AWOL Week #9 responses

Exercise: ‘Portrait’

I’d like you to write with the title ‘Portrait’ – though you may change that title once your piece is finished.  Perhaps include the words ‘dust’ ’twin’ ‘glass’ and ’ink’.

To help you, I’ve attached three images:


‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ by Gregory Masurovsky (the misty one)


‘Self Portrait after Going Blind’ by Jorge Luis Borges (the scribbly one)


‘Self Portrait’ by Louise Bourgeois (the red and blue one)


[Only links given as the three portraits are each in copyright]


AWOL Week #9 responses

portrait by [anon]


In the mirror lies

an unidentified twin,

eyeing dark lines

in light of the past.


Entwined in the finite

shedding of skin,

a reticent shadow

with shackles to cast.


As black and hollow

as ink over glass,

a lingering flame

slowly flickers and dies.


Shattering twilight

reveals at the last,

a birth to dust

from which we rise.



ma_sk ON by [anon]

ma_sk ON

ur Fa¢es a
to dehumanise
to inc€ntivi$e
y.our neighb.our
NnNot y.our friend
it cou/d be y0u
you OR us
u r us
w3 are the ¢0llect)-(ive
a Unit 
reAdy And Able
to b€e counted
e¥es and 4our willing limbs
a Pr0phet MachiNe
no 0ld man is anN island
No has a Fa¢e



TWINS :   SELF PORTRAIT IN INK.   by Kathleen Mary Goodridge

Twins: Self Portrait in Ink by Kathleen Mary Goodridge

TWINS :   SELF PORTRAIT IN INK.                                    `

                                   treachery of looking glass

                                           and the soft dust of memory drifting onto my shoulder.

        Kathleen Mary Goodridge.


The Lost and Found Portrait   by Jodi Glass

The Lost and Found Portrait  

 A builder, saving centuries old artefacts, in a previous closed-up attic. Came across a cherry tree adorned cloth. The pink faded by dust, but surrounding a six by four photo frame. Became distracted by busy detailed tiles, 1800’s in age. The silk intact, was put aside, for it wasn’t interesting enough. If they had looked they would have found, an ink drawing, portrait. Protected by glass later added. Artist unknown and nearly forgotten.

 After trying to save the past, the builder, saved a treasure. A century ago, a new floor was laid, and secrets hidden. A mystery too old to be solved. A lie, a pact, only now discovered. They weren’t to know, a twin lay under, lock and key, crying for her Albert, lost in a robbery. For a queen needs her mate.

 Far away in London.

Jodi Glass


Lucent by Peter Marshall


All set aside, a lucent hue,

that brightest, clearest vivid blue.

Behold within that pyramid,

most ancient shape with tight turned lid. 

The finest liquid, coloured ink

to scribe my thoughts for when I think.

Alas! Dismay! It gathers dust,

awaits verbal passion’s gust.

The shape conveys the best of glass

and mementos of what did pass.

The vessel has a nearby twin,

similar once, they did begin.

I use the quill and sharp penknife

to help portray details of life.

At times I really should use red

to underline highlights instead.

2020 05 18                               Peter Marshall

Lucent by Peter Marshall


ode to her pen by lotty

ode to her pen

In her younger years the anger that flowed from her pen was raw and filled with never-ending pain. Each page continually splattered with childhood traumas and fears, but also teenage tears of confusion and maybe her hormones were growing, accompanied by much self-loathing.


But now in her older years her pen does not know what we call such things, for after much council and searching of the soul her mind is fixed – who she should have been able to be all along.

And she can breathe, be at peace; the shackles of life have been shattered. She was resolved and remains so to this day.


But unfortunately, she does not know where her pen will want to go or what emotions it will allow to flow from itself.

Though the woman about whom it writes does not care if it is many hours of labour over countless nights, bringing her untold riches.

Her happiness is in the beauty and pleasure she and her pen can create and find in the pages.

by lotty  16th may 2020


Gifts #1 by V. Rivers

Gifts #1

From the carnage of the lighthouse floor

I stole a box of turnip seeds

to grow an avenue of wealth

around my neighbours’ chestnut tree.


On the shadow of the lighthouse wall

I drew another lighthouse wall

to soothe the nanny goats who hid

behind my sleekit landlords’ door.


By the shatter of the lighthouse lens

I took the stolen turnips seeds

and ran from all the nanny goats

and avenues and chestnut trees.


For the haven of the lighthouse heart

I made a nest beneath my bed

to grow the stolen turnip seeds

into a grove of lighthouse trees.

V. Rivers

Gifts #1 by V. Rivers


Night’s Songbirds   by Elisheva Katz

Night’s Songbirds 

Being alone is nothing to fear. Night is not the enemy that it is made out to be. Why – it is in the stillness of the night and only in the night do I find peace within. The cover of darkness takes away the nightmares of the day. 


Living Nightmares of all those people, too many people, too many voices incessantly buzzing around and around in my head, till no longer do I understand them nor wish to understand them anymore!

Leave do I behind that world of self indulgent chaos and Steal myself away, into the quite tenderness that the night gives me.


In night’s stillness I am free to sing with the other songbirds of the hope in a new dawning to come.

Elisheva Katz


Sky Full of Ashes   by Elisheva Katz


Sky Full of Ashes  


Paper birds flying into forever

I am drifting like a feather into your heart

Now i am falling into the corner of your mind

Music all around

Piano drops out of me

Notes float on the wind

Cannot tell if I am dead or alive

Smoke stings my eyes, chokes me, smell of burnt flesh

Sky fall of ashes

Where did they come from

To whom do they belong 


Sky full of ashes

I do believe those ashes are partly me


Elisheva Katz


Warning Of The Crows    by Elisheva Katz

Warning Of The Crows  

Twin crows painted in ink 

Stand high on wire crying out warnings 

nobody listens to their pleas


Glass broken bottles of human waste

Cuts deep into the cartilage of innocents

Everybody looks away


Dust settles onto bones

Flesh eaten by vultures of what is left

Not a word is spoken of such crimes


Twin crows painted in ink

Crying out warnings from high up above

Fly away from impending death


Somehow nobody seems to care


Written by elisheva katz

May 16th 2020


Rose Rose Red   by Elisheva Katz

Rose Rose Red  

It was while the world was sleeping Moon turned to blood, whispering dreams in summer night’s wind. Her blood covered me; or was it my blood that covered her?


“Where are my dreams, blood moon? Why is it that only nightmares come my way?”


Threw I those nightmares away, only for them to come back to taunt me, dance around me like horrible little fairies high on weed.


Sea salt was splashing around my feet as I looked north to see two twin crows watching me. 


“Why are you looking at me in that way, twin crows? Stop it, stop looking at me as if I am not who I think I am.”


Twin crows flew above my head screeching down to look into the sea. I looked down and saw fragments of my life lying on the sea’s bed like some forgotten shipwreck. How could this be? Is this indeed what has become of me? Tried did I to rescue those fragments of my life, but every time I got nearer they got further and further away.


The night was slipping through my fingers and no longer could I see blood moon, I could only see me. A lone wolf, all skin and bones with a red rose growing out of my chest, sharp thorns that were meant to protect my heart made me bleed.


To the east of me the sun was rising, turning from red into gold. His light was getting brighter and brighter – too bright for me. I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes to the night. 


While the world was waking from their dreams – I was still locked inside my nightmare. 


A red rose still in my chest.


Written by elisheva katz

May 20th 2020


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