Day 3. 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 3rd.

Embers at Dusk (OVP3)- cover art, The Lumiere Review





Colgate Total Protection (but for the Earth) (OVP3)

sky streaks
suck colour
from the earth
no nutrition
in the rain
candyfloss showers
sugar-soaked soil
tartar coated
seeds spilled
frayed rope shoots
decaying into string

Jamie Woods

Paul Dyson

At the threshold

Inspired by AB3 and OVP3

The massive door
cut from hundreds-year-old oak
hundreds of years ago, is always locked,
but now it stands slightly open
like parted lips whispering an invitation.

On the other side, you imagine
a turquoise sky, sunrise clouds—the opposite
of this grey-shrouded world.
You touch the weathered wood, pull
it toward you–
the scent of jasmine and sea-salt caresses you
as you step over the threshold. This is where
your life begins.

Merril D Smith

Earth Rolls


Earth rolls in the wind.
It is the skin winter’s serpent left,
has a dry hiss held in its semicircle,
bears those leafless listless trees
and their extant randomness,
and it rolls with all.

Spring clears a no-man’s land, extols
the virtues of the cold
and colours of the heat.
A few trees clap. They never have
any other place to settle in.
One hunter’s canine barks. When
the geese go, come the crows.

Kushal Poddar

Inspired by AB3 and OVP3


Trees, broken and dead
Barren land and poisoned streams
life will find a way

The Door

For as long as he could remember the door
had been locked. A tiny door, in the corner of his room
in their ramshackle old house. When he’d asked his mum
what was in there, she’d said she didn’t know,
that it was locked and they didn’t have the key.
The wood was ancient, gnarled,
unvarnished. And now, in the moonlight
that filtered through the slight gap in the curtains,
it seemed darker, and the knots and cracks seemed
to change in shape and size. But this wasn’t
what made him terrified to look at it, but more
terrified to look away. It was open.
The hinges creaked slightly as some draught
moved the door slightly; forwards and backwards,
forwards and backwards. Every noise was amplified.
a slight scratching, the creaking cast iron hinges,
his heartbeat.

Haiku is inspired by the artwork of Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad.

Prose inspired by the drawing by Aaron Bowker.

Tim Fellows

Winter fears (OVP, AB)

Shut and bar the door on this windy night
of midnight blue and scarlet scarves
entangled in the trees.

Beneath the stark and lonely trees, creaking
in the breathless wind, nothing walks
those paths that’s welcome here.

Winter wolves and winter wild, yellow-eyed,
the bitter cold and grinding teeth
of polar famine stalks,

the winding sunset red of scarlet scarves,
the blue-black of eternity,
chill the pulse of our spring-bound hearts.

Jane Dougherty

Blue sky over Fields

The peace of the coppice on a winters dawn
an ominous silence as a new day is born.
Waking the cold, fallow, barren fields
sleeping to benefit greater yields.
In the hedgerow snakes hide ready to strike
before slithering back to the dyke.
Leaving the trees to sway gently in the breeze
until the sun comes up ready to please.

Frank Colley

Robert Frede Kenter

Eat There Often Enough, You Can Pour Your Own Cuppa Joe (SFM-3)

Ernie’s made me a real
coffee drinker. First time I
learned the rules. Put a spoon
across the mug to show
I’d had enough. Tilt saucer
into cup to save what
the server sloshed out.
Cover cup with said saucer
to keep the bean juice hot
long enough for a slog
upstairs to the john. Avoid
decaf at all costs—Sanka sucks.

Ernie’s was years after coffee ice
cream with grandma and
before coffee with Bailey’s.
After Community Coffee and Café
du Monde, but before my vocabulary
included Bialetti, Chemex,
tamp, and French press.
Before taste mattered much—
what counted was hanging out
long enough to find a job, roommate,
lover, car, flute lesson, star chart,
clove cigarette and a light.
A bottomless cup at Ernie’s
cost 92 cents, a buck with tax.
Cheapest office space in town.

Lynne Jensen Lampe

The Door

inspired by all

The door is open so what shall we wear?
shoes displayed as ingredients in poured
soup bowl overfaced as hot sky beware
bare trees at dusk are a half open door

shoes displayed as ingredients in poured
portal a secret way to adventure
bare trees at dusk are a half open door
step through as chosen bright footwearer

portal a secret way to adventure
follow the grain it spirals into soup
step through as chosen bright footwearer
flavours bare trees at dusk, overfaced loop

follow the grain it spirals into soup
delicious in mouth of hot sky beware
flavours bare trees at dusk, overfaced loop
temptation a new threshold uncrossed fare

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

One thought on “Day 3. 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 3rd.

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