Day 16. 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 16th.

Day Sixteen

GK16 Gothic_Building_Liverpool

-Gaynor Kane – Gothic Building, Liverpool

AWD- 16 Flames

-Anjum Wasim Dar – Flames


-John Phandal Law

Break of Day: A Tanka (AWD16)

Once rain was allowed
to seep instead of sizzle.
Drought, lightning—trees flash
a thousand suns. Sky tears its
cloak of fire, mourns owl and deer.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

AWD16 Flames

The movement, the dance

For me, that has always been
the key feature

The defining quality that catches
the eye of the viewer

Tells the imagination there is a
life liberated there

Could never be seen as
inanimate by the
objective observer

The more you stare
into their flickering core
the more you see
and more
the power

As you
witness each
flame stand
and walk
embrace and
frighten and
in equal

You will
find their
ever more
compelling and
difficult to

-Peter A.

Oz by


-Jane Dougherty

16. [Flames AWD16]

The people (we do like to make them
People) that dance (that too)
In the flames, in the fast-paced rust,
They loom above the town.

(There’s a goddess named Looming;
looming things are named for her.)
When the looming (goddess) people
Dance in the flames (air-eating, oxidising)

When the people (yes, people, this time)
See the flames’ dance, looming
Like a goddess, above the town, then
The thought might strike them.

-Math Jones

My Father’s Ashtray
to AWD 16 Flames

My father’s trauma flares from his fingertips,
Simmers into ash on his lap.
His life stories, circles of writhing smoke,
Frame my face, obscure his words.

I try to breathe my own smoke rings
Sucked from a reed at the lake.
His anger rises up, a fire of sand,
Slapping my face.

Still, his trauma lights up
Pack upon pack, burns to the skin.
The past has to last. Wounds
Smolder into a mass of butts

In the crystal trough,
Never clean. Scrubbing away
The abandoned ash of old news
Becomes my compulsion.

Smoke rings fizzle into fear,
Punch holes in his bones.
My grief curls
Into a withering whiff.

-Barbara Leonhard

Victorian Civic Architecture Makes Its Apology

I was built in an age of certainty
made to celebrate
the certainties of men,
their judgement, their
knowing best.

I was built when people understood
where they were placed
in the order of things
and did not think about where
the money came from for the
stone that made the Doric columns.

Call me classical, call me gothic,
call me civic, philanthropist.

In the tungsten light of a cold evening
I will squat on the horizon
of your journey home.

Later, you will dream about me,
my gaslit corridors, the conversations
that took place in small rooms
at the back, civic men
deciding things among themselves;
the basement where the bodies,
perhaps, are buried.

-Beth Brooke

On Mount Horeb
after Flames AWD16

stare long enough into the crackle and hiss take in the fumes and drown your eyes

be open susceptible acceptable accessible throw your life into the relentless party

take off your shoes and pick up your new twisted staff
meditate baby asphyxiate baby hallucinate baby

burning brambles burning bushes bush fire brush fire shrub fire forest fire pyrrhic pyre fire pile

you can see everything dancing intoxicating manifesting in the onslaught of the flames

now breathe in deep go back to your people and make believe you’ve met your god

-Jamie Woods

Drink (With a forward reference to day 23)
The red liquid stared at him
the last half inch in the large glass
drained easily, staggered track to the door
out into the city night

sounds of sirens, only emergencies
and taxis this late. The Gothic building
towered over him; he felt its
disappointment, its disgust.
“Fuck you!” he shouted,
and vomited into the road.

-Tim Fellows

Seashore Summers (Inspired by JPL16)

Seashore summers, oyster shell skies, salty-wet breezes,
and sun-gold beaches—an unquestioned invitation to dig—
and you did,
creating a tidepool community of castles, schools, families of
calcite exoskeletons and imagination–
and when you stopped,
the gulls grabbed your sandwich
with a laugh
and that became part of the stories we tell.

-Merril D. Smith


The empty beach
Except for the child’s toys
Under a red sky

-Carrie Ann Golden

GK16 Gothic building Liverpool




behold the art of over-decoration, architectural man-brag summoning acres of stone

hacked into porticoes, towers, pillars, ledges, pediments, scrolls and don’t forget caryatids

those smooth nudes with teenage nipples, classical enough to get the nod from vicars

and corpulent aldermen, corset-laced, whose dark commerce funded the grand erection         

-Lesley Curwen

16 AWD and GK
(and for Alexey Navalny)
They burned some, buried others, hoping
for shifting sands of global communication
to blur the crime, re-interpret lonely debris.
War Crimes came up three times
in the 8 o’clock bulletin. Three times
in the 8.30 too. The phrase pinches hard.
The child’s toys. The civilian clothing of the dead.
No oxymoron, or Graves’ Cool Web.
War is crime.

-Lesley James

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)

3 thoughts on “Day 16. 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 16th.

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