Day 14. 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, Dee Roycroft, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 14th.

Day Fourteen

AWD14 Ocean Pearl

-Anjum Wasim Dar – Ocean Pearl


-John Phandal Law

GK14 Glasgow Dawn

-Gaynor Kane – Glasgow Dawn

After JPL14

Pollution and pollen,
a lifetime, a half-life ago.
Blurred stains of nostalgia linger
Like the smell of your dead grandads favourite cigarettes.

Ahead, unknown, yet to be tested.

Front, left, a sulphuric,
sepia-drenched uncertainty,
an inbetween state,
a fractured wreckage.

– Jamie Woods

The silence was unexpected;
surrounded by a million souls,
the river still, the air touching
her face, cool in the orange dawn.
Nothing seemed broken here,
everything in its place,
poised for another circuit of the sun
that was making its usual entrance.
The single piece of litter
bothered her more than it should.
Everything should be perfect,
eyes closed in the golden river.

-Tim Fellows

The River Reflects Morning (GK14)

Glasgow. A river town in Scotland
and Missouri. I’ve strolled
in the shadow of Clyde Arc bridge,
2000 miles away, but can only
imagine the morning air
clinging to muddy water
one county over—breezes
ruche the surface, hide
fish and stones in gentle pleats,
a river only as blue as the sky.
Sunlight glances off glass
panes, squares of fire set
into warehouse walls.
I walk the weeds
before the tugs run
the river, before the smell
of coffee and bacon,
before the man I met last
night wakes to an empty bed.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

Fly-Tipped Rubble In A Field (JPL14)

One day people will scrape the years
from these remains,
examine them
with a forensic attention
to the composition of the clay,
the angle of their curve,
the nature of the structure they
formed a part of.
All that done,
they may conclude
this tangle of red tile and
grey conglomerate
was left there by some
supplicant as an offering
to the gods, though
to what end remains unknown.

-Beth Brooke

JPL14 (Working Title ‘Horses for Courses’)

The fourteenth day of this month
marks an anniversary of such sadness
that I choose to distract my mind
with a proposition that pottery is more
useful than poetry. Though one
should avoid being caught in traps of
false equivalence, two facts I do
admit; I fear my poems will not always
hold water and if ever I throw a
pot it will speak with a crack in its voice.

-Peter A.

The Song of the Sea

What’s in the song of the sea, she said.
Its waves ebb and flow, I replied.
And the shell holds the fear of all the sea dead
And the wailing of widows, who cried.

It’s cargoes of spice; it is treasure and rum,
The selkies, merfolk, shanty tunes;
First sight of new shores, echoes of home,
The storm, and the pull of the moon.

It’s pirates, invasions, peacetime and war,
Coracles, rafts, yachts and great ships –
Our Island’s Story, it’s myths and folklore,
With the hymn of our lives on its lips.

-Caroline Johnstone

bounty jpl14 caroline Johnstone

-Caroline Johnstone (JPL14)

No mean city (Glasgow Dawn GK14)

Through the window of a high-rise office,
lie sun and shadows, green copper turrets,
weathervanes no one else but me can see.

To the north, are flats where an old woman
turns on her kettle in the early dawn,
and a man lies dying in the hallway
from another dirty score.

In the east, church spires are monuments
to wealth in the midst of poverty,
the irony of their juxtaposition
unnoticed in redeveloped slums.

In the West, tobacco-rich thick-walled town houses
hide the loneliness of the student not out on the lash,
the history of a city built on slavery and sugar.

In the South, child prostitution goes unnoticed
among human waste and overcrowded slums
where rats in the sewer and councils
ignore the unloved and unlovely.

In the centre, where the cafes and shops sit
cheek by jowl with gangland killings,
a man with a dog lies frozen under cardboard,
commuters close their eyes, as if that’s normal.

My granny sang me lies and lullabies, said
she belonged to Glasgow, dear old Glasgow town.

-Caroline Johnstone


Vicky Allen

AWD14 Ocean Pearl

sea bed
a ball of brightness
unexpected phosphorescence
shines where no one looks
pearl balanced on
earth’s wet

-Lesley Curwen

ode to the wounds by barbara leonhard

14. [Ocean Pearl AWD14]

As beautiful as I am, I cannot tell,
Does anyone see me?
And do they take me for the one
Unique thing that I am?
Layered on by my shell-fish saliva,
My crustacean spit,
(This rugged case made great
Sacrifices for me.)
I will not be strung into a row,
In amongst the others,
When I am the only one to know,
The only one.

-Math Jones

14 JPL and AWD
Last night, we heard explosions very close / a phosphorus flash through the chemical smoke /daylight earth by the power station churned terracotta /shattered pipes / the sewage empties in clean water / the bodies unwashed/ we have no power.

-Lesley James


The land
Attempts to hide
Its scars through
Dirt and stone
Only to be crushed
By beasts

-Carrie Ann Golden

moon myth

-Beth Brooke

Dawn on the River (Inspired by AWD14, “Ocean Pearl” and GK14, “Glasgow Dawn”)

Marigold and tangerine, spirits
awakened by the sun,
dive from the sky to glide through windows
and float, shimmering, atop the blue river–

shapeshifters, soon they will transform
from brilliant flowers to snowy doves
and ghostly galleons sailing out to sea,

where a diver will find a great white pearl–
in the sunset, it glows with orange light.

– 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

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.

-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 (, 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)

2 thoughts on “Day 14. 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, Dee Roycroft, Jona Roy, Beth Brooke, Caroline Johnstone, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 14th.

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  2. Pingback: Day 14, Ekphrastic Challenge, My poem, Dawn on the River – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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