Day 3. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers David Hay, Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Williams,Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker,and myself. April 3rd

Day Three

KR3_turtle netsuke with rabbit_wombwell

“Turtle netsuke with rabbit”

-Kerfe Roig

JC3

-Jane Cornwell

JL3 Chrisanthemum

“Chrysanthemum”

-John Law

Big bad

They had no clue, the keepers,
believing their charges were human
children. That our bold insistence
no I’m not a boy I’m a wolf call me wolf
was the lie. But nothing grows up
into a different species. Our teeth
were new to us and a miracle clearly meant
to be obvious. They shone in the night
when we fought, the flags of our tails
wagging the whole time. How we gleamed
as we polished the snarl – every feint
a row of lights on the path. The keepers
kept their soft mouths closed, their tails
docked, their language
beyond us. When did it happen.
When did you figure out which animal
you needed to hide.

-Ankh Spice

In response to JC3,
JL3 Chrisanthemum, KR3_turtle netsuke with rabbit_wombwell

Fever dreams in full colour
Inhabit the corners of her mind

Cloaked and cloaking she followed the animal
To the light

A secret place of flowers,
Glowing and fragrant

At a table in the centre sat
The rabbit and turtle sipping their tea

Waiting.

-Anne Arbuthnot
3/4/2021

This encounter shimmers
Like the light, gliding down
In trails of gold, through branches
And leaves. It glows,
Illuminates our fears

Or hopes

Hooded human child
Beast with lantern eyes
What do they see
In one another
What do we

Want to be

The dream of living in the belly
Of the beast, the dream of disguise
The sweet, glittering nightmare
Of seeing myself in your eyes

I have a proclamation

Let what is in the light beyond
Resolve itself within
Let beast and child run wild
Let us admit no woodcutters
To this feast

And granny? Who’ll bring granny her care package?
Someone will. Something will. One poem
Cannot tell the whole tale.
-Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

Granddaughters of Red Riding Hood

We granddaughters of red riding hood
Brought up with the cautionary tale
Have the dangers of dark woods understood

Know everything the world thinks women should
Do to avoid predatory males
As granddaughters of red riding hood

Know there’s sometimes cruelty in manhood
Know that nice personas can evil veil
We have the dangers of dark places understood

Know that getting caught by one would
Lead others to our precautions assail
As granddaughters of red riding hood

We know that one sad fact of womanhood
Most abuser will never face jail
We have the dangers of dark minds understood

Know we’ll live asking if we’ve done all we could
Knowing the price we’ll pay if we fail
We granddaughters of red riding hood
Have the dangers of walking the dark understood

-©RedCat

The Lonely Walk to the Shore (John Law Boats)

The lake, full of old men’s tears
Shimmers soft below the dawn of memories.
Only Solitude lingers not caressed by the tender swell
Of the waves or the melody of the birds navigating ancient routes
First charted when man was but an echo and a cry
In God’s lonely dream chamber.
The cold hand that grasps with unholy fear when the night comes
Is far away,
I can barely sense it’s chill on the back of my neck,
The ghosts of love’s lost wait in the few shadows that remain
Around the bay and with my city clothes abandoned on the shore
I step clean but far from pure into the salt-crusted ocean.
The past weighs down the bottom of my soul,
I fear I will sink; time has shaped me like the rocks
Which cover the shore,
But still I step forth freeing myself from everyone of yesterday’s
Burdens with every step,
Until the water baptises every one of my sinful years
And I am weightless, as if floating through a sky pierced
By every star and God and I finally communicate
After so long parted.

-David Hay

Inspired by all three works of art: JC3, JL3, KR3

The Story

Is it once upon a time, or always and forever,

the wind and sky whisper
the sound of light and shadow,

timebound and timeless? Like magic, the flowers come,
white snowdrops, then red roses, and finally autumn golden
chrysanthemums, a wave of sunglow against the browning earth–

and turtle, ancient and wise, moves
through each season, each year, steady–
does he carry the impulsive rabbit?

So, the elders say. Be like the turtle, cautious, constant,
they warn you, do not go out alone,
your dark cloak will turn blood-red–

woman-child, it is your sin, remember
you must not tempt the wolves.

But like a turtle, you are wise. You know a man is not a wolf,
that it doesn’t matter what you wear—

and you dream—and this is the story you tell your children–

you are seed and flower,
turtle, rabbit, and wolf, howling–

you are earth and sky
living beyond time, hearing
the sound of light and shadow, always and forever,
once upon a time.

-Merril D Smith

Northern hemisphere change of season

scaly winter, tortoise-slow and grinding,
devours the meat, the sweet, all it passes over
but as strong hands roll the stone away
life bursts from the splitting seed
and the spring sun is once again resurrected

-Simon Williams

Temptation
(in response to JC3)

I have always been drawn
to the colour of shadows,
the taste of sounds that grow
from beneath the surface.
Beyond the core of darkness
lives the majesty of the chase,
the thrill of a cool fingered capture.

She waits for me,
casting temptation
through slashes of light.
I peer cautiously
from the depths of a hooded cloak,
covet the warmth of her breath.
Her stare is deafening,
delicious.

I leap into waves of reflection,
reach through narrow passageways
to feel the touch of her voice.
She runs from the chill of me,
harnesses the power of the wind,
disappears into the mouth of the sun.

-Susan Richardson

The watcher

I watch me watching you
through the prism of a dream,
a prism of tree-filtered light
in a distant forest world.

Run, fleet wild thing,
slip away into the shadows,
trust nothing
that walks on its hind legs.

The only wish I have,
even here
between the is and the perhaps—
be afraid,

though it breaks my heart.

Inspired by an artwork by Jane Cornwell

-Jane Dougherty

Granddaughters of Red Riding Hood

We granddaughters of red riding hood
Brought up with the cautionary tale
Have the dangers of dark woods understood

Know everything the world thinks women should
Do to avoid predatory males
As granddaughters of red riding hood

Know there’s sometimes cruelty in manhood
Know that nice personas can evil veil
We have the dangers of dark places understood

Know that getting caught by one would
Lead others to our precautions assail
As granddaughters of red riding hood

We know that one sad fact of womanhood
Most abuser will never face jail
We have the dangers of dark minds understood

Know we’ll live asking if we’ve done all we could
Knowing the price we’ll pay if we fail
We granddaughters of red riding hood
Have the dangers of walking the dark understood

-©RedCat

The Rabbit Riding A Turtle netsuke

(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 3rd Painting – turtle netsuke with rabbit)

The toggle the man from the east
wears, sports a rabbit
riding the turtle it competes,

and as Morita says his name,
bows to welcome us
in his faux-monastery/resort

where we shall agree upon
some business terms
while the summer breeze will thresh
the adolescence
of the nearest maidenhair tree,

and it will redeem its youth
before the sunrise,
the netsuke sways;
the rabbit asks the turtle
about the pace of their progress;

they agree that they will finish
together in this chronotope,
within their lifetime.

I close my eyes.
Morita reminds me –
to meditate one must keep his eyes open.

-Kushal Poddar

Chrysanthemums

I ponder, as I wait for you to leave,
why bloody flowers mean anything at all.
Love, or death, or distant Emporer’s seal;
these red chrysanthemums simply deceive.

Their scent is scattered, lost in autumn’s wind,
their bloom is fading too, the leaves are sad.
They were our wedding flower but we’ve had
our time. All gone – the suit, the flower, the pin.

-Tim Fellows

World Is

a turtle who carries clever rabbit
on its back. World is a hooded figure
who talks to wolves as matter of habit.
World is Chrysanthemums in a picture.

Rabbit is unaware they slowly tread
towards water. Hooded figure knows wolves
could eat her any time, won’t be misled.
Four mums have bloomed, as another shows buds

All still lives. Tales stopped in mid breath and paused
in questions. Onlooker finish their stories.
Decide whether rabbit drowns, hooded in jaws
Wolves sated, one mum survives among these.

Imaginations engaged and lively,
World is creativity, lithe, loose and wildly.

-Paul Brookes

Bios And Links

-John Law

“Am 68. Live in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses’ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids.”

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

-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, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/  (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/

-Tim Fellows

 is a poet and writer from Chesterfield whose poetry is heavily influenced by his background in the Derbyshire coalfields – family, mining, politics, and that mix of industry and countryside that so many mining areas had. People can email me at timothyjfellows@gmail.com for a copy of the pamphlet or visit http://timfellows13.blogspot.com for recent poems

-Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

is a writer based in Bangalore, India. His books include the novella Strength Of Water (2019) and the poetry collection Broken Cup (2020). He used to write horror, but now it’s anyone’s guess. 

-Anjum Wasim Dar

Born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir,Migrant Pakistani.Educated at St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi. MA in English MA in History ( Ancient Indo-Pak Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English Cambridge UK. -Dip.TEFL AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan.Writing poems articles and stories since 1980.Published Poet.Awarded Poet of Merit Bronze Medal 2000 USA .Worked as Creative Writer Teacher Trainer. Educational Consultant by Profession.Published http://Poet.Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series) 7 Times Winner NANOWRIMO 2011- 2019.

-Jane Dougherty

writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

-Redcat

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.

Read more at redcat.wordpress.com

-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.

-Tony Walker

By day Tony climbs the greasy pole of clinical hierarchy. Not yet at the top but high enough to feel the pole sway and have his grip challenged by the envious wind of achievement. Looking down on the pates and gazes of his own history, at times he feels dizzy with lonely pride. By night he takes solace, swapping scalpel for scripts and begins his training and climbing again, in the creative world of writing. His writing is an attempt to unify the twenty-four hours. @surgicalscribe seeks to connect the clinical and creative arts of surgery, science and writing. Hoping to do for medicine and surgery through creative writing what Prof Cox has done for physics with television.

So, he practices his art.

-Ankh Spice

 is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa. His work has been widely published internationally, in print and online, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He’s a co-editor at Ice Floe Press and a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine. You’ll find him and a lot of sea photography on Twitter @SeaGoatScreams or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry.

-Simon Williams

lives and works in Edinburgh, where running clears his head and creates space for ideas. He publishes short stories and poems on www.simonsalento.com

-Anne Arbuthnot

·  Poet, Writer, Author, Small Press Publisher/Editor, Mentor/Tutor/Coach

Living a rural life, inspired and surrounded by nature, pondering and writing about life’s many puzzles and complexities, a gentle activist.

·  2008 – current Mansfield A&P Show poetry judge

·  2010 Hay Festival Most Beautiful Tweet shortlist

·  2018 Mansfield Haiku on the Footpath competition winner

·  2020 Mansfield Bushy Tales Poetry Award winner “Musing in the time of Covid”

·  2020 Mansfield Bushy Tales Chapbook contributor

Links

·  Twitter @gentleanne

Paul Brookes

Paul is a shop assistant, who lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His first play was performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms  (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions and his family history articles have appeared in The Liverpool Family History magazine.

5 thoughts on “Day 3. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers David Hay, Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Williams,Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker,and myself. April 3rd

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