Day Eight. 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. Thursday.

January 14th

dancing tree of life_KR14

-Kerfe Roig “Dancing Tree Of Life”


-Christine O’Connor

I don't like to travel, mixed media on cardboard, 22,6 x 30,9 cm, 2020 MH14

-Marcel Herms “I don’t like to travel”

KR14 Dancing Tree of Life

Rance floor, fer de lance
rhythmically coils, life a trance
oceanic sea gardens.


Transformed world, no more romantic
nature’s wings clipped, emptying boundless skies
existence ensnared in the web of wires, in weeded
boxes fixed while digital receptive kist beams
hellish pleasures. No sanctuary sacred, but an unseen
flame burning away worth.


Life is a journey not only of body but of mind and soul
a spiritual time line unseen unrecorded , on land, in sea
Like it like a journey through a book or on a map whole
from state to state from river to river from pole to pole
I see oceans with marine life, reefs cut out, weeds waving
in the deep, yet I see printed words spread across, hiding
Fears of pollution germs hinder the aesthetics but perceive
the stirrings of this universe, travel far with inner eye, receive
Seek the good of all and you shall feel the wonder of nature
the joy of beauty and truth of art and the Great Artificer.

-Anjum Wasim Dar

KR 14.

Meadow of Lust

Pause, just to take a deep breath
Follow the smell of flowers
Arrive at the meadow of lust
Feel sun on skin

Dance with heart’s passion
Run and jump as frolicking deer
Fly free, feel wind on wings
Worship by sweat and toil

Leap like a dolphin
Dive deep, hear sea songs
Warble and chirp like a songbird
Sing life’s sweet joy

Flutter like a butterfly
Experience all
Soar like an eagle
See everything anew
Gain soul wisdom

Purr like a cat, cuddle in sunshine
Stalk like a lion, find soft touch
Be faithful in heart and soul
Love free


A response to all three works of art.

The Dance

An unlikely traveler,
with no longing for adventure,
only a desire to live without fear.

Money exchanged, his life rearranged–
one suitcase and a view
of storm-chased clouds and waves like horses,
galloping toward a hazy horizon, somewhere ahead

perhaps, there’s a quiet island, a house
with windows looking out on azure sky and singing seas,
golden-downed ducks and geese
with bicycle horn honks—he laughs, it would be

a dream, he thinks, as a whale breaches–and
for a moment they are eye-to-eye,
connected, branches of the same ancestral tree–
all of us–swaying to a universal rhythm.
Shuffle, slide, snap, and with jazz hands twirl,
smile. Tilt your head, in wonder

of the world. He wants the dance to continue.

-Merril D Smith

The white room CO14

I am wrapped in sheets
which spread into space
blank cells in which I am confined
with no formula
they have pierced my body
like a chip cutter
I am split into cells
this room is a cell
the city is a grid
the sky is a grid
please save

Nature Vogue KR14

this pretty crowd
fires limbs in a riot
of poised misfits
one rogue cloud
can’t overshadow
this outfit
stepping out loud
on a wave of daring
no ugly creatures
or dried up blooms

-Hilary Otto

MH14 and KR14
Armchair Travel

I don’t like travel. I’d rather envision
from cell-like stillness the dancing tree of life.
It blooms hibiscus, sunflower, bachelor button.
Chaotic choreography of claws, paws, and fins.
Dog, cat, llama, rabbit, killer whale the size of a crab,
tortoise and seahorse. Speaking of horse,
a flying blue to match a flightless origami bird. But then
a cardinal not much smaller than an elephant.
And humanity! six legs, five faces and hands,
more or less. I couldn’t tell
from my home in the cell.
I’ll never summit
the dancing
tree of life
because it
won’t stand still.

–Holly York

Dancing Tree Of LifeKR13

I’m so happy; I’ve learnt so much today.
      A deer ! A butterfly on it’s way.
How tall shall I grow ? I’m sure I’ll get to know.
       A cardinal (I shall not sin), a racing horse I’m sure will win.
I’m so fulfilled with all the learning. I shall succeed with all this yearning.
       Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Dance, dance, dance; The way to go.

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

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 Eight. 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. Thursday.

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

  2. Pingback: Meadow of Lust – January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 14 – The world according to RedCat

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