Day Six. 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. Tuesday.

January 12th


=Christine O’Connor

blue whale_KR12

-Kerfe Roig “Blue Whale”

Het leven van een groot zondaar, mixed media on riso print, 14,6 x 16 cm, 2020 MC12

-Marcel Herms “Het leven van een groot zondaar”

CO 12

A Rainbow Waiting

What dost thou hope to find in the bosom of the sea
innocent souls seeking food in cool deeps, a single
line holding tight for life, lest it slip by with the pull,
grasp the rod with faith, and courage never to submit,
strong may be the forceful wind, threatening clouds
above, but a rainbow waiting behind unseen unknown.

Blue Whale
KR 12

Jail hours thirty six
mistake forgiven, freedom
a blessing divine.

MH 12

Fangs , snake, deception,
heaven lost, world chaotic
bloodshed, evil takes over.

-Anjum Wasim Dar

WHALE (After Blue Whale)

and O the lyrical body simple, deep
gliding curve of the mouth the eye
and the superimposed rise
of two opposite hills before
there were hills, wet
with the first of the first of the first
of the first of songs.

-Godefroy Dronsart


Blue Whale

Watercolor the color of water
the color of sky. Smiling, transparent,
partially submerged creature
needs both sea and air. Leviathan
coughed Jonah up then swam
through a pool of azure ink.
No Moby Dick here because
in watercolor whiteness is absence.

-Holly York

Blue Whale KR12
Inside a hangar of bone: your myth.
Your ribs raise an echoing vault,
your belly sets the stage for a tale.
All force and streamlined muscle,
your shadow patrols the submerged.
Your throat bears the pleats you save
for the scoop of your floating sieve.
How can we count the ocean
you contain in your bloated mouth
when it balloons to fit your bite?
For a time, your blubbery hide
was a paper lantern lit by its own fat,
and we burned it low. But you swam
your teardrop path to deep places
we couldn’t find, and there you blow.

-Hilary Otto


they let out the demon
by speaking falsehoods
bearing arms it roared
out of the cave and into the city
dragging a noose behind
in which jerked its old face
of respectability
until it became mute

-Hilary Otto


The reception round here is pretty bad
and my battery is getting low.
We’re deploying the camera now;
see what it can show.

Sorry ? No, rod isn’t a guy.
It’s a fishing rod with a minicam submersibubble.
What ? No, a submersible.
We shouldn’t be talking, I’ll get into trouble.

We’re looking for a body,
but our technique is a bit shoddy.
If we can’t see through this ice-cream
we’ll have to call the diving team.

I should be back for teatime, it’s too cold out here.
I’ll call in for a pizza and maybe get a beer.

10,Ja.2021 for the 12th of.
-Alan Gary Smith, inspired by Paul Brookes and painter Chris O`Connor.


song of the deep sea
booming in distant blues
why am i crying

-Jim The Poet


rage in the playground
a friend dowsing the flames
of his hidden pain

-Jim The Poet

Songs of the Sea

The piston shrimps load snap
The stingrays electric zap
Such wonders beneath the sea
Wonders that will die out before all are seen

Morenas in their holes
Fish dancing in big shoals
Who will translate their song
When the great whales are all gone

Corals in every rainbow bow hue
Flatfish waiting patiently for its due
Who will care about dolphin chatter
When money and power is all that matters

Shellfish doing the cleanup
Fluorescent yellow fish to sun up
From the sea came alive to this lands
Now it’s dying by humanity’s hands

Deep Sea creatures with their own light
Stingrays looking like flying kites
We have forgotten the seas bountiful gifts
How the Songs of the Sea our souls uplift


A response to all three works of art.

Does What Happened by the Lake Stay There?

There we gathered
wishing for fish,
fishing for wishes
this is—

a dream, I say.

Here by this winter lake,
three versions all of me–

each facing in a different direction,
future, past, and present

in the distance, cradling,
hills indistinct, the haze surround us,

Am I awake or asleep? I see a huge blue tail.

How can this be? A whale.

Is this omen or vision, for the sinner that is me?

I feel sharp wolf claws upon my back,
and when I wake, I see their tracks.

-Merril D Smith

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

Anjum Wasim Dar was born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir, She is a migrant Pakistani.Educated at
St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi she has a Masters degree  in English Literature and  History (
Ancient Indo-Pak  Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English from Cambridge
UK. , a Diploma in TEFL from AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan. She has been writing poems,

 articles and stories since 1980.A published  poet Anjum was awarded  Poet of Merit Bronze Medal in  2000 by ISP International Society of Poets and USA .

She has worked as Creative Writer at Channel 7 Adv. Company Islamabad, and as a Teacher Educator for  Fauji Foundation Education Network Inservice Teachers  

Educational Consultant by Profession. 

Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series) Fiction..

3 thoughts on “Day Six. 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. Tuesday.

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

  2. Pingback: Songs of the Sea – January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 12 – The world according to RedCat

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