My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry, Megha Sood and myself. April 23rd

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When you walk in the woods, it’s always best
to see everything, set your body to rewind,
in case you miss something. If you stay too long,
you might realise you are nowhere, the footprints
you deposit mean little to the tree’s arching body,
where nothing is off limits; is this what freedom is?

Held by four directions, form painted with earth
and held in its birth suit, the bone stag sees you,
every mark, every design, and trees reveal secrets
before we know them, the faceless year disappears,
like a once trusted friend, stealing away,
stuffing ideas into deep dark pockets.

When the sun wakes, you are older,
and count on things more, there is a new mother,
three flowers to the wind, and black skeleton branches
touch out for acceptance. The struck tree
sees years come and go like lightning,
the bone trumpet sounds the winter’s stretching
drum skin, and strips the body raw.

The stag waits in the thicket, knowing the ways
of wordless stories, dreaming to break ice again.

-Ali Jones


A red deer proud
on Colmers hill.
It was Cernunnos,
Wild Lord, ‘Horned One’

Bellowed hoar breath.
Intoxicated, the wild hunt
passed along oblivions way.
Far from reach of minds,
beneath dark forest web.

Shaman’s antler horn,
wild oaken branches.
Futures to foretell,
fairy cattle to milk and
wisdom myths to seek.

Deeper thickening forests.
In the hart of darkness,
a small truth lurks,
a flickering flame.
Far from habitations reach.

– © Dai Fry 22nd April 2020.

The Stag

You sculpt the ash tree of the world,
nibble its bark and branches.
One of the four gusts that prune clouds,
while another beast gnaws
at the roots of the world.

Every hart has a crown of antlers
that moves beneath the canopy of the world.
true bone fed by blood
in the outer velvet hot to the touch.

You are The Dead One,
The Unconscious One,
Thunder in the Ear,
or Thriving Slumber.
gust in the mind.

-Paul Brookes

Between Chaos and Silence

Today is not the day
to trespass into the dawn,
to leave your boot prints
ragged on the tall grass.

Today is not the day
to muscle your way in,
to bring the brutality
of your hands into the
serenity of the morning.

Today is not the day
to speak with your teeth,
to shred the delicate webs
that protect the boundary
between chaos and silence.

Today is the day
to lower your voice,
put down your weapons
and honor the delicate
moments of being alive.

-Susan Richardson


The density of the horns
on my head symbolises
my maturity —
my experiences of survival.

After running for life
from the chasing tiger,
there is always
some time to pose.

Lifting the chin up slightly,
pouting a little, creating
the aura of Godfather
there is always some time
to live the swag.

Grass is always better
on the other side of the jungle;

so are the number of lions.

-Jay Gandhi

Keeper of the Fields

Deep brown beast of
Folklore and modernity,
Your rubs frequently stole
The bark from small trees
Where we walked, religiously,
Each evening at sunset.
Routine and territory
Remind all creatures of
Our space, keep us
Properly in our place.


A Frozen moment

The cobwebs of desire
intermeshed with hope
as it floats on the gentle petals
of the dandelion floating away to yonder
Sometimes silence takes the form
around us,
appears suddenly like a moose in a grassland
leaving footprints on the warm grass of the meadow
a supple reminder of its presence
Making its way silently to the gushing stream
sustenance as he knows it
taking the sip from the rushing stream
aware and alive
a crowned head with antlers:
an intricate puzzle for beauty and survival
A startling presence in nature
a throbbing desire for an artist,
if only he could steal a moment
and freeze it in time.

–Megha Sood

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


-Megha Sood

lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. She is an Assistant Poetry Editor at Ariel Chart and Mookychick. Over 350+ works in journals including FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Dime show review, etc. and works featured in 38 other print anthologies by the US, UK, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019. National level Poetry Finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019, Shortlisted in Pangolin Poetry Prize 2019 and in Adelaide Literary Awards 2019. Works selected numerous times in Jersey City Genre Nights and Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at and tweets at @meghasood16.

-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.

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, Dai Fry, Megha Sood and myself. April 23rd

  1. Pingback: National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Challenge, a collaboration between poets and artists hosted by Paul Brookes – Megha's World

  2. Pingback: Between Chaos and Silence – Stories From the Edge of Blindness

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