Day 24. 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 24th.

Day Twenty-Four


-John Phandal Law

GK24 oversized icecube

-Gaynor Kane – Oversized Icecube

AWD - 24 Pencil City

-Anjum Wasim Dar – Pencil City

Throwing Shade (GK24)

She picks her favorite
bar, the one where olives
and pickled asparagus adorn
the bloody marys and orange
slices swim in the sangria.
8 am and the bartender pushes
a paper umbrella into her drink.
Seems like everyone but us
is drinking coffee—plenty of mugs,
not one crowned with whipped
cream or sporting a pink parasol.
I order rye on the rocks. More
like rye under the rocks, a chunk

of ice wedged tight, trapping
the liquid, extending beyond
the rim of the glass. Weeping,
and not a coaster in sight.
She tosses her paper
umbrella on the bar. Jesus.
Even whiskey has to deal
with a square peg in a round
hole. Not belonging.
As in this ice cube doesn’t
belong in my drink. As in I don’t
belong in this bar. As in she
doesn’t belong to me.

—Lynne Jensen Lampe

24. [Pencil City AWD24]

Some are drawn here.
Some are lead.
But no-one’s ever penned in.
The hard like to make a point,
say, “sharpen up!”
but the soft like to blur a bit, to shade,
“everyone has six-sides,” they say.
Cops and rubbers on the TV.
Cross-hatching in the kitchen,
the smell of graphite in the air.
And the ancient stubs, shorter now,
sat around the bottom of a jar,
discuss the virtues of a long line, or
the legitimacy of charcoal.

-Math Jones


Stick figures
Scarred by leaden
Then erased from existence

-Carrie Ann Golden

for the few

-Jane Dougherty

You lose perception of distance
the further away you get.
Jet trails in the sky,
ships on the horizon,

-Tim Fellows

Life Drawings (Inspired by AWD24, “Pencil City”)

If we could outline our lives,
pencil-draw and illustrate,
pastel the years, crayon over tears,
erase mistakes, re-trace–
archive the drawings with a note,
highlight this place, add a quote
from that time–

the bright beauty, the blues, greens, and pink
tattooed in indelible ink, shaded, but well-defined
rolled, tied with a ribbon,
filed in my mind.

-Merril D. Smith

AWD24 – Pencil City

There isn’t always a point

There isn’t always a light

But where you find a light
you may find many lights

Then you will see the point
over and over for evermore

Yet if you try to write it down
the pencil will turn to candle

And then you will realise that
the only way to learn is to be

-Peter A.

Pencil Etymology
(after Pencil City AWD24)

A city of fine paint brushes,
trees as brush,
mountains defined
Siri translate Latin tail.
All designed by Sir Richard Rogers
C.B.E. O.B.E. N.O.B.
and other men with
phallic cars and bulging wallets.
A city of pencils
designed to project
their manliness,
their manhood.
The pen is a sword.
The pen is a sword.
The pen is a sword.
Rub it all out,
and tippex the patriarchy.

-Jamie Woods

Anniversary (24 AWD, GK, JPL)
We drink/ a cocktail /at lunchtime /to celebrate /our life / together/We buy cheese/ and home-made chocolates/ from a farmer’s market/We look out/ to a peaceful sea/ and imagine ourselves /afloat / While explosions / neonise /distant mountains/ and mortars/ detonate/
the lead news story is the shortage of cooking oil

-Lesley James

Supersize Me
To GK 24 Oversized Ice Cube

When you order a bourbon on ice,
he asks, “Would you like a glacier with that?”
No surprise about size. The 16-inch dinner plate
heaves a 20-ounce T-bone
and a basin of fries on the side.

You’ve already foraged
at the All-You-Can-Eat Salad Bar –
so long it is marked with trail signs.
“This way to the tater salad”. You can lodge
At Ranch Dressing. Rest at Mayo Clinic.

You tell the kids, “Eat it all,
or you don’t eat!” They slosh it down
with refills of Mountain Dew
with extra glacier. For dessert, gluts of apple pie
under mounds of ice cream.

Meanwhile that glacial ice is melting
onto the table, the floor, and out the door,
sweeping you up with gas guzzlers, trash trucks,
and hog haulers. You barely have time
to ask,

“Can I get that to go?”

-Barbara Leonhard

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:

Barbara Leonhard’s

work appears in various online and print publications. She earned both third place and honorary mention for two poems in Well Versed 2021. She is currently writing her first poetry collection about her relationship with her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. From that memoir collection, her poem “Marie Kindo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” was voted Spillwords Publication of the Month of January and February 2022. Barbara was also voted Spillwords Author of the Month of October 2021 and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. You can follow her on WordPress at

-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)

4 thoughts on “Day 24. 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 24th.

  1. Pingback: Day 24, Ekphrastic Challenge, My Poem, Life Drawings – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  2. Thank you Mr Paul Brookes and all theamazing poets.Poems on the Pencil City are amazing expressions and reflections I am so excited..Mr Paul your poems I find deeply philosophical which I can say have given a unique aspect to the artwork.Thank you so much.

  3. Pingback: NaPoWriMo 2022 day 24 – Charlotte Hamrick

  4. Pingback: For the few and the many – Jane Dougherty Writes

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