Day 6. 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, Jane Dougherty, Robert Frede Kenter, Paul Dyson, Frank Colley, Lynne Jensen, Kushal Poddar and myself.April 6th.


Vision at dawn (OVP6)- Up the Staircase Quarterly



Lunaticus (SaraFM6)

I can’t be outside at night without looking at the moon
it’s a force of habit now, a tic.
So familiar, so compelling,
It’s floating existence I just can’t comprehend
like watching a magician do close up magic
and somehow a 3 of Hearts appears inside an apple
when it was in his pocket (it was in his pocket?)
and I understand hands and cards and fruit
but I can’t believe my eyes
I’ve stopped trying to work out the machinations
Overthinking leads to frustration
Enjoy the wonder and the scarred reflections
of light triangulation and gravitational pull.

Jamie Woods

After the rain (all images)

They sailed out with a sky, fierce dark and red raging,
on a sea thick as oil and the black swell rising,
while we waited and watched, as winds lashed, and oceans
poured monsters of whale-waves over the cliffs.

Though we peered through the spray and the kelp-spume flying,
the night was as black as a Good Friday Mass,
and as red as a planet lost out of its orbit,
blood red as a moon with disaster to sow.

The morning came quiet, wind sifting the high dunes,
sifting the sand where we waited in vain,
sifting the debris splintered and broken,
scattering what we had before the black rain.

Jane Dougherty

A Seaside Memory circa 1960


Pictures of deckchairs
take me back.
We used to holiday in a caravan
at Primrose Valley,
and Harlech and Tenby
and I remember Cornwall –
that was a long journey
in a Ford Anglia estate, blue.

I can still remember the number plate
349 CWJ – that was 50 years ago.
I can’t remember much from 50 years ago,
I know Angela Burgin lived next door
and that my parents loved me.
Oh how I miss them too.

We played cricket we kicked balls
we had picnics on the beach
homemade sandwiches
a bakelite flask of tea.
We built sandcastles with flags on top.

Mom and Dad would relax in deckchairs
read the papers and smoke –
smoking was popular back then.
I’d sit on a car blanket
and play in the sand.
Oh happy days.

It’s all so different now.

Paul Dyson


Now and Before

Inspired by SaraFM6 and OVP6

Massive blue-winged birds swoop
yellow tips to paint the sky
magenta, fuchsia, orange, and
indigo, but

I remember the moon,
perched between branches,
a negative image,
silver against the shadowed boughs,
a smile awaiting dawn.

Merril D Smith

Red Sky (OVP6)

The sun bows its head
Inundates a crimson sky
Takes its leave, for now
Empty Space (BB6, AB6)
There is an empty space
in a row of empty chairs
pointing out to sea.
The sea reveals nothing
as it retreats, leaving only dead
weed and wet sand.
I will not sit on a chair,
I will not fill that bleak space.
I think of nothing
behind my skull eyes.
I, too, connect nothing
with nothing on these sands.

Tim Fellows

Child as Noble Metal (BB6)

Empty chairs line cracked concrete,
watch the sea for miracles. Salt

settles on canvas. Waves take sand
hostage but only captors return to this

beach so wide whales have room
to die. On a long ago vacation a child

sits in a chair far from the rest,
pouting. Stubborn as iridium,

she refuses blue water, squeezes
her arms tight against her chest.

She sees herself as crucible, not
contents. Kicks air out of her way.

Lynne Jensen Lampe

The man in the moon

The man in the moon Is old and grey
life itself is slipping away.
Lend him a hand or tighten the rope
listen to what they say with hope.
Ignore them at your peril
stand up, become a rebel
Don’t follow blind sheep
out there is a world to reap.
The ocean’s pull is getting stronger
wave upon wave is getting taller.
Let’s turn the tide back
before the noon dies and all is black.
It’s in your hands the future bleak.
Recycling is power not just chic.

Frank Colley

That One Beach Chair

To BB6

I do not know why
the concierges array
one beach chair
askew and asunder from the rest;
Do all families and the circles of friends
bring someone who sports a grin
but listen to no gossip
other than the waves’, red crabs’,
tides’ and ebbs’?

This evening wave reaches the lone chair.
It rocks to the rhythm, trips.
Its moves seem unsteady, unpractised.
The water heaves it to the deep,
halts after a bit and leaves.
Sun sets. The grains of smell
garnish the rims of existence.

Kushal Poddar

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.

Frank Colley

lives in South Yorkshire and has been writing poetry all his life. He is an active member of the Read to Write Group and has performed his poems at a wide variety of venues including CAST in Doncaster. His poems have appeared in several anthologies.
He is an admirer of Edward Thomas. His collection “The Story of Soldier A” was published by Glass Head Press in 2022. His self published pamphlet “The Nantcol Sonnets” both are available on eBay.

Gaynor Kane

Kushal Poddar

The author of ‘Postmarked Quarantine’ has eight books to his credit. He is a journalist, father, and the editor of ‘Words Surfacing’. His works have been translated into twelve languages.

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