Day 6. 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, Carrie Ann Golden, Lesley James, Lesley Curwen, Peter A., Eloise Birnam-Wood, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Simon Williams, Jamie Woods, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 6th.

Day 6.

JPL6

-John Phandal Law

GK6 city painting

-Gaynor Kane – City Painting

AWD6

-Anjum Wasim Dar

The ballad of the curious tourist
(Inspired by paintings by Anjum Wasim Dar and Gaynor Kane)

I thought I saw a city, shining in the plain,
I thought I saw a desert, waiting for the rain,
I thought I found a paradise, but all I found was pain.

I saw a destination in a glossy magazine,
I saw exotic places where my friends have never been,
I looked behind the décor, saw what wasn’t to be seen.

Among neon lights and laughter hung a warning in the air,
Don’t stray. Beyond the glitter there is danger, so take care—
Your happiness providers, in their misery laid bare.

-Jane Dougherty

Mapping

I learned there was a map
leading to the heart of who you are, so

I followed
threads and trails
delicate spider silk
holloways
desire lines
currents and capillaries
every untouched way
each worn down path
opened before me

the ease of it
unanchored me, shook me
I chose a harder road
denied myself
over and over and over
I chose starvation brae
fell down on the upward trudge
to find you
picked gravel from proud wounds

a blackbird sang out laughter:
“so much agony and wreck –
I wonder
have you considered the lilies?”

-Vicky Allen

City
From the bridge the city seems remote,
lit but empty, reflected in the blackness
of the river.

It masks the stars, denies the moon.

-Tim Fellows

City Lights GK6

There is a mirror world that floats
on the surface of the river.

In it we see ourselves:
fragments of light;

we break and move on the
glassy darkness of the water,

swim, bask, like Narcissus,
in the reflection of ourselves.

Above us, stars blaze in the night sky,

-Beth Brooke

City on a Hill (AWD6 + GK6)

Sulfur dunes grasp at tsunami blue.
Morning sun sings of heaven.
The air bleeds white,
earth-powders the city—

an erasure. A watermark
on varnished wood. We hide
our faces from what we hope
heralds anything but God,

an urge to believe.
Sky and land meet, fold
into the only green we see

when bells ring, doors open,
we emerge from dwellings
slowly fading into dust.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

GK6

city night the river reflecting
awake on the grass we watch the stars spiral
my hand in your hand
the morning need never come

-Simon Williams

Freudian Pollination
(after JPL6)
The deep purple blooms, open,
inviting, bees swarm to pollinate,
the iris pulls at my pupils,
widening, stretching.
Iris sibirica,
Rorschach, Freud:
I can’t unsee it.
My mind rolls
past the flower bed, into the gutter
with a decomposing rose,
still wrapped in cellophane,
that a man bought for a quid
and gave to a woman in a club
in the hope of having sex.

-Jamie Woods

IRIS (JPL6)

boudoir of dark velvet
offers louche caresses
in plush tones from plum
to mauve whose climax
is a striped threshold
seducing dazed bees
to venture where no
nectar dwells

-Lesley Curwen

Combined Response to GK6 and JPL6

After years of vigilance
avoiding the effect of the spores

finally they announce
on screens we are forced to watch indoors

that there is no defence —
nothing can be done to protect us any more.

The fortified appliances
which uproot the evil plants from forest floors

have proved impotent,
as accelerated reproduction outstrips their best efforts.

So, now the essence
of our leaders’ message is No longer hide

they tell us it now makes sense
to take our masks off, breathe in the outside

air and accept the consequence,
which for some will be lethal – others will survive.

Those who live will experience
a permanent hallucinatory ride.

No longer capable of independent
thought but we, the fortunate living, shall have fireworks and colours.

-Peter A.

An Untitled Lune (AWD6)

Land is gold
Famers primed for the harvest
Gathering enemy tanks

-Carrie Ann Golden

The Rainbow Bridge
To AWD6’s abstract painting

You came to us, broken,
Probably tossed out because of your moods,
The grouchy nips,
The claws gently attached to our skin,
A reminder to pay attention,
Not to hold you too long,
Touch your back,
Or budge in the bed,
Disturbing your sleep.

Oh how you talked and talked,
Revealing your traumatic stories,
So we named you Saga,
Tolerated the outcries
Of your sad soul. Taught you to
Trust in us.

After my surgeries,
You stayed with me in bed,
Guarding the door.
The day you left the bed
Was the day I knew I could.

You loved the music students of all ages
And sometimes coiled up in their instrument cases
Or rested in a cushy pet bed by the front door
Watching them come and go.
We’d warn the kids to check with you first
Before petting you,
“We call him 2-Pet.”

One father didn’t listen,
Petted you a third time,
And you bitch slapped his
Three times on his face.
Whack! Whack! Whack!
Hard and fast, but without claws.

What you carried made you ill
With cancer and infections.
At one point you were down to two pounds,
So I fed you every hour
Until you were back up to ten.

But the My little old man.
You’ve fought so long. You stumble,
Looking for your glasses.
When I call for your name,
I speak to the deaf.
I coax you to keep eating,
Scratch your head,
Pet you. You still purr
But you’re too weak to stand.

You’re fighting the inevitable.
I say, “We love you. Let go
When it’s time.”

And maybe it’s time
For me
To let go.

-Barbara Leonhard

GK6

Civilian corridors. Good thing, right?
Firing will stop for Evacuation of Civilians.
Cease fire. Cease thought. Press resume.
War picks up its knitting:
The Old Man’s Back Again.

-Lesley James

 

Remember (Inspired by GK6, “City Painting”)

Remember the night sky, that night—
remember that night–
when the sky was filled with swirls of ancient light,
remember that ancient light spiraling,
like nautilus shells floating in a sunset sea,
remember the spirals’ colors reflected—gold, silver, blue, red–
a painting in the river,
remember the river,
with its upside-down world of buildings and light—
remember that light, that night, the colors
that night when we were in love–
remember.

-Merril D. Smith

6. [un(en)titled AWD6]

There’s a fire above the blue,
above the yellow wheat,
above the smeared rubble.

A vying of flags,
an intrusion of white,
monolith high over small town

made smaller.
The wide sky dominates,
calling fields to grow again.

-Math Jones

 

The Ruin (A version of the anglo-saxon)

Cracking wall-stone ragged wi yonks
Battlements brok, tall uns work laced.
Roofs a ruin, towers brought dahn,
brok barred gate, rimed plaster,
walls gob open, ragged up, destroyed,
age worn. Earth-grip holds
prahd builders, flitted, long since,
hard grasp o’ grave, past hundred generations
of folk passed. Yon wall outlasted,

lichen-hoary, red-raw, stood up t’batter,
one reign atter another; high arch nah felled

wall-stone still stands, weapon hacked,
by grim-grahnd flies.

Mood quickened mind, and mason,
skilled in rahned-building, bahned wall-base,

wondrously wi iron.
Bright were halls, many the baths,
High the gables, great the joyful yammer,
many mead-hall pleasures full
’til fate t’ grand o’erturned it all.

Slaughter spread wide, pestilence arose,
and death flitted wi all them brave men
Their bulwarks broken, their halls med desolate,
cities crumbled, menders int grahnd. And so halls are empty,

curved arch sheds its tiles,
ripped from roof. Decay brung dahn,
brok to rubble. Where once many a warrior,
heart held high, gold-bright, gleamin splendour,
prahd an wine-flushed, shone in armour,

scanned a treasure o’ silver, precious gems,
riches o’ pearl…
in yon bright city of broad rule.
Stone courts once stood, an hot streams fetched forth,
wide floods o’ watta, surrahnded by a wall,

in its bright breast, there where baths were,
hot in middle.
Hot streams ran o’er hoary stone
into ring

past allus a ruin
an now allus a ruin o’ past

-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 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.

-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.

-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.

-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 (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)

4 thoughts on “Day 6. 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, Carrie Ann Golden, Lesley James, Lesley Curwen, Peter A., Eloise Birnam-Wood, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Simon Williams, Jamie Woods, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 6th.

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