My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones and myself. April 4th



Sometimes it takes a blast from above to wake
us up.
a crack of energy smacking the air, electricity,
ripe and dangerous.

Sometimes it takes a storm to clear the decks,
the pitch and glitter,
to roll us dangerously from tide to time,
nearly capsizing, but righting just in time.

Sometimes it takes a long night of the blackest depths,
to take us far underground,
where there are no promises
of return words fade away.

Sometimes it takes a near apocalypse
to make you seen the lone tree,
reaching for tomorrow,
always striving on, as clouds break to full sun.

-Ali Jones

My Flame

flickers cold shadows over your skin,
dances into your curves as a cloud
passes over a valley its shadow dips
towards a swerve of water,

the dark copse darkened by the sip
the sup of clear water that beckons
my tongue taste its brightnesses
that is the perfume in your curves.

-Paul Brookes


(for Sarah)

After my mother died,
feathers seemed to tumble
from the sky,
small patches of light piercing
through the grip of a tempest,
appearing in the most unlikely places.

The first one I found on the white shag rug
that covered my bedroom floor,
dark as ink with red
running through it like veins,
as I danced alone to Earth Wind and Fire,
my mother’s favorite band.

Another, bushy and plentiful,
spotted like the tail of a calico cat,
I found nestled on the seat next to me
in an empty movie theater.

Marking a page in my most treasured book,
one my mother had given me as a gift,
I discovered a feather so delicate,
it could only have come from a dove.

For years I kept every feather I found,
on car seats and park benches,
in coat pockets and buried in coin purses.
I believed each feather was a message,
my mother reaching out
from wherever people go when they die.

I didn’t know Sarah then.

We met decades later,
when grief colored
every inch of her landscape,
strength and sorrow inseparable.

The morning her mother died,
a feather appeared,
breathless like a petal,
in the middle of my kitchen floor.

-Susan Richardson


Horizon is grey except
a patch of white—
Dark skies have
disowned this chunk.

This odd man travels
tirelessly with clouds
to align itself over
a stripped barren tree.

All other trees in
the vicinity are green.

-Jay Gandhi


Faced with the eye of the storm,
I find my roots are too deep to run.
I wither as I wait.
“This too shall pass.”


Bios and links

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

-Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, coming from Potter’s Grove Press in 2020, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

Here is my updated 2018 interview of her:

-Ali Jones

is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.

Here is my 2019 interview of her:

-Jay Gandhi

is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.

His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of & In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.

Here is my 2018 interview with him:

-Samantha Terrell

is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)

Twitter: @honestypoetry

Here is my 2020 interview of her:

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

YouTube; Poetry Is A Bag For Life

Twitter: @PaulDragonwolf1


Facebook: Paul Brookes – Writer and Photographer


4 thoughts on “My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones and myself. April 4th

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