Day 22. 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 22nd

The patient waiting (OVP22)- CP Quarterly





Guardian (AB22)

Dark plumed, it stands guard;
only dried leaves touch the grass.
Its cause is unknown.

Night Bird (all)

Deep into the night
the bird watches. Sees a fox
slide between the trees.
A yellowing moon, soft in a sky
of blues and blacks, turns
to a streetlight in a city. Below,
anonymous citizens drink coffee
and beer while old film reels clatter.
The bird is a camera, watching.
Summer goes, and autumn
scatters leaves to the ground. The bird
sees them all. The bird is tagged.
Winter coats the tree in snow.
Deep into the night, the bird

Tim Fellows

Inspired by all four images

Light Songs

Fractured blues and greens,
fractals formed in light-shifts
of ebony wings,

kaleidoscope patterns
in circling seasons,
the stars sing

in their passing,
scattering harmonies
violet to red, they string

threads of life and death,
the visions of crow,
life-melodies, timeless dust,
our everything.

Merril D Smith

Clues Along The Perimeter of A Violin Fretboard

The moon
The bird
The branch
The berth

The perch
The blue music
The cold trees

Park raven
Crow caw
Street lit
cinema affects

Robert Frede Kenter

Clues Along The Perimeter of A Violin Fretboard

The moon
The bird
The branch
The berth

The perch
The blue music
The cold trees

Park raven
Crow caw
Street lit
cinema affects

Jamie Woods

(All images)


On a branch, on a park bench,
a café terrace lit by streetlights,
night comes to engulf all things,

dousing the gleam of white blossom,
pale hands moving in conversational gestures,
bringing sleep or restlessness.

Only crow, suffused with the black
of aeons of space and bird-time,
remains whole, integral,

brooding on tomorrow, all our yesterday’s
tomorrows, the long dark furrows,
leading back from the first nest.

Jane Dougherty



We meet after dusk
in the shadows of Café Noir.
You sip your Napoleon Cognac
light a cigarette
I order a biere-blonde.

We find a solitary table,
beneath a tired yellow streetlamp,
names crudely carved into its veneer
by previous clients
endless seasons of wear.

I clasp your hand
caress your warm neck.
Your nerves settle
you know it’s wrong
but it feels right.

Each table bears witness
to many liaisons
lovers, dealers, prostitutes
anonymity guaranteed
discretion always on the menu.

A film noir
plays out on an outdoor wall
a murder is committed
it’s a regular crime.
The world revolves on sin.

Paul Dyson

The Legend of the Ravens

Should they leave, the tower will fall, legend says.
Six black Ravens guard the sovereign each day.
King Charles installed them with their feathers clipped.
The Raven master tends them in the crypt.
But do they really guard Bran The Blessed.
Whose head lies beneath the white tower. Possessed
with the power to ward off French invasion?
Or were the Irish and Welsh mistaken?
Jubilee, Harris, Poppy, Georgie, Branwen and Edgar.
Remain Retained at His Majesty’s Pleasure.
Tourists flock to watch their strutting about.
Guardians of the Tower uniformed, proud.
So, what was it that the legend had said?
If the Ravens leave, old England is dead.

Frank Colley

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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