Day 4. 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, A L E K , Su Zi, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Salento, Elizabeth Moura, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Fernando Huerto, and myself. April 4th

Day 4

JC4

-Jane Cornwell

JL4 Craggs Cubley Digging Duck Blind At Spurn

Craggs Cubley Digging Duck Blind At Spurn

-John Law

KR4_moment of birth_wombwell

Moment of Birth

-Kerfe Roig

Responding to KR 4 and JC4

Warp and weft,
life weaves through tides,
sun-sparkled,
moon-bedewed,
blue-waved and bleached white, patterns
form again and go

in dream worlds,
she sees. Star-gathered,
the crows come,
dark to light,
now, never, always—this is
what might be. Time is

an ocean
layered with rippling
currents, not
constant, but
everchanging. Dark to light,
warp and weft. Again.

-Merril D Smitn

Excavation

That whole summer
after you evaporated
became about the hole.
A kid finds ways to shore
up his missing: torn-up
sacks, the odd-
job boards uncut
uncooped unfenced, lying
just where your hands let go.
The footing gets slippery,
then, eventually, solid,
under your weight
when you dare dig
yourself deep. Songs arrive
for one, and the shovel
is rhythm and in their making
you giant, vast boy stronger
than any man you ever knew
who never knew you
back. The rocks sleep heavy
down here but wake ready
to throw. They leave
their exact shapes behind, prised
from comfortable ground.
There are so many worms
to save. So much dark
to scoop out. Young roots
of the urge to label everything
you find – artifacts lined up neat
on a tarp. Named again
special and ancient: remains
of a family roast – moa bone,
rusty button – roman coin,
this is moon rock, that’s
dragon’s tooth. Lay it all out
in the sun. Call it
anything but what it is.

-Ankh Spice

Summoning an unkindness – this line
Writes itself. Amid the swirl
Of some robed being, the
Sprinkle of stars, the shadows
In this place of stone and water
Summoning an unkindness – on black wings
They come, smooth, sleek, shadeless
They perch, intent, grave
They caw, keen to know
Wherefore this summons, what’s afoot
Summoning an unkindness – black creatures of sky
And of city. Fellow travellers on earth
Shadowing our homes, seeing all
Carrying word between living and dead
Messengers for those who know the art
Summoning an unkindness – this line
Writes itself and I do not know what mystery
Compels me to this dark place, this glowing place
This stone place, this place of water and rock
Where, summoned by silent word and sprinkle of stars
Amid swirling moons, I wait for the word of command.

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy

Raven dream flight

A raven came to me one stormy night
As I lay contemplating ending life
Taking me on a wild curious flight

First we flew through my years, where abuse ran rife
Showing me every deep unhealed wound
Then the raven took me to afterlife

We flew over the souls that abuse drowned
A pungent dead sea bordered by crushed dreams
My guide said that’s where my thoughts had be bound

She saw me flinch when hearing the seas screams
Clacked her beak knowingly as my tears fell
And flew on navigating by moonbeams

We alighted in a field of seashells
Bathing me in pearlescent healing light
She said you’ll find freedom through an inkwell

With one of my feathers you’ll demons smite
Don’t worry it will as before regrow
Heal yourself and others as you pain write

Follow the stream to the source of your flow
Learn how to unravel fates twisted thread
Where Death chooses which souls to rebirth go

The last thing I saw was Death’s smiling head
Before waking remade in a sundrenched bed

-©RedCat

Rhabdophobia

(Inspired by Jane Cornwell’s 4th Painting)

If you warm the caliginosity,
and chills it down as if
the summer is someone else’s fantasy,
it curdles

into ravens
you read about in
your offspring’s favorite fable.

I swear – I hear a waterfall
or water fall
from the peak of silence
to the dead crevasse of noises,

and I am here, in my city
with a million twinkles and febulights,
comatose, staring at the space above.

Tonight, cloud wears
star torn hood and Mage clothes.
Tonight, water falls, and irrigates nothing.
Birds sit on the balconies

the way they do when
one of their own dies,
and they find nothing to blame for its demise.

-Kushal Poddar

Woodland Queen
(in response to JC 4)

The Woodland Queen frolics
under cover of night,
weaving tapestries from wind and fire,
casting light over darkened peaks of sky.
Her crown is made from a cluster of stars
stolen from the throat of a raven.

She nestles inside a heavy cloak
sewn from thickets of thorny shadows.
She is the mistress of storms,
mother of elm and evening primrose.
Her heart is tethered to the trees,
bloodroot buried deep in the earth.

She prowls through midnight,
gliding barefoot over fallen leaves,
pulls sound from the hallowed forest floor.
The music of darkness blooms like jasmine
beneath the cool touch of her toes.

As the sun begins to rise,
with a whisper
she bids farewell to the night.
Raising graceful fingers to the sky,
she takes flight,
stealing away with the moon
tucked safely behind her eyes.

-Susan Richardson

In response to JC4,
Checkmate
From the moment of birth
each piece in its place
On the board of our life for the game we will face

Rules clearly defined
will dictate our route
though the path itself may wander about

Roles humble and great
stand shoulder to shoulder
some meek and some mild, some weak others bolder

That first tentative step
the simplest of statements
Heralds the coming complex existence

First this way then that way
advance and retreat
the future uncertain blind onwards to our feat

Some games are cut short
by mistake or design
others labelled epic, colossus, legends of our time

In the game as in life moves and time,
they won’t wait
On the distant far horizon Death, loss and checkmate

-Tony Walker

JL4 Craggs Cubley Digging Duck Blind At Spurn

The ravens answered the call to witness
The growing light, in the dark
Transmuted from the waters
With the wave of a hand

Above, a man digs by the lake
Building a blind to hide,
Intentions unknown.

-Anne Arbuthnot
4/4/2021

Digging A Duck Blind At Spurn

Out here the land thins.
A permeable gauze, half sea,
liquid salt in its veins.

He digs quickly. He hears the ocean
whispering “take your time,
we’ll get there in the end”

The breeze whips up, a light
spray falls in the hole. The spade
takes another bite. Behind

him the sound of birds
melds with water and wind.
Out here the land thins.

-Tim Fellows

No going back

Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s A moment of birth

No moment is ever returned,
no change given, no refunds.

The silver slips through fingers
or is woven into gold cloth.

Time flows, a river of moments
to a sea of seconds, ocean of always.

We run or lurch, drag our feet, crawl,
or we walk with faces lifted to the sky

from that first unconscious moment;
the eternal renewal, advancement, recurrence,
once in motion can never be halted,

and even that first helpless,
screaming cry of refusal
falls on deaf ears.
-Jane Dougherty

Flock Summon

At the forces tumble the summoner
spies dark tower she must approach with crows
startles at inner vision: a builder
making a duck blind on a beach and knows

she is the builder: a man in flat cap
digs in the beach while gulls screech over waves.
and water scrumples towards her, madcap,
and the water falls towards him who craves

the heaviness of sand lobbed behind him
heave and flex/unflex of muscular arms
And she summons the corvids with word spins
And hid he beckons blind ducks into harms

way, a moment of birth when death is near,
A moment of death when all becomes clear

-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

-Frank Colley

Frank has been writing poems for many years and is a founder member of Mexborough Read to Write group facilitated by Ian Park. His knowledge and skill have increased since being an active member of the group. He had one pamphlet to his name “ Nantcol Sonnets”  9 sonnets one per day of a week camping in wet and windy Wales. (Available on eBay). He has a second pamphlet awaiting publication “The Story of Soldier A” charting his time in the Army and  its aftermath.

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.

3 thoughts on “Day 4. 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, A L E K , Su Zi, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Salento, Elizabeth Moura, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Fernando Huerto, and myself. April 4th

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