#folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day Twenty-One. 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 Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen, Dave Garbutt, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.

F 1.21. Dobhar-chú

F 1.21. Dobhar-chú

F 2.21. Curupira 600px-O_Curupira,_Manoel_Santiago,_1926

F 2.21. Curupira

F 3.21 AnneBoley Hever

F 3.21 AnneBoley Hever


Guardians of the Wild (F2.21 Curupira)

Secrets twine themselves into forest vines,
Sending tendrils of hot breath deep into dense foliage
Prickling necks.
Creatures on backward feet prowl, track the
Stink of hunters sweating bloodlust and greed.
Orange pelts flicker fire amidst the flame flowers,
A mere breeze of falling blossoms and butterfly wings.
Until they slip inside sleep and untwine the hunters’ minds.

Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen @boscoedempsey

Every forest needs its Curupira (F2.21 Cupupira)

Your hair
sun-fired in a glade
a vision-flash
caught in the tail of the eye

you pass
stopping the noise of the guns
with your trailing footsteps
prey but what and where?

Dogs sniff
question the air
the wild scent almost familiar
but not quite.

You trace your backwards path
in and out shooing deer and hare
before you
confounding and confusing

and sometimes in the half-shadow
when the sun turns a blind eye
your fearful wild magic
turns a man into a pig

makes him run squealing
into the line of fearful hapless fire
that shakes the jays from the trees
shrieking with laughter.

Anne Boleyn (Inspired by 3.21 Anne Boleyn)

drifts through the Tower walls,
and roams headless at Hampton Court,
at Hever, she walks beside a tree
where she and Henry courted.

Or here, she comes bejeweled, the “B”
about her neck, her dark eyes without
their brilliant flash–
trapped in-between,
seeking peace, searching for release–

another victim of lust, a cast-off plaything,
a pawn in men’s power games.
Does it matter if she was willing
if bound she must be
to satisfy ambitious–
the second sister offered, the first
to become queen.

Was this always her fate–
haunted and haunting–
another spirit lost in time,
another woman in white, red, or grey.

-Merril D Smith

The last Curupira

—————-Curupira: Recently Extinct. A Great ape species believed related to the Orang. Restricted to Amazon basin. Distinctive anatomy of feet, with toes facing backwards to give confusing footprints. Aggressive only in defence of nursing mothers (any species) or hunters shooting excess game in their area. Diet: unknown. Vocalisations: high pitched, reputed to be louder than Howler Monkeys.

So we rose before dawn and walked
through the green vines and understory
chopping with our machetes
as we went—progress was slow.
Wasn’t it already the ’80’s
and here we are hunting the last
Curupira. Bonuses all round when we kill it.

Last “protector of the forest”, (Our Forest!)
and “nursing Tapirs”. We got the tracking
tip—the trail is backwards. Now getting fresher.
We load the sub-machine guns, ear-muffs on,
up ahead a twig cracks.
The world screams.

-Dave Garbutt

When Day-dreaming About Sweet Brazilian Fruit (F2.21 Cupupira)

Hanging over the edge of her hammock
hand brushing smooth surface of lily lake,
hair waterfalling into blossoms, she feels
a gentle breeze on bare breasts,
a caress of calf; wakens to see a figure,
fur covered—the colour of a guarana
and passion fruit cocktail. Looking into
his buriti irises and jaboticaba pupils
she is hypnotised but fights against his power
knowing that just one kiss will shrivel her skin.

-Gaynor Kane

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

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.

-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.

2 thoughts on “#folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day Twenty-One. 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 Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen, Dave Garbutt, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.

  1. Pingback: Folktober day 21 – Jane Dougherty Writes

  2. Pingback: Folktober Challenge, Day 21 – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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