Day 30, Ekphrastic Challenge, My poem, Rainbow Dreams

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

Day 30 inspired by all three works. This is the final day of the month-long challenge. This is a san san.

Rainbow Dreams

A rainbow in my dreams–
cantaloupe sky, pink quartz beach, and light-drenched trees
dripping green, gold, blue. Here birds stop to perch
on chromatic rocks. Yet nothing remains as it seems–
shadows come, even within dreams, my mind sees
but also alters. Gulls become robins whose birdsong brings
dawn-light to forest—now, color-spray the birch
with rainbow stripes and feathers. In dreams, my heart sings.

Thank you to Paul Brookes for hosting this April Ekphrastic Challenge. It has been a wonderful experience. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful  and inspiring art! I’m giving them a round of applause–and also one for…

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NaPoWriMo 2022 day 30

Charlotte Hamrick

Fallen Magnolia 2022

Rings & Seeds

Sunlight inhales the fleeting rain
swallows a mirage of purples
and golds, we are witness
to a changing face from shower
to sleep. Each day flowers turn
petals from east to west, trees
add rings in a seasonal birth
and death. But we are like laundry
on the clothesline being washed
and worn, shedding our skins
without renewal. Our dissatisfaction
is rooted too deeply. Birds scatter
seeds from forest to seaside
safeguarding continued resurrection
while we flap and stumble
on wings we broke ourselves.

We made it! 30 days of poetry. Huge thanks to Paul Brooke of The Wombwell Rainbow and artists Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, Anjum Wasim Dar for the Ekphrastic inspiration throughout the month. This poem was inspired today by all three pieces of art which can be seen here.

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Ways of knowing

Jane Dougherty Writes

This is the last day of Paul Brookes’ April poetry challenge. It has been a very fruitful collaboration for me, and judging by the quality of the poetry it produced, I’d say all the contributors probably feel the same way.

Thank you, Paul for all your hard work in putting this challenge together, and to the three artists, Anjum Wasim Dar, Gaynor Kane and John Phandal Law for their inspiring artwork.

Please visit Paul’s blog to read the poetry, and to see the three pictures that inspired this final poem.

Ways of knowing

Shall I paint a prism,
write a rainbow in the teeming trees?
Is the peeling silver bark a peering badger face,
the blue of frosted sky a jay’s bright-striped wing?

Last year’s leaves sift and sigh,
sinking underfoot into deep earth,
my hair caught in the frothing laughter
of new green growth.

Dull day sullen on the…

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Day 30. Congratulations to all contributors on completing the challenge. Your words and images have inspired others more than you imagine. My annual National Poetry Month 2022 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, Anjum Wasim Dar, and writers, Angi Plant, Tim Fellows, Math Jones, Merril D. Smith, Jamie Woods, Lesley James, Lesley Curwen, Carrie Ann Golden, Peter A., Barbara Leonhard, Jane Dougherty, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Simon Williams, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 30th.

Day Thirty

AWD - 30 Rainbow

-Anjum Wasim Dar – Rainbow

GK30 trees in snow - acrylic on board

-Gaynor Kane – Trees In Snow

JPL30

-John Phandal Law

Ways of knowing

Shall I paint a prism,
write a rainbow in the teaming trees?
Is the peeling silver bark a peering badger face,
the blue of frosted sky a jay’s bright-striped wing?

Last year’s leaves sift and sigh,
sinking underfoot into deep earth,
my hair caught in the frothing laughter
of new green growth.

Dull day sullen on the strand,
grey pebbles click and clack
where oystercatchers search in pied beauty
for sandy scuttling things,

one eye on the wave-curl
shaved off the skin of the sea,
waiting for a stray ray to turn on the footlights,
the sound of glitter.

Some days of winter dark,
a thrush sings high and clear,
and suddenly we remember
spring.

-Jane Dougherty

Somewhere
to JPL-30, AWD-30

Bird song wings
over clear blue waves.
Golden sun, thick as honey.
Memories lap the beach
to the caws of gulls.
Ancient stories, written on agate.
Shells whisper secrets.

-Barbara Leonhard

 

Where stillness comes (inspired loosely by Gaynor’s painting of trees in snow (GK30)
Vicky)

here, it is all stillness
silence
the air is silver light
bright and shattered gleam

here, stillness holds
spacious
wreck of time
forgiven, concealed

here, stillness invites
quietens
soul’s landscape expands
enchants

here, it is all stillness
holding
inviting
here, where stillness comes

-Vicky Allen

Inspired by both AWD30 – Rainbow
and GK30 – trees in snow

Rainbows are everyday miracles
(ignore the scientific explanations) –
they are airborne miracles, surely
we can all agree, seen so often yet
it may overstate their regularity
to describe rainbows as everyday.

I am not aware if ever they appear
above the land when snow is on
the ground below (have to internet
search the answer) – don’t recall
seeing that but have seen colours
multifarious spring from the one.

Some may call it white but under
sunlight split by the blue and green
shadows of orange-brown-silver
trunks and branches, the eye sees
the rainbow truth upon the cold
ground uncovering the lie of snow.

-Peter A.

tears in the rain

-Carrie Ann Golden

Just Press Play
after Rainbow AWD30

Look at a record
under a magnifying glass
you’ll see tiny bumps and ridges
a dark uncanny valley of inaudible sound.

Hold a CD up to the light
and angle it, just so
shining over microscopic pits of data
you’ll see a rainbow.

Just drop the needle, press play:
let the kick drum heartbeats
and string theory soundwaves
tie you up in joyous stereo technicolor.

– Jamie Woods

who hasn’t wanted both (all 3 images)

line & circle
             order & abandon
agency & freedom

chaos bends perspective
refract childhood memories
wings of stone grasp air

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

Final Prayer (30 AWD JPL & GK)
When you need ammunition, not a ride,
if rainbows don’t cut it
don’t look away.
If a bird’s eye view,
forensic,
soars into the trees,
and when the drone of missiles
stops –
in an explosion of murderous intent,
persist.
When your allies send investigators
not tanks
when the war is not yet done –
forgive them.
Above all, in your coasts and forests,
over rocks, in fields, in labyrinthine bunkers –
succeed.
The heart-beat trace
of your war
                         is ours.

-Lesley James

Colours

Red – weathered stones on the beach
Orange – glowing winter sunset
Yellow – leaves fading as they dry
Green – seaweed draping stones
Blue – pale, empty sky
Indigo – the blue-black sea
Violet – tree-shadow

The seabird rising from the ground
has all of these and none of them.
Snow and night.

-Tim Fellows

Rainbow Dreams (Day 30 inspired by all three works.)

A rainbow in my dreams–
cantaloupe sky, pink quartz beach, and light-drenched trees
dripping green, gold, blue. Here birds stop to perch
on chromatic rocks. Yet nothing remains as it seems–
shadows come, even within dreams, my mind sees
but also alters. Gulls become robins whose birdsong brings
dawn-light to forest—now, color-spray the birch
with rainbow stripes and feathers. In dreams, my heart sings.

-Merril D. Smith

Rainbow by Math Jones

-Math Jones

Bios And Links

-John Phandal Law

is 68. Lives in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses‘ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids

-Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she is a part-time creative, involved in the local arts scene. She writes poetry and is an amateur artist and photographer. In all her creative activities she is looking to capture moments that might otherwise be missed. Discover more at gaynorkane.com

Twitter @gaynorkane

Facebook @gaynorkanepoet

Instagram @gaynorkanepoet

-Anjum Wasim Dar

started drawing at St Anne’s Presentation Convent High School, Rawalpindi.
Drawing was taught as a Core subject from  Kindergarten.
Anjum learnt the  skill of  Still Life, Sketching,  Landscape Drawing, Coloring  and Shading  She recalled the scented wax crayons and black  paper sketch books vividly.

Subject of Fine Arts at Intermediate level at Govt.College for Women Rawalpindi,   was stopped by the Indo Pak War of 1965. Anjum continued her passion for art privately.
Her job as a Teacher Instructor allowed her to pursue Art work designing and preparing  Thematic Bulletin Boards and Low cost teaching Aids with the Fauji Foundation Teacher’s Training Institute Rawalpindi. www.faujifoundation.org.
This won her the National Education Award 1998.
 
Completing  a Course in Graphic Designing  at NICON Academy Rawalpindi , Anjum began working as a Digital Artist, On Line, registered her Own Firm CER Creative Education Resources 2004 and is a Member of DRN Drawing Research Network UK  and www.bigdraw.org.uk
https://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/tracey/drn/
 https://sites.google.com/site/cerprofessionaldevelopment/
With her artistic skills she plans and conducts “Environment Awareness Workshops for Children” and is a member of www.unep.org and www.earthday.org
CER Participated in World Environment Day and Earth Day Programs 2011-2013
“Face of Climate Change”
Anjum  loves Nature, landscapes and abstract imagery. Works with pencils, crayons and  the Software ArtRage 2.0  and MyPaint.

Anjum Wasim Dar’s Art Portfolio  can be accessed  here:

https://www.artwanted.com/anjuartwriter/gallery/

-Merril D. Smith

lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published in several poetry journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic,  Fevers of the Mind, and Nightingale and Sparrow. Her first full-length poetry collection, River Ghosts, is forthcoming from Nightingale & Sparrow Press.  Twitter: @merril_mds  Instagram: mdsmithnj  Website/blog: merrildsmith.com

-Lesley James(she/her)

is a teacher and writer. She was shortlisted for Love Reading UK’s 2022 Very Short Story Award. Featured flash can be found in The Broken Spine, FullHouseLitMag and RoiFaineant. Kathryn O’Driscoll selected her poem Empty for Full House’s 2021 mental health live reading and forthcoming podcast. Brian Moses, The Dirigible Balloon and Parakeet Magazine have published some of her writing for children.

-Lynne Jensen Lampe

has poems in or forthcoming from Figure 1, Olney Magazine, Yemassee, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Also to come is her chapbook Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) about mothers, daughters, and mental illness. She was a 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize finalist. Born in Newfoundland and raised in the Deep South, she lives in mid-Missouri where she edits academic books and journals. Visit her at https://lynnejensenlampe.com. Twitter: @LJensenLampe.

Barbara Leonhard’s

work appears in various online and print publications. She earned both third place and honorary mention for two poems in Well Versed 2021. She is currently writing her first poetry collection about her relationship with her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. From that memoir collection, her poem “Marie Kindo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” was voted Spillwords Publication of the Month of January and February 2022. Barbara was also voted Spillwords Author of the Month of October 2021 and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. You can follow her on WordPress at https://www.extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog.

-Math Jones

is London-born, but is now based in Oxford. He has two books published: Sabrina Bridge, a poetry collection, from Black Pear Press (2017), and The Knotsman, a collection of verse, rhyme, prose and poetic monologue, which tell of the life and times of a C17th cunning-man. Much of his verse comes out of mythology and folklore: encounters with the uncanny and unseen. Also, as words written for Pagan ritual or as praise poems for a multitude of goddesses and gods. He is a trained actor and performs his poems widely.

-Caroline Johnstone

is an author and poet from Northern Ireland now living in Scotland. She has been published widely including Poetry Scotland, The Blue Nib and Marble Poetry. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, curling up with a good book and champagne or cocktails in no particular order. 

-Lesley Curwen

is a poet and sailor living in Plymouth. She often writes about loss, rescues and the sea.

Her work has been published in anthologies from Arachne Press, Nine Pens, Quay Words, Slate, snakeskin, and soon by BrokenSpine and Broken Sleep.  

Her poetic relationship with sound has been helped by her work as a BBC broadcaster, editing words on screen.

-Carrie Ann Golden

is from the mystical Adirondack Mountains now living on a farmstead in the Red River Valley of North Dakota (USA). She writes dark fiction and poetry. A Deafblind, her work has been published in places such as GFT Press, Doll Hospital Journal, The Hungry Chimera, Asylum Ink, Piker Press, Edify Fiction and others. You can find her on her writing blog as well as Medium and Twitter.  

-Jen Feroze

lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two small children. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of publications including Ink Sweat & Tears, Chestnut Review, Atrium and The Madrigal. Her first collection, The Colour of Hope, was published in 2020 and she’s currently working on a chapbook of poems about early motherhood. 

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst in a supermarket. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews and  challenges. 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. Most recent is a poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell: “Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing”, (JCStudio Press, 2021)

Napowrimo 2022 day 29

Charlotte Hamrick

Plus, we appear irrational

Anger is like a giant wave -

We can surf it to solid land
Or
we can let it wipe us out.

Anger isn’t fuel, it’s acid.

We are not righteous warriors,
we are slaves kneeling under it.

Don’t be a slave.

Ride it, feel it, forget it.

Thanks to artist Gaynor Kane and Paul Brooks of The Wombwell Rainbow for this prompt.

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Brief candles

Jane Dougherty Writes

For the penultimate day of Paul Brookes’ April poetry challenge, inspired by Anjum Wasim Dar’s painting, Oxygen. I’ve just written and sent off the final poem for the challenge with a feeling of a job well done, but regret that it’s over too. Please go to Paul’s blog to read all the poems. No regrets there.

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Day 29, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem,

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

For the penultimate day of the challenge:

Inspired by AWD, “Oxygen”

Oxygen

From the dark, soupy universe
light emerged, the afterglow of explosion
blue-shifted here

to our primeval oceans
where microbes gobbled oxygen
and cyanobacteria sent some into the air
through photosynthesis,
generating life.

And from there, flowers bloomed,
and then came fruit,
and us, and love, and art—

microscopic particles recycled, torn apart
in the process of (re)creating space and hearts.

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring art!

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Day 29. My annual National Poetry Month 2022 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, Anjum Wasim Dar, and writers, Angi Plant, Tim Fellows, Math Jones, Merril D. Smith, Jamie Woods, Lesley James, Lesley Curwen, Carrie Ann Golden, Peter A., Barbara Leonhard, Jane Dougherty, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Simon Williams, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 29th.

Day Twenty-Ninth

JPL29

John Phandal Law

GK29 Surfer, Portrush, County Antrim

-Gaynor Kane – Surfer, Port Rush, County Antrim

AWD- 29 Oxygen

-Anjum Wasim Dar – Oxygen

July Fourth, Just Us (AWD29)

We stretch on blankets at twilight,
scratchy wool against summer

skin. Shagbark hickory, sycamore,
mulberry, and oak shield us

from indigo sky and its froth
of stars. We munch almonds,

swig lemonade, wait for the city
fireworks to sequin the night.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

Surfing
It was just him and the sea
and the cold sky watching;
the slow rise and fall,
further out, further out,
waiting, heart pumping,
the world shut out,
only the board and the waves,
holding on, certain yet uncertain,
balancing risk and reward.

-Tim Fellows

breath by lesley curwen

-Lesley Curwen

AWD29 – Oxygen

Beyond the tree line
as everything
begins to end
and my breath
less and less
Intakes,
it is a
painful moment of
irony that fills
thin air

Remembering that
plagues of the past
had heralded
hives of
artistic
creativity

How lucky then
our productive
pens and brushes
to be active
in a time of
plague and poverty
overcast by nothing less
than threat of
nuclear apocalypse –
is it any wonder we got so excited

And we were right to be –
survivors
who appreciate
artistic effort
are going to be
spoiled for choice

-Peter A.

I Am Breath
to AWD-29 Oxygen

I am breath, cloud of life,
streaming into each vein and pore,
feeding the heart, rooting it to the sky.

Clean and pure I enter
into your being, your heat.
Marvel in your temple.
Leave with your burdens.
Just as the tide. In the tight space
between each surge, my wisdom
is elusive.

-Barbara Leonhard

Menace (GK29)

Splash, splash
Watch out for
The shadow hidden
‘neath the metallic waves
Splash, splash
Red is the color of
The setting sun
The churning sea
Splash, splash
The abyss welcomes
You

-Carrie Ann Golden

 

from here by vicky allen

-Vicky Allen (inspired by GK29)

29 JPL and AWD
(People are still under Azovstal works)
In some corner of an English field
the relics of a pit-head. The first glimpse of light
as you emerge from underground hurts most,
the first new air when you come up,
the best. When you come up: the deep-down sweat
of it, the smell of coal and struggle, a grinding cough,
the pride-shame of your work filth, piss stains on your boots,
dark phlegm on the back of a sleeve, and the first cigarette
to taint the cool air, to spoil the whiff of your own tarry stench.
And the silence of the surface : a crunch of boots, some jokes,
plans for the pub, a tip for a dead cert at the bookie,
and the game at the weekend.
The relief of it. To have come through intact and free
of loss. Another shift below ground done. Clock off. And walk
away.
In some corner of another land,
under the land, below the steelworks, beneath
the surface of the mangled world, breathe
your first breath, see
your first light and smell
                                         relief.

-Lesley James

29. [Oxygen AWD29]

Everything is breathing.

Even the earth is throwing,
from its deep soil, roots
for the tasty air.

Even the sky is sliding
sylphy fingers across itself;
self-love is to be celebrated.

The trees, the grass, of course,
we could hear their sighs in the womb,
before we even took our own

ignition.

Blood breathing in
from the lungs breathing in
from our outsides breathing in

Everything.

-Math Jones

Oxygen (Inspired by AWD, “Oxygen”)

From the dark, soupy universe
light emerged, the afterglow of explosion
blue-shifted here

to our primeval oceans
where microbes gobbled oxygen
and cyanobacteria sent some into the air
through photosynthesis,
generating life.

And from there, flowers bloomed,
and then came fruit,
and us, and love, and art—

microscopic particles recycled, torn apart
in the process of (re)creating space and hearts.

-Merril D. Smith

Wetsuit
(after Surfer, Portrush, County Antrim GK29)

Inside the wetsuit a fire builds:
overcast greys and blue-collared waves
won’t dampen this glowing life-force.
Building-site sand sticks to his soles,
windchill factors can’t blow out the longing.
The sea waits dutifully,
ready to be worked, ready to be loved.
Feet into saltwater, the cold turns to warmth,
turns to heat, turns to flame,
becomes peace, burns with joy: alive.

– Jamie Woods

day 29 by Jane Dougherty

-Jane Dougherty

Bios And Links

-John Phandal Law

is 68. Lives in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses‘ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids

-Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she is a part-time creative, involved in the local arts scene. She writes poetry and is an amateur artist and photographer. In all her creative activities she is looking to capture moments that might otherwise be missed. Discover more at gaynorkane.com

Twitter @gaynorkane

Facebook @gaynorkanepoet

Instagram @gaynorkanepoet

-Anjum Wasim Dar

started drawing at St Anne’s Presentation Convent High School, Rawalpindi.
Drawing was taught as a Core subject from  Kindergarten.
Anjum learnt the  skill of  Still Life, Sketching,  Landscape Drawing, Coloring  and Shading  She recalled the scented wax crayons and black  paper sketch books vividly.

Subject of Fine Arts at Intermediate level at Govt.College for Women Rawalpindi,   was stopped by the Indo Pak War of 1965. Anjum continued her passion for art privately.
Her job as a Teacher Instructor allowed her to pursue Art work designing and preparing  Thematic Bulletin Boards and Low cost teaching Aids with the Fauji Foundation Teacher’s Training Institute Rawalpindi. www.faujifoundation.org.
This won her the National Education Award 1998.
 
Completing  a Course in Graphic Designing  at NICON Academy Rawalpindi , Anjum began working as a Digital Artist, On Line, registered her Own Firm CER Creative Education Resources 2004 and is a Member of DRN Drawing Research Network UK  and www.bigdraw.org.uk
https://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/tracey/drn/
 https://sites.google.com/site/cerprofessionaldevelopment/
With her artistic skills she plans and conducts “Environment Awareness Workshops for Children” and is a member of www.unep.org and www.earthday.org
CER Participated in World Environment Day and Earth Day Programs 2011-2013
“Face of Climate Change”
Anjum  loves Nature, landscapes and abstract imagery. Works with pencils, crayons and  the Software ArtRage 2.0  and MyPaint.

Anjum Wasim Dar’s Art Portfolio  can be accessed  here:

https://www.artwanted.com/anjuartwriter/gallery/

-Merril D. Smith

lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published in several poetry journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic,  Fevers of the Mind, and Nightingale and Sparrow. Her first full-length poetry collection, River Ghosts, is forthcoming from Nightingale & Sparrow Press.  Twitter: @merril_mds  Instagram: mdsmithnj  Website/blog: merrildsmith.com

-Lesley James(she/her)

is a teacher and writer. She was shortlisted for Love Reading UK’s 2022 Very Short Story Award. Featured flash can be found in The Broken Spine, FullHouseLitMag and RoiFaineant. Kathryn O’Driscoll selected her poem Empty for Full House’s 2021 mental health live reading and forthcoming podcast. Brian Moses, The Dirigible Balloon and Parakeet Magazine have published some of her writing for children.

-Lynne Jensen Lampe

has poems in or forthcoming from Figure 1, Olney Magazine, Yemassee, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Also to come is her chapbook Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) about mothers, daughters, and mental illness. She was a 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize finalist. Born in Newfoundland and raised in the Deep South, she lives in mid-Missouri where she edits academic books and journals. Visit her at https://lynnejensenlampe.com. Twitter: @LJensenLampe.

Barbara Leonhard’s

work appears in various online and print publications. She earned both third place and honorary mention for two poems in Well Versed 2021. She is currently writing her first poetry collection about her relationship with her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. From that memoir collection, her poem “Marie Kindo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” was voted Spillwords Publication of the Month of January and February 2022. Barbara was also voted Spillwords Author of the Month of October 2021 and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. You can follow her on WordPress at https://www.extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog.

-Math Jones

is London-born, but is now based in Oxford. He has two books published: Sabrina Bridge, a poetry collection, from Black Pear Press (2017), and The Knotsman, a collection of verse, rhyme, prose and poetic monologue, which tell of the life and times of a C17th cunning-man. Much of his verse comes out of mythology and folklore: encounters with the uncanny and unseen. Also, as words written for Pagan ritual or as praise poems for a multitude of goddesses and gods. He is a trained actor and performs his poems widely.

-Caroline Johnstone

is an author and poet from Northern Ireland now living in Scotland. She has been published widely including Poetry Scotland, The Blue Nib and Marble Poetry. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, curling up with a good book and champagne or cocktails in no particular order. 

-Lesley Curwen

is a poet and sailor living in Plymouth. She often writes about loss, rescues and the sea.

Her work has been published in anthologies from Arachne Press, Nine Pens, Quay Words, Slate, snakeskin, and soon by BrokenSpine and Broken Sleep.  

Her poetic relationship with sound has been helped by her work as a BBC broadcaster, editing words on screen.

-Carrie Ann Golden

is from the mystical Adirondack Mountains now living on a farmstead in the Red River Valley of North Dakota (USA). She writes dark fiction and poetry. A Deafblind, her work has been published in places such as GFT Press, Doll Hospital Journal, The Hungry Chimera, Asylum Ink, Piker Press, Edify Fiction and others. You can find her on her writing blog as well as Medium and Twitter.  

-Jen Feroze

lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two small children. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of publications including Ink Sweat & Tears, Chestnut Review, Atrium and The Madrigal. Her first collection, The Colour of Hope, was published in 2020 and she’s currently working on a chapbook of poems about early motherhood. 

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst in a supermarket. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews and  challenges. 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. Most recent is a poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell: “Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing”, (JCStudio Press, 2021)

NaPoWriMo 2022 day 28

Charlotte Hamrick

The Lure of Light

parted the darkness
like her hands
parted my hair, gently
but intently, her fingers
braided wavering strands
over and under, first up
then down. The sea
was always inside, restless,
driven. Salt water dripped,
a broken pearl necklace
leaving invisible traces,
refracting light in shades
of circling fins. We swam
in twilight, tumbled, tried
to hold onto passing beams
but shadows nipped her shoulders,
sucked her away in a tsunami.

Thanks to artist Gaynor Kane and Paul Brooks of The Wombwell Rainbow for this prompt.

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Day 28, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem, The Result

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

Inspired by AWD, “Politics”

The Result

With alligator smiles
they dazzled, dangling

the promise of freedom
on the tips of their sharp teeth

but the monstrous jaws snapped,
cities, trees, people fell

fertilizing the ground with blood–

no flowers bloomed,
no bird sang at dawn,
only death awakened this spring,

I am once again participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge. Each day, I will post my poem(s) here. You can see the art and read the other responses by going to Paul’s site here.

The artists are Gaynor Kane, John Phandal Law, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring art!

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