Day 13. 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 13th.

Day Thirteen

AWD13 Earth

-Anjum Wasim Dar – Earth

IGK13 girl beneath statue of Christ

-Gaynor Kane – Beneath Statue of Christ

JPL13

-John Phandal Law

Whole New World – Written With Jen Feroze’s Five Year Old Daughter

After Anjum Wasim Dar

There are no people there
not yet, anyway. No doctors,
no parents. No-one.

That’s why it’s magical still,
this whole new world.
It’s really far away from here
but not so different, really.
There are deserts and trees.
There are flowers and waves.
I suppose there will be cities one day.
But at the moment
the water is made of music.
Listen.

-Jen Feroze and her five year old daughter

I.N.R.I.
(after Girl beneath statue of Christ, GK13)
We sang cross-legged on cold floors
– the wise man built his house
Builds his dead writhing idols
– upon the rock
out of stone out of fear on a hill
– and the rain came tumbling down

Sitting among clocks and petals
in nature rests innocence
all sun rays and buttercups
a ladybird lands on her hand
tickles her arm as she watches on
in awe and scientific discovery.

– Jamie Woods

Screenshot_2022-04-12-21-46-54-53_e307a3f9df9f380ebaf106e1dc980bb6

-Vicky Allen

Lighthouse
The Earth is swirling,
melting, we gasp
in its heavy air,
claw at its unyielding land.
The seas we try to escape on
are choking.
As our eyes close in prayer,
we glimpse the lighthouse
as it flickers one last time.

-Tim Fellows

JPL13 (An Irregular Sonnet)

Move in closer, so I can tell the tale
quiet as it deserves to be related.
When all are positioned comfortably
I shall begin and there will be no
stopping me; I’ll freewheel downhill
relentlessly until the story ends so
there is no point in raising your hand
to question me – you’ll be ignored.
Entranced by the blue calmness of these
waters, he speculated why someone
would pick this location for a lighthouse.
Taken by the view, he failed to notice
the wild elements discussing his fate and
the wise birds fleeing the scene…

-Peter A.

Broken Stitches (AWD13 + JPL13)

Bitterns and gulls
prick the saffron sky,
run a threaded needle

in and out of gunmetal
blue moiré. Rain softens
hillsides, nudges structures

into sea. Nature will win
if winning means erasure.
At ground level, our

oil slick of a planet
mutes light. But seen
from space—floating in azure

glow, a cowry shell
now empty, speckles
of mountains, trees

and open pit mines.
When the stars listen.
they hear waves whimper.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

Blue

(inspired by Earth by Anjum Wasim Dar

Blue the planet and green,
spinning,
alone in space,
ours.

Such beauty, we say
in all the hues of perception,

from God-woven thoughts of a benign despot,
to the apotheosis of natural creation,
the happy union of gas, rock, fire and water.

Such beauty, we repeat and repeat,
content to invoke
beauty, awe, God, Gaia, eternity etc. etc.
so loud we don’t have to hear the warnings,

so selective in what we see,
the spinning doesn’t remind us
of water going down the plug.

-Jane Dougherty

I Denied You
To GK13 Girl Beneath Statue of Christ

When I died at age 7
You spared me. But I awoke
To the stone-tablet draft of the Bible.

Your dad was a bad ass. Jealous
And punishing. Kids told me
That I was going to hell

For having long hair.
For smiling. For dancing.
I denied you, Christ.

My dad was the preacher,
So in Sunday school, I was not supposed to
Call them liars and deny you.

For years, I stuffed you in a pillow slip
Cried. Felt shame
For turning my back on you.

Christmas, a day that fatigued trees.
Easter, an egg toss. How I loved the games
And gifts. I forgot you.

They cast your image in a manger
And on a donkey, and then a cross.
“Suffer the children,” you taught.

I weave you laurels
From a wealthy meadow
But cannot reach your granite crown.

-Barbara Leonhard

GK13 Girl beneath statue of Christ

I remember a secret place, tree-nook
where we tucked blue velvet scraps
a tender shrine for a carved statue
slightly chipped, of the BVM.

Two of us kneeled, palms pressed
new grass tickling our sockless legs
as we burbled hail marys, our fathers
and glorybes, comparing rosaries.

Mine, the best, had a holywater vial
at its heart. I thought God would be
impressed. We both asked to be nuns
but He had way more sense.

-Lesley Curwen

13. [Earth AWD13]

It’s as if we’re walking on the eye of God,
Isn’t it? This place? Such clarity of air,
The sea so encompassing, the earth
In it’s deep mud depth, and the greenery,
Oh! Cycling into goldery. Oh, and then
The light! Let there be light! And there was!
As if He’s looking at us, can I say He? Do you
mind?
As if we’re walking [Ow!] on the eye [Ouch!],
Taking steps across His [Owww!] iris, slipping
On His tears, how He must love what He sees!

-Math Jones

13 AWD and GK
The convoys and a head of state travel
divergent paths. In a vortex where bodies are strewn,
who can be trusted? The child amongst flowers
at the foot of Christ is the child wrapped in scarves on the road.
Faces in the windows of the bus
whose windows have been shot out
turn away, from the camera, cold.

-Lesley James

GK13

A child’s mind
Where dreams and reality
One and the same

-Carrie Ann Golden

(Un)tethered (Inspired by AWD13, “Earth,” and JPL13)

He is weightless, untethered
to the Earth he sees rising in blue
before him
white cloud swirl-figures dance across

home

where moonglade silvered the grey-green sea,
but brighter were the beacon lights
that once glowed high and low
as birds on beach and in the sky
warned off intruders
with star-echoed songs–

in space, he thinks he hears them now,
star-birds, like him, so far from home.

-Merril D. Smith

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)

3 thoughts on “Day 13. 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 13th.

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