Ekphrastic Writing Challenge: Dale Patterson
Join us for biweekly ekphrastic writing challenges. See why so many writers are hooked on ekphrastic! We feature some of the most accomplished influential poets writing today, and we also welcome emerging or first time writers and those who simply want to experience art in a deeper way or try something creative.
The prompt this time is Beyond the Storm, by Dale Patterson. Deadline is October 4, 2019.
We welcome Jordan Trethewey for his second round as guest editor for our ekphrastic challenges.
Guest editor's note:
Dale is wonderful mixed-media master I recently met online at Open Arts Forum (where I edit and curate). Not long ago he posted Before the Storm, which knock me flat and sideways. Not only is it a stunning visual, the image and title combined screamed, "Write about me!" If this is before the storm...whew! Fish are flying, birds are in hysterics and the seaside row houses are jitterbugging with all the lights on! What comes next? What just happened to get things to this state? All the saying goes, the image is the start. The rest is up to you. Have fun!
Jordan Trethewey is a writer and editor living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Some of his work found a home here, and in other online and print publications such as Burning House Press, Visual Verse, CarpeArte Journal, Califragile, and is forthcoming in The Blue Nib and Fishbowl Press. His poetry has also been translated in Vietnamese and Farsi. Jordan is an editor at https://openartsforum.com. To see more of his work go to: https://jordantretheweywriter.wordpress.com.
Dale Patterson is an Indiana based artist and poet. His works have appeared in numerous online and print publications. Prior to retiring in 2011 Dale was a high school art teacher. You can learn more about Dale at dalepattersonart.com
1. Use this visual art prompt as a springboard for your writing. It can be a poem or short prose (fiction or nonfiction.) You can research the artwork or artist and use your discoveries to fuel your writing, or you can let the image alone provoke your imagination.
2. Write as many poems and stories as you like. Send only your best works or final draft, not everything. Please copy and paste your submission into the body of the email, even if you include an attachment such as Word or PDF.
3. Have fun.
4. USE THIS EMAIL ONLY.
Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Challenge submissions sent to the other inboxes will most likely be lost as those are read in chronological order of receipt, weeks or longer behind, and are not seen at all by guest editors. They will be discarded. Sorry.
5.Include DALE PATTERSON WRITING CHALLENGE in the subject line please.
6. Include your name and a brief bio. If you do not include your bio, it will not be included with your work, if accepted. Even if you have already written for The Ekphrastic Review or submitted other works and your bio is "on file" you must include it in your challenge submission. Do not send it after acceptance or later; it will not be added to your poem. Guest editors may not be familiar with your bio or have access to archives. We are sorry about these technicalities, but have found that following up, requesting, adding, and changing later takes too much time and is very confusing.
7. Late submissions will be discarded. Sorry.
8. Deadline is midnight, October 4, 2019.
9. Please do not send revisions, corrections, or changes to your poetry or your biography after the fact. If it's not ready yet, hang on to it until it is.
10. Selected submissions will be published together, with the prompt, one week after the deadline.
11. Rinse and repeat with upcoming ekphrastic writing challenges!
Help us build our bookshelves with ekphrastic book listings and other books by our contributors.
By purchasing a bookshelf space, you get a great value and you do a tremendous service to The Ekphrastic Review. Only $25 dollars for a year.
Why not buy a listing for the writer in your life? It's a great way to show support and share their work with people who love to read.
Click here for easy book list checkout.
If you would like to support this journal without purchasing a mutually beneficial book listing, we appreciate gifts large and small. Click here to show some love with our easy gift page.
A BIG THANK YOU to those who have purchased book listings or sent a gift. Your help is truly appreciated and we are very grateful.
Georgia O’Keeffe Made Rubble Out of Me
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Maybe it was holy, the edge of the petal
the way it curved, rippling outward
as if it were a blessing.
And the fragrance
it would crush me for its sweetness
with its softness
break my bones to dust.
You know, she could shatter walls with just her gaze.
Oh yes, she could be defiant
with her hat tipped to the sky like a dark moon.
But did you see her in the garden
did you see the black iris of her eye?
Vulnerability, was always her strength.
And I felt something
breaking, rising free.
Alyssa Sineni is a metalsmith and writer. She is a member of The Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange, The Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh, and she works as the Director of Programming for Art and Inspiration, a non-profit, which celebrates artists and writers. Ms. Sineni holds a BFA from The State University College at Buffalo and a BA in Spanish Language from Slippery Rock University. She has had four poems published in Soul-Lit and has been published in Hot Metal Press, and Uppagus.
Finally to Burn
Athena takes me
sometimes by both hands
and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands
where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting
and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting
and all I remember
is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking
one’s Being—to glide
heroically beyond thought,
forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.
O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!
To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking
rain down red scabs
on the earth’s mudpuddle ...
Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle ...
O, and innocent lambs!,
I will rock me to sleep
on the waves’ iambs.
Michael R. Burch
With over 4,500 publications (including poems that have gone viral), Michael R. Burch claims to be one of the world’s most-published “complete unknowns.” His poems, translations, essays, articles, letters, epigrams, jokes and puns have been published by TIME, USA Today, BBC Radio 3, Writer’s Digest–The Year’s Best Writing and hundreds of literary journals. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by four composers. He also edits www.thehypertexts.com and has served as editor of international poetry and translations for Better Than Starbucks.
Watching Li Po at the Waterfall
In our Dark Ages, China’s poets turned
Proud backs to futile wars along the Wall
To journey into mountains thick with mist
And contemplate cascades sprung from the moon.
A thousand years had passed when Hokusai
Looked back to capture one immortal soul,
Engraving Li Po rapt with wonderment
But not alone as in his famous verse,
Accompanied instead by acolytes
Who cling to Master’s robe above the cliffs.
The painter’s waterfall, against his wont,
Emerges from no rocks, nor feeds a pool.
Omitting even polished, frothy slopes,
It drops uninterrupted, unified
As Li Po’s skystream circling the world,
Joining Middle Kingdom’s running streams
With all the universal ethers poured
In every cycle of created life,
A revelation of the writer’s art
Forever redirecting such spare lines
Imprinted once again in time’s long scroll.
Now I add my voice to the accolade,
Writing about painting about writing,
Part of the cosmic stream brought full around.
Jim Gaines lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is active in state and local writing groups there. His work has been widely published, most recently in journals such as Avocet, Poetry Quarterly, Piedmont Journal of Fiction and Poetry, The Poet's Domain, and El Portal.
At the Psychiatrist’s Office
Through an open door,
while seated in a waiting room chair ,
I glimpse a partially hidden view of Starry Night
magically, its thick eclipse exposes yellow sun & moon,
inky blues now streaking across canvas once the colour
of clinical white walls.
It’s only a print. One of many Van Gogh
reproductions stacked in bins in shopping malls
across the country, thumb-tacked on dorm walls,
or framed in the homes of aspiring corporate types
with a fondness for the arts, doctors’ offices, or here,
in the office of my teenage daughter’s psychiatrist.
Printed posters everywhere, easy to overlook or
dismiss in the rush of ubiquitous overload,
not unlike breathing—forgotten—until one forgets
Thick broad brushstrokes deceptively simple
until one notes the swirling complexity--
the giant fingerprints of god,
the bold genius of colour gone mad
This brief glimpse of a starry night escaping
through an open door that will soon close to swallow
my daughter and her secrets bruises my mother-heart
with new tenderness.
I think of my daughter’s sad lovely eyes peering through
her camera’s view, recognizing beauty in a hard world,
if only for a tiny starlit flicker, before the dark of night
descends and we wait for a new constellation to appear.
This poem first appeared in The Rappahhanock Review.
Robin Michel’s fiction and poetry has been published in Fresh Ink VI, The Midwest Poetry Review, The Noyo River Review, The New Guard, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Star 82 Review and elsewhere.
I Read The Ekphrastic Review Fridge Magnet Red
Zazzle in the mail drop
Brown package, double sealed
Scissors in my right
Delving with what is left
To open, excited
Then into the kitchen
Feet in the dog’s biscuits
Confronting the fridge freezer
Surveyed for ten seconds
Stuck forward my hand
Placed red in the middle
Under the Streets of Baltimore
In sight of a Poppy from Flanders
A watchful Evil Eye Talisman
Above Istanbul and Prague
Close by CI Sark
To the left Florence
On the right Nigel, long gone
Behind it the ice box
Whirring like the stream engine
En route to Noyelles-sur-Mer
About to drop off, again
Wondering whether the red
Is derived cochineal
Or blood from the mail man
Bitten by a hound - not mine
But as I am observing
Should it be “read” not “red”
Cannot stand conundrums if
I could work out what they are.
Born in Scotland of Irish lineage, Alun Robert is a prolific creator of lyrical verse achieving success in poetry competitions in Europe and North America. His poems have featured in international literary magazines, anthologies and on the web. He is particularly inspired by ekphrastic challenges.
The Albert Memorial
It takes a special zest to gore the clouds,
to slice the teeming world into marble fourths:
America, a bison primly bowed;
Europe, aurochs sillier than a corpse;
Africa, a camel trying to spit;
and Asia, that overheated elephant.
But you look uncertain, lounging in the thick of it,
draped in gold, in shade of golden tint,
and staring out at heaps of sullen wealth,
the marrow scraped and sucked from Egypt’s spine.
Did you ever hear, tapping on your shelf,
that long white stick of unmalicious time?
Forester McClatchey is a poet from Atlanta, GA. His work has appeared in Pleiades, Bayou Magazine, and Thrush, among other journals.
Like statues smug in their concreteness,
we basked in the conviction appearances defined us,
our persons etched in our faces and our glands.
Time abrades even stone: we are not as we knew,
the world's dogs having chased us inward,
gnawing our edges, shredding our coordinates.
What can we make of each other, knowing
our bodies' old tangos mere make-believe?
Like ungainly birds we dance before each other,
dipping and bobbing, our mating ritual gone wrong,
our elusive shapes foiling all purchase. Little good
finding ourselves if we lose each other.
The future is nothing if we cannot sway it.
Bereft of corners, all we have is our daily flux
to sift and winnow for kernels of form, shape enough
to cling to, defined enough to know what we hold.
Darrell Petska's poetry has appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Star 82 Review, Verse-Virtual and widely elsewhere (see conservancies.wordpress.com). Darrell has tallied a third of a century as communications editor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 40 years as a father (six years as a grandfather), and almost a half century as a husband. He lives outside Madison, Wisconsin.
Interior (Model Reading)
The year is 1925. Our model is reading Fitzgerald
before her dresser in a white chemise,
her long bare legs exposed to the cold morning air.
We are watching her from the bed, head down,
face obscured by her long black hair,
immersed in the latest best seller, a novel
about the American Dream, as told by Nick
Carraway (the narrator) a bond salesman living
in West Egg, Long Island, a far cry away from
our model’s life in her stark white room
taking her clothes off for the camera, living
out of a suitcase, dreaming of becoming an actor,
or dancer on Broadway. "I might just as well
become a writer," she thinks, turning the page
at the critical moment when Myrtle is killed
by the car which Daisy is driving. "Every girl
has a story to tell. Every girl dreams big. Every girl
wants to be loved. No girl ever expects to die."
Mark A. Murphy
Mark A. Murphy was born in 1969 in the UK. His poetry publications include Tin Cat Alley (1996), Our Little Bit of Immortality (2011), Night-watch Man & Muse (2013) and his next full length collection, Night Wanderer’s Plea is pending from Waterloo Press, UK. His latest collection, To Nora, A Singer of Sad Songs is to be published this year by Clare Songbirds Publishing House in America. He is currently looking for a publisher for his collection of epigrams, Little Known Aphorisms and he is now also working on a full length collection of ekphrastic poems, Word Painting. His poems have been published in 18 countries in over 200 journals in print and online.
The Ekphrastic Review
Join us on FB and Twitter!
Find a writer, artist, or poem, etc. by searching here: