My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, John Wolf, Ali Jones and myself. April 6th


In Praise of a Pet

Little one, my first friend. I named you for a story, the 1950s volume,
my mother brought out like a surprise every
Christmas – Belinda, my rabbit.
all nose twitch and whiskers,
and power kicks when least expected.

Sometimes you would romp the garden,
tunnelling in the flowerbeds, excavating borders,
looking for an escape route, like that other story rabbit.
You always put up a fight
when we cornered you, guilty among the radishes.

One morning you left a surprise.
It was clear you had been to the ball,
no longer a stay at home, minding the hutch,
tending the run in envy
while your wilder cousins danced out by the full moon’s gaze.

Your prince wore a red fur coat and a special smile,
and I like to think there was a wild kiss chase,
where like Rhiannon, you didn’t stop –
not until he asked nicely.
There was no glass slipper, just ears

as a memento, placed beneath my favourite apple tree,
A lucky paw, unlucky for you,
dropped under the mulberry like a charm.
Little one, I never replaced you,
but I keep your power – always unexpected.

-Ali Jones

Flora and Fauna

Held captive
You gaze,
I wonder
How long
This will last.
Your friends, and my own
Rest silently
Nearby In some lush meadow,
Where, surely,
Soon I’ll join my ancestors In the earth,
To spring forth
Again; feed your young, Or dress a table.
When all is lost, loss offers new gains.


I promise

to shower you with daisies,
keep you fat on petals and love.
I promise to hold you
close to my heart when you feel afraid,
whisper soothing words
into your ears,
stroke them gently.
I promise to share my secrets,
to lavish you with affection,
even the parts of you that are worn.
Especially the parts of you that are worn.
I promise to lock sadness in a box,
hide it on a high shelf so you never
have to see how much life hurts.
I promise to open the gate,
release you into a field
of sunflowers,
and remind you every day
that you are home.

-Susan Richardson

Honey Bunny (children’s poem)
The bunny scrambles with a rose,
hassles towards the valley and goes
to meet his lover waiting from long.
She’s jittery, livid and headstrong.
On reaching bunny bows on knees
and offers piece of cottage cheese.
Declining food she turns her back
and bunny gets anxiety attack!
Next up he gives her sugar ball.
and tiny effort hits the wall.
Then finally he gives the rose.
The happy lady jumps on toes.
She kisses bunny on his lip—
He smiles; all went as per the script!

-Jay Gandhi


I am caged, cooped up, kept in.
He pokes freshly pulled grass
and leaves through the thin wire.

I am bigger than this prison
he cleans occasionally
whilst I hop about the garden,

Explore escape routes, test fences
and garden walls for weaknesses, before
I am grabbed, cuddled and imprisoned again.

One morning he will find the door hanging
by one hinge after I have busted out.
One morning he will cry because I am free.

-Paul Brookes

Daft Buck

Boing !
That thing that makes bulbs burst ;
flowers bloom.
That primal tingle,
as yer loins swell.

Ask the birds – ‘What makes them sing ?’
Brings bud to shoot, fruit from everything.
“It’s Spring –
Can’t you tell ?”

The early bird, distracted by the worm
gets pinned
by a hedge-meadow hunter
silent on the wing.

I’ll give it a minute before goin’ art ;
Preen me fur into a fetching ruff ;
Tek me mind off beak and claws.

“Eyup Doe,
have a look at this beauty”, he lobbed.
“Grew it myself over t’ winter.
My dad had 4900 kids
proper grafter.”
Its a F-word

Douglas Adams said we’re genetically blessed,
but that’s only half o’ t’ game –
yer need gift ‘t gab to charm the bunnies.
Or cunning,

I leave a tasty Dandelion –
distracts ’em just long enough.

Short-term memory yer average Rabbit.
Not me, super-intelligent –
Watch QI most nights through Granny’s window.
You have to lip read.

Rabbit gossip’s a bit samey ; grazing and bobbing.
It’s a day job, but this –
is a special assignment from Gaia
a gift from the goddess ;
Queen of passion and desire.

“Oh, I love Spring, me !”
“Excuse me, madam
my forleleg doth shake.
Aye, it’s Rent-A-Ride . . .
Fancy a nibble ?”

“It mek’s thee feel a million dollars !”
“You can ‘av it on tick
I’m a lover and a fighter
Aye, it’s as long as its thick
Yes luv, It does mek yer feel lighter.”

“All you need is a docile temperament and to stop still –
What d’ya mean, ‘you don’t know if you will’ ?
Go round t’ back of the queue
I’ve a lot on wi’ all these frisky fillies to do.”

Three hundred degree vision
I’m grateful for these eyes.

Oh, thy are cute
innocent like
wi’ a nose like an hot-cross bun
dappled white-brown
soft as a chick-down.
You’ve never met a buck ?

The Romantic beginner –
You can spot ’em a mile off
Green as the grass but they soon catch on.

I stifled a laugh, doffed me cap,
slid down both braces.
Just watch the birdies while I do t’ work ;
twitch in all t’ right places.

And she said,
“Are you hungry ?” “Vet says I’ve got Myopia.”
I’m thinking, Myxamatosis.
And I said,
“This is gonna open thi’ eyes.”

-John Wolf

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


One thought on “My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, John Wolf, Ali Jones and myself. April 6th

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