Day 23. 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 23rd.




Outside, it is glorious (OVP23)- Amsterdam Quarterly


Another day, another view–
the same trees with slight slant cast
different shadows
in this glance–
now cock-eyed robin
with sunset breast on a bough
where pink blooms dance—
only yesterday it was white
and my hair brown, overnight
shadows scant-seen slowly
slope, a slight slant light,
a transitory smile.

Merril D Smith


I have seen endless sunsets and sat on many beaches.
Alas, non-compare with those we shared together.
I wander alone in vain seeking your spirit.
Why have you forsaken me? Have you found another,
to share those moments with? I can’t go on much longer,
in the hope that we will be reunited in a better place.
To sit on our chairs and watch endless sunsets.


Frank Colley

Time passing

Here, the spring is almost over,
blossom gone, flown, leaving nests
full of soft-petaled chicks.

The winds have grown tender,
a mere murmur among new leaves,
and the nights are full of stars.

I watch the bustle of life, the bird-comings
and goings, hare-dance and deer grazing,
colours in the grass growing,
and I listen to all the singing of this earth.

I watch through the window,
from the first pale gold to the deep pink of evening,
the turquoise inking deeper dark,
the first stars swim to the surface of the sky,

and listen as the last bird finishes his song,
thinking of you, wherever you are.

Jane Dougherty


Maison de Soliel

Claudio calls it his summer house
it’s actually a man-cave
where he plays his forte piano
composing orchestral music
in this crucible of creativity.

Manuscripts adorn the walls
rustic French pots strewn across the floor
music polyphony colours
the aroma of stale Gallois
and the Maestro has the formula for love.

He vents the windows in summer
music escapes over the orchard
into the cottage
and the kitchen dances
and Maria begins to sing.

So the music is written,
the composition complete,
the commission is done.
They think it’s all over –
now that fat lady’s sung.

Paul Dyson

March 2020 to Present Day (OVP23)

Come outside
dark black branches beckon
their cherry blossom immune
from dutch elm disease
bark sheilding strong
enough to withstand sneezes
until the fall
aerosols will penetrate
eventually droplets absorb
and the twigs will weather and crack
and you’ll wish you’d stay indoors

Jamie Woods

Calm Before the Storm: Pastoral

A drawn palm tree on top of technicolour sunset hill.
Waiting for morning song, the cockerel-shaped particulates.
At the window of a spring orchard, a cocker spaniel.
Cherry blossoms falling – bark-bark-barking, the dog wants
To go in, wants to come out, dreams paws scratching in the trunks.
O, robin redbreast screechy soul singer — what else do you
see – a worm in the ground, material for a nest,
a fast-food wrapper, French fries dropped
from a packet, a possible mate. There goes Mr.
Johnny Appleseed, out of work, walking stick in hand
thinking thoughts of rivers, streams,
rainforests, orchards, mountains.
Wandering, head full of image-memories,
All the changing seasons of younger days.
Later it shall rain, the wind shall blow ferocious.

All four images used.

Robert Frede Kenter

Island (SFM23)

Fiery sun, withdraw;
leave behind a painted sky.
Take away shadows.

A Robin is for Life (BB23)

The familiar hopping style,
puffed out chest, flash of red
incongruous in the green of spring,
the heat of summer and the damp fog
of autumn. The bird cocks its head
and looks at me quizzically,
as if to admonish me for assuming
it would only be visible at Christmas.

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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