F 1.11. The Children of Lir by John Duncan(1924)
F 2.11. Wangliang
F 3.11 lady in red
The Children of Lir (Day 11 The Children Of Lir)
Four children you were
Beloved of Lir
Fionnghuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn.
You were motherless for a time
When Aoibh left you in childbirth
But you were granted another
But Aoife grew black jealousy
In her heart and plotted against you
Turning you into white swans
With a human voice that you could use
To sing plaintively about your Fate
Doomed to live three hundred years
In the waters there
Away from your loved ones, your home
The Children of Lir
With blazing white wing
Hearts full of sorrow
We remember you still
O dear Swans of old
The children of Ireland.
Guilt Embodied, Illusion Clothed (3.11 The Lady in Red)
The mossy walls flatten to gray stone,
Receding as the ghost emerges.
She is fashioned only of desire and dread
yet she strangles the breath, heats the blood.
A memory of red silk softens her visage,
warming her cheeks with hints of rose.
Her plump red lips, too ripe to be bloodless,
pout beneath downcast eyes, alluring.
A mockery of modesty.
She provokes, evokes, invades the mind.
She’s the splinter in your eye
the icy fingers grazing your neck,
She’s the shiver before sleep,
and the morning dread.
Ever present, ever absent
She persists to exist.
Another Lesson for Wayward Women (Inspired by 3.11, Lady in Red)
A figure in the window,
on a staircase, or a stage,
in your hotel room, she drifts past
the bed, dressed in a gown of red,
the color of passion, of anger,
of sex, love, blood,
the color of birth and death,
and she, sex worker, or simply
not a nun, or a saint,
murdered after partying, or by a jealous lover—
or his wife—
wanders, not seeking vengeance,
a temptress trapped between worlds,
lost in time.
-Merril D Smith
Fionnuala (based on F1:11 The children of Lir)
How did you manage alone in the wilds
and three young boys who would never be men?
How did you know with no stars in the sky
to steer them from one sheltered nest to the next,
when the winter came fierce and the ocean swelled high?
How did you live with a twice-broken heart
cast out from your home to never return
and the years that weighed down on your father’s head
till they buried him under a cairn on the hill?
Time flew for those that you loved, and you flew
in the guise of a swan in the path of the storm,
as the world turned, forgetting the old ones and you.
Who would have known of your journey at all
had it not had a moral to be twisted and torn
like the neck of a swan in the teeth of the storm.
Whooper Swans at Moyle Straights
From the land of silent swans
I travelled to the lakes of Ireland
to hear the talking swans of
the sea of Moyle.
How in the swirling snow by the sea-wall
in the slicing eastern wind
that drives away cruel fog
they landed, close, and sang.
They sang of themselves and of
the snow that melts on the sea
of the curses born by the innocent
that will in 900 years to the day—
Oh! twisted step mothers —
learn rather of love, and sharing—
our father, our earth,
our lake, our snow,
Bios and Links
lives and works in southwest France. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, the Ekphrastic Review, Black Bough Poetry, ink sweat and tears, Gleam, Nightingale & Sparrow, Green Ink and Brilliant Flash Fiction. She blogs at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ Her poetry chapbooks, thicker than water and birds and other feathers were published in October and November 2020.
is a poet originally from the UK who now lives in South Germany with their family. They have been writing poetry since their teens and is currently working on their second collection of poems.
developed an interest in reading and writing poetries at a very tender age. Her poetry “The Seashell” was first published online in the “Imaginary Land Stories” on August 8, 2020, by Sunmeet Singh. She has been a part of Stuart Matthew’s anthology “Sing, Do the birds of Spring” in the fourth series of books from #InstantEternal poetry prompts. She has been featured in the Bob Dylan-inspired anthology “Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan” by the founder and editor of the website “Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art” David L O’ Nan. Her poetries have been published in the anthology “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the Mind”. Paul Brookes has featured her poetry, “A Monstrous Shadow”, based on a photograph clicked by herself, as the “Seventh Synergy” in “SYNERGY: CALLING ALL WRITERS WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS” on his blog “The Wombwell Rainbow”. She has been featured in the “Quick-9 interview” on feversofthemind.com by David L’O Nan. She has reviewed the poetry book “Silence From The Shadows” by Stuart Matthews. Her acrostic poetry “A Rainstorm” has been published in the Poetic Form Challenge on the blog “TheWombwell Rainbow” owned by Paul Brookes. She also joined the movement “World Suicide Prevention Day” by contributing her poetry “Giving Up The Smooch” on the blog “The Wombwell Rainbow”, an initiative taken by Paul Brookes.
from Belfast in Northern Ireland, had no idea that when she started a degree with the OU at forty it would be life changing. It magically turned her into a writer and now she has a few collections of poetry published, all by The Hedgehog Poetry Press Recently, she has been a judge for The North Carolina Poetry Society and guest sub-editor for the inaugural issue of The Storms: A journal of prose, poetry and visual art. Her new chapbook, Eight Types of Love, was released in July. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com
has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.
He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom.
Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.
-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
a retired teacher and children’s library specialist, considers herself an adventurer. She has meandered the country in an old Chevy van and flown along on midnight runs in a smoky old Convair 440 to deliver the Wall Street Journal. She is a licensed pilot, coffee house lingerer, and finds her inspiration and solace in nature in all its glorious diversity. Loving wife and mother, she makes her home in the wilds of Portland OR. www.MudAndInkPoetry.art
first two chapbooks, Dawn’s Fool (Ice Floe Press) and Tuned (CCCP Chapbooks), were published in 2020. Tuned is also available as an ebook. Her work has appeared in Hobart, Had, Barren, Juke Joint, Moist, Trouvaille Review, and elsewhere. Find her work at her linktree: https://linktr.ee/luaz_poet. She is on Twitter @luaz_poet.
2 thoughts on “#folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day Eleven. To celebrate the launch of my new poetry collection “As Folktaleteller” I am downloading 93 folklore art images, 3 per day in October and asking writers to write poetry or a short prose inspired by one, two or all three images. Please join Jane Dougherty, Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen, Eryn McConnell, Dave Garbutt, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.”
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