Day 5. 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, Kushal Poddar, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Williams, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker,Susan Richardson, and myself. April 5th

Day 5

JL5 Green Man

Green Man

-John Law


-Jane Cornwell



-Kerfe Roig

In 1835, Robert Fitzroy and Charles Darwin wrote at Te Waimate – ‘Englishmen one now meets everywhere; but a living, healthy Oak was a sight too rare, near the Antipodes, to fail in exciting emotion’.

We’d been talking, before the fall,

about genes. What comes along
for the ride. And you were laughing
about this bounty of oaks, the complete lack
of squirrels, when the acorns
took you and your passenger down.
An oak tree plans futures like we can’t even
imagine, one chance in ten thousand
to hatch. And I know they’re like us
these trees that never belonged
in this soil, just carried along with the wrong
kind of faith, never given
a choice. And you lay there, so suddenly
grounded, and ripe as the acorns
that gaited us sailors the whole way here,
and in my grain sailed the ships
that brought them, forests put to sleep green
between everything dangerous. Men
with mouths full of new-spliced gods nobody
asked them to bring, still carrying the pulse
of the old ones in their pockets.
Some trees grow empires
of canopy, so greedy for light
that slower life dies – their own children,
too. And my hand
is in yours and you’re planting
your feet, shaky as a leaf in the cold
May wind, and behind you the eyes
of something ancient ask me
why isn’t it spring, are you hungry
to believe

-Ankh Spice

Inspired by KR5 “Orbiting,” and JL5 “Green Man”


Spinning, spinning, spinning—
circles, cycles, ends, beginning—
mortality underpinning
hopes, goals, decisions

to power pose with practiced smile,
and walk her steps and run a mile,
to dial back time, and stay a while
her fear of dying.

But, turning, turning, turning
the Moon still glows, the sun’s still burning,
And see? The green man, he’s returning
to bloom the ground with flowers ‘round

where once all seemed cold and dying,
awakened seeds from dreams untying,
raise their tendrils trying, trying–
seeking warmth and air.

Now the robin sings it clear–
another orbit, another year.

-Merril D Smith


Sitting here I wait for the right time to show
My face to you each season
Now I’m young again the reborn one
Of our pack no longer hobbling on
The stick taken from a branch to aid me
As the final season aches my back so
I appear withered when I’m merely tired
In need of sleep so I can return and help
The maiden when she wakes from her sleep
Stretching out in all her splendour
Fingers crooking and every year I am
Entranced again and we work as one
Through the trees I watch and wait for her
To return once more
As we are young together we grow old, tired
Withering and wizened in need of sleep
Resting the long winter
So the greenery lives again and I the man
The Green Man and my maiden are young again.
For @thewombwellrainbow. com
Picture credit: Green Man by John Law


From her viewpoint
everything looked fractured.

People, places, animals,
her things, her past and present.

A shattering of colours, faces
and time.

Broken vinyl that somehow
still played.

Repeating the same song
over and over and
over and over and
over and over

-Tim Fellows

The death of dogs
Inspired by Jane Cornwell

Do the gulls come to guide them,
dead dogs, at the end
or the stars, that last night
of placid warmth and full stomach
to run on young paws again
the stiff joints fluid with joy?

Orion’s hounds wander their own trail
so why should you not claim the sky,
the soft twilight melting into dark,
the peace and silence
of those star-studded fields?
-Jane Dougherty

(for Chase) (JC5)

Stalwart dog. My heart around your neck
Not in ownership but in fealty
You are my bridge of stardust
My wings, my open sky and safe planetfall.

As ocean laps shore, as sun sinks low
As horizons recede, in gloaming’s fade
In your timeless eyes, in my faithful heart
Wherever you are, we are not far apart.

-Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

A Love Thing
(in response to JC5)

He wears my heart around his neck
Pulls stars from the sky to light my way
Waits patiently while I cry
Washes the blood from a cut finger
Eats my overcooked rice
Pours me a third glass of wine
Makes the morning coffee
Tells me the bad poems are good
Teaches me what love is

-Susan Richardson

Solar System

(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 5th Painting – Orbiting)

Nearer to the center of your solar system
comes a cat to lick and lap your peace,
a decorative Buddha’s headpiece
bought in Myanmar with your ex,
and you let the dust rest on it following Zen,
and then it orbits afar replaced by the telephone
from another system, conglomeration,
and you say, “Bitch.” seeing who it is.

This early, last night’s teal colored pill
still in your system of dream toiling
and dredging the V depth of your id,
you cannot decipher whether those twinkles you see
are some stars or wounds
caused by your own solar-storm.

This early, all is singular and vague.
You try to call back the feline,

-Kushal Poddar

30 March 2021

It’s Springtime Again – A Folk Song

Seasons they come, and seasons they go
There’s no need to shed tears for summer
She’ll come come back again, when the flower moon glow
And we’ll dance to magic midsummer

It’s springtime again
It’s springtime again
The green man has brought it back to us
Trees budding again
Grass growing again
Time to plant seeds and be joyus

Seasons they go, and come back again
Though we might forget during winter
But soon there once more be sun in the glen
And we’ll fill the forest with laughter

It’s springtime again
It’s springtime again
The green man has brought it back to us
Trees budding again
Grass growing again
Time to plant seeds and be joyus


Dog Star

My arrival prompted a wild flurry
of feathers. I needed to find the eyes
in the green. Dog, I move in a hurry.
A star fallen to earth from cold night skies.

I stamp my paw on the hard ground in hope
the green can hear me. Slowly grass begins
beneath my paw, and buds appear and slope
towards my starlight. Air fresh as in Spring.

The eyes snap open between the new leaves.
He talks in smells, tastes, texture and noises.
Change is sweet and sour, spiky and smooth, cleaves
decay from growth. All are voices.

Creation at best of times moves beyond you.
A life of its own, unexpected, new.

-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:

-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

-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 for a copy of the pamphlet or visit 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


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.

-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.

Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, from Potter’s Grove Press, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. She lives in Ireland with her husband, two pugs and two cats.  You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

-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

-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


·  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 (, 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.

4 thoughts on “Day 5. 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, Kushal Poddar, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Williams, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker,Susan Richardson, and myself. April 5th

  1. Pingback: Orbiting: Ekphrastic Challenge,Day 5 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  2. Pingback: April poetry challenge day 5 – Jane Dougherty Writes

  3. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Day 5 – Zouxzoux

  4. Pingback: It’s Springtime Again – A Folk Song (with Audio) – The world according to RedCat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.