Day Two. Special January Ekphrastic Challenge Jan 7th to February 6th. Please join writers Merril D Smith, Jim The Poet, Holly York, Michael Dickel, Alan Gary Smith, Joy Fleming, Hilary Otto, Godefroy Dronsart, Redcat, and myself as we respond to the remarkable art of Chris O’Connor, Marcel Herms and Kerfe Roig and others to arrive in the coming weeks.

January 8th


-Christine O’Connor

Der Tod ist ein Dandy auf einem Pferd, mixed media on paper, 22,1 x 26,1 cm, 2020 MC8

Der Tod ist ein Dandy auf einem Pferd,

-Marcel Herms

all the king's men_KR 8

All The King’s Men

-Kerfe Roig

Death Is a Dandy

-Godefroy Dronsart


This riot of selected scraps–
is the meaning seen or hidden?
Orange, purple, blue displayed
against the cream or the paler
version of each element, same
shape but unmoored and flipped
to show its other side.

They cling together in softness,
sometimes suggest the familiar:
apples, flowers, bits of wedding gown,
a puff of cloud, a scarlet ribbon.
Squint your eyes and it’s a swirl
of dancing geishas pasted in
profusion on life’s canvas.

-Holly York

Kingdom of Karmic Weaving Fates (MH8)

Now, now! Dear soul!
I’ve done this countless times before.
I move between and between.
It wouldn’t do, to be forever seen.
I divert with the screech of an owl.
Even though, I pity souls killed by neglect and foul.
I don’t recommend staying as a ghost.
Even though together you would be a mighty host.
Now! Peek beneath my cowl!
Look into the void, and honk like a lost wildfowl.
My eyes are the portals.
Transporting all Bardo states mortals.
Handing you off at the gates.
Of the Kingdom of karmic weaving fates.


All The King`s Men – KR8

What shall we do, Where shall we go ?
Aim for the top; faster, not slow,
Poli-ti-cally, Finan-ci-ally,
let`s get to the top; our place to be.

Nice place to be so sod them all.
Really don`t care. We will not fall.
Steady the ladder, it`s not feeling good.
Get some insurance ! We`ll fall with a thud.

Funds have run out, income is nil.
This is rotten, making us ill.
Falling to pieces. You leaving me.
It sure isn`t all it`s cracked up to be.

9,Ja,2021 for the eighth of.
-Alan Gary Smith, inspired by Humpy Dumpty, Paul Brookes and the painter Kiroji Roige.


It might swell with liquid, it might hurt
or it might strain until the structure
of colour is visible, blues becoming more
transparent in streaks until it’s gone.
It might carry the sound of sudden happiness
from beyond the closed door of another home.
It might explode from a fist of gas in the dark,
or it might be otherwise: opening doors
in a green wall, tearing through debris,
the thrill of unexpected blooms.

All the king’s men (KR8)

I saw his look of surprise
and heard the scrape of the sword.
His beard was curly, he was an old man.
Blood collected in the curls, gathering
and seeping, gathering and seeping.
I wiped the sword and sheathed it.
The memory escaped.


A beast grumbles past,
something seated on its back.
A dog raises its head.
Turns and runs.

-Hilary Otto

Responding to Der Tod ist ein Dandy auf einem Pferd, MH8
And CO 8

Death Blooms

Death wanders and hovers–
in plagues, pounces; with demagogues
and flag-waving fools, dives. He prances
through porticos, and capers in life’s collage—
see there, the dark spaces among the blooms?

Some toss fireworks,
others lay flowers–
the dead stay dead.

-Merril D Smith

KR 8 (king’s men)

beautiful rips
this paper horse of troy
at the headwaters

-Jim The Poet

CO 8

sewing basket a
growing realisation
of the collidascope

-Jim The Poet

MH 8

the asses welcome
there is room in the manger
once again

-Jim The Poet

Death Is

a dandy on all the king’s horses,
and all the king’s men can’t embroider
your colours back to life
but let the loose threads unspool
the yolk spill out your broken shell.

-Paul Brookes

Bios And Links

-Kerfe Roig

A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new.  Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand Pointing, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, The song is…, Pure Haiku, Visual Verse, The Light Ekphrastic, Scribe Base, The Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100, Incandescent Mind, Pea River Journal, Fiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs,  (which she does with her friend Nina), and, and see more of her work on her website

-Christine O’Connor

is an artist working in glass, metal, fibre and paint. Sometimes her work is based on photographs, but more often, she creates in the moment. She loves to play with texture and colour.

-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.


RedCat’s love for music and dance sings clearly in The Poet’s Symphony (Raw Earth Ink, 2020). Passion for rhythms and rhymes, syllabic feets and metres. All born out of childhood and adolescence spent reading, singing, dancing and acting.

Her writing spans love, life, mythology, environment, depression and surviving trauma.

Originally from the deep woods, this fiery redhead now makes home in Stockholm, Sweden, where you might normally run into her dancing the night away in one of the city’s techno clubs.


-Merril D Smith

is a historian and poet. She lives in southern New Jersey, where she is inspired by her walks along the Delaware River. She’s the author of several books on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fevers of the Mind.

-Godefroy Dronsart

is a writer, teacher, and musician currently residing near Paris. His poetry has appeared in Lunar Poetry, PostBLANK, Paris Lit Up, The Belleville Park Pages, and Twin Pies Literary among others. His first chapbook, “The Manual” (Sweat Drenched Press, 2020), explores the space between poetry, prose, and gamebooks. He has a sweet tooth for all things experimental, modernist, and strange. Follow him on Twitter and his Bandcamp for electronic explorations.

-Joy Fleming

Born in County Down, Joy has studied, mothered and worked in Scotland since 1980. Brief excursions to follow her heart, back to NI mid-1990’s and England for first round Covid-lockdown ’19, Joy is currently back living in Glasgow. Joy’s first poem was accepted as part of the C. S. Lewis themed Poetry Jukebox curation A Deeper Country in Belfast in 2019. This poem, Ricochet was published in The Poets’ Republic Issue 8 Autumn 2020. A love of reading poetry is now accompanied by sporadic writing of poetic lines which spill out as an apparent by-product of processing dark and sorrowful days.   

-Alan Gary Smith

A Lincolnshire Ludensian living in Grimsby who built up his poetic stance after visiting Doncaster and Mexborough during his real ale and comedic music searches. Surprised to find a recent DNA check leaned heavily towards being a strong mix of Scottish, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. A sixty year old baldy who loves Julie, astronomy and chocolate; after giving up on football and telly.

-Hilary Otto

is an English poet based in Barcelona. Her work has featured in Popshot, Black Bough Poetry, AIOTB, Ink, Sweat and Tears, and The Blue Nib, among other publications. She received her first Pushcart Prize Nomination and performed at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She tweets at @hilaryotto

-Jim young

 is an old poet living in Mumbles on The Gower. He does most of his writing from his beach hut at Rotherslade – still waiting for the blue plaque

3 thoughts on “Day Two. Special January Ekphrastic Challenge Jan 7th to February 6th. Please join writers Merril D Smith, Jim The Poet, Holly York, Michael Dickel, Alan Gary Smith, Joy Fleming, Hilary Otto, Godefroy Dronsart, Redcat, and myself as we respond to the remarkable art of Chris O’Connor, Marcel Herms and Kerfe Roig and others to arrive in the coming weeks.

  1. Pingback: Day 2: January Ekphrastic Challenge – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  2. Pingback: Kingdom of Karmic Weaving Fates – January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 8 – The world according to RedCat

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