folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day Eighteen. 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, Spriha Kant, Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.

F 1.18. Bananach

1.18. Bananach

F 2.18. muhler de branco

F 2.18. muhler de branco

F 3.18. The Bell Witch

3.18. The Bell Witch

 

The Bell Witch (Inspired by F3.18, The Bell Witch)

Why is one family tormented,
another blessed—

the sins of the father
manifested in bumps and tremors,

an unsettled spirit, settling scores.

Hold a bible, burn the witch,
the haunting goes on

as generations pass,
you wonder more

which came first,
a miasma of evil,
or corruption of the soul?

-Merril D Smith

AN AIRBORNE PSYCHOPATH:

(Inspired by the image “F 1.18 Bananach”)

He lives in the air of battlefields
and glides and swirls with
his shrieks intensifying
the turbulence in combats
He exults with laughter
at each slaughter
for he enjoys each dripping blood like a
raindrop

-©Spriha Kant

The Haunting (F2.18 Muhler de Branco The Weeping Woman)

She slips between the cracks, slides beneath the door,
Her hair’s a witchery of straggles deviling the light.
She flails and wails and weeps tears of rime
Misshaping time, winnowing seconds, displacing days.
She’s come to haunt, not to worry or taunt, but to
Snatch and latch onto someone with breath and beating heart
With a mouth to kiss and hands to touch, with ears to hear
Her sweet sweet babe whom she misses so much.

-Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen @boscoedempsey

Ghost (based on all three images)

Ghost,
the negative of ourselves,
the obverse side, a swollen tide
of fear of the dark within.

We clutch at their ephemeral shrouds,
hoping for a proof of something beyond death,
even if it is only the hollow beating of skin drums,
the clammy touch of fungus, phosphorescent glow,
an eternal pacing of the paths, the lightless lanes
where blackberries never grow
and blackbirds never sing.

-Jane Dougherty

Bios and Links

-Jane Dougherty

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.

-Eryn McConnell

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.

-Spriha Kant

Spriha Kant is a poetess and a book reviewer. Her poetry was featured firstly digitally in the “Imaginary Land Stories”, the poetry featured was “The Seashell”. Her poetries have been published in anthologies including “Sing, Do the birds of Spring”, “A Whisper Of Your Love”, “Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan” and “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the Mind”. Paul Brookes has featured her poetry “A Monstrous Shadow” as the “Seventh Synergy” in “SYNERGY: CALLING ALL WRITERS WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS” and many other poetries on his blog “Wombwell Rainbow”. She has been featured in the “Quick-9 interview” on feversofthemind.com. She has reviewed three poetry books, including, “Silence From The Shadows” by Stuart Matthews “Spaces” by Clive Gresswell, and “Washed Away- a collection of fragments” by Shiksha Dheda. She has been a part of the celebration for Jeff Flesch’s launch of his debut poetry book “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow”.

-Gaynor Kane

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

-Dave Garbutt

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

-Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen,

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 

-Kyla Houbolt’s

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.

4 thoughts on “folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day Eighteen. 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, Spriha Kant, Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.

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