with Clochoderick Press. Her work has appeared in journals and magazines in print and online and she is working towards a second collection.

-Lydia Wist

Like someone who tries out hats or other samples before making a final decision, experimenting with different ideas and techniques is how Lydia spends some of her time. This allows for other portions of time to speak through the lens of fiction, creative nonfiction and art. You can find her work at Cargo Collective , Lydia Wist Creative and on Twitter @Lydiawist.

Website links:

-Sarah Connor

lives in the wild, wet, south-west of England, surrounded by mud and apple trees. She writes poems to make sense of the world, and would rather weed than wash up.

-sonja benskin mesher

-Liam Stainsby

holds a bachelor in English Literature and Creative Writing and is a secondary school teacher of English and Creative Writing. Liam is currently writing his first, professional collection of poetry entitled Borders that explores poetry from all around the world. Liam also Co-Hosts a movie discussion podcast entitled: The Pick and Mix Podcast. Liam writes under the pseudonym ‘Michael The Poet’ 

Links: WordPress:

Twitter: stainsby_liam

Instagram: Michael The Poet

-Sarah Reeson

is 54, married and a mother of two, has been writing and telling stories since childhood. Over the last decade she has utilised writing not just as entertainment, but as a means to improve personal communication skills. That process unexpectedly uncovered increasingly difficult and unpleasant feelings, many forgotten for decades. Diagnosed as a historic trauma survivor in May 2019, Mental health issues had previously hindered the entirety of her adult life: the shift into writing as expression and part of a larger journey into self-awareness began to slowly unwind for her from the past, providing inspiration and focus for a late career change as a multidisciplined artist.

-Gaynor Kane

is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the Sun, Memory Forest and Venus in pink marble (2018, 2019 and Summer 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of Penned In a poetry pamphlet written in response to the pandemic and due for release 30th November 2020.  Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at



10 thoughts on “Day One: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, and iamjustavisualperson will also be joining in as a writer too and the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Hokis, Sally O’Dowd, Peach Delphine, sonja benskin mesher, Liam Michael Stainsby, Helen Allison, Sarah Connor, S Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 1st.

  1. Pingback: Day One: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, and iamjustavisualperson will also be joining in as a writer too and the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Hokis, Sally O

  2. Pingback: November ekphrastic poetry challenge – Jane Dougherty Writes

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