Day Nine. 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. Friday.

January 15th

Ignore the real world forever, mixed media on paper, 21 x 24,3 cm, 2020 MH15

-Marcel Herms “Ignore the real world forever”

ennui (with eye by Marcy Erb)_KR15

-Kerfe Roig “ennui-with-eye-by-marcy-erb”


-Chris O’Connor


Serpentine world becoming venomous
day by day night by night
real it is in cruelty, abuse by torture loud,
ignoring it where can one go?
poisonous virus is everywhere, hidden
ready to pounce and bite,
forever ? Or make efforts to make it better?


No do not lose hope
restless inner eye seeks peace
groans with pains untold


Cities bloody, dying citizens
surging death, all round and red
breathless, nothing green helps
whither lakes forests? Life ends
on ground and space shaking, empty
silent grotesque, houses look as graves
who rules ? who kills? Who saves?

-Anjum Wasim Dar

Epilogue CO15

This decaying city leaks red
from painted poppies, tongues,
from winter cyclamen,
from the blood on paving stones.

It’s like an Ellroy today;
all clean lines and dirty bars
with leopard skin chaise longues.
It’s raining, raising the hard-boiled urges.

This world is blurred, a noir
told many times before, repeated
through frosted glass in dim light.
All the days that have passed have been long.

We’ll believe anything from someone wearing a suit (MH15)

In my dream two football mascots stood
over my hospital bed. They grinned
(their masks gave them no choice)
and waved. “What’s the story, doctor?”
I asked. They did a little dance.
“The truth is,” the blue hippo replied,
“we don’t exist, we are simply creations
of your semi conscious brain.”
“OK,” I said. “But what’s wrong with me?”
The pink shrimp stared manically, and said
nothing. The blue hippo sighed. “I can’t
tell you that,” he said. “This is just a dream.”
“Ok,” I said. “So what does all this mean?”
The pink shrimp ran around until he fell over.
The blue hippo would have rolled his eyes
if they hadn’t been stitched on.
“You’re the poet,” he said. “You tell me.”

-Hilary Otto

Responding to “Ennui with eye “(KR) and “Ignore the real forever” (MH)

I’m weary of the grey January sky–
the pewter-plated clouds simmer in gloom
but never warm, despite their chafing, and
their mumbling conversations drone on endlessly,
causing the wind to bite in reply. And I–

I want to ignore the real—this forever-frost that beckons
with a glistening smile, and then attacks with fierce lion claws,
pinking my skin, but

I want color,
bright red blooms and blue horses,
grazing on emerald grass. I want to wake
from a summer dream,
to a robin gathering golden rays into song.

-Merril D Smith

Ignore The Real World foreverMH10

Foot down, time to get away.
No need to travel, no need to hide.
Switch off all appliances including the lights.

Nothing, not even a pin.
Just a smile and colours on the receptors.
My own boring yoga.

14,Ja,2021 for the fifteenth of.
-Alan Gary Smith, inspired by Paul Brookes and the painter Marcel Herms.


After the Riot

Skeletal frozen frieze against
denseness of cloud smoke.
Brutalist window bank where
rows of empty eyes witness
piled rubble of life and death.
The only clear thing is the corner
with its slick of blood
spreading like spilled burgundy.
Pen pointed skyward:
Is it mightier than this?

-Holly York

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..

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