Day Seven. 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. Wednesday.

January 13th

Hip priest, mixed media on riso print, 13 x 19,2 cm, 2020 MH13

-Marcel Herms “Hip Priest”


-Kerfe Roig “Clarity


-Christine O’Connor


Ice broke cracked open
snowy cold engulfed all life
tumbling upside down

KR13 Clarity

Time and space beneath the wisdom
Hades aflame unfeared, assault murders
rape continue, tender innocent bodies
abused, why? Deadly sins allover rage,
bird in anguish cries in captivity, trapped,
trying to escape to free skies, in vain,
ocean held like a gigantic bowl uncovered
holding life dead, drowned, floating
be wise be good be kind be understood.


I have no place to go, I am abandoned
I hide with nothing to hold or show
though the place is green, a wonderland
but where only there is a fall, no place for
the short or tall; gardens bloom odorless
bland and colorless, flowers grow down,
water flows upward and I cannot find the
way to peace, loneliness my partner now
forever is silent, locked down am I till
I die or breathless be like so many
the unseen killer may come and get me,
Ah the cruel corona covid virus.

-Anjum Wasim Dar

The urban garden and the I (CO13)

In these few square metres I make my den
I surround myself with all that is good
I bubble wrap my patch of calm
I hide it behind brick and smoked glass.
Inside, it is always blooming.
I become known for my garden,
it is transformed into an object of desire.
It is untouchable for those outside
I can see the faces peering in
I see jealousy in their eyes.
I burst a cherry tomato against my palette
I sip on a mojito made with fresh mint
I am cocooned in my greenery
I have achieved all that I wanted
I remember only vaguely why I did this
I am completely alone

-Hilary Otto

Clarity KR13

It’s that moment when the daylight gives,
when the owl raises careful silence
with the moon, spread circular, decisive
in his action. He sees all from the fence,
set apart, overlooking the valley.
He rises, pearly flare in the half light
focused on the point where two fields meet
three dimensions, feathers muffling his flight,
and then pulls back his head and drops feet first
straight on his mouse. Accuracy and stealth
give him an edge, but the skill that’s been rehearsed
and honed through centuries repeating death
is how to wait; the importance of surprise –
he knows how to choose the perfect time to rise.

-Hilary Otto



Amid the greenery, a crib.
Behind the layers, window panes.

Dreaming faces. One is pale,
worried, one darker, enclosed in a kiss.

A mouth, serious or suppressing
a smile. Two versions of the same.

Tender pink and blue, lace foliage.
Floating red balloons—ova?
Two with fetuses inside.

-Holly York

Clarity – KR13

The Sun shines, the Moon glows,
the owl more than knows.
The sky is clear, the water dear,
the understanding flows.

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

Responding to KR, Clarity


Coming home from the ER, I felt
a sense of clarity amidst the exhaustion,
and in the over-awakened midnight hour, an owl hooted
over and over again

calling for love, not warning,
I decided. And for love, we returned to the hospital
as the sun rose over the bridge to light the shadowed city streets.

Responding to CO 13


There are ghosts in the secret garden
drifting through the flowers’ birdwing-flutters,
she senses them, but they are masked, invisible
against the bright blooms, unfinished with this world,
outside of time, inside the walls, they wait.

-Merril D Smith


his black arts of death
terminate in blood

-Jim The Poet

KR 13 (owl)

periscope shit
the sun is cooking guano
the seas fail to quench
-Jim The Poet

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..

2 thoughts on “Day Seven. 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. Wednesday.

  1. Pingback: State of Depression – January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 13 – The world according to RedCat

  2. Pingback: Day 7: Special January Ekphrastic Challenge – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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