Day 10. 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 10th.







Meditation (on four images)

All around the slipstream,
walls windows flowers and vases
trees and swings
of obdurate Nations.

Grip the stick
Toys of duration.

Round and round and round the sanctuaries
of love and touch drawn lines precision.

In the High Sun
and the Twilight of Light
before Night descends
the pollinating percussive found
sounds our utterances shadow
the peaceful ancient trees.

Inspired by OVP10, AB10, and SaraFM10

Robert Frede Kenter

It’s Not Just a Window (BB10, OVP10)

I find a portal to expectation,
valley walls awash in red—
the window opens to an ancient
stone wall and a cluster of men
in kaffiyehs sitting in plastic
patio chairs. A motorcycle is
on the sidewalk, parked
next to the Pepsi machine.
No women in sight, and anyway,
would they know the rules?

Lynne Jensen Lampe

Refracted (OVB10)

split by shadow
pylon lines cutting
through powering
breaks mirrors
breaks interior
reflected and multiplied
in portals and prisms
half bright half light

Jamie Woods

What If

Let’s call it belief,
tricks of the eyes, like a mirage,
muscle-memory within a bubble
of time—

when the sky flew in
like a scarlet tanager,

and the reflecting-revealing window

or closed–

the world went on,
with puppy insouciance and hipster shrugs,
unconcerned by the colorless roses
in their vases, the clouds
the same grey and the ground.

Merril Smith

The Old Tree (BB10)

The old tree hears all;
while men sit and talk in shade,
the tree stays silent.

What if Everything Were Black and White (SFM10)

What if everything were black and white
or at best in tones of grey?
Summer and winter skies the same
flowers known by shape alone.
Grass and leaves, branch and trunk,
all merged together on the land.
Blood of black, all eyes grey,
a grey sea on a sunny day.
If all skin were grey I’m sure we would
find a way to discriminate
decide who’s bad and who is good
via fifty shades of grey.

Tim Fellows

Last tide (all images)

We let them be, tamed and pruned,
caged trunks trapped in concrete,
boughs chained to children’s toys,
hacked and chopped to fit a tidy frame.

We let them grow as long as they fulfil
our ever-changing notions of beauty,
then cut them down in their youth,
watch them bloom in their dying.

The day will come, dawn red
as bloody sunset, never sinking or falling,
the sea incarnadine, dead water,
palm tree-fringed, pooled and dispassionate,

strung with cables where no birds perch,
in an ominous silence where no birds sing,
when all we have to guide us to the sky
is a broken reflection of what should have been.

Jane Dougherty

The Game


We meet daily, Sabbath excluded
under the ancient date tree
beneath the city walls,
as did our ancestors past.

We break bread, share olives
smoke our pipes,
talk about the world, our families,
make the peace.

We play baloot on terracotta tables
as old as the date palm itself,
until the call to afternoon prayers
peals down these primitive streets.

This is our life
we don’t ask for much
only family, friendship and peace.

Paul Dyson

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.

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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