Day 13. 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 13th

Day 13

KR13_mysteries waving in every direction_wombwell

mysteries waving in every direction

-Kerfe Roig

JL13 Scarborough Harbour

Scarborough Harbour

-John Law


Jane Cornwell

The Stars Are Out Tonight – A Villanelle

The stars are out tonight
Shining for you and me
Beacons in the dark night

Lending their guiding light
So we can the road see
The stars are out tonight

Guiding our hasty flight
As we loneliness flee
Beacons in the dark night

You hold my hand so tight
Less I fall, scrape a knee
The stars are out tonight

We’re hasting to the site
Towards the white abbey
Beacon in the dark night

Tonight we future write
When you will marry me
The stars are out tonight
Beacons in the dark night


Every Wrong Direction Thrown At Us By Monsoon

(Inspired by John Law’s 13th Painting – Mysteries Waving in Every Direction)

Monsoon comes into the metropolis
and sweeps away the aging tees
and those ancient streets
the authority forces to walk at night
wearing heavy makeup to hide
their time-rot,
just when we, townsmen, think the rain,
not generic rain, but the days of rhythmic
and incessant drizzles will skip this year.

Monsoon will not leave.

Over a cup of coffee, we can argue –
this in no monsoon; it is a mess
of tenderness in the ocean;
it is a letter to the future that wrong directions
will befall in every journey you, have embarked on.
Keep our eyes open and turn blind to the past,
we can reach anywhere, not the destination
we have in our mind, but an alternative to that,
or perhaps not even a substitute,
a spot churned out of the sea, where,
while sinking we need to shout, see – we live, and yes,
I still need you.

Monsoon. We say nonsense nothings.

-Kushal Poddar

Inspired by all three works of art


Once the harbor was a bustling place
of summer light, with salty tang– the sky a vivid blue,
all day and night, we gathered and chattered–of clouds no trace.
Once the harbor was a bustling place,
full of hope and sweet mysteries–our love was new,
but star-crossed by autumn storms–gone ship, captain, crew, you.
Once–the harbor was a bustling place
of summer light, with salty tang, the sky a vivid blue.

-Merril D Smith

The Harbour

It wasn’t the day I expected it to be.
The seabirds now seem strangely quiet
as they make their patterns in the sky.
The tide has lapped to the wooden steps
as if it wants to climb and roam the town.

Check in to a B&B, climb the steep
and creaking stairs to the tiniest room
full of doll’s house furniture. A pint
and a glass of wine in a seafront pub,
fish and chips, ice-cream and a stroll
around the windy headland.

Until the lure of the moon pulls
it back, leaving the attic room
drenched in salt, only puddles
on the cobblestones and the sad boat
left high and dry.

My world turned to sepia.

-Tim Fellows


Her kind of blues, was rubbed with salt,
And stardust no one talks about.
Those were nights of smoke so thick
Everyone’s eyes were hooded;
The reddest lips became pearly pink
Shores, hidden in the heaviness.
Her kind of blues, they were my kind.
We summered and wintered in them,
They were part of our world’s skin,
And bone, and anxiety and sorrow.
The stars know what I’m talking about.

Elizabeth Moura

The Shape of Dragons
(inspired by JC13)

I am a creature of the night,
a bomb in the mouth of a full moon.
My voice bleeds onto a darkened canvas,
blues and purples that saturate the sky,
exploding in parcels of light.

Stars fall in shapes of dragons
that spackle my skin and burn up inhibitions,
lending my heart to the pursuit of defiance.
I am a transformation of breath and blood,
a howl that conquers the quiet of 3am,
sweltering words that tremble on an eager tongue.

I delight in the caress of nightfall,
an unleashing of frenzy and fire.
Disguised by the sounds of darkness,
I fly through chaos with open eyes,
unafraid, beautiful.

When the sun rises,
I slip into the skin of shadows,

-Susan Richardson


Chilling black waves splash my fragile vessel in the enveloping pitch.
Before warm welcoming lights pierce the dark night,
guiding me home.
Bitter, salty reminders of the long dark loneliness drip from my prow, taunting, punishing.
Before voices rise and fall, ebb and flow,
company carried on the wind.
Relentless rolling, splashing slapping swamping, nature bullying, belittling me.
Before calm, quiet, sheltered still waters
offer protection and comfort.
My cold, cut, calloused hands, sacrificed for safe passage through life’s journey.
Before crews and teams guid and welcome
me home to the harbour.

-Tony Walker

In 1987 we flew to arcturus in a box labelled ‘roofing nails’

All the doors are closed and what we build we secure
with long pins. My house, yours, stuck
through the belly, supposed dead on the board. Listen,
at night, like your guts depend on it – something like dreams still
oozes from the hole in the shell. Quietly, stone bangs against stone
determined to summon the mountain, the molten summers
of childhood. In the rough isobars of four-by-two, there’s weather
sheared clean, pine still muttering about the cone. What kind of afterlife
is it to see everything you must protect contain itself, admiring the shine
of each nail knocked into the dark crate. Beetle, beetle, break the glass.
A cardboard box will do. Take this ship to the stars.

-Ankh Spice


So much of what there is to see is unseen
So much is beyond the reach of our eyes
So much of what there is, is beyond us
Beyond our small world, our small fuss
They say a universe in the darkness lies
And they say starlight is sometimes corpse-sheen

Deep in the blue, deep in the violet, where light is slow
Somewhere worlds live and die in the furthest glow

What is nearest in this sky above me
Is further still than the furthest earthly shore
The deepest purple, the purest indigo – spectral colours
Inviting us to gaze, transfixed, to stare for hours
To imagine what lies further than we can see
To dream a world of pure glow, sheer sheen

And in this ethereal world, it’s the stars that ground,
That remind us our feet are planted on the ground

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy

Ocean Is

inside, and all around us landlocked folk.
We rise up to join waves of sky and cloud.
We fall upon the world in downpours soak.
We run down windows, gutters river loud.

We swap pleasures seas between each other.
Lobster potting boat Venture Who Cares rests
on cobbles like a caught ancient lobster,
lobbed back as it’s paid its dues, worked its best.because its paid its dues

Awaits ocean to cover it once more
We are the tides pulled to and fro by moon.
We are lap whose wash and crash shapes the shore,
whose stillness reflects constellations womb.

Water never rests and neither do we.
We are droplets, each one an Inland sea.

-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.

5 thoughts on “Day 13. 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 13th

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