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 14th


The Blue Mosque

Handsome, yet scarred,
wearing earth quake’s marks,
it still stands, with missing parts – proud.

It is translation, prayer to tile,
then back again, inscribed
into fine art beneath a trained eye.

The guide will tell you of the best examples,
of Kufic and Thuluth scripts,
housed in arabesque and geometric patterns.

But all you will feel is the presence
of the gathering, in the cauldron space,
the knees that touch the earth.

Bow your head, and pray,
even though you don’t usually.
Like a handsome stranger, this place

does something to you,
beneath lofty domes,
Mithra’s wheel still turns.

-Ali Jones

Creative Spaces

Before our babies were born
And we walked through
Sun-drenched fields,
And damp woodland trails,
When time was free,

I was always searching.
You were always finding me.
You often stopped to make sure
I followed,
Reminded me to
Keep my gaze upward.

When, once, we visited a
Roman Villa, we searched together
Gazing underfoot instead,
to glimpse the past.
It was there, of course, on ancient,
handcrafted mosaic-tiled floors,

Reminding the world,
with all that’s already been done,
There’s not much progress yet in store.
But we’re still drawn to new places,
and old; and to
Creative expressions like artwork, and babies.

Now, in our children’s faces,
I search their eyes for understanding of
The importance of where to fix their gazes.


Flowers Tossed on Waves

She races into the shallow end,
clinging to the sides of the pool
to keep herself afloat.
Gentle currents bathe liquid tiles,
sky and sea converging,
melting like petals over tiny hands.
She laughs as the water glides
over her delicate wrists,
smoothing out starfish
and flowers tossed on waves.
She stays in the pool for hours,
holding on to the edges so tightly,
her finger tips bleed,
exploring the deep end with her eyes
until the moon takes over for the sun.
Reluctantly, she climbs the steps
into her mother’s waiting arms,
and sits quietly
while her fingers are bandaged.
She eats sloppy joes with her brother,
tells him that mermaids are real,
falls asleep and dreams of flowers,
floating like stars on water.

-Susan Richardson


I gave away my late Mom’s blue sari
which remained untouched for
several years. She had worn it
for my Master’s Graduation.
I did not take pictures that day.

-Jay Gandhi


Cold on small feet,
ran over it, stood on it,
played on it. No contemplation.

Kitchen floor cover taken for granted.
Screwed face up at the aniseed smell.
Told my friend her sweets smelled

like lino so didn’t want one.
When it was too hot it was good
to lie on and trace the cool blue petals.

Then mam would tell you to stop
lying on the kitchen floor. Go out
and play while she made tea.

-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


2 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 14th

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