-Gaynor Kane – abstract art – Lily Pond
-John Phandal Law – Lily
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Occupied
3. [Occupied AWD3]
Ghosts of buildings, trees
Scratch the breeze
Like fine fingers
Fine with hunger
Ready to be busy
If not already
The Orchid’s Riddle
When is a flower not a flower?
When it’s an elfin dance teacher, hair piled high
limbs lifted, poised, expectant.
A nebulous sway of jellyfish, enthralling
and deadly. A speckled
velvet overcoat for bees,
a place to burrow drunkenly.
Sheets of skin flayed open on a table.
The secret heart of something
you can’t name.
– Jen Feroze
Lilies in the sunlight, me on a blanket
spread out on the early summer grass;
a bumble bee zigzags across the pond
and disappears into the shaded trees
as birds converse. I wished that I were light
enough to float like that bee, leap from lily
pad to lily pad or even perch on the pond’s skin.
You call, and I turn, your face remembered
mostly from pictures. From before that summer
when we lost you.
A Lily in Shadows
to John Phandal Law “Lily”
Grandmother Lilian, shy,
Retreating from the lens for family photos –
Or was it from me, a reminder
Of her loss of two daughters –
A toddler to the flu in 1918,
A baby to crib death.
My mother, spared
Her sisters’ fates.
But the bond to her mother,
Severed by grief,
Haunted by ghosts.
Fences (AWD 3 Occupied)
Near my childhood home
Kept the bulls and cows at bay
Wires of steel and alloy
Spread as far as my eyes could see
In two rows
The other, electrified
My hand reached for the barbed line
Cool to the touch
Naively thinking them to be harmless
Until my second touched the other
Electricity coursed through my body
The humming was all I could hear
To my horror,
I could not remove my hands
For they were grounded
To the wires
Dad heard my screams
Came to the rescue
Even he could barely pry
My hands off those lines
It took a few days
For the frizz in my hair
And the burnt marks on my hands
Needless to say,
I never went near those
-Carrie Ann Golden
Unpinned and Unpressed (JPL3)
Iris, gladiolas, snapdragons.
She pored over catalogs
and knows their worth. She
loves the names more
than the blossoms: Careless
Sally, Pink Parfait, Rocket Pink.
Plum Tart, Charming Lady.
Poem of Ecstasy. She tastes
names first, then buys seeds
and bulbs. The corsage
tossed on her dashboard—
its petals and their ragged
tears, too much, too many.
She prefers the almost-
wild, the invasive
blooms waving at passing
cars, straining on their
stems to see who’s singing
to the radio and who’s
slapping kids in the backseat.
The flower’s Latin name
is a real mouthful. She’s
always known ditch lilies
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
Between Barbed Wire and Mountains
(after AWD3 Occupied)
Between the barbed wire and the imposing mountains
stand the occupied.
Line-drawings of the invisible
people sketched as ghost forest.
No crosshatching, penciled to feed
someone’s vanity, or god, or hatred.
A trick, eye drawn to focus
on the twisted wire
or the awning backdrop
and ignore the lost, the trapped.
Once we had a Lily Pond (Inspired by AWD3 “Occupied” and GK3 “Abstract Art-Lily Pond”)
Behind the barbed wire we dream,
but try not to—
our existence is a nightmare,
a universe of grey
and we are ghosts trapped within it.
At night, I think of the lily pond,
in the vibrant green of that blackbird summer—
when the air carried the scent of life,
and frog chirps and bird trills drifted like seed heads
on a balmy breeze.
Every rosy sunrise was a promise,
every violet sunset was an affirmation,
the changeable sky was a source of wonder,
and revolutions took us ‘round the sun
as the mountains transformed from emerald to amber —
sparkling jewels in a perfect setting
with an unseen broken clasp.
We spent our days entwined
and thought the filagree of love
and decency was enough.
I’m glad you’re not here,
where there is no color or birdsong
and the constant wind is a susurration of grief.
-Merril D. Smith
Snagged by gridlocked iron brambles, torncloth flutters.
Hyacinths bloom unmolested, protected beneath the barbs.
Brittle stickmen barricade the beehive hillsides, arm in arm.
And you say: Dyma Fi! Does dim ofn arnaf. Dyma Fi!
rise from chimneys seeding clouds with climate
change. Monet hears gunfire exploding shells
as he paints lanquid water lilies in his well
tended garden, old he needs must create.
Writes “I shall die amongst my canvases,
my life’s work.” Counteracts his cataracts,
No more earth, no more sky, no limits, tracks
light as it shimmers on his thin brushes.
Trails and dabs, drags and scumbles, the garden
of his mind. He remolds a world of air.
As war remolds through grief and destruction,
reshapes childhoods trauma and despair.
As helplessness a how, why, what and when,
of solo songs sung in underground lairs.
Bios And Links
-John Phandall 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 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
-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
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:
-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
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.
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.
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.
is a writer based in Derbyshire. His debut pamphlet, Heritage, was published in 2019 by Glass Head Press.
-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.
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)