Day 16. 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 16th.




Gilded dawn (OVP16)- The Storms Magazine, Ireland.


Memories (inspired by AB16, SFM16 and OVP16)

Cross-legged you sit on the wall edging the ornamental pond,
peeking out from beneath the floppy brim
of a buttercup-coloured hat
protecting your Irish scalp.

King koi are the size of your calf;
they cruise in circles; their amber, garnet,
fire opal and citrine scales
turn the pond into a sunrise.

Mesmerised, you watch them orbit,
blow bubbles and rise to catch a breath
while the Ibizan sun, dries
the henna tattoo on your arm.

Later, you will climb a contorted tree.
Tomorrow, you will soar like a bird.

Gaynor Kane

Wild flowers

The grass is background;
a bit part to the splendour
of yellow and white.


Dark feathers shine,
sharp eyes, sharp beak,
instincts on alert. Ancient
claws, scaled legs, recall
fecund cretaceous forests.
Ancestors creeping on their
prey, sharp eyes, sharp teeth,
instincts on alert.

Tim Fellows

Haiku (BB16, SarahFM-16)

junco watches koi
glide through water hyacinths
roots limit freedom

Lynne Jensen Lampe

Meadows (AB16)

summer afternoons
roll up spark up
never learned to make chains
hate butter despite the glow
pull the stems from the ground
twirl between my fingers
talking rubbish like I’m Plato
tuck a daisy behind my ear
or in a button hole
bring the stem to my mouth like a cigarette
we’re not platonic
pluck the feathers
spin what’s left up into the evening sky
suck in the summer evening air
and blow it out high

Jamie Woods


Jackdaw  All images

Who knows what the jackdaw sees,
a world shot with brilliance, jewels in the grass,
the quick flash of fish in an ornamental pool,
or is it beetled black and scuttling
between awkward grass stalks?

Jackdaw’s eye is round and unblinking,
what it sees is what is there.
No unicorns toss pink and flowing manes
in Jackdaw Land, no cloud-dragons
spit sunset fire across the sky.

Because eggs is eggs to Jackdaw,
life begins and ends in the round,
of a twig and sheep’s wool nest,
of a blue-speckled egg,
of a blue sea-changing eye.

Jane Dougherty



I first met Claude on a visit to my Grand Aunt
he came to borrow a bol de sucre
for the chocolat he was creating.
He is the finest artisan chocolatier in Giverny.

He invited me to his jardin
to view the poisson the nymphs.
A romanticised garden
with a pretty petit pont Japonais.

Madam Monet was sitting by the bridge
painting the water lilies, coy carp, azur bleu.
Bonjour she said, s’il vous plait.
She passed me her box de peintures

asked if I could paint an original edition.
Monsieur Monet he requires many paintings
it is summer, we are expecting tourists
and he has many chocolate boxes to finish.


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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