Day 2. My annual National Poetry Month 2023 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists Aaron Bowker, Beth Brooke, Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad, Sara Fatima Mir, and writers, Tim Fellows, Jamie Woods, Merril D. Smith, Anjum Wasim Dar, Jamie Woods, Gaynor Kane, Jane Dougherty, Robert Frede Kenter, Paul Dyson, Lynne Jensen Lampe and myself. April 2nd.


In the Emerald Sea (OVP2)-Superstition Review




Patchwork in blue and green

I’m determined not to turn into a football analogy,
especially as there are several balls on the pitch
and there is something going on in each box.
So, there it is, and I owe you an apology
as this is a handmade quilt sewn as a cross-stitch.
Three vases each presented with green blocks.
Streeks of indigo or is it Prussian blue?
A counterattack or the wingers on the charge
no, no! Sorry! I’m offside, it’s wrapping paper.
They are present, from a spurned lover to you
resembling his ego and his belly, over large.
It’s a still life, just a painting depicting nature.

Frank Colley


Odd One Out

She was the odd one out
always looked the other way
knew that life was not about
your looks, your man, your pay.
She wouldn’t grasp their hand
fall in line and sing their song,
dance their tune, wear their brand;
knew what was right, what was wrong.

Her wit made enemies it’s true,
they didn’t like her cutting words –
her intellect and wisdom too –
so they made sure she wasn’t heard.

Where she went, no one can say;
the girl that looked the other way.


Shattered bright red glass
formed in the shape of a heart
that cannot be fixed

Tim Fellows

Connected Points   Influenced mainly by AB2 and BB2

Three women, three generations,
three fates
gaze forward and stare back,
like the wind in holding patterns of cerulean,
then in great, grey bird-winged gusts–
both true–
here and gone,
gone, but here
held within,
you carry us
we carry you—
grandmother, mother, child–
three points on a circling comet, sparkling dust
and infinite tail.

Merril D Smith

Ashes, Ashes And All


All wore blue, and the playground grew
minuscule; they stepped behind
three cutouts of womanhood;
still in azure, hand in hand
as if they would hum, “Ashes, ashes,
and we all fall down.”

The friends would not meet enough
and when would do their hands
were not inside each other’s.
Something acted as a door-stopper.
Through the ajar entrance they could
see one husband or two, a few exes,
gimlets and children rafting in
the hostile streams, refrigerator light,
cold pies and mixed veg casserole,
pills and piles and rusting away
‘Forget-me-not’ pledge magnets.

The friends would murmur; their
apparition would look phosphorus,
and their words would predict
the fall of an emperor.

Kushal Poddar

wind advisory (AB2)

gusty gutsy guns-y
weather report weapon retort
faces remember features distemper
lovers picnic under branches
burrow beneath a blanket
blank it out ignore the news
ignore the pews
god draws breath draws death
mourners keen
women clean


Lynne Jensen Lampe

That Snow Episode (AB2)

in Pine Barrows
or Yellowjackets
my lips burn bluer than my eyes
tired confusion distracts
glitter in the snow
gods in the sky
faces in trees
I’m sure it’s a trick
I don’t have a choice
my axe rains
splinters on the white
a flint and steel
sparks your lifeless branches
and leafless arms burn
so I can stay alive

Jamie Woods

Dancing (OVP, BB)

Rain dance, sun dance,
hand in scarlet hand,
unbroken circle back to when
time ran river-smooth,

and we would sow and reap,
plant seed, rooted deep
beneath golden sun, bright rain,
indigo-swirling skirts and light feet

that danced the dance,
back and forth, the broad plain,
the furrows laboured, when we
took our part and nothing more.

Jane Dougherty

Paul Dyson

Two for Joy (Inspired by AB2, BB2 and OVP2)

Joy feels like a line of ladies
dancing hand-in-hand. Warm exchange
in a grapevine across a spung floor.
Sashay, shimmy, salsa.

Joy looks like you and your lover’s face
in a tree, smiles in silver bark, the knots
of pupils looking back at you;
recognising your pure heart wood.

Joy tastes like oranges, just picked
from the tree and freshly squeezed.
Served on a sunlit patio with an ornamental
wrought iron table and chairs—breakfast for two.

Gaynor Kane

Hand Hold One

inspired by all

Hand hold one another in your quantum
Orbit in dance of your kitchen disco
Lead and follow in another’s warm sum
Doubling, inspiring through their to and fro.

Find the mouth, the eyes in the trees scribble
Awestruck at the sense mind makes of random
Collection of twigs and leaves meaningful
Extrapolation to some wild wisdom.

Zoom into the fruits, juiced slices buried
Expelled as half eaten waste, source and seed
Surrendering and becoming hurried
To the dance of creations want and need.

Imagination bounced out of making,
bounces, holds faces zest in creating

Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

is an Indian-Australian painter, poet, and improv pianist. She is a self-taught artist who has been painting and exhibiting for over 20 years. Her work has been featured in several journals including Amsterdam Quarterly yearbook, Pithead Chapel, Two Thirds North, Kissing Dynamite Poetry,  and Stonecoast Review. She has been nominated multiple times for the Best of the Net. She lives and works in Sydney on the traditional lands of The Eora Nation.  Find her @oormilaprahlad and

Sara Fatima Mir

Born on the 26th of July, 2007, in Islamabad , Sara Fatima is a Pakistani of Kashmiri origin. Gifted by nature with an inborn aesthetic sense, she is passionate about art. It is not just a hobby for her, rather it is a well settled heart and soul, way of life which inspires her to visualize the fine beauty and form in the world around. She has won numerous art competitions at school level. She is a natural artist and has completed the following two Courses : a) Graphic Designing -2020 b) Resin Art Skills -2022 from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Finishing School, Islamabad Capital Territory Pakistan. This learning has further enhanced her artistic skills . International Participation in Art and Poetry Project: Rucksack A Global Poetry Patchwork 2022 A Poetry Project by Ms Antje Stehn of Italy and Mamta Sagar of India. Sara made a Teapot with the help of dried teabags. A requirement .Its image is on display at the Poetry Museum Italy. Sara Fatima Mir believes Art connects people by portraying their lives. Different people, different drawings, different stories. Using all sorts of mediums, she flaunts her amateur talent and aspires to learn more to become the best version of herself. Please Follow her on Instagram @sketchfilez

Beth Brooke

is a Dorset-based poet and her writing is grounded in the Wessex landscape and history. Her debut pamphlet, A Landscape With Birds was published by Hedgehog Poetry in July 2022. Her second pamphlet, Transformations, will be published by Hedgehog next year. The poems are all inspired by the work of Dame Elisabeth Frink, the sculptor and artist.

Aaron Bowker

based in the United States is a super self-critical Virgo, walking a path between worlds while dabbling in art, photography, and poetry. Poems have been featured in Failed Haiku, Cold Moon Journal, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Heterodox Haiku Journal, with art featured in The Hooghly Review, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Black & White Haifa/Haisha. Special thank you to Jerome Berglund for being my mentor and pushing me to limits otherwise unexplored.

Robert Frede Kenter

is a writer, pushcart nominee & visual artist with work in many venues, on line and in print, incl: Storms Journal, Anthropocene, Fevers Of, Acropolis Journal, CutbowQuarterly, Anti-heroin chic and many others, as well as books including EDEN (2021) a visual poetry collection, and Audacity of Form (ice floe press, 2019). Work in anthologies: Book of Penteract (Penteract Press, 2022), and Seeing in Tongues, an anthology forthcoming from Steel Incisors (2023). Robert is publisher & EIC of Ice Floe Press,

Jamie Woods

Swansea-based Jamie Woods is poet-in-residence at the charity Leukaemia Care. His work has been published in Poetry Wales, Lucent Dreaming, Ink Sweat & Tears and more. Jamie’s debut pamphlet Rebel Blood Cells is out in June, and can be pre-ordered from

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 Her poetry chapbooks, thicker than water and birds and other feathers were published in October and November 2020.

Paul Dyson

is from Swinton, Rotherham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
He says –

“We all have an urge to be creative
whether it’s art, poetry, music . . .
or just putting together flat pack furniture,
being creative keeps us alive and feeling human”

Paul gave up his day job 5 years ago to dabble in art, poetry and music, and hopes the passion in his Art reaches and touches the hearts of fellow humans too.

Merril D. Smith

lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published in journals including Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Acropolis, and Humana Obscura, and anthologies, such as the recent Our Own Coordinates: Poems about Dementia (Sidhe Press). Her full-length poetry collection, River Ghosts, was published by Nightingale & Sparrow Press, and was a Black Bough Poetry Book of the Month.

Twitter: @merril_mds  Instagram: mdsmithnj  Blog:

Tim Fellows

is a writer from Chesterfield in Derbyshire whose ideas are heavily influenced by his background in the local coalfields, where industry and nature lived side by side. His first pamphlet “Heritage” was published in 2019. His poetic influences range from Blake to Owen, Causley to Cooper-Clarke and more recently the idea of imagistic poetry and the work of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez.

Lynne Jensen Lampe’s

debut collection, Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) concerns mother-daughter relationships, mental illness, and antisemitism. Her poems appear in many journals, including THRUSH, Figure 1, and Yemassee. A finalist for the 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize, she edits academic research in mid-Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Visit her at; on Twitter/Spoutible @LJensenLampe; or Instagram @lynnejensenlampe.

Gaynor Kane

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