Day Five. 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. Monday

January 11th

beneath cloud winds_KR11

-Kerfe Roig “Cloud Winds”

Het leven van een groot zondaar (genie), mixed media on paper, 14,6 x 21 cm, 2020 MH11

-Marcel Herms “Het Leven Een Groot Zondaar


-Christine O’Connor

Moon rise (CO11)

The moon rises over the red earth
red lips, red pleats, red stains.
It sheds a light on pattern and relief,
on stitch and pause. Now we can see
the gashes where the bark has split,
the raised details of repetition.
We can find the holes, and patch them.

-Hilary Otto

The life of a great sinner (MH11)

Even his pink shadow is trampled
by a great force riding over him
proclaiming that the truth is here.
His real face is concealed
behind a mask of grand ideas;
beneath a demeanour of certainty.
Pick up the words he dropped
during his advance and lob them
back, they will not burn your mouth.

-Hilary Otto

The challenge (KR11 )

The gap is too far to jump
a deep blue cut below the cliffs
not even the trees have made it
to the other side, barren and brown.

But the challenge is why I am here
I channel Philippe Petit
strung between twin towers
on a highwire, and fling my hook.

-Hilary Otto



-Godefroy Dronsart

An Ocean

sails on the Roger Jolly
that lives on Captain Hook
and Smee. The crocodile is swallowed
by the clock who has had a hand
bitten off replaced by a hook.
Pan Peter teaches Wendy to walk,
a miracle as all fly all over the world.
She is not used to her heels
and toes touching earth.
The ocean and island of the Found Boys
live in the crocodiles stomach.
All live in the clock.

-Paul Brookes

KR 11

It must be the Bermuda

Triangle: the most coveted instrument
in the kindergarten rhythm band,
its silver isosceles chime was struck at just
the right time. Pythagoras had a lot to say
about them and their squared sides. Some
are romantic but there’s no fire here between
the female in blue and the male in green.
Earth wind and water join at the center, vortex
of calm. Inverted delta keeps their secrets.

-Holly York

Responding to Beneath Cloud Wings (KR) and CO11

Beneath Cloud Wings

Some hearts shatter–
their fragile shells swift-scatter
in the wind,

where owl-scoped and scooped,
the bleeding shards
are nested and guarded beneath cloud wings

to be reformed. Then re-hatched,
they flutter and fly,
soaring—knowing they may crash and crack again.

-Merril D Smith

Beneath Cloud Winds – KR11

Stop right where you are.
There is no beach down there
and you`re certainly not going to climb upon me.
Aren`t you the specimen that called me Elephant Rock ?
I shall take that as a compliment.
I hope it wasn`t derogat`ry.

I don`t want to hear your mopes.

I have been here millions of years before your kind.
I was here before the sea; licking away at me.
There was none of this greenery.
You can`t imagine that can you (?)

Glaciers have tried to break me
but they just fled by.
Your acid rains are mild to what the volcanoes threw at me.

I`ve known heat that would burn you to a cinder
and cold that prevented you from sprouting.
The sky was so much brighter before the stars moved away.

Anyhow, I`m Orme. What`s your name ?
Where have you gone ?
Strange, that…
the dinosaur didn`t hang around either.

8,Ja,2021 for the eleventh of.
-Alan Gary Smith, inspired by Paul Brookes and the painter Kiroji Roige.


the drawing of the genie
child’s play

-Jim The Poet


summer in sunshine
rolling down to the seaside

-Jim The Poet

Colours Beneath the Sky

Colours beneath the sky
In pale blue swallows fly
Sparkling mischievous eyes
Hawks soar with white wisps
The salty blue calm, no ships
Smiling strawberry red lips

Pink stars scatter the ground
Fragrant green all around
Sweet summer love found

To lay on heath is soft
Wind caresses, then is lost
Touch on skin lifts joy aloft

Blushing on milkwaite as she lay bare
Alluring like the day is fair
Dream that she would ever dare


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.

-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

One thought on “Day Five. 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. Monday

  1. Pingback: January Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 5 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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