Day 30. Congratulations to all contributors on achieving the final day of the challenge. You have been inspirational in your creativity and energy. 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 30th.

Dee Why (OVP30)- published only on social media





The big house on the river rides the storms,
the flood waters that rise above the écluse
with fierce cries, wild white hair,
and gazes, impassive, over a landscape of bridle and bit.

The flood waters that rise above the écluse
wash away the calm and still, release the force contained
between walls, drowning the slow and the small

with fierce cries, wild white hair.
The halter shaken, alarm bells ring, but
the house with stone skirts has heard it all before,

and gazes impassive over a landscape of bridle and bit,
dead wood caught in high green branches,
waiting for the foaming protest to subside.

Jane Dougherty

Fake or Fortune


It came up at Christies,
a landscape painting
‘The Writing Shed’ John Constable
painted in acrylics on canvas.

Its central theme the river Stour
and on the right
that green writing shed,
where Dylan Thomas wrote his first Netflix series.

Surely no coincidence
this scene near Flatford Mill, Suffolk
where Thomas was in exile for crimes against poetry,
and ‘the Hay Wain’ was painted there too.

But my only doubt,
is that bill of sale,
printed in New-Times-Roman
by the artist himself.

Paul Dyson


AB30, BB30, OVP30

I traveled far today
on rain-splashed Dorset roads
traveled again to wharf and sea
to board in freedom or in chains,
a ghostly galleon, a whaler, or
ocean liner—to follow
the North Star, till
the Southern Cross glittered
above my head.

I was garbed in corsets
and crinoline, wore threadbare
tatters in a drafty garret. I strolled
through fields of daffodils, and
rustled through the autumn leaves
on a solitary hike in well-worn jeans–

there I gloried at the clouded blues
and wondered who—or what—
might join the story,

but I turned the page,
closed the book,
and left (for now) my cozy library nook.

Merril D Smith

Music and Paint (An Aria to the End of the Rainbow)

In the end,
At the age, the edge —
Debussy or Poussin?
Clarity of a library
Stair, a river,
Flowing through the centre
Of the old town.
We walk to the edge
Of a shore,
A lane in sand.
Cylinders of calm,
Fragmented prism.
Waking. To walking
Shoes. To the end,
An aria for the end
Of an era.

Images used: (OVP30, BB30, AB30)

Robert Frede Kenter

Alexandria BB30

The pages turn one by one,
as the story unfolds
spiralling out of control
as enlightenment seeps in

Each step a different tail.
Each landing a new chapter.
The Never-ending stairway
twists and turns always skywards.

Books tumble from dusty shelves.
Knowledge cascades to freedom.
One day all books will close.
All knowledge will be lost.

Frank Colley

No Exit (AB30, BB30, OVP30)

I can see the escape
the journeys to discover
songs not sung.
When every step is an effort
a flight of stairs is impossible
flooded footpaths drown all hope
tracks as uneven as they are uncomfortable
trip and strain, trip and sprain
the handrail helps, but it’s not enough
so i’ll stay here, and I won’t complain
because that would ruin all your fun.

Jamie Woods

Drifting (BB30)

Mist hovered over the water; still and cool, small twigs
lying listlessly on the surface where they had fallen,
floating, slowly drifting until they were trapped
by grass and river plants by the pathway. Everything was empty today.
Empty and quiet. Locked in some kind of permanent hiatus,
and we wished that this could be forever.
Until peace was broken, someone tapping on the metal bridge
as they crossed, causing us to drift. Slowly, until we too became trapped.

Path (OVP30)

The path to the sea
narrowed as the clouds darkened
warning us away

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.



2 thoughts on “Day 30. Congratulations to all contributors on achieving the final day of the challenge. You have been inspirational in your creativity and energy. 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 30th.

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