Day Two: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer and P A Morbid the inspirations for writers, Gaynor Kane, Ailsa Cawley, Sally O’Dowd, Peach Delphine, sonja benskin mesher, Liam Michael Stainsby, Helen Allison, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 2nd.

2MH. And the fire...will stop, mixed media on cardboard, 23,1 x 31,7 cm, 2020
Eve of Destruction by Marcel Herms

TC2. Apparition

Apparition by Terry Chipp

The Fire Apparition

their words, defaced
outline erased, almost
comprehension scratched,
identity, detached
September, blank-ink lined,
recognised, unwinds…

-Sarah Reeson

To Love the Darkness

To love the darkness is dangerous
business, like walking a tightrope
of mirrors; thrilling at first
like a tango with the moon

But one forgets how changeable
is that sphere of rock
reflecting the light of another being
so it seems to be his own

mesmerizing luminosity
silvery mesh of mercury
Once you plan your escape
it envelops you so you can’t breathe

You’re caught
in a quicksilver web
where darkness spins the lie
and the moon recedes

sharp-edged, stabbing
still, luringly sweet
so you forget the pain in your side
the blood stains on your fingers

and swallow the kiss
of his promises
as though your memory
has fled with the whole

of the moon
and it, too, is decrescent
a small sliver of precious metal
molten, on fire

moving through your veins
throbbing, fear or desire?
The darkness obscures
It is part of the game:

the hide and seek of the moon
You can never truly see his face

– Gayle J. Greenlea

Yeah, guns, yeah, knives

Because fear is power
And power is something
You can slip into your pocket

And love’s a word
You once saw scrawled
Across a wall

But still, your skin’s your own.

-Sarah Connor

And the firewill stop

Tethered to the madness
beneath our sunken sky
what quivers in the stillness
as neon splits the night –
for somewhere in the aether
your tongue is set on fire
who’s loveless in the afterglow
a song for the world I used to know
and all we know – this stainless skin,
is modern in the light.
Who gave in to knowing
through fear or through fame
when ours streets were alive
with music again
and the joint down on Nelson;
busy in the sound
with thunderous applause
to this, his absent crowd.
Paper moths
and the phantom light –
on gossamer wings –
tear through the night
and I am unbound
and I am lost
and my city is a cancer
there is sickness on the pavement
all buried in the dust
but this sickness – in the end
is all that’s left of us.

-Liam Stainsby

The man in the flames

The man (it’s always a man)
in the flames, beneath the bullets,
hanging from the tree, cords creaking,
cracking bones and slow strangulation,

They cackle, the crowd of witnesses
or turn away, bored— Next!
Some slink away into their private darkness
to lick wounds and plot,
and when the words are written,
the arms honed and oiled,
and the vision (there’s always a vision)
has appeared, verified and transcribed
into common parlance, they come out,

eyes bound (black to keep in the blackness)
against the blinding dazzle
of a sun (there’s always the sun)
they have forgotten, and ears stunned
by the din of joyous birdsong,
after solemn silence and fearful whispering.

They come out black-bound and clad,
blind, bolstered and buoyed
by their smooth-faced visionary,
hands itching to reach for the honed and oiled,
and it all begins again.

-Jane Dougherty


When it burns low,
I cast my belligerent eyes
around the room.
Wondering who’s next,
desk or bedside table?

As I have no roof,
it is a moot point.
The important thing
now, is to keep warm
until the new furniture arrives..

-©️. Dai Fry 27th October 2020.

::with reference::

.day 2.
with reference and respect
i tell you this
mist rose along the edge
scrubbed out scrubbed out that feeling
erased all marks or iridescent gestures
drew it inward until
it became outward

play the games
until all rises into absent beings
the beetle crawls fondly across the floor and we leave it
white mouse feeds at the window
a small plane flies over
maybe the tiredness brought the apparition melting
yet his face remained perfect
to me

through those years

i remember him running
his dog behind
with those
remaining thoughts

move forward



I see you standing on the stair
Feel the chill that takes the air
Cold fingers run down my spine
Like the nail trails a line
I see you standing at the door
Watch you standing evermore
The touch familiar on my back
My mind is beginning to crack
I’ve seen you daily for so long
I no longer think that something’s wrong
Accepted that you are dwelling there
The space is large enough to share
Do I see the features,? you have enquired
Is it something all in your mind
I have accepted that this apparition
Has passed the life and death transition
I wander out to see the sun
To tell myself that you are gone
I turn to see you behind the pane
Window steams from your breath again


After Ezra

One might see graffiti in a station
of the Metro, calligraphed or scraggily
tagged. One might see words, one might
see faces, apparitions in the crowd
drifting in on Polaroid paper, petals
of a scentless flower measured
by the Pound as they float away
from a wet, black bough.

–Holly York 11.2.2020


That night she dreamed of her father.
Dead these last ten years he told her

The sea takes no bride who cries
for tomorrow or remembers today.

Turn back. Pull the moon from your bones
and wash in the shadow of yesterday.

She woke with brackish water in her mouth;
bladderwrack lashed around her legs.

-Susan Darlington

Day 2 – Apparition


Fog rising from damp ground, a shape
shifting shroud, a veiled spectral face.
A spectral face behind a misted window
staring straight with cavernous eyes.
Cavernous eyes of a cloaked man with clawing
hands, in a graveyard under a full moon.
A full moon, round and blue casting
calm reflections on a midnight lake.
Midnight lake, waves growing arms
from a wall of water where the veil is thin.
The veil is thin, the spirits pass through.

-Gaynor Kane


the fire will stop

Text upon text, blade upon blade,
dark cutting of words without form,
what fades from the tongue
lacerates eye, a quill cut from the feather
of a wing flailing against a white wall,
text upon text, blade upon blade,
do you not believe, O Lord,
that we will find our way
and deliver our own litany
of judgement upon your holy day?
Flame has become my hand
ash fills this sky
a river of cinders
flows up from the sea.

-Peach Delphine

Eve of Destruction

Evening To Morning In This Instance Is War”

Eve of destruction brought frustration, despair
Brink of night threw flashes of spite
Threshold of years of confusion and pain
Vigils of support washed in staggering waves
Verges of hope colour the morning light


When You See It”

There’s another face in the window
And now you might be wondering if the
Main apparition is the worst of it all,

-Lydia Wist

It Darkens To Reveal

Erases to highlight.
Scrawls over to clarify.
Destroys to create.

A face emerges
as on a funeral cloth.
Afterimage of the dead.

-Paul Brookes


A form so fluid,
do we share a tongue,
this form, strung to bone and breath,
are our words as smoke
as water, we live so close
with absence, is this flesh text,
of what you have summoned.

Face that forms out of smoke
or sea fog,
press your ear to the wall,
the bones of this structure
sing of a threshold, sometimes
a hand lifts
from beneath paint and plaster,
tomorrow we must scrub the baseboards,
unjamb the windows,
there is a sea longing
in this face
of fog and night.

-Peach Delphine

Bios and Links

-Terry Chipp

grew up in Thurnscoe and ia 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, who 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


One thought on “Day Two: Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer and P A Morbid the inspirations for writers, Gaynor Kane, Ailsa Cawley, Sally O’Dowd, Peach Delphine, sonja benskin mesher, Liam Michael Stainsby, Helen Allison, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 2nd.

  1. Pingback: November Ekphrastic Challenge: Day 2 – Jane Dougherty Writes

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