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 20th



If we could go back, would you come too?
Here, let me take your hand and let’s slip
out of the car. It is probably a Ford Cortina,
or something similar, never a Ghia though.

Do you have your anorak? Yes, even though
It is summer, you will need it, if you want to follow.
And what about those shoes, are they grippy enough
to let you travel over the stream like a wee sprite
Bounding from rock to rock? Come. Isn’t it amazing?

How things are done here? No joins are needed
Because the whole is much stronger than the parts,
balanced in equilibrium, the story travels on past
that solitary elder, that must be bird strewn.
Trees don’t really grow here, and now I come to think

It is odd to try to claim any part of the earth as our own.
I always like the architecture of stone balanced on stone,
holding up like magic. But now I think of something else,
an attempt to announce our presence in a landscape
which barely notices that anything so small is here.

-Ali Jones

Stone Tears

This dry stone wall, a broken mountain.

-Dai Fry

False Barriers

Rock walls fitted together
Follow the slope of the land,
Aged bones
Leaning into one another,
A study of the past,
A barrier to the present.
Come, break down walls with me.
That we may run through
Unfettered fields, into the future.


My Stone

The bones of earth are its stones.
decaying in their own slow time.
All my dead dears are marked by stones.
An Indian guru once gifted my dad black stones
he carried till his skin showed more of his bones.
My mam, sister and nanna are marked by stones,
Yorkshire stone in a graveyard of stones.
Speaking in one of her final breaths
My nanna told me where her breath
must be buried, the placement of stones.
My mam died on a day buffeted by gusts
and now I see the dead in every sweet gust.

=Paul Brookes

Chosen by Time and the Sky

I haven’t been sleeping,
stuck in the affliction of toss and turn,
thoughts tethered to the moon
and far away places.
I press my cheek to the window pane,
close my eyes
and imagine something beautiful
just beyond the glass.
A landscape with open hands,
offering itself as a canvas to the seasons,
succumbing to a palette of colors
chosen by time and the sky.
I see the rich reds and golds of Autumn
stretching to the edges of sound,
where everything falls into darkness.
I watch the colors transform
with strokes of charcoal and silver,
taste the first snowflakes on my tongue,
breathe in the scent of the soil as it freezes.
The winter in my mind
settles on barren branches,
and I remember my own emptiness,
my own silence.
I open my eyes to a scarred
window screen,
peer down at the filthy sidewalk
waiting with gaping jaws
to swallow my fantasy,
and remind myself,
it won’t be this way forever.
One day I will stand next to him,
reach out to touch the smooth grass,
take in the rolling fields with all my senses,
and know I am finally home.

-Susan Richardson


All that I can see
are parched trees
& yellow grasses.

They remind me
of the shooting pain
that follows mania.

Family confiscates
my phone & laptop—
no social life.

Pills pin me
down to my bed.
Waistline increases.

In retrospect I know,
this too did pass.

But then, at that

All that I can see
are parched trees
& yellow grasses.

-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:


is an x social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.

Twitter                  @thnargg


Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter

-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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