Day Twenty-Eighth : Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Peach Delphine, Sally O’Dowd, sonja benskin mesher, Anindita Sengupta, Liam Michael Stainsby, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 28th.

Day 28
Mjs 28 Shops
by Mj Saucer
TC28 Seclusion
Seclusion by Terry Chipp

MH28 You can't do that in front of decent people, mixed media on cardboard,22,9 x 24,2 cm, 2020

You can’t do that in front of decent people by Marcel Herms

(You Can’t Do That In Front of Decent People)

“People”

What is going on when people prevent people from being people?
They revolt, naturally, being people.


-Lydia Wist

Wollemi

Secluded
in a sliver
of rainforest,
secret ravine
between two cliffs:
Wollemi Pines,
time travelers
old as dinosaurs,
survive.
Small grove of witnesses.

— Gayle J. Greenlea

(Seclusion)

“Tree”

Tree high up and safe
The favourable place for
Sitting, thinking, playing, winning

(Shops)

“Good Days”

Gorgeous summer trips to the shops
Feeling the sun on our young heads
Lost track of the days – not so bad
Goal is find more milk and bread
And a treat, if we’ve been good
-Lydia Wist

SECLUSION

Sometimes I don’t fit,
edges jagged and sore.
I inhabit the analog,
banded on both sides.

Aztec’s edge,
father of headaches
is waiting for me.

Seeking the cool
soothing gaze
of a pliant darkness.

In monochromatic shadow
my thoughts settle
as billowed silk
on rutted dreams.

Gentle pebble ripples.
Cicada call-soft night.
I dream that hallelujahs
can finally
sing their chorus straight
into my healing head.

-© Dai Fry 27th November 2020.

National Pastime

Old Glory waves a blessing over
a congregation of empty cars
waiting in mute prayer at the altar
of crowded windows and hidden desires.
Figures soon appear, laden
with sacred relics: wigs and games,
diamonds and dog toys, furnace
filters and cell phones, vitamins,
batteries, and beer. A turn of a key,
and off they all go into concrete landscape
with an afterthought of trees.

-Holly York 2020

Solitude

Between beams of living wood
beneath branch rafters thatched
with leaves lit by sun and moon
is my house.
Music of bird and stream burble
falling leaves and the wind
in spindle bushes is the balm
in this calm pulsing green
the air clean of electric vibes
the twitter of disembodies voices.
Here would be peace heaven
if only the absence of you was
not darker than this patch
of reflected sky.

-Jane Dougherty

Seclusion

River curls upon itself
drops into the great sink,
what remains at the surface
driftwood, detritus, whatever
can swim against the current,
eyes filled with absence,
of light, of word, this form
is collapsible, hinged,
pleated, a smaller space
than what was once river,
a flowing amongst cypress,
a ribbon of sky reflected,
aggregate of leaves,
a space where atmospheres
slide together
encompassing silence.

Shops

Bodega, shoes, thrift
for the hospice, sandwiches
you will not regret, the same flag
as Battery Wagner, Sand Creek
or a reef off Tarawa, liquor
at the corner, across the parking lot
Meemaws Kitchen cranking out
biscuits and gravy, fried pork chops,
greens and cowpeas, up the road
pecan trees shade the houses
fat squirrels, fat owls,
another row of shops
the Courthouse, all greek revival
and dead confederate, everywhere
the smell of blood, a stain
bone deep, more pungent
than the fried catfish
at the VFW, two blocks down
oak shadowed.

You can’t do that in front of decent people

“Brides of Satan”
not that we, night walkers,
ladies of the evening,
went out much by day
dressed, but wanting deviled crabs,
cuban sandwiches, plantain chips
on a Sunday in 1985
skirts too short, heavy eyeliner,
lipstick of blood, encountering
church ladies, dreadnoughts of propriety
come to smite the wicked,
being called brides of Satan
was so charming, Tabitha
wanted it on a t shirt,
not that we were decent people,
then or ever, being firmly
wedded to the night.

-Peach Delphine

Decent Seclusion

the two halves
trapped within
pointless challenge,
contemplating
motivation, lost
conclusions crossed.

-Sarah Reeson

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.

e-mail:  terry@terrychipp.co.uk

Facebook:  Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting

Instagram: @chippko.art

-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.

www.marcelherms.nl

www.uitgeverijpetrichor.nl

-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 https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

-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:  

@thnargg

Web: http://seekingthedarklight.co.uk

-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.

-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:

https://cargocollective.com/lydiawist

https://www.facebook.com/lydiawistcreative/

-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: https://michael-the-poet.com/

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.

Website: http://internetofwords.com

-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 www.gaynorkane.com.

Anindita Sengupta

is the author of Walk Like Monsters (Paperwall, 2016) and City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). Her work has appeared in anthologies and journals such as Plume, 580 Split, One and Breakwater Review. She is Contributing Editor, Poetry, at Barren Magazine. She has received fellowships and awards from the Charles Wallace Trust India, the International Reporting Project, TFA India and Muse India. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Her website is http://aninditasengupta.com 

Answer Me in Mother Tongue – CNF by Clementine E. Burnley

IceFloe Press

Answer me in mother tongue

If I ask the wrong questions of her, Ma Gwen remains a powerful, prayerful middle-aged matron. With the right move she unfolds into Gwen, a slight-figured thirteen year old afloat, on a steamer that will take two weeks to arrive in Lagos. She leaves behind her Raleigh bicycle, and the sketch of Carter Bridge her small uncle Francis has made because who needs a drawing when the real thing awaits.

Did you want to travel five hundred miles to school?

It is 1945. Gwen’s part of Cameroon is located at the edge of the eastern region, at the edge of British Nigeria. At Apapa Docks she sits on her suitcase and while she waits for Uncle Mr Udofia, she plays with a wooden puzzle that can be rearranged into seven different shapes. She will live with the Udofia’s and their children until she finishes school.

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Unseen/Domestic Labour/ Self Portrait – an image by Julia O’Connell

IceFloe Press

Julia O’Connell, Artist, IMAGE: Unseen/Domestic Labour/ Self Portrait

Julia O’Connell is an award winning visual artist whose practice is predominantly based in textiles. In October 2020 Julia was invited to give a talk about her Visible Maker project in Boston, U.S for the Textile Society of America. The work features a 1919 Treadle sewing machine connected to bespoke interactive technology culminating in a live craft theatre performance. Julia designed the coat for Godiva Awakes (Imagineer Productions) for the Cultural Olympiad, London Olympics 2012. Other commissions include: Processions 2018, a national artwork of handmade banners in London by Artichoke and 14:18Now, commemorating 100 years of women’s votes.

Julia is a member of Inbetweenus.Collective. An artist collective committed to radical care, threading works in progress, performing a conversation to disrupt the undervalued labour of process. She is also a follower of the Slow movement, taking time to create hand stitched works using…

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November Ekphrastic Challenge: Day 27

Jane Dougherty Writes

Paul Brookes’ challenge Day 27, and the image is We never learn, mixed media by Marcel Herms. When I read the title, my eye skipped the comma and read it as We never learn mixed media. The poem and my interpretation of the image is skewed by the missed comma.

MH27 We never learn, mixed media on paper, 11 x 22,9 cm, 2020

Thor Sledgehammer

Give me something I can do,
a task to make me feel useful,
valued; give me the one thing
I have ever been taught to use.

Let my hands take that tool
and wield it, the spanner
that unbolts the sky.

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Day Twenty-Seventh : Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Peach Delphine, Sally O’Dowd, sonja benskin mesher, Anindita Sengupta, Liam Michael Stainsby, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 27th.

Day 27

MH27 We never learn, mixed media on paper, 11 x 22,9 cm, 2020
We never learn by Marcel Herms
TC27 Ryan the Choreographer

Ryan the Choreographer by Terry Chipp

Devolution

One day historians will delineate the eras
before and after the pandemic. They will
record 2020 as the year Enlightenment’s
crown slipped and Science became a ‘hoax’.

Galileo would commiserate with virologists
over rejection of reason, remonstrate with
politicians for overwriting fact with fiction.
Death rides a pale horse, blotting out

the sun. Mourning reigns, the sound of it
echoes in our bones. We are hollow
women and men. Even as earth’s ragged
claws claim souls we love, we are divided

in competing kingdoms. Millions of eyes
closed, and still deniers die, ‘hoax’ written
on their lips. Ignorance is a circle of hell.
In the Land of the Free, Enlightenment

recedes to the Middle Ages. Justices restore
preeminence to theocracy, Science quashed,
five to four; assembly of the devout legally
rendered more important than public health.

The wealth of knowledge gleamed from five
centuries deemed ‘elitist’ by a minority
whose reality is insular. We never learn
that progress will fail us; that on dark nights,

rational thought devolves into a fear of wolves
and conspiracy outruns the light.

— Gayle J. Greenlea

(We Never Learn)

Isolation splits those not suited to the state in two; multiple beings
Terrified of vague notions
Lips smudged and dripping, drowning in (self) imposed silence

Technically speaking, sooner or later, the unsuitable subjects realise: They have the power to lessen isolation’s weight
But, well, they never do seem to learn

(Ryan the Choreographer)

Life Mural

Artistic interpretation, a celebration
Of creativity, awarded and supported
Breathtaking, attention seeking
Exceeding all expectation

-Lydia Wist

Ryan, Learn

this is a lie
dimensional chaos,
perpetrating
isolation;
typography
dances, dies

=Sarah Reeson

We never learn

Repetition beyond comprehension,
squirrels digging new holes
for old acorns, bark
beneath my hands, pushing
through relentless tangle of thicket,
fox vine, bramble and scrub oak
fans of palmetto, pines
uncrowd themselves,
eventually there is a road
for more houses,
as if anyone should live here
Gulf ever simmering
ready to reclaim
what was always
just a sandbar
overgrown.
-Peach Delphine

:: isolation ::

framed

the things were in the cubby
where he climbed and chucked them
down

sat in the doorway smiling
new trainers

i took his photograph
which went to exhibition
somewhere
**
now we are in isolation
so where is the difference?
**
a younger rock formation isolated among older rocks
someone who moves differently to others.
an exercise in the way to view the world.
we are all
individual

as much as this is said
this performance can do with quite an improvement

..sbm..

Ryan the choreographer

Body fluid, motion
carried through flesh,
restless creatures, wind
coils up the framework
of bone, sinew, what floats
from fingertips is the crest
of a wave not yet collapsed
on itself, when he moved
there is the taste of sea,
hard corner of a building
an echo of people talking
down the street
a window opens
supper cooking
a woman sings
of love
and loss.

the choreographer

five…six…seven…eight…
Get me out of this frame
I gotta count the beat
don’t box me in
when there’s a chance to dance
I’m callin’ the steps
eyes up jazz hands
slide to the side
with a shoulder lean
gettin’ lite
with a Harlem shake
and a whip/nae nae
now break!

-Holly York

Thor Sledgehammer

Give me something I can do,
a task to make me feel useful,
valued; give me the one thing
I have ever been taught to use.

Let my hands take that tool
and wield it, the spanner
that unbolts the sky.

-Jane Dougherty

Ryan

He’s a cool guy
a bit of a skip to the beat guy
shopping for denim and trainers –
a look at my threads type of guy.

He’s a counter, a mapper.
Listing moves to the grooves
sort of guy; popping and locking
breakdance and boogaloo.
He’s dancing in the street.

-Gaynor Kane

WE NEVER LEARN

Hear the meaning
not the words.
Let knowledge unfold.
Care for it
as if a fledgling bird.
Be here for now,
not before or ever after.

For in a time of
true learning,
all is in
a state of flux.

© Dai Fry 26 November 2020.

#IDEVAW International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women poetry and artwork challenge. Unpublished/published accepted. Please DM me or send a message via my WordPress site. All submissions will be published.

 

The Betrayal by Gayle J Greenlea

The Betrayal was first published at Headline Poetry

The Betrayal, video and text by Gayle J Greenlea. 

bruisedance hawkheadbluebirdswallpaper-atlaspoetica John HawkheadJohn Hawkhead Depths

  • bruisedance was in Failed Haiku
  • fingerprints was in cattails
  • the bluebirds tanka was previously in Atlas Poetica

-John Hawkhead

Tattoo by John Hawkhead

 

-John Hawkhead

for a

mum has lost her voice’
her child sleeps
with a glass of water by the bed,
just in case dad comes home
and loses it
again

-Ian Richardson

This is not a poem

For Maggie

All these years you’ve become so small.

As blue lights erupt on chrome, stone and glass,
flashing back doors, throwing up faces
along squat terraces, they take you away.

When you’re drawn out of the pit,
By all the angels, your shadow
Lengthens, leaps for moments.

The report says: ‘David ties Maggie wrists up
When he goes out. David says that he is afraid
Of Maggie meeting other men.’

You always come back, eyes as vacant as
Litter from the chippie and the general store
Skittering in shrill funnels of wind across lots

Settling on frayed weeds, floating in oily puddles,
Stopped at edges that you can’t see
Behind curtains, small in your corner.

In the yard, he stands on sunken pavestones by the loft
Releasing cawing, shitting pigeons from his palm, pointing
To the sky, fingers rancid, black as bile, stains in pitted skin.

His eyes plant like heavy feet,
His words hold gravities.
Utterance is malevolence, formed from flesh.

In the sports bar, his words cascade and cavort, he’s a
A “tidy bloke” with ‘The Racing Post’ and a pint of dark,
Gambit’s guns on fire with coins he feeds.

Do you wait each night and wonder, swaying or still
In the light of the TV, waiting for the fists fixed
In his pocket, for the knuckles that toy and brush?

Gestures of pathetic mastery.

-Matthew M. C. Smith

Trapped Voices

You speak of rights
you sound and look the part.
Trapped voices are alone
inside their heads
and always fear the dark

The women held me down.
What could I do? It will
go better if you’re still.
Do it for a man they said
before they slit my clitoris
apart and left an open wound
to sew back up again

I speak of the unmentionable pain
but where were you?

My brother guards the door.
My father and my uncles
speak of shame.
My voiceless mother
fears dissent
resists the plea
for any woman’s preference

I speak of love and not obedience
but where are you?

-Val Bowen

Survivor

They come before dawn,

serpent-eyed men

with frozen souls.

One by one,

they grunt over her body, while she—

there and not–

memorizes the details of their features,

the mole over one man’s left eyebrow,

the acne scars on another’s cheek,

most of all the commander,

whose body seems cold,

even in the heat of the waning day,

his face, a mask without emotion.

She holds these fragments tightly in her mind,

even as blood and fluids flow from her body.

When they finish,

they kick her aside

like a stray dog.

Like a stray dog,

she curls up in the dirt,

feeling her wounds festering,

changing her into something else.

She feels cold,

she feels her eyes narrow like a snake’s.

Silently she waits for darkness

till she can uncoil and strike.

-Merril D Smith

(Published in Streetlight Press, Issue 10, February 10, 2018.)

Survivor: Sun and Moon

I was a carefree child who played in the warmth of the sun. But her glow and mine have dimmed. At night, after he has finished with me, the moon sends her light to comfort me. Cold comfort. Still, she guides me now, lighting a pearlescent path for me, tangled and silver like the scars that trace my body, but leading me to freedom. I’ve killed him, and though he took my innocence, he can no longer hurt me. My past, present, and future merge—who I was and who I will become. I am broken, but not destroyed. One day, I may glow again, like the sun.

The moon saw sorrow

her tears, silver waves of hope

to light the darkness

-Merri D Smith (Originally posted on her blog: https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/survivor-sun-and-moon/

Of Tears

My son’s eyes are ice.
I have seen this look before.

He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,
hauls her along the floor

a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels
in an abattoir, blood down the drains.

Her paws scratch and scrape
he dumps her at my feet.

“Bite its ear!”
I shake my head.

“If it’s done wrong, and it has
bite its ear.” I shake my head

mumble
“Done nothing wrong.”

“Eh! Speak up woman!”
“It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!”

Fine rain falls through grey skies
in the pub yard, and a yellow

fluid flows out from under the dog.
“Dirty bitch!”

He kicks Sheba in her side.
She whimpers, puts her head

pleadingly on the black shiny
surface of my court shoes.

“I’ll do it then!”
Snatches her up

by the scruff
“Getting a dog

and not bringing it up right.
Stupid cow!”

He snaps at the silk of her ear.
She yelps. I cry.

“Stupid sodding cow!”
He slaps me hard

across my face. I feel
his gold rings on my cheek.

“Stop whimpering!”
Pushes me up against

the wet wall. His cold eyes
up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,
the other points at her. I mumble.

“Not again Jack. Please.”
My legs have gone.

“Treat the bitch right
and it’ll treat you right.”

Sheba inches against the wall,
low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams
Sheba, up on her legs again,

licks my face, lays down by my side
puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.
They call the rain the “Tears of God”

-Paul Brookes (previously published in Degenerates: Voices for Peace – Domestic Violence.

Day Twenty-Sixth : Welcome to a special ekphrastic challenge for November. Artworks from Terry Chipp, Marcel Herms, MJ Saucer, P A Morbid, the inspiration for writers, Gaynor Kane, Peach Delphine, Sally O’Dowd, sonja benskin mesher, Anindita Sengupta, Liam Michael Stainsby, Sarah Connor, Sarah Reeson, Holly York, Jane Dougherty, Gayle J Greenlea, Susan Darlington, Lydia Wist, Dai Fry, and myself. November 26th.

Day 26th

MH26 Thre's a big pain in your window, mixed media on card board, 18,8 x 22,5 cm, 2020
There’s a big pain in your window by Marcel Herms
MjS 26 The Old Homestead
The Old Homestead by Mj Saucer
TC26 Restless

Restless by Terry Chipp

Homestead

There are ghosts here. They breathe
in unseen spaces behind walls,
under floorboards, in shafts of light
filtered through dust motes. At night
they drift into fields where once they
put shoulders to the plow and tended
cotton. Their shape, if you could see
them, is amorphous as cotton fruit,
diaphanous as gossamer with glints
of light like fireflies. They are more lonely
than scary, tethered to the windowless
homestead with wind-sanded fieldstone
and peeling paint. They wait for souls
long gone, beloveds who worked the land
side by side, peeled potatoes for supper,
sighed as they tucked children into bed
to cicada lullabies, rubbed salves
and embrocations into cuts from cotton
bracts and aching muscles, smiled
through wavering firelight before making
love under a diamond sky. Now fields
overgrown with weeds hide once furrowed
earth, sculpted by generations through life,
death and birth; a claim on humanity,
still longed for. Memory anchors them.

— Gayle J. Greenlea

(The Old Homestead)

This photo’s not sepia in tone
Just how it looks is just how it is
Insane
Challenge
With little chance of monetary reward to be had from ressurection
That’s not what we’re here for

We’re here for when the sun catches the red dirt to pass it to the wind to throw it in our faces
The dangerous veranda
Useless chimney
Roof with no enhancements and
The tree that’s definitely haunted

(Restless)

A graveyard of unfinished projects behind where I live up a steep incline
Mind how you go
Don’t be sad, no need to mourn
These projects can come back to life

(There’s a Big Pain in Your Window)

A piece not like any other sits awkwardly within the frame

The collection of uniform squares bow down to the chosen one
-Lydia Wist

RESTLESS

I curl around,
my coiling place.
So tight and knotted
am I.

For I was born
under the sign
of the water snake.

And my hour is 9am
when the sun warms
the water
and I wake.

I need to feed
so I can sleep again
calm and deep.

And the dream-flow
will carry me
into my tomorrow.

Where I will wake
tight and knotted.
Looking for prey.

-© Dai Fry 25th November

Restless Homestead

we all know
deception plays
pitting minds,
against concepts
your story’s told –
want to walk away

-Sarah Reeson

MH26
There’s a big pain in your window

Glass does not fill sash
and frame, what passes through
portal of light, wind, ache
of porous bone, rain softens
the bitter light,
sitting empty, in a room
of emptiness, slick
with scrubbing, weekly
antiseptic, mattress,
paper nightgown,
sometimes an eye
at the door window,
sometimes a word
falls from my mouth,
scurries on smooth floor,
skittering fills my sleep,
they never turn off the light.

TC26
Restless

We unfold ourselves
from a narrow space,
motion was all, riding
his bike across causeway
and back, hands on his waist,
road vibrating up through thighs,
sometimes out by the airport
watching planes descending
never so elegant as pelicans,
or out to Gulf,
counting the lights of shrimp boats.
He liked to drink on the porch
feeling, not just seeing,
cars passing by, momentum building
till it was time to ride,
one last cigarette
then we’d be off.

MjS26
The Old Homestead

With affluence
a galvanized roof
and a porch, he’d grown up
with a dirt floor, still thatched
when he was small, palmetto bugs
dropping out at night
rustling in the dark
above mosquito netting.
They grew citrus, ran a few cattle
and hogs, she loved bougainvillea
and guavas so he planted as many
as he could find room for,
in the wet season the road
was a causeway of sorts,
out to the hammock from hardtop,
nothing for shade but cabbage palms,
a few cypress and scraggly pines,
all bulldozed now
tract housing, fast food,
so much light
so few stars.

-Peach Delphine

THE DISPOSSESSED

They are wisps of voice, whispers traveling
through rooms and corridors, black panes
of time, suspended in planes, alternate or missing,
they still exist, swim, climb, laugh,
lack, bleed and lean toward love, yearning,
remembering. Stimming their restlessness,
they walk through the night, stalking,
full of backward glances, regret. A stork
in the pond beyond turns one eye
toward the house. They try to escape
these carotene walls but the stodge
of cement cakes their hands and faces.
The open windows are memory, are time,
are lives left behind. They can’t find
their way out. With open mouths, they call
and call. Their cries recede as summer storms
hammock through the house. Their faces
become the frozen stone of statues.

-Anindita Sengupta

day 26.

:: really ::

it is a tangled affair
too many people talking at once
it is a messy affair
paint smudges and runs
eventually all comes clear
one having the final say
predictions come and go
sometimes heard
not seen
days of our life
james
days of our lives
**
i feel some times that
the word unreasonable
is mine

though i react through
my reason
which comes clear
with my muddled
thinking

dare i laugh here?

who said that
&
what is it?

how will they know for thinking
comes silent inside our heads
unless we utter
which in my case is not often

who defines the different
level of thought
is there a manual
with charts and graphs
a litmus test to testify

that the thought got tangled

oh what is it like?
really
oh really!

-sbm

Goat Man

They run to the window, then out the door
over the sagging porch, bare feet slapping
on dusty red clay, to the shoulder
of Dixie Highway and there is Goat Man,
wagon thrown together in defiance
of gravity, pulled by a dozen goats.
PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD, the sign says.
A few yards down the road, bright giggling faces
bound from a Buick, its license plate from
out of state. “Ever seen a three-legged
goat?” he asks to gasps of wonder, pushing
aside piles of newspapers, license plates,
Coca Cola cans. He gently extracts
a tiny spotted kid. Pairs of bright eyes
all around examine each other, then
return to the Buick, the old homestead,
and the wagon.

-Holly York 2020

Restless

They are never still, the young ones
who pierce the mists of obfuscation,
the cynics and doubters who believe in the stars
but doubt the reality of golf balls
and the great never-never.

They make a noise, the young ones,
when they let the words pour out,
the joie de vivre, soaking in music
and good-time drugs,
but they never lose the north.

They will be there, the young ones
who see the truth, the stars,
who have the dreams,
when the jackboots drum and the batons fall,
defending you, me and a noble idea.

I would have been like them,
I think, once,
perhaps,
I hope.

-Jane Dougherty

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.

e-mail:  terry@terrychipp.co.uk

Facebook:  Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting

Instagram: @chippko.art

-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.

www.marcelherms.nl

www.uitgeverijpetrichor.nl

-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 https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

-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:  

@thnargg

Web: http://seekingthedarklight.co.uk

-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.

-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:

https://cargocollective.com/lydiawist

https://www.facebook.com/lydiawistcreative/

-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: https://michael-the-poet.com/

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.

Website: http://internetofwords.com

-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 www.gaynorkane.com.

Anindita Sengupta

is the author of Walk Like Monsters (Paperwall, 2016) and City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). Her work has appeared in anthologies and journals such as Plume, 580 Split, One and Breakwater Review. She is Contributing Editor, Poetry, at Barren Magazine. She has received fellowships and awards from the Charles Wallace Trust India, the International Reporting Project, TFA India and Muse India. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Her website is http://aninditasengupta.com 

‘g.u.t.’ – a poem by Alvin Kathembe with a photograph by Vera Schmittberger

IceFloe Press

‘g. u. t.’

my lover says that she’s figured out
a unified model of the cosmos.
she says that the universe,
with all its macroimplosions
and quantum fluctuations
is nothing but the
bubbling bubbling bubbling
in the great sky-mother’s womb.
what else, she asks,
could birth all this infinite everything
from kernels of infinitesimal nothing?
what else could contain such
uncontainable expansion?


Alvin Kathembe is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. His poetry has been featured in Dust Poetry Magazine, TheShort Story Foundation Journal, Poetry Potion and other publications. His short stories have been published in Omenana, Brittlepaper andDigital Bedbugs, available on Kindle. Find him on Twitter(1) Alvin Kathembe (@SofaPhilosopher) / Twitter

Vera Schmittberger isa photo artist and occupational therapist. She grew up in Germany adjacent borders with Luxembourg, Belgium and France, in an area of forests, hills and mountains. Her photography emerges out ofspontaneous journeys and…

View original post 47 more words

Factory Floor – a poem by Emma Filtness with a mixed-media collage by M.S. Evans

IceFloe Press

Factory Floor

I remember the scraps
of silk you’d bring home for me treasure
magpied from the factory floor
plucked
from frantic gaps
between pedals and feet
scavenged slithers of slippery lightly grasped
tucked into the pouch
of your navy pinnie as if
you were lining a nest
knowing these scraps would keep me warm
while you were gone as I’d collage them
onto a page with white glue in the shape of your
absence


EmmaFiltnessis a poet and lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University London. Her poems recently featured in visual poetry exhibitions with Poem Atlas and Mellom Press.Emmafinds inspiration in nature and the (dark) feminine, writes much of late about her childhood hometown, migration and work, makes zines and particularly enjoys exploring found and visual poetics. Twitter: Emma L Filtness (@em_filtness) / TwitterInstagram: @cultofflora

Banner Art: Mother’s Nest, a Mixed Media Collage by M.S. Evans…

View original post 6 more words

#IDEVAW International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women poetry and artwork challenge. Unpublished/published accepted. Please DM me or send a message via my WordPress site. All submissions will be published tomorrow. The actual day of the event.

TEARS OF GOD

My son’s eyes are ice.

I have seen this look before.

He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,

hauls her along the floor

a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels

in an abattoir, blood down the drains.

Her paws scratch and scrape

he dumps her at my feet.

“Bite its ear!”

I shake my head.

“If it’s done wrong, and it has

bite its ear.” I shake my head

mumble

“Done nothing wrong.”

“Eh! Speak up woman!”

“It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!”

Fine rain falls through grey skies

in the pub yard, and a yellow

fluid flows out from under the dog.

“Dirty bitch!”

He kicks Sheba in her side.

She whimpers, puts her head

pleadingly on the black shiny

surface of my court shoes.

“I’ll do it then!”

Snatches her up

by the scruff

“Getting a dog

and not bringing it up right.

Stupid cow!”

He snaps at the silk of her ear.

She yelps. I cry.

“Stupid sodding cow!”

He slaps me hard

across my face. I feel

his gold rings on my cheek.

“Stop whimpering!”

Pushes me up against

the wet wall. His cold eyes

up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,

the other points at her. I mumble.

“Not again Jack. Please.”

My legs have gone.

“Treat the bitch right

and it’ll treat you right.”

Sheba inches against the wall, 

low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams

Sheba, up on her legs again,

licks my face, lays down by my side

puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.

They call the rain the “Tears of God”

-Paul Brookes (Previously published, 2004)