Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1

can you describe this beautiful photo taken by (c)Ankh Spice better than Ankh?

“a thousand miles of grey wind-calved mountains on a veil-world, material for a sorcerer’s armour, fallen bits of storm-sky, shoals of glass sharks” -Ankh Spice

” a seascape – choppy, restless pewter sea in endless unbroken waterpeaks. Long dark hills brood sleeping-dragonry alon gthe horizon, a split of orange dawn/dusk firing down the spine. The rest of the sky is exhaled smoke, beginning to tint around the ember” – Ankh Spice

Waveforms by Lesley Curwen

wavelets / chins tipped  / hold sun’s embrace  
squirrel grey in livid rays/  their ranks of open lips
mouth sweetness/  at the eye of dusk
no swimmers here/  to rip their harlequin silk 
to shreds/  of light

ashore/  sole-prints are shadowed/  by day’s ebbing 
gold/  to be immersed in crosshatched expanse 
of tide/  whose basketwork 
convexities/  suck land’s mauve loom 
below/ a quilt of cumulus

a haiga description from Mo Schoenfeld

light slips, struggling,
night laps at the mountain top,
darker depths settle.

I framed a portrait for an absentee by Sam Hickford

Here is a cranny for you to seize, my love,
among the volcanic strait of smoke-stung cloud..
will you take it, as the wagtail claps
this wreath of Autumn, makes this land its vow?

As each trilled wavelet furnishes a mountain
for a chalk-board dreadnought to a droughtless word,
come. I watch the ocean’s opiate
break mirrors in the champion of its lens

and picture you cradled in these hues
of fire and lazuli and scarlet shards.

Shores of Safe Distance by Robin McNamara

When we divide our words between 
a stanza with image-filled meanings
and one with an abstraction of reality
not easily deciphered/ 
do we need anything more than the
acceptance of our verses read by the judgmental or do we find our oars and paddle out a bit further; into deep waters 
of thoughts, without a compass. 
With only the stars to navigate a way 
to your account of my words. 

What if I drowned, what if the storms of uncertainty was too much, 
what would 
wash up upon the shores? 
A body of work beautifully polished by the waves or a piece of driftwood? 
Would you tread water to find our existence, or would the stones under your feet compel you to go back and stare at the ocean from 
a distance and say; maybe another time.

That's All Folks by Elizabeth Cusack

The sky is burning—
It’s not exactly news—
It’s been this way since I was born.

There was an egg before akasha,
If you care about language,
And there was the ein sof,
If you care to read that tongue,
And there was an egg before the chicken—
This is very hard to grasp,
It has ruined paradise,
This inability to understand,
The great unknown was once one, 
And all multiplicities someday will blow apart.

A prophet comes along once in a while
And says, this is what it’s all about— all is one,
Call it love or whatever makes you smile,
But the fact is we are killing every one,
And as we come and go,
And as we kill our mother,
And read our revelations,
The steel-grey cable under the sea
Is recording every absurdity,
And as we remember the essential dead poets—
Remember what, exactly?
That everybody who ever lived is now here!

James Joyce got it in the Wake,
And they mocked him
As they do every damned prophet—
All the condemned are on this ride
As we read up on Aleister Crowley,
As we are on this burning earth,
As we read revelations from the dead
And martyred who died for clarity—
And don’t forget Stalin, Mao, and old Paul—
And as we drink the soma and submit when we are called,
We remember the ones who saved our lives—

Thank you to the poets, that we have a mind at all!
That is the final thing they will try to take from us all.

STRUGGLING by Spriha Kant

Kaleidoscopic dreams 
float like amorphous clouds
and the hopes shine like the sun
in her psyche.
Stuck amidst
the turbulent eddies
trying to drown her
in the stygian abyss
she keeps the 
waves of her
mind, heart, and actions
synchronously tranquil
for she is as vulnerable as a fire in the water
who can’t dare to rebel against her inner voice
ordering her to achieve something that will
raise the eyebrows and open the mouth wide
of the pessimistic commentators.

Links to some work of a few of the poets: 

A Poetry Showcase from Robin McNamara

2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan Anthology

Dylan Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack

A Quicksilver Trilling by David L O’Nan : Poetry & Writing style lyrics inspired by Dylan

5 Poems by Ankh Spice : That which can be made visible, Hold the river, Feeding the koi, Act like you were never for sale, & Hathor’s gift



A Poetry Showcase from Owen Bullock

Lady of the gentle bombardment
for Christian Bök

The church of funghi frisks the rainbow
for its amino acids and 50c pieces,
breaks down the coins and sings an arrow
winged like a bomb to fuse and appease
the lady who set fire to noise and lamplight,
who asks you to join her, though you fear handcuffs,
your isolation in the ward’s long night,
trussed by straps and the torch’s bluff.

Her face appears on sliding strings,
follow her will across gorge and water
to redoubts hidden deep among seedlings
and the false assumptions with which you thought her.

You begin your work, rehearsing blind lanterns
till proteins meld and stained glass ripens.


cigarette stubs in the bird’s nest

she picks other people’s flowers

tap tap 

             knock knock

                           come in

                                     you were only twelve years old back then
                                     I didn’t hide your sweets under the stairs

goodbye, January
you did your best

albino eye
I’m nervous of falling . . .

a poem is not the place
to find closure

nangs we laugh about 

she’ll never understand they didn’t want me there
I didn’t belong in a family 
where learning was suspicious
where academic success was failure

           in the warm
           I sit on the park bench
           too long

the oneth of Feb

not emphasis, audience

red trousers & strelitzia

annoyingly good


after the arguments
light magic chords

           another discarded

you fall in love with new people
then forget all about them

Once I was satisfied I’d sufficiently wasted my time artistically, I stopped.

I’ve never known such delayed gratification: seven years working towards our goal and we’re still a long way off – maybe.

the gull 
doing a good job
skimming over water
(& not at all
socially conscious)

she says, oh wow
as she takes my change
(in a state where it’s months
since we had new cases)
and how are you?
long after obligation had passed
& she really meant it
& I said, okay, 
finding it hard getting my head back into gear

              legs over wave tip
              which way

beyond self the silence of sky


                       bush garden
                       a butterfly 
                       winks at me

I could grow here

prostrate grevilia
Royal Mantel

midnight stroganoff

Tonight on Bottom Gear, I paint my Reliant Robin to look like John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce, Donald samples some fine new disinfectants, and Greta puts even smaller wheels on the front of her tractor.

Tonight on Bottom Gear, I suspend social media for the governments of Myanmar and India, Donald gets his arsed kicked on the Mexican border see-saw, and Greta rides to school on a solar-powered skateboard.

That way the slack bastards can ask you to do a little more.

So the capitalists can sell you the many guns you’ll need. 

Mid-fire lumina

             meditation –
             a pleasant rant

Everything’s gone quiet & end-of-year-ish

What were the songs? he says
looking for his poems

I work in spasms

            hand to pocket
            he scoops out a fistful of change
            and plops it into my outstretched hands
            I spread it out on the ground to count
            I’m better at counting than my older brother
            72 pence
            decent spending money
            for our holiday
            to Butlins

what do you know
a collage with not much in it!

Shuddup, me!

I see your eyes
stealing my ideas

It’s spittin, Barry!

his gayzeebow collapsed
under the weight of rain

           NOT alarmed *
           the TV Buddha
           watches itself

           my jar
           inverts the Buddha

          even upside down
          the Buddha’s necklace
          hangs right way

all our windows fogged up
we can’t see out
we can only see in

yes, I am
the wild cabbage flowers

receiving many tears today

no need   to assert

We want the excitement and drama of things to realise, things to renounce, but really there’s nothing to be done.

             hands rough
             from the clay

* A reference to ceramicist and glass artist NOT: https://notonline.info/


lamp’s chain 
hangs straight
shade slightly 

light bulges 
through blue
an iron branch

base glows 
like the statue 
of a buddha

arc of light
the horizon
that is

Bio: Owen Bullock’s most recent publications are Impression (Beir Bua Press, 2022), and Uma rocha enorme que anda à roda (A big rock that turns around), translations of his tanka into Portuguese by Francisco Carvalho (Temas Originais, 2021). His other titles include, Summer Haiku (Recent Work Press, 2019), Work & Play (Recent Work Press, 2017), and Semi (Puncher & Wattmann, 2017). He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. His other interests include juggling, music and chess. https://poetry-in-process.com/ @OwenTrail @ProcessPoetry