Ekphrastic Poetry

Ekphrastic poems are poems inspired by pieces of art.

 On Sunday 6 November 2022, Metchosin ArtPod held an Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop, under the expert tutelage of past Poet Laureate of Victoria, Yvonne Blomer.Here are some results:


Look at all the stars down there

by Sally Whitehead


There is a galaxy too, beneath our feet

where specks of pollen as

numerous as yellow stars


on a glossy black plate. There are twists,

curls, an explosion of dried-out colour. Solid

without the dew of life.

A dahlia

with no ahhh.

There is still fluttering: a fall

towards the edge.  There is

a tumbled curve

towards the end.

Earth, too, dangles at the end

of the arm of a spiral galaxy. Unseen?

Nothing could be less empty than space.


after Feel Like Going Home by Edward Peck,

in the style of Torso 1 by Arleen Paré


After Dyan Marie’s Sun Flowers: Fishing for Gauguin

By Memet Burnett


There is white, black,

Where you pressed things once dear,

now dead, dyed, preserved.     There is whimsy

drained of laughter. Transience

without pretence.

A bouquet

with no smell.

There is absence: ribbon, lace, flower food packet.

Everything natural. There is



a child’s finger game string.

No gift could be more welcome.


In the style of Arleen Paré’s Torso 1



On encountering Kim Money’s “Who are you that I should have to lie”

by Memet Burnett


I taste

the fizz of an orange Vitamin C lozenge on my tongue.

I hear

the crazy-ass sax-playing band in a tiled NY subway

I smell

A sparkler lit from the bonfire, loopy cursive written on the dark

I feel

The frenzied house-tidy minutes before guests arrive.


It’s a child amped on candy, up too late on a hallowe’en night

It’s a Light-brite on uppers displaying for it’s true love: the firefly


It’s a brain unhinged, overbrimming with renovation decisions

What can I say that I cannot


On encountering Arrival & Departure by Phyllis Schwartz

by Sally Whitehead


I stand in the whisper of ghosts

grain towers                 cut down

grown   faded

a dried mono


of bread crust wheat

Empty                           as the song

of the last crickets


Where does the grain go now?


On encountering Alison Taylor’s Carpe Diem/ If I could tell you 

by Sharon Taylor


There is, at the heart, the mane

Where the lion’s insubstantial presence floats

Over the blue. There is spirit

With no substance. Dis-membered

Without loss of self

Re-membered in majesty

There are intersections dividing the body into components. There are

I told you so’s and

I would let you know’s

As the lion runs away from behind the bars which tie it to


This work-a-day world.


 In the style of Arleen Paré’s Torso 1


On encountering Edward Peck’s Feel like going home”

by Sharon Taylor




Yeats said “things fall apart – the centre cannot hold”

But these flowers were ruthlessly pulled apart as they feebly clung to life:

Spread on a slab, manipulated into a symbol of what had been left behind –

grace and transient beauty

Flayed and pinned to the wall like a butterfly – splayed for the gaze

Of people who see only its present

And neither its past

as love in the hand,


Nor its future

as renewal for the children of its kind



By Steven Ross Smith



There is no there there”

where space is within space

paired to itself

in umber


There is pumpkin    no vegetable matter

orange without meaning    scattered    afloat

in cloudy    musty dusk    drawing down

with no direction to where

there is not    though framed

& brushed


There is

a hush    no    a rustle

a dance of brushed bristle

a smithy’s work    worked to

waken    corner to corner    uncornered

nothing could be taken    bound

with    without frame    without knot

in expanding space


the universe

where there

is    & is not


In the style of Arleen Paré’s Torso 1

Which is after Diana Smiths Diptych Directions: many; Directions: two (Cold Wax & Oil)

Which is after Arleen Paré’s Hearts Arrow

& Beginning with a quote from Gertrude Stein