Day 27. 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 27th.




Sentience (OVP27)- published only on social media

Beach Body (AB27)

sand-blasted | salt-Beach Body | rough
washed up | sun-baked | worn out
escape routes | hiding places | worm holes
igneous | sedimentary | metamorphic | interstellar
did I fall | from the moon | from a comet | from a cliff
another hundred years | tides buffing | pressure washing
moisturise | exercise | omega 3 supplements
maybe I’ll be as smooth | as the others

Jamie Woods


 (all images)

We are all prisoners of something,
roots trapped in other people’s lives,
budding promise clipped by circumstances.

Freedom is a word, a human word,
trapped between the pages of a dictionary,
unfree as a caged bird,

as the swallow’s death-defying journey,
an unalterable programme,
do or die.

We buy time, pass it, waste it,
ignore reality,
run from the inevitable,

treading in a frenzy
the relentless wheel
of our humanity.

Jane Dougherty

Watching (SFM27)

All she does is watch.
Standing at the window.
Seeing all there is to see.

All she can do is watch.
Life goes on around her,
Children at play.

All she did was watch.
They blamed her for everything.
None of it was her fault.

All she did was watch.
As it all unfolded.
And she did nothing.

Frank Colley

Washed Away (AB27,SFM27,BB27)

I wish my memories were washed away
like a beach-pebble or stone
by a high Spring foam-tide
leaving behind a flat and empty salt strand,
a new canvas on which nature
can draw something new.

Plant (OVP27)

Blue sky, vivid leaves;
a plant reaches to the sky
its roots are drowning.

Tim Fellows

Blinks and Turns

Single cells to shiny scales,
swimming and slithering
in primordial muck
to crawl upon a shell-strewn beach,
to lap from tidal pools.

Each change, a yearning;
each season, a turning,
creating new from what is there—
stardust leafing light to air

we breathe,
time blinks–
an ice age comes, time winks,
the frozen is undone,
lost currents become storm-churned sea,
swirling turbulence shatters dreams–

soon, a thousand Atlantises
sink beneath the ocean’s blue,
fins glide through girders
of sunken skyscrapers still pointing
like steel fingers
from beneath waves to fickle sky.

Merril D Smith

Porous Is the Face of the Song

In the streaming,
The Knight
swallowed something.
Bent down on all fours choking
He vomited up.
He spoke with mouth and heart
and abacus lung.
He was Driftwood,

Lapping the city beach, a sound
of shores.
Rush hour traffic
at her window.

A standard address to the aureole of leaves:
Count twelve to the beanstalk lift.
Then count the thirty or more lighted windows.
Silently, or with full voice.

She reflects:
Quell panic.
Breath with the falling sun.
Climb a stony hill up through the Ages.
I am Neither
Daedalus nor Sisyphus.
My roots float in water, bronchi.
Nerve endings of pain.
From song to nerve root centre.

(All four images used.)

Robert Frede Kenter

this is not another lockdown poem

Image saraFM27

Fifty pairs of eyes looking back at me
prisoners in our own homes
that’s what its like

No buses no trains no fuel
the shops are empty
the park is locked

No schooling (hurray!)
only zoom chats
and tic-tok games

This is not another lockdown poem
this is greed and inflation
this is a nation on strike.

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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