Day 8. 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, Eloise Birnam-Wood, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Simon Williams, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 8th.

GK8 Devenish Round Tower - County Fermanagh

-Gaynor Kane – Devenish Round Tower County Fermanagh

AWD8

-Anjum Wasim Dar

JPL8

-John Phandal Law

 

The Photo (Inspired by GK8, Devenish Round Tower, County Fermanagh)

calls to her, connecting her to
seals’ song and long-dead monks in stilled prayer.
Older spirits drift on the verdant green–
warriors, sailors, queens—the unseen seen—brush her mind,

a sea breeze caresses her face, she tastes the salt
of ocean and tears—the gulls cry “welcome.”
She has never been here, but she knows it
like a dream.

 

Eyes in the Sky (Inspired by JPL8 and AWD8)

nameless faces in windowless rooms point,
deadly birds soar within minutes
skyward glances blinded, laughs silenced,
buildings tumble—cities screech and cry
in contrapuntal configurations of steel and bone—
worlds turn upside-down.

-Both by Merril D. Smith

AWD8

one day you will return
and there will be fire and ice

-Simon Williams

I Have No Guns
To AWD 8

I’m just an old lady
Seventy and counting
I don’t garden or sew
Glue sea shells on basket lids
Darn socks
I just write poems
All I have is words,
Angry words
Words that weep blood
See the blood flow from my words
And spread onto your closed eyes
As you are shooting blind
Taking your gun and shooting
Like 2-year-old
Picking up his mommy’s gun
Tossing it fiddling with it
Shooting mommy dead
That’s how you shoot
Your immature emotional rants
What! You are put getting your bottle
Fast enough?
You hate cats now. Shoot the cat!
You hate the damn bowl of Mac and Cheese?
Shoot the damn Mac and Cheese!
Feel better?
That’s how insane and inane
You are with your gun.
That’s all you have,
No words.

-Barbara Leonhard

8. [untitled AWD8]

In amongst the mountains of the ocean,
The crackle-electric of the sea;
Between the thought old-world thinning,
And the inundated new, fighting back;
On shoulders heaped with volcano ash,
From heads spinning out of day and night;
You might speak of two giants scratching out
A novel, or a poem, or a song, for the fun,
Or the feeling, of being here still, or
Just being here now. Gone.

-Math Jones

AWD GK JPL8 +9 Mariupol
And siege starves the children in the city
And siege parches their throats
And the siege deprives them of medicine
A siege has no heart.

Nine humanitarian corridors.
Is this is the summit of achievement?
What is a summit? The peak.
Like escalation peaks with nuclear bombs.

-Lesley James

JPL8

I may be biased
having been lucky
to meet quite a few
in my lifetime

But I’m going to
say it anyway –
you cannot go wrong
with an angel

For those who think they
have not, you may find
that you met one but
just did not know

Their wings are rarely
visible, their size
unremarkable
unlike the North

The only common
feature you will note
is their arrival
just when needed

-Peter A.

The Spirit of Devenish (GK8 Devenish Round Tower)

A family of three were visiting
The ancient round tower
Of Devenish Island
They roamed the uneven terrain
Inspecting each crevice and ruin
As the adults moved on toward the next section
They noticed their young son hadn’t stirred
No amount of prodding and bribes would get the boy to budge
So, they questioned why he refused to obey
Caitilin doesn’t want me to go, the boy replied
The parents exchanged puzzled looks
Who’s Caitilin, son? The father asked
As if the boy hadn’t heard, he said
She doesn’t want me to go
Her momma’s lost to the Norsemen
And they’re now looking for her
Mother shook her head
Son, we see no girl
The boy scrunched his face
And pointed to the ground
When they glanced to the spot
A startled gasp escaped them
The midday’s sun beamed on the boy
Casting not one
But two distinct shadows

-Carrie Ann Golden

Distorted Vision (GK8)
Where there is a round tower
I see only a missile
pointing to a blackened sky
that is truly blue.
A clear lake is poisoned.
Above, the angel of death
spreads its wings
and smiles.

-Tim Fellows

Round towers
(inspired by Gaynor Kane’s Devenish Round Tower)

Do they remember,
the lochs and glens,
the thud of heavy feet?

Are the stony strands still scored
by the keels of dragon ships,
rushed slender as sword blades
out of the pull of the waves?

Sometimes, if you press your ear
to the grey stone, you can hear
the fear of placid skies and seas,
the look-out shout,
The wolves, the wolves.

Run a finger over rough lichen,
find the scorch marks, listen
to the song of the flames,
the cries of the cattle.

They prayed for storms
when the Northmen were on the sea,
when fine weather brought death,

and in all the broad, rolling green of the world,
the only safety was in a stone needle
pointing at the indifferent sky.

-Jane Dougherty

lament by lynne

Towering
(after Devenish Round Tower – County Fermanagh GK8)
Rise to heights
for a view of
placid water
flaccid grass
nothing arousing.
What did you see
from your proud protuberance
when your vision
still mattered
and your impact was felt?
– Jamie Woods

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.

-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)

4 thoughts on “Day 8. 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, Eloise Birnam-Wood, Jen Feroze, Vicky Allen, Simon Williams, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 8th.

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