Day Four. Special January Ekphrastic Challenge Jan 7th to February 6th. Please join writers Merril D Smith, Jim The Poet, Holly York, Michael Dickel, Joy Fleming, Hilary Otto, Godefroy Dronsart, Alan Gary Smith, 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. Sunday.

January 10th


-Christine O’Connor


-Kerfe Roig “Avatar”

Heel het leven is een storm en een chaos der ziel, mixed media on paper, 14,6 x 21 cm, 2020 MH10

-Marcel Herms “Heel het leven is een storm en een chaos der ziel”


rift valley
from here in outer space
the ancient of times

-Jim The Poet


the language of ink
is changing my impressions
who are you really

-Jim The Poet


standing ovation
the grandstand explodes
a gold medal

-Jim The Poet

Storm and chaos of the soul (MH10)

In these times
when I feel the burden
of all that it means to be alive
and my face becomes the face
of another
I turn myself inside out
on the page, inks raging
until the face I have become
looks back at me and I am
myself once more

-Hilary Otto

Galaxy under the microscope (Avatar KR10)

Look what happens from small beginnings.
Microorganisms swim across the galaxy
cloning themselves to make the future.
Gases swirl in clouds of colour
across this textured sky. If we zoom in
far enough, we are just atoms and hot air.
Zooming out, we can make ourselves disappear.

-Hilary Otto

Identifit (CO10)

You’d better believe she is taking it further
than a beauty filter. Adding layers one by one,
she has almost covered the original.
Bit by bit she hides herself; creates
a new identity. Some of it will wash off
or peel away, some of it will stick.
It is too early to tell how this will end,
we will just have to wait. We will have
to trust her; she knows who she really is.

-Hilary Otto


Oil rainbow on wet pavement
ruffled with rickrack cracks.
Swimming sperm
or drowning worms?
Nebulous reflections

-Holly York

Ride, Trip, Life (MH10)

This ride will turn you round
Spin you round and round

Twist this way and that way
Confuse up and down until you sway

Like a reed in wind
As branches twinned in whirlwind

Stormy chaos reign
Soul drains as hot tears rain

The trip will demand red blood shed
Til the scythe severs your thread



Hypoxic, gasping
Confused chaos everywhere

Fallen are falling.

-Anjum Wasim Dar

Heel het leven is een storm en een chaos der ziel in English – MH10

Will you put those shoes over there please.
You`re such a ruddy tease.

If I fall over them I`ll give you a fistful of five.
If your dad gets hold of you you`ll wish you weren`t alive.

You know how awful it was when he grabbed you under the chin
when you left the cabinet door open and dropped his favourite gin.

No wonder your father swears.

Can`t you see where I`m pointing ? I`m pulling my hair out.
Right ! Get to bed before I give you a clout.

9,Ja,2021 for the tenth of.
Alan Gary Smith, inspired by Paul Brookes and the painter Marcel Herms. (and all chaotic mothers who love their kids really.)

-Alan Gary Smith

Day 4, January 10 Responding to all three images
Avator, KR10
Heel het leven. . .MC10


Ominous clouds gather—
shadows obscure the light,

leaving the world
a tangle of black and blue aches

And after the storm,
amidst the chaos,
the rebuilding begins—

we soar joyfully, reborn amongst flowers,
in colors never before seen.

-Merril D Smith

DUNGEON MAP (after CO10)

through the chasm of rock-sky into
the amber funnel from blue to yellow
this ends in one of two ways : find
the hoof-dancer in their bubble or
succumb to the deeper voice
and its signature growl :

-Godefroy Dronsart

No Storm

and chaos of breath,
breathless happen random
and pattern maker brain
makes faces appear out
of splashed paint,
placed cloth, makes blue 

skies and grey pitted mountainsides.

-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.   

-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.

-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

2 thoughts on “Day Four. Special January Ekphrastic Challenge Jan 7th to February 6th. Please join writers Merril D Smith, Jim The Poet, Holly York, Michael Dickel, Joy Fleming, Hilary Otto, Godefroy Dronsart, Alan Gary Smith, 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. Sunday.

  1. Pingback: January Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 4 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  2. Pingback: Ride, Trip, Life – January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 10 – The world according to RedCat

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