Day 18. 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 18th.


>Bugis (OVP 18)- published only on social media




Whither Thou Goest (OVP18, BB18, SaraFM-18)

I used to be a shadow.
Life was easier then. Not
as happy, but easier.
I didn’t have to make
decisions. Just follow along,
do what I was told.

For a few years I had
a shadow lover, but only
on nights with a full moon
and the curtains open.
The one time the street
light flickered, we strobed
like a silent movie.

Shadows always wish
for free will yet know
a certain kind of freedom.
Silhouettes mean
no race, no age, no blondes
have more fun. But
without detail, laughing,
crying—it’s all the same.

I used to be a shadow
and will be again, if my
3D twin wakes up tomorrow.
Now I’m just her dream.

Lynne Jensen Lampe

F Word Warning

Me and my shadow.


You always said you would be there for me, always.

No matter what happened, you would be there, for me.

Where are you now In my hour of greatest need?

What happened to your promise?

We went through thick and thin!


We went through heartache and pain!


We grew old for fucks sake!

And now you just lie there!

alone and I am alone also.

Tell me, please, please tell me.

What am I to do now you are gone?

Frank Colley


I’ve done that – walked along
on a night’s rainy roadways
to the promenade, in silence,
with an inability to speak.
Remote, we return from
where we started, like tourists
awestruck at a world wonder —
Over the shadows that glide,
are all the walls between us.

(BB18, OVP 18, Sara 18)


Graveyard hill in the riot of blossoms.
Leaning into their reflections,
The trees attend to becoming.


Robert Frede Kenter

Inspired by AB18, BB18, OVO18

Spring Saudade

Wraiths un-gathered time,
and pools of light formed puddles on city streets
un-waded by human feet. Above, faces behind windows
watched first cherry blossoms then roses bloom,
as nature creeped while families Zoomed.

Daffodils had beckoned with smiles,
and trees waved green arms in benediction
and greeting. The river beguiled
in heron grey and jay-wing blue, the transience
and truth in each turning revealed.

Now spring comes at a slant, as a rippled glass
opening reflects and reflects–
beauty, grief, love, and regret,
the elongated shadows
on budding greens are ghosts,
the birdsong is laughter, reminders of you.

Merril D Smith


old black and white

Springtime is best, early April
when the sun is higher in the sky,
before leaves are budding on the trees.

Then for a brief moment
when all conditions are perfect
they appear – briefly

an apparition of my grandparents
caught in the light the shadows
of the garden trees.

But just as quickly
they are no more,
dissolved into the memory of time.

They left my world forty years ago
I’m so glad they come back
and visit, to say hello.

Paul Dyson

All images


You, me and the shadows,
the background backlit,
never still, never dark,

bright sun makes them deeper,
sharpens their edges
with the cruellest words,

never still, never dark,
never light, the twilit zone
between you and me.

Jane Dougherty

The Opposite of Spring (AB18)

you tell me about the white petalled daffodils
you’ve planted some bulbs yourself in your front garden
but they’ve not bloomed yet
the frost-tipped grass frozen in place
the snowflake blossom and the tall leafless trees
all reflected in the mirrored water
the fountain sprays constantly
sparkling whites and greens with deceptions of depth
you tell me about every tiny pond skater and bird call
anything at all to avoid talking about
the other side of the lake
the black car, the grey marble stones,
the solid oak coffin, and the fresh hole.

Jamie Woods

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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