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 10th



Forests feel no fear,
the miles go on,
so many behind us.

Fear not, you are
who you are,
until you forget
where your shadow falls.

Jump into the lower branches,
open your arms wide,
to gather in the trees,

when the moon goes out
you will know the way,
your hands will give you,

a second chance, don’t be afraid
to empty yourself of sound,
try to be alive for longer.

Failing is fine, the best part
of the heartwood is where
you are going, with dead friends,
passing through like falling mist,

tune out, tap in.

-Ali Jones

The Language of Trees

Confession #1:

I’m no good at drawing, but I
Always thought I was pretty good at trees.
Don’t tell them.
They might whisper it
To one another through their
Underground fungal tendrils,
The ones the scientists call “mycorrhizal networks.”
Then, I would be embarrassed by my muse.

Confession #2:

It’s silly, but I think I understand the trees.
And, on bad days,
If I could get deep enough into the woods,
I’m sure they would embrace me, envelop me
In their stillness and strength,
Maybe even mistake me for one of their own
Instead of the imposter that I am.

Confession #3:

If the trees could see me
For who I am,
I have a feeling
They would keep me anyway.
It’s the way of trees–
To listen first,
Then speak up
For their neighbors in need.

Confession #4:

It turns out I don’t yet know
The language of my muse.
But they know mine.
It’s a skill, to know as we are known.


Let Me Pass Through

city walls that bind all your threads together,
walk through this wood,
let your cityself take same walk,
see buildings as lone trees,
homeless hostel is an oak,
butchers, a willow that bends
down over the stream
where jammed traffic swims.

A dead bird breathes,
animated by flies,
is a man in the corner who sings
the blues to passers.

That fall of a leaf
a tickertape homecoming parade.
Your pavement footfall
echoes in my forest.

-Paul Brookes

Fog Rolling In

The neighborhood of my first steps,
first crushes
first kiss,
was a place my Mom called, “The Hill”.

It was a neighborhood born into sunshine,
cul-de-sacs trodden over by barefoot kids
who played outside almost every day,
walked home from school

On the handful of rainy days
that fed our thirsty streets,
Mom picked me up from school
in her powdery grey fiat,
rain turning the windscreen into an ocean.

I remember her happy on these drives,
meandering up roads so steep,
we could feel the car swaying in the storm.
We sang along
to the soundtrack of Evita,
accompanied by the beat of the rain.
She was always Che.

As we traversed the battered spiral of streets,
arriving at the final climb
to our shrouded suburban kingdom,
she would smile as big as the sun,
take a long deep breath and squeeze my knee,
“Do you see,”
she’d say,
“the fog is rolling in.”

=Susan Richardson

Just Anther Relationship

Day #10 Jay Gandhi

-Jay Gandhi

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



3 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 10th

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