Day 17. 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 17th.



>Angel and Amaryllis (OVP17)- published only on social media




The Red Dress


She wasn’t your average angel
arriving in that red dress.
Maybe she represented the Diablo
or stained in the blood of an Holy one –
it was only a week after Easter.

Silent, serene never speaking with words
but with her hands
and the gifts of flowers,
her actions symbolised good,
and a maternal warmth.

She knelt beneath an aurora of gold
floating on an azure sea
what message did she bring from the Gods
or was she a mirage?
Our Madonna of the Lake.

Paul Dyson

Human mysteries (AB, BB)

The lines we set are straight, right-angled.
We clip short, neat, and brook no deviation from the plan.

We plough straight and even, sow,
spray with benign toxins,
and we build our fantasy of plenty
in a world screaming with want.

Somewhere, farmers are at war for the right to destroy,
and somewhere our neatly clipped spaces are nibbled
by those with nowhere else to go.

How can a deer understand
what we cannot explain to ourselves?

Jane Dougherty

In Which God Plays the Long-Con (OVP17)

you pray for hope,
for health, for life

your angel clutches beatific flowers
proffers them in consolation

your conjurer son turns water to spirit
the holy three card monte

prayers feel answered
in short-con gloria deo

sleight-of-hand, MLM, and
misplaced pyramid confidence schemes

Jamie Woods

Field Day (inspired by AB17 and BB17)

It’s deer against Deere on the rugby field—
red and white versus green and yellow;
velveteen against polycarbonate;
animal against engine.
There’s a lack of good hands in this game”.

Fifteen John Deere grumble to halfway line,
rev, rotate reverse, make muddy ruts across the pitch.
Eight Fallow deer strut and grunt like old gentlemen,
quickly link antlers in scrummage, scuff soil,
celebrate a new moon phase then break away
from the bachelor group in line formation
to sprint towards the H goal.
Horns hook ball, rocket it skywards
It will come down with snow on it”.

A tractor ankle tap tackle dislocates fallow’s femur.
A bull retaliates stabbing antler into grill, punctures water tank.
“The line-out is malfunctioning”.
Both sidelined, the substitutions
are a joker and a slick head.
Second half starts with a wheeling scrum,
followed by mullygrubber ball passing,
an offside stag and tractor touch down.
“Rugby is a game for those with no fear of brain injury”.

Gaynor Kane


Clash of energies in the
Dark and Light
Blue met turquoise
On a half-lit road

Above the trucks, in the sky,
An angel appeared –
The voice of Aphrodite or Hera
Their Wings in a hallucination of

“No, it was our mother.
No, it was Ophelia,
Drowned in the river
Among enervated ravens.”
The fields are full of dancers
Fireflies in the Evergreens.

The deer gather
Then scatter
Bounding over the road
A dozen or more
Leaving the grasslands behind as
the sound of industry’s whimsical clamour frightens.
Field recordings of a resort of hammers into wood,
Thunder, encroaching.

Grasp the Clash CD, energies of rebellion.
The clasp of a pendant, breaking from a neck.
Search the paths for its open cameo
A scene from the banks of the past in a paper cupid
Mother and Father’s wedding photo, lost.
Every sacred image, scattered.

Glass shattered,
Iron ore on the dark of morning
And the light of accelerating afternoons
Groundskeepers sweep the town of its bees.
In the remains lies the necessary refrain,
How can we still perceive the
deepest layers of the Stolen land (if not)
Preserved in the moss, in the echo of hooves.

Robert Frede Kenter


Fault Lines

Inspired by AB17, BB17, OVP 17

Early summer, damp trails beneath verdant green
earth-scent rising with damselflies,
a brush of white-dotted fawn,
deer in dappled light
there and gone like a shy smile.

The sun flowers, sprinkling golden petals
to the ground, and wind-wild spirits rest.
For a moment, all is peaceful,
then the motors hum-drum-roar,
the blades whirr on boughs,
wings closed as prayer hands, spread wide-open.
rise above the tumbled, tossed, uprooted earth–
a hunter’s shot sounds in the distance.

Merril D Smith

Water (SFM17)

The gentle brook runs;
skirts the outlets and plants where
we flush out our waste

Bucks (AB17)

White poles point like horns
into a cloud flecked blue sky.
Between white lines
the bucks butt heads. Striving
for dominance, aiming to wound,
to win. No compromise.
Only the strong survive.

Tim Fellows

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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