My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Dai Fry, Ali Jones and myself. April 21st

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Faux Castle

Look at my glazed ruin
glass light, dry storm.
Rainbow’s home.

Anger sustains
though element gouged,
flag-wind, see my pride.

Faux castle, your ravens fly.
Plague’s sustenance,
last in the line.
Prepared for legend’s time.

Bone brittle, I crumble
brick powder, wormed wood.
Held in charms of
viral salts, corrosive winds.

My house is a closed mind
beyond the mildew line,
but at last it slowly opens
to lick and lash of stormy seas.

-Dai Fry

The Ruin

is a mask as you can see daylight
through the holes for your eyes,

Put the ruin on your face
when out in public
to avoid other folk being infected.

The ruin is reusable as it is washable
and there is plenty of room
for ventilation. Some ruins

are grander than others. Disposable
ruins pollute the oceans of good sense.

Use your ruin with due care and attention
to the needs of visitors. Don’t let them

get too close or you will lose your heritage.
Your voice may be muffled.

Paul Brookes


Queen Anne’s Lace
And black crows frame
My mental imagery,
Succumbing to the Rule of Thirds.
Until, there’s only room to run off the page.
But white cobwebs will remain

In the corner, and darkness will always flee
From the recesses
Of my mind,
As birds in flight,
Not unlike a militaristic
Rule of Thirds for deployment.


The Violence of Sound

Parcels of darkness take to the sky,
storm warnings that strip the skin
from men’s bones and swallow
the blood of entire generations.
Heavy wings blacken the sun,
pulling fire into relentless beaks
that release screeches of doom.
The violence of sound scars agony
into stone, shatters windows that
slice into the marrow of families,
leaving their whispers scorched
and crumbling in the ruins of time.

-Susan Richardson

Duty is a Heavy Burden

It looks like a ruin,
But the spirit of the old king
Hung out for a long time,
If you can pardon the pun.

Now it is a skeleton
Of stone and beams,
Tower tops crumbled,
Though the foundations remain.

To be sovereign in to wear
The landscape like a cloak,
To adorn your body with
The hopes and desires

Of all the people and hear
Their cries with open ears.
They say it got too much for him,
The constant jibber jabbering,

So he took things with his own hands,
Literally. One day they found him,
Swinging in the great all, above
A gilded table, a king’s fit feast.

Afterwards, nobody else wanted
To take on the role, said it was
A poisoned chalice – power can
Sometimes go either way, as we know.

-Ali Jones

Freedom Returns

Now the caged birds are free
to sing & sway in the air.
The kind king has returned,
the fort has been seized—
the flag has been hoisted.

-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


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, Dai Fry, Ali Jones and myself. April 21st

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