Day 11. 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 Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 11th

Day 11


-Jane Cornwell

JL11 Robin Hood's Bay in Winter Sun.

Robin Hood’s Bay in winter sun

-John Law

KR11_in the middle of now_wombwell

In the middle of now

-Kerfe Roig

I would give you more than I can put in a poem

written to KR11 & JC11.

Whenever I find one, I tuck it into one of your pockets
like a lunchbox love-note. Is it more or less than that, to give someone the slip
of a sea-day, a shiver of cloud-just-so? Some of them fight back – a curl of lonely moon, sharp
as snipped tin. Blood dots the gift. The broken tile of a sweetgrass track that became a road buried
beneath a road beneath a road. I don’t remember when this strangeness of rain began,
when the world began to fling pieces of itself, constantly, at my feet. I do know they wraith
gone from my fingers dare I pass them in the open, as if salt, as if judgement, as if frittered days.
So this secret and likely-madness, I nest it in the linings of your clothes. We never talk
about the weird coin of a shared life, that all this exchange of language is quite ridiculous
for filling in the blanks where my sudden unnameable wows and yours diverge. We’re all in bits,
all guessing at the picture on the box. If I have to go, check your pockets. Mine are empty.
All the wonder I could or couldn’t hold, each whoop I couldn’t quite describe – yours to find.

-Ankh Spice

Blue Forest Of Remembrance

The blue forest of remembrance is full of quavering echoes
Whispering through the trees susurrations of memory
Wandering among the trees dreaming soul shadows
Most lost in pensive reverie
Reliving, rethinking, rechoosing life through hindsights windows
It’s all part of sleeping souls nightly recovery

Whispering through the trees a multitude of echoes
Joy and happiness, sorrow and pain
Most lost to the wind blown shadows
Others fall as antique white petals rain
All part of how memories lights the windows
How dreaming souls lead their wake selves to staying sane

Joy and happiness, sorrow and pain through the trees echoes
Some souls dream of floating in happiness rainbow bright
Others fall ensnared in clawing painful shadows
Losing another nights fight
How dreaming leads to the memory windows
How souls fare in the forest, changes every night


Robin Hodd's Rooftops by Tony Walker


Robin Hood’s Rooftops

-Tony Walker


Inspired by JC11 and KR11

Looking for Clues

One step forward, round and round,
the labyrinth circles—go or stay?
In the in-between, are answers found?
Past finds future. What is the way?

The labyrinth circles—go or stay?
She’s a shadow figure lost in blues,
Past finds future. What is the way?
Where are the clues?

She’s a shadow figure lost in blues
of her mind-forests, so she searches in dreams–
where are the clues?
Nothing here is as it seems,

In the in-between. Are answers found
in her mind-forests? So, she searches her dreams–
but nothing here is as it seems–
just one step forward, round and round.
-Merril D Smith

In The Middle of the Now

(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 11th Painting – In The Middle of Now)

If you keep your hand on the tree stump,
and dip your fingers in the dew damp age,
and if you begin from the first,
those rings still run, and now that
spring is here, time fathers itself,
if only you keep your hands
in the middle of this ‘now’,
I lose myself here; I do not know what to say,
because you see, traveling in ‘now’
means sticking to the loop,
and now I am the past you may see
in the future. Oh, do not get me wrong.
I love this garden where trees are chopped.
Silence grows multiplied by whisperings.

-Kushal Poddar

In the middle with you
Inspired by all three art works.

We’re all in the middle of something
all wrapped up in dreams
or bricks and mortar
and the way out to the edge moves
like dream-treacle

like the windy roads
in new housing developments
that swallow people up
who are never seen again.

I watch you sometimes among the trees
clearing or coppicing
the way you look at bark and bramble
the height of the stream
a bird’s nest.

And I’m glad you never decided to take
Acacia Crescent or Honeysuckle Way
Poplar Walk or Lilac Close
but took the briar track with all its thorns
that curls deep and green
because the birds nest there
in the middle.

-Jane Dougherty

(inspired by JC 11)

I am a plaything,
tossed and ravaged by time,
transformed into shadows,
lost in a forest of mist.
My heart is the brittle bark
of barren Winter trees,
the wisps of smoke from a dying fire.
My voice hides deep in the bracken,
crushed and silenced beneath icy brambles.

I was worthy of your love once,
when the moon cast light on my face
and music surrounded us like a veil.
That was before you died,
before I climbed into a bottle,
overtaken by anger,
on a mission to self -destruct.

You burn from inside a star now,
casting light on my outline.
I am almost as old as you ever were.
Are you disappointed
with the wreckage of my life,
how I have grown fat and mean?
I never thought I would survive
all these years without you.

-Susan Richardson


At some point I learned, labyrinth and maze
Are different things – branching ways, only one true
Or one true way, curling and swirling, you in a daze
But both with one destination, one goal to walk to

The mazed labyrinth of my days brought me here
Startled, gazing at crop circles in the middle of now
The golden crop turning circles, not telling me how
The sky above the only promise these mysteries will clear

Here where the patches of blue and grey, the fertile soil
Have brought me, here in this innermost coil
I try to step back, step above and see the design
I try to see if the world is a process or a sign

Out there in the edges of now, algorithmic scraps float
But it’s chance that flourishes – order is at most a moat.

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy

beginning maze end
lifelong paths too soon forgotten
spring should never end
-Simon Williams


I never coped the way I thought I should
I never meant to suffer for my art
I faded like a shadow in the woods

I always knew the bad came with the good
And one day you would likely break my heart
I never coped the way I thought I should

When words spill out they gush in bitter flood
or sting and burn just like a poisoned dart
I faded like a shadow in the woods

Did you behave the only way you could?
Come each new day I’d hope for some fresh start
I never coped the way I thought I should

When next to you I felt some kind of dud
They didn’t care that I was pretty smart
I faded like a shadow in the woods

And now it feels like sinking in the mud
And finally we’ll always be apart
I never coped the way I thought I should
I faded like a shadow in the woods

-Tim Fellows

Ghost Forest

Ghost trees of the blue forest in her head,
she stands amongst its trees, and mulls which way,
looks for signs of paths, of another’s tread.
or to walk a road not taken this fine day.

Listens to the ghosts of trees as they talk
amongst themselves, and to the ears of earth.
Stood in the middle of now, after walks
through then: sees these her footfalls from her birth.

A child marvelling at tumbling red rooves
of Robin Hood’s Bay in bright winter sun.
Steep descent to smuggler’s caves and rock grooves,
knows these footfalls, all she has to go on.

Decisions must be made in loss and grief
how to move forward in pain, through dead leaf.

-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 11. 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 Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 11th

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