Day 8. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Salento, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, and myself. April 8th

Day 8

JL8 New York

New York

-John Law


-Jane Cornwell



-John Law

Trapped, Imprisoned In Her Own Mind – A Triple Triolet

Trapped, imprisoned in her own mind
Behind bars of her own making
She can only watch others shine
Trapped, imprisoned in her own mind
Unable to a way out find
Left lonely, cold, soul heart aching
Trapped, imprisoned in her own mind
Behind bars of her own making

To love she’s rendered deaf and blind
Unable to hope awaken
Convinced she’s by abuse defined
To love she’s rendered deaf and blind
In fear and sorrow she’s enshrined
Who will tell her she’s mistaken
To love she’s rendered deaf and blind
Unable to hope awaken

Love and trust will the bars unbind
Hope gives strength to a new path make
If she finds souls that’s truly kind
Love and trust will the bars unbind
When she sees how star bright she shines
Her light strength can all shackles break
Love and trust will the bars unbind
Hope gives strength to a new path make


Some things are true

There are nights you don’t see them. A spine curves
like the earth, the head goes with it. I know you’re thinking I’m nothing
like a globe, but I don’t mean the lies we’re told—so storied
in the bone that the same blue marble flashed in a bunch of skulls
right then—how animated we feel by what we know
we know bulb after bulb, starburst after star,
burst. I mean the truth. This world was never perfect
in its roundness, her back, too, is fallen in. The s is somewhere
in the sea, and every wave that ever breaks sounds out
that shape, the way it hurts. The ocean breathes
through her teeth. I make a sound just like her when the stars
fill my eyes, escape my mouth. When the head falls back at last
ungravitied from days of trying to focus on every
instrument at once. If we’re lucky, it’s a clear night. If we’re lucky,
we breathe out until morning. Then, again. Wipe the pane
clean and you’ll see them. Not one thing round—shattered flash
and sizzle. Static, wave, and burst. Drink the lie of this light
with the clearest eyes. Take it right
from the source.

-Ankh Spice

In the 90s, her online handle was Stargirl
And I never knew her then, but I can see her
Gazing through magic windows
On nights when stars shimmer and the moon glows
A girl standing at the shores of forever
Hair hanging down her back, all mass and curl
I think how we call ourselves mankind, and how
Insufficient that name is, how we are human now

And always, and how human we all are
Even the four-legged ones, even the winged ones
Knowledge I’d had, but misplaced
Lineages I’d traced, and let be defaced
And she reminds me that we are all reasons
Not means, and I remember to wish on a star
But this second verse is full of me, and not she
So let me fall silent and see what she wants me to see

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy


Starlight pierces the night sky,
falls like diamonds into my eyes.
I reach through prisms of metal and glass,
hoping for a wish to appear on my lips.
but clouds converge and cover the moon.
Darkness plucks out my tongue.

(inspired by JC8)

-Susan Richardson


(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 8th Painting – Guacamole)

The Aztec man offers some ahuaca-mulli.
What are in it? “Avocado, lime, cilantro, chili,”
He says.

And five hundred years,
if you can count time in days, months and years
which I find ever ludicrous.

I pronounce, “!Guacamole!”
It tastes like nothing that befalls
when you lay down your imperialistic rapier;

sit on a stone stool;
breeze blows fragrant of nutty butter;
the hairs of your hand ripple

from faint shame and relieved sighing,
and one lost fungus gnat in that marshland
of sweat soaked axillary hair

finds its buzzing wings –
the buzz that no human can hear.
I wish I could tell you, but you have tasted it already,

and felt nothing the way I do.

-Kushal Poddar

Lost time

Inspired by Jane Cornwell and New York by John Law.

In that moment
between the spark and the ignition
the roar that never stops
only increases
in the swirling waters of the inner ear
turbulence with the iridescence of petrol stains

we see the primal night
the cold stars
feel the breath of giant ferns
hear the furtive brush of fur on frond

and in that moment
we touch the core the cradle the maternal cave
and remember.
-Jane Dougherty


An avocado never failed to satisfy
his senses. He had gone to market early
to select the best and banter in bad Spanish
with Manuel, who had taught
him how to find the perfect fruit.

The dark wrinkled skin, still firm
in his hand, the blade biting
into flesh that just gave way,
taking care when it met the pit;
ten cuidado! the warning from Manuel.

The supporting cast – firm scallions,
with trails of hair, sliced in rings. Luscious
ruby tomatoes, hitting him with scent
before his nose got near. Lime, sharp
and fresh, heightened with a dash of salt

and heat of Cayenne. He filled his bag
to the sound of Manuel laughing
with his next parroquiano. Later, eating
while watching boats slide in and out
of the harbour he thought how much better

this simple meal became than the sum
of such disparate parts.

-Tim Fellows

Inspired by JL8 and JC8


She walked through the city bustling, teeming–
bodies electric, grumbling, gleaming,
broken hearts and dreamers dreaming
of crossing bridges, the future seeming

~just beyond reach~

she thinks, the glittering stars. The sight
so wondrous and magical. Tonight,
these constellations of silvery-white ignite–
she wishes, then reaches for the twinkling light.

-Merril D Smith

70s Prawn Cocktail

It arrives in knobbly green womb shaped fruit,
on an occasion when mam said we must
act our age for once! Sis says I look cute,
beneath sniggers at me grey blazered trussed

up in wide colourful tie, Burton’s shoes,
trouser bottoms flapping in the cold gust
as we stand for photos, lasses in new
dresses hold onto fascinators, just

can’t wait to get to reception’s warm meal.
I snaffle little pink prawns and lettuce.
Ask Sis whether we’re to eat like for real
flesh of the hollowed out fruit and get Sis

she says it’s an avocado. A what!
My teaspoon digs it out. Like it a lot.

-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.

-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

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 8. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Anne Arbuthnot, Simon Salento, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, and myself. April 8th

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