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 5th


The Lucky Hook

I always remember when we’d gather to watch,
the plug-hole whirlpool, vortex or portal to a magic kingdom.
We were convinced that we’d fly into another world,
where we could talk to animals, and trees might well
scoop us up in leafy arms and take us for a ride.

At the fair that autumn I fished a yolk yellow duck,
from a bare bulbed pool, taken in by the caller’s cry,
To try my luck, to win a prize from the lofty shelf, behind.
some were always out of reach – the house always wins.

I was happy with the plastic consolation, a dinosaur,
My mother part embarrassed and more indignant, when,
the brash faced man asked if I would rather have another –
A ‘little girl’s prize’ he called it – but I knew the dinosaur

was meant to come with me. I played with it in the bath,
washing off the glitter and tilt, and cling of apples, cinder toffee,
candy floss caught in my hair, and gobbled like a cloud –
held in the hands, yet already going away over the hills.

My dinosaur was slippery as a secret, and didn’t last long enough,
not even for a name.It danced in waves of Matey, as when,
I was extracted and the plug pulled, it followed the whirlpool steps, choreographed to swim into an underwater world of walking trees.

I should have begged my Dad to mine the garden,lift the manhole cover,
pry the archeology of what we wash away, – rubbish and treasure can be the same things, just wearing different clothing. But I didn’t – I cried into my empty palm,keening, while my monster friend swam free at last.

-Ali Jones


Companions of the deep,
Where do you roam?
You look the same Awake, and asleep.
Do you ever fear
You’ll pass it by
— Your destination–
In your slumber?
Or, do you have one?
The whole sea,
And each other
Are your home.


Free Death

The bubbles in aquarium
continually judge
themselves and trudge
before they pop.

In the deep seas they swim
and raft along the tides,
celebrate life
before they pop.

-Jay Gandhi

Majesty of Silence

We sink beneath the waves
where sound dies
and is reborn in a majesty of silence.
I watch my voice float
so softly
from the tip of my tongue,
quietly leave the confines of my body,
longing to break the surface.
It is easy here in the water,
to turn away from pain,
to feel weightless and beautiful,
to forget.
We swim together,
faces eager to reach the secrets
waiting for us
in the cradle of solitude below,
feet pointed to the sky
in a tranquil gesture of farewell.

-Susan Richardson

The Cost Is Prohibitive

to refreeze the poles,
bury carbon dioxide beneath the oceans,

to save our fellow animals extinction,
the death of insects.

We have to watch the pennies
to manage this extinction event.

The cost will be too high.
We could bankrupt ourselves
to save the earth.

Is it worth becoming paupers
to save this planet?

Count the pennies in your purse.
Count the lives in your hands.

-Paul Brookes

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


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