Day 23. 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, Simon Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 23rd

Day 23

JL23 Shopping with nan

Shopping with Nan

-John Law


-Jane Cornwell

KR23_magic is afoot_wombwell

Magic is afoot

-Kerfe Roig

Magic Is Afoot, God

(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 23rd Painting – Magic Is Afoot)

I tilt back my head until my nape hurts,
and the pain feels oh so Godly,
and then the doors open and show me
those things still alive, walking, keeping
pace with death jogging
in the jungle of jingly-jangly thoughts.

Alive, you whisper the vesper
the way a desperate woman does an evening –
more verses than ever required.
You may be in my head, but alive, afoot,
and we visit the nighttime market
to buy some cabbages for your mean sauerkraut.

God is living on my tongue.
God is living in your vesper uttering tongue,
you – alive in my head.
Soon, moon will rise, and tattoo the trees with ancient signs.

-Kushal Poddar

The point is magic

On the gardener’s hand a beetle has arrived. Strut legs
cushion the touchdown – a tiny Mars rover. There is a puff
of skin flakes, a fine drift of compost, an unheard cheer
of victory. The visitor is beautifully shielded
against the conditions on this planet, her cladding shiny
as tinfoil, but vibrant green – emerald so astonishing
the row of new seedlings far below the horizon clamour
jealously in their earth bed. The woman who has become
all new terrain raises it to eye height, the hand
and the ship of the beetle, and when the familiar tremor
grips her, she pauses. An astronomical body
becomes vastly patient, even with her own treacherous weather.
The magical vessel –the beetle, although you could be forgiven
at this point for thinking this referred also to the gardener–
does not react. Custom-designed hooks have already grappled
into the great fissures of brown rock and it is as steady,
in the earthquakes it was trained to expect, as in any solar wind
in space. She breaths aeons of gas on the carapace
and somewhere a creation myth is written.
There are minutes so taut with an ordinary act-
become-suddenly-significant that time hiccups a bubble
into the glass, suspends it forever. This was one. At some point
the ship left and the planet realigned herself
with the earth, at some point the sun wavered great shadows
through the garden, at some point the seedlings
sprouted and gave their own young
to the solar winds, and at some point
all trembling stilled, and the map, in relief, was finally complete
for the next surveyors. What was the point–the point was
it happened. The point was the spell, not the ingredients.
The point is ridiculously
small, the point at which two insignificant universes
collide. They do it over and over again, until the point where
something changes forever. Where everything
turns out just the same.

-Ankh Spice

(inspired by KR23)
Giò’s fingers drip day-lit sparks of luminescence
from below, scaled sea dragons eye the surface
the sail lifts away from the water
and suddenly
and silently
all is air and the future

-Simon Williams

Inspired by all three images

Every Day is Earth Day

There’s magic held in ordinary things–
the robin’s song, the light it brings
in rosy dawn, when the world is silent
save its song

a remnant of the ancient tunes—
the ones that drift from stars and moon
to rest in Grandma’s smile and hands–
both soft and strong

their movement deft, her knowledge a gift
a time-shifting swift,
a songbird that sings–
you belong,

words not needed, as with doggy grins and kitty purrs
the soft whinny of a favorite horse—all stir
the magic of this wondrous world
as light around a shadow long–

so, watch, listen, see—it floats, rests, soars on wings,
this quiet, splendid magic of ordinary things.

-Merril D Smith

Floating Around Everywhere
There’s magic in the air
floating around

Making hearts ignite and flare
love abounds

Leaving souls exposed and bare
astonished sounds

People find they do care
for our home round
floating in space somewhere
There’s change in the air
floating around

Of the dangers let’s be aware
before the ground
is lifeless both here and there

We musn’t give up and despair
our guilt compound
by hiding scared

Of our faults we’re now aware
let hope be found
There’s evolution in the air
floating around

We must accept there’s no time to spare
the alarm has sounded

Voices lift in solemn prayers
let healthy nature be found

Minds meld and wishes share
heal Earth’s wounds


Tanka for Irish Horses – Written on the 6th Month Anniversary of our Arrival in Ireland
(inspired by JC23)

He moves like the wind
gallops across green pastures
to find me waiting
I stroke his velvety cheek
Gentle eyes welcome me home

-Susan Richardson

Happy Shakespeare Day!


Spins in blackness
Eye of newt
moon on fire
and toe of frog
in a circle of light
wool of bat
and raging desire
and tongue of dog

Adder’s fork
she speaks in tongues
and blind-worm’s sting
when night quells day
Lizard’s leg
her heartbeat slows
and owlet’s wing
he’s going to pay

When shall we three meet again?
Him, and her, in endless pain…

-Tim Fellows


When I am Nan, I will be great and grand,
Not the pinnied, cupboards-full-of-sweeties kind,
And when we cross the road they’ll take my hand.
When I am Nan, I will be great and grand,
And if I teach one thing, they’ll understand
All life, from fish to child, is intertwined.
I will be Nan, the wise, the great and grand,
Not rosy, pinnied, but, I hope, the kind.

-Jane Dougherty

Magic is afoot

Through three windows eyes sweep past
Clusters of stars, shimmer of space
Fireworks displays of nebulae
To the furthest archway, to the dapple beyond

One stands framed in the light from pinprick piercings
Of the great tent of this old universe
Stands winged in halos, arrayed in auras
Seen through archways and windows in eternity

Winged and haloed, caparisoned and bare
Lifts arms in gestures, voice in chant
Words of power, steps that shape
Wears the starred expanse like a cape

Smallest figure in this eternal scape
Swaying in power, rhythms apprehended
Shadow of you strides in sky-guise
Will of you becomes universal, or always was.

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy

“How Much

is that in real money?” , Nannan would ask.
Stumped as half way through school they’d swapped us on
to decimal currency, Nannan passed
her finger down a line of figures sum

added in her head as she went. Money
for her were pounds, shillings and pence,florin
if tha were rich. The past were magical
to me.
A mysterious, kindly alien.

Grandparents are living history, packed
with how it was. Gentle now there’s tender
Subjects they wiii not talk about, shame racked,
bairns born outside wedlock, their abuser.

To see Nannan ever more sleepier
was to see my future in sepia

-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 23. 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, Simon Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 23rd

  1. Pingback: April poetry challenge day 23 – Jane Dougherty Writes

  2. Pingback: Every Day is Earth Day: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 23 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  3. Pingback: Floating Around Everywhere – April Ekphrastic Challenge – The world according to RedCat

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