Day 5. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 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, Lesley James, Lesley Curwen, Peter A., Barbara Leonhard, Jane Dougherty, Eloise Birnam-Wood, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Carrie Ann Golden, Simon Williams, Dee Roycroft, Jamie Woods, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 5th.

Day 5.

AWD5 Secret Flower

-Anjum Wasim Dar -Secret Flower


-John Phandal Law – Tawny Owl At Coach And Horses

GK5 Badger - watercolour

-Gaynor Kane – Badger Painting

AWD 5: Family history

In the middle of birthing me, my mother
was taken outside. She walked, although in labour.
For many years I believed I was born in a field
among flowers. It was a field hospital,
my first cry drowned by sirens and wounded children.

-Lesley James


Secret flower (AWD5)
after the operation the bandages were removed
I closed my eyes
and fell in love with you again

-Simon Williams


A Night at the Inn (Inspired by all three works of art)

The inn settles for the night,
its wavy-glass eyes shaded and shuttered,
its walls steeped in memories of strangers and lovers
and stained with centuries of smoke and tea.

Outside a tawny owl calls, twit twoo,
startling a badger, who brushes past
a man lost in the tangled growth
of the old canal path–
the badger yelps, the man screams,

but no one tucked inside the inn hears
anything but the moon’s lullaby.

Under an ensorcelling quilt,
a curly-haired girl dreams–
a secret garden and a flower that glows with light,
she wakes with a smile,
as owl and badger close their eyes.

-Merril D. Smith

AWD5 Secret Flower

just as the apparent positive
of gaining the fat of the land

will occasionally lead to the
unintended consequence of

arterial clotting, cardiac failure
with a deathly glow — so the

apparent negative of shortage
of fuel, forcing abandonment

of vehicle, opens the world
more than it closes – walks

at human pace permit eyes
and mind to see the hidden

-Peter A.

Our Hidden Flower
To AWD5, My Secret Flower

Isn’t a secret
As we all till the ground
For the daffodil, sprung each spring
Before yet another snow
That bends our backs so low
That we wonder if we can survive
The weight of a lingering winter.
We brace the cold, wet tears
Into ice. We all hold grief
In a sacred spot,
Where its roots can uphold us
Once the frost melts.

-Barbara Leonhard

Badger moon
(a Badger’s hexastitch inspired by AWD’s Secret Flower and GK’s Badger)

No moon,
but pale flowers
shine among hedge shadows,
light the way for badger
and silver-coat

-Jane Dougherty


Monochrome (JPL5)
When winter comes,
it comes in monochrome.
Drains the colour from the trees,
turns blue to grey above our heads,
lays snow and ice to mask the land.

-Tim Fellows

A Seasoned Veteran
After John Law

Made for silhouette,
the old oak thrives in winter
collecting birdsong.

These calls and chirrups
that undulate through branches
quench an intense thirst.

Like fuel, like magic,
there’s a thrum of potential.
As spring approaches

this tired gentleman
is gradually replenished
with feathered music.

And suddenly it is time.
He is ready for the green.

-Jen Feroze

Last One Standing
(after AWD5 Secret Flower)
Cherry Blossom
Eastern Redbud
Crepe Myrtle
Heroes and loves
All fall.
Crushed pink underfoot
Turn to orange, turn to mulch
Too many funerals
Until just one remains.

-Jamie Woods


Legacy (JPL5)

I remember
A picture that hung on
My Grandmother’s wall
Of a tree on a farmstead
The photograph looked old, weathered
I’d studied it more closely
It was an image of days long gone
A time before my parents
Yet an intense nostalgia swept
Over me
I remember
Asking my grandmother about that tree
Was it still there?
Nay, she said, only its stump remained
That tree, she went on, was known as
The Pioneer – once a celebrated icon
Back in the day
It was already ancient when the territory was clearcut
Who knew what history it saw
Before man stepped foot on its land
I remember
Frowning, feeling quite sad
That’s terrible, Grandma! I exclaimed
She shook her head and smiled
Nay, we should not grieve for its demise
Rather we should always remember
To respect and to protect our heritage
Whether it be natural or ancestral
For if we do not appreciate either one,
Who would remember us
When it’s our turn to die
If we leave no traces behind?

-Carrie Ann Golden

5. [Secret Flower AWD5]

The world a blur,
except you, sharp as briar,
thorn clear.

but the path
rises, falls, no edge.

Oh, my sight,
strains muscles, nerves
for clarity,

pulls at the curtains,
the veil, the suburban net,
for the road in sunshine,

for the speech
to send across the blur of world,
to touch precise.

-Math Jones

Centripetal Force (AWD5)

She’s rigid and drawn
to chaos, an oxymoron—

controlled chaos. The beauty
of inexact lines, colors,

feelings that obscure
curiosity, strain wholeness.

Drawn to does not mean
comfortable with.

Ask any editor
in love with a language

always changing—tumbling
the weeds to reach clarity,

scraping cataracts from the eye
of the storm to find green,

gray, magenta become a rhodie
pink-poking the eye of winter.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe


Badgers (My commanders call sign)

Combine harvesters work nearby mortar
shelled fields. News is Enemy advancing
but gun barrels must be cleaned, wood cut for
the stoves. Why is no one shooting?

Nights are quiet. It’s hard to know why.
My mind goes around in circles. And then mud
cakes to my boots and covers how and why
and everything. I don’t notice. Should.

They shell us every other day. Fake
information in Telegram channels.
Two hours after Artur killed, make
out we were fooling around with shells

Look at vehicle with your own eyes. See
their Anti Tank Gun burnt out his KamAZ.

-Paul Brookes

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

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.
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
With her artistic skills she plans and conducts “Environment Awareness Workshops for Children” and is a member of and
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:

-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 Twitter: @LJensenLampe.

-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.

-Tim Fellows

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.  

-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 (, 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)

4 thoughts on “Day 5. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 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, Lesley James, Lesley Curwen, Peter A., Barbara Leonhard, Jane Dougherty, Eloise Birnam-Wood, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Carrie Ann Golden, Simon Williams, Dee Roycroft, Jamie Woods, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 5th.

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