Day 15.Congratulations to all contributors on reaching the half way point. Thankyou for your energy and creativity. 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 15th.

The Blood Vortex (OVP15)- The Minison Project






While Walking

Inspired by BB15, OVP15, AB15

While walking cross the dales and hills
I met a man, a giant in repose,
seated, chaired by sparkling rill.

He sat in silence, then spoke into the air
As if I could be anyone
Or perhaps as if I wasn’t there.

But then he looked into my eyes
and told me of a massive bird
charcoal-hued who flew through fired skies

that raged in orange, vermillion,
as bleached tree stalks like rooted ghosts
admonished in the shadowed black.

He stopped his tale, and that was that
not another word he said,
and so, I left him where he sat

to travel on, left wondering.

Merril D Smith

Bloodied (OVP15)

Black veined vines invite
Beckon and contract
Into the bloodied forest
Into the beetle-shell night
Into your beautiful
Violent rubied heart

Jamie Woods

Harbinger (all images)

Burnt leaves in a paper tea pot
Brewing ruminations after
Talking to the Man
On the hill, a City Father
Who stole
The land in a signature of power
A Harbinger –
An albatross wingspan
Along the path.
Wildfires in whirling crimson

Robert Frede Kenter


The Call of The Blood OVP15

The wings of my ribs oscillate.
The blood flows as always, but now
I know, hear it blow a wind within,
whispering, “I’ve been worse than I am.
These jiffies bear the joy of my sins.”

In the vortex of veins flowers the Spring.
When you call I live the conundrum-
should I step out or stay by the age-old fire
that will burn me out one day,
and on every other day it warms or chokes me,
and no pill can control the swing.

When you call the whispering turns its stream,
analyses and translates your words and phrases.
In the blood vortex today is the Spring. Tomorrow?
I don’t know. If I answer you it will be true for the moment.

Kushal Poddar

Tree Phoenix (AB, BB, OVP)

Winds will come when the birds have flown into a far blue,
winds too wild to speak a tongue we understand,
their fiery breath uprisen from the tormented core.

Black roots will unclench, and birdless boughs will lift,
spread, leaf-fledged with pinion memories, wild and fiery.

We may watch in awe, the last trees rising in Phoenix flames,
but the ash will blow cold in the wild wind, and we may never follow.

Jane Dougherty

Tea (SFM15)

Water pulls flavour
from the scented, dark brown leaves;
we discard the bag.

The Wise Man and the Angel

The angel came down to see the wise man.
No shining light, no golden wings
of heavenly feathers.
Just a handbag and sensible shoes.
They tell me you are wise
she said, but how do they know?
The wise man sat in his chair,
arms folded over the bag on his knees.
His hands and face were wrinkled,
brown like chocolate, hair grey
as a winter sea flecked with white.
The angel was reminded of a bear
emerging from winter sleep. He moved
his arms and peered into the bag.
The angel leaned in anticipation. The man
looked up, shrugged, and closed his eyes.
The angel smiled, unfurled her wings
and rose into the sky.

Tim Fellows

Looking Out


I woke that Friday morning
to an alien landscape.
Goodbye North Yorkshire Moors,
open spaces, heather and sheep.
No more ‘Just Me’ as far as the eye could see –
I woke up in an art gallery.

How can you be too popular?
That’s what they said
I was too popular.
Too many visitors
bringing automobiles
dropping litter.

I know I’m not a Giacometti or The Thinker
but I still have my limbs in tact
unlike my classical cousins.
I wasn’t even consulted about the move,
loaded in the back of a van like a criminal
and deported!

Gone are the magnificent views of God’s own county
just Gormleys to the left of me
a Damien Hirst to the right.
I’m stuck in the middle
with Wei Wei, Miro and Moore.
I wish I could become popular once again
but sadly not, my soul remains on those Moors.

Paul Dyson

Larger than Life (BB15)

We didn’t want her gravesite
to be like all the others. No
headstone with the inscription
“Dutiful wife, devoted mother”

ringed with cherubs and pink
carnations in summer, plastic
roses in fall. She prepaid
for the plot and composting

coffin and requested my guacamole
for the wake, but that was it. So I
called Donna. After all, she helped
craft the Fremont Troll in Seattle.

On the anniversary of Mother’s death
ten of us met at the cemetery—
nine to unload the statue and one
to carry a case of champagne.

Aunt Lil said we were meshuggah,
but I need a lap to climb
into and a mother to talk to
even if she doesn’t respond.

Lynne Lampe

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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