Day 20. Congratulations to all those completing two thirds of my annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge, a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Simon Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 20th.

Day 20

JL20 Hoober Stand in mist

Hoober Stand in mist

-John Law


-Jane Cornwell

KR20_fairy dust_wombwell

Fairy Dust

-Kerfe Roig

Balloon boy

It was park day with your mates
and every handy stick was a weapon. The dog
was slain in various forms and now the carcass
of a dragon, a werewolf, an enemy tank
is snoring on the couch. I definitely do not see you
breathe on those remains with all the love
this long unfairystory forbids you now give
to anything human. What I want to say is once
you were a bright balloon
and someone filled you to the neck
with their own dear breath. Picture it
like a cartoon if you have to
that it was done by saying Ahhh
over and over until you were no longer a scrap of skin
holding no clue as to his size or shape, how gracefully
he might float. Somewhere we lose the knowing
that we left behind our empty if we didn’t burst
on arrival, but no matter how hard you breathe out
you were once stretched soft and edgeless
and were meant to be light.
There are those who insist a boy is born carrying
his own set of pins, that it’s only a matter of time
before he must learn how to use them. I say
did you push that in with the first Ahhh
or the last? I can’t say I see
how you still tied him closed
and gave him to the wind. Tough, bright,
fragile and adrift,
holding it all in.

-Ankh Spice

Fairy Dust Magic – A Trio Of Ovillejo’s
To hide their land fairies enlist
Floating mist
A fine fairy dust outpouring
Protecting by bending light beams
Hidden dreams

Only those that freely daydreams
Can find the hidden secret way
To let light shine through the fog gray
Floating mist obscuring hidden dreams

Who still believes in magic dreams?
Poets it seems
Who follows silvery moonbeams?
Who still dreams?
Who let fairies sprinkle a flick
of magic?

Whenever life feels blue tragic
Write yourself unburdened and free
Proudly let the world again see
Poets it seems still dreams of magic

What’s got you squirming and fussing?
A mind abuzz
What have you found in your searchings?
A heart that sings
What’s hiding within your brain folds?
Stories untold

Adventure that never grows old
Finding words that makes the soul glow
As stanzas form, cascades and flow
A mind abuzz, a heart that sings stories untold



(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 20th Painting – Fairy Dust)

Someone takes the shower.
No one is in the shower.

A spectral flows out from the tap.
I recall the tale of the pixie dust.

No one, I repeat, no one, has
shattered a bottle, bled a little,
hallucinated on spilled contrabands;
the water runs; rainbow comes;

a ghost says, “You know
your mother’s left.”;
for a jiffy, I feel iffy about God,

and then I recall the tale of the pixie dust,
and how the heaven laced it in its pipe dream
to birth us.

No one, I repeat, no one is here.

-Kushal Poddar

Looking behind the image

There are worlds behind what we see,
two magpies in a tree
is sappy scent of new leaves,
the ordered chaos of sticking twigs,
moss and lichen-covered, into basket shape,
clack of bills, iridescence of feathers,
heat, companionship, eggs to cherish
in beating strong-winged determination.

Grass, the night,
damp and dark, and toad waiting for a ride,
pond, silver-black beneath the moon,
colder than primal times,
imperatives the same.

the stars are shedding flakes bright as snow
where nightingales sing,
catch them in open beaks and tongue them into song,

where mist makes giants of brocards, grazing
among moon flowers
pooled in the long grasses.

Inspired by all three works.

-Jane Dougherty

mist on sprung heather

celebrations of the happiest ending
fuchsia-tinged mist on sprung heather
silence broken by distant voices
carried on wind to us
across the water

-Simon Williams

Altered State

All the glimmers and the shimmers,
pink, blue, white—colors and light,
that dance in air, then reflect back—aware–
this place will entice, enthrall—
and you want it all,

forget your life
now monochrome, pale shades, not quite brown or grey–
ever since that day.

You remember him as he was,
with his dog, the two seldom parted—
his life finished now, though it was scarcely started,

But when you dream–
the world is bright,
and you want to stay, to keep this sight–

this fairy world. Perhaps not real—
but, oh! The appeal of

stars and sparkled ponds,
a streaming vision, scintillating hues–
no then or now, or what has passed–
simply love, unerring, steadfast,
in this altered state, returned to you.

-Merril D Smith


They’ve climbed the hill, the dog and he,
to where the morning mist has thinned.
To where they see the Stand that hovers in
their view, half there, half not.

It refutes the name that mocks its lack of use,
for purpose overrides and shames utility.
Far better its mission to remind them all
of the folly of a beaten cause.

And a Prince not much older than the man
whose dog meanders back and forth.
Who fled across the sea then disappeared
into the silent mists of history.

Observing the breathless, weaving dog
that rubs its face along the dewy grass,
he thinks that one day he will climb the Stand
for no reason he can comprehend.

-Tim Fellows

(inspired by JC20)

I read once that when a dog
looks at you,
holds your gaze,
she is hugging you with her eyes.
A gift of unconditional love.

-Susan Richardson

The Towering Past

The folly of celebrating victory
for winning must come with defeat,
pyramidal aristocratic eccentricity
memory set in stone and concrete.
Equilateral representation of inequality
historic battles have rarely been fair,
this land is scarred with reminders
wars waged above and below stairs.
For now, we do well to remember
as we climb hands run over rough stone,
the vista from on high is for all to enjoy
the living, gone, hopeful, forlorn.

-Tony Walker

Based on JC20 and KR20

Let’s put fairy dust under the microscope
Silicon, mica, what crystalline magic is it made of
Zoom in, zoom in, so specks become slabs
Closer, closer to the incandescent heart

Let’s put silver linings into the spectrometer
Those groupings there, they’re the elemental traces
Let’s refine our description even more
Questing for the shimmering inmost core

Let’s analyse hope, analyse the clemency
The world dispenses sometimes –
Unexpected, unasked, needed
The mystery of why everything is not a knife edge

Or sit here on the living room couch
Breathe a moment amidst the crowded day
Let the dog of love sidle up next to you
And look at you with his eyes of wordless answers.

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy


illusion. Tower is falling. Turret
seems to move around its top. A keen sight
of someone else’s dream attracts secrets
attracts altars, hooded figures at night.

My dog tells he is an illusion, too
as I take him for walks around the stand.
He is a star fallen from above the blue.
He is all those close who died unplanned.

He says my wife is an illusion, she
is really a tower falling and if
I don’t run she kills me with masonry,
and death is illusory too, restive.

Walking a talking dog is really tough.
Wife says I’m losing sight of my dreamstuff.

-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

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.

3 thoughts on “Day 20. Congratulations to all those completing two thirds of my annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge, a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Simon Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 20th.

  1. Pingback: Altered State: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 20 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  2. Pingback: Fairy Dust Magic – A Trio Of Ovillejo’s – April Ekphrastic Challenge – The world according to RedCat

  3. Pingback: April poetry challenge day 20 – Jane Dougherty Writes

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