Day 25. 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 25th

Day 25

KR25_april showers_wombwell

April Showers

-Kerfe Roig

JL25 Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk

-John Law

JC25

-Jane Cornwell

Liminals

I have swum out deep. The only sound
is the bow-wave moltening away

from my hands, folding tonguelesss
phonemes. I’ll never capture that lilt

in our language of unliquid, of hard
mouth shapes. I fear I’ll never capture

many things. I am strongest
stroking somewhere between breast

and crawl, and to everything that belongs
out here surely I’m the thing caught

between states. Not swimmer, not floater.
Pushed upward by water, weighed down

by air, no longer fish but still wearing
the shapes of fins as he lurches terribly

along, and quite unable
to stay dry – look at him, always leaking

something. There’s a colour that hums
between blue and green. You never see it anywhere

but right here, looking down
through the glass and miles from everywhere.

It’s neither, it’s both. It fills you up
to the gills with peculiar

desire – to blur the line there
until you’ve no clue which way is up.

-Ankh Spice

Change

Sun, snow. Sun, hail. Sun, rain.
It’s like nature itself is unsure if it’s ready for the change.
Ready to take that final leap.
Let go of the old and embrace a new season.

Smile, tears. Hope fears.
Between what was and what will be.
Unwilling to go back, unsure where to go next.
Endless labyrinths of ruminations.

What if? What then? When?
Dare to leap without knowing the end.
With only a faint hope of new friends.
Sure the broken needs to mend.

Sun, smile. Rain, tears.
Living change gives fickle weather.
Staying in between you’ll wilt altogether.
Seasons change forever and forever.

Sun, snow. Sun, hail. Sun, rain.
Change is loss and gain.
Smile, tears. Hope, fears.
Change both hurts and heals.
What if? What then? When?
Change is how to write a new end.

-©RedCat

The Persistence of Pat Boone Petrichor Pestilence

(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 25th Painting – April Shower)

The déjà vu of an April shower blesses
my ghost-bleeding ears;
I listen to the rain hitting our
garden gazebo I have been
thinking to build for several years
and for another decade I shall do so
before it will cease to matter;
the pitter-patter intones in Pat Boone mode.

The grey, green and the blue,
and one dragonfly’s solitaire
on the grass blade quavering,
it is hard not to believe on the earth’s promise,
imagine this as a mere memory’s flash message.

I flare my nostril for some petrichor, and instead
it sniffs decay of one long ephemeral pestilence.

-Kushal Podddar

April Shower

I hear the breeze rise through the woods
where, in other years, you would have walked.

I listen for the haunting notes that followed you
but nothing drifts across the April air. I wonder

if you still play, your lips on that thin reed;
your breath, enclosed in maple, ready to vibrate

and pull me, like an entranced snake
through the house into the white-walled room;

your eyes closed, fingers moving on their own
and me, alone with just an empty chair.

A sudden squall has brought the April rain
and drives me to the cover of the trees

I watch it splash in puddles, see it drip
from spring’s new leaves, washing you away.

-Tim Fellows

Inspired by all three artworks

Spring Symphony

of bassoon and flute,
the double-tonguing of the sparrowhawk, the reedy robin trill—
the tap tap tap tap tap
of woodpecker snare-drumming—pause–a half note rest—

Now, April showers of marimba and harp.
then strumming, humming,
plunking, singing—allegro, with spirit—

house lights down, soft spotlight
for the sweet lullaby of the moon.

-Merril D Smith

Inspired by JL25 on 25 April

Ora e sempre resistenza

The hawk sits high, undisturbed.
The chill April breeze is its driving force
as it falls
like freedom
from the skies.

The rats again will scatter
dark starbursts
into the hedgerows into the drains.

The eye of the hawk
the power of the people
the rats will never taste triumph again.

-Simon Williams

Buttercups

These April showers of buttercup gold,
the sky that flows into running stream,
and grass lush as waterweed, seep and soak,

rooted where the river runs,
seeded where the clouds
sweep their trailing locks.

Earth, sky, water join in this light,
beneath the spread-boughed trees,
dappled and stream-spangled,

singing with a thousand throats,
drawing up the buttercups
to catch the falling drops of sun.

-Jane Dougherty

KR 25 – April Showers

April showers

I want to be a different man
I think to myself as summer
Soaks shirt to skin
Fills the day with guilt and sloth

I want a different life, a different name
I think to myself as summer
Wilts my spine, my heart
Leaves emptied of all other thoughts

I need a better alibi
I think to myself as summer
Brings skies to boil
And thoughts to a standstill

I am the same man, but new
I think to myself as April
Soaks shirt to skin
Fills the day with respite, with rebirth.

-Jayprakash Satyamurthy

Songbird
(inspired by JC25)

The first note hovers
A petal on the spring breeze
I raise my face to the sky
An eager songbird
Perched on the tip of my tongue

-Susan Richardson

Sparrowhawk

is a young woman playing bassoons tone,
is a watercolour that drips April
showers, is her fingerwork, and gusts blown
through her lips, her sparrowhawk gaze fills

air with music, her focus drills our heads,
blends tones and colours into talons grip
and beak demolishes resistance dead.
Moon won’t share fire so sparrowhawk steals it.

The old god’s oak grown from a murdered man’s
grave hawk sat in its branches tells his tale
agile as deep bassoon notes, sharply plans
It’s flap, glide, till over hedge beak impales.

Warrior to its core, catches food on
the wing, or tunes or brush tones with vision.

-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: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

-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, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/  (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/

-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 timothyjfellows@gmail.com for a copy of the pamphlet or visit http://timfellows13.blogspot.com 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 https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

-Redcat

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.

Read more at redcat.wordpress.com

-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 www.simonsalento.com

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 (Cyberwit.net, 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 25. 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 25th

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