Thankyou to all those who stayed the course and achieved this final day as part of my annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge amazing Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets moving Susan Richardson, profound Samantha, telling Jay Gandhi, deep Ali Jones, inspiring Dai Fry. April 30th



In summer time, head to the cemetery,
out around nine o’clock, where birches drip the days
and you’re freshly plucked and razored
into what you think is your best self.

You’re meeting friends, supposed to be going
out with a boy, some years older than you
and you don’t know his last name, but covet
his leather gloves and biker jacket, para boots

with stories to tell. Your friends have sticky palms
and cider on their breath, the ground is flecked
with rollies; it’s August and you are still young,
until September comes and moves everyone on.

You kiss the boy on the cheek, maybe take it a little further,
fingers in zippers and the soft sounds of birds,
a gnat swarm suddenly veils you, a graveyard bride,
or a gothic pop-song caricature of yourself.

Later, you lie on the earth and play dead.
Imagine what it would be like to spill into the soil,
while others tell themselves that everything will be ok.
Night rises, fix up your lipstick, kiss the boy

on the cheek again, say thank you,
because that’s what your mother taught you;
that manners are as important,
as the way that you live.

-Ali Jones

The Cobweb’s Breath

Cobweb’s breath dew sticky,
comes over the shoulder
from the back. Hairs
rise from their quiver.
Were I to touch your stone,
would we be holding hands… again?

There is a transparency here
where your roots spike
through the sorrow of long grass.
Under church eyes and iron fencing,
Where we take our visiting hour.

I sometimes wish you
had been burnt in
the gas hot fires.
Then I could have
held you up to the winds.

You may have embraced
cliff-skies and turbulent spirals.
Tree hung dappled brooks
and fresh water meadows.
Casting off your glooms
as you once tossed your hair,
in a shower of grey dust.

But I like this garden
with a parlour’s quiet,
wild flowers abandoned
to this overgrown place.

Where we nearly hold hands
sipping our tea from a flask.

-©️ Dai Fry 29th April 2020.

Tiger Lily

He was playful at the end,
surprising me with treats
when I appeared at his door,
sneaking pieces of chocolate
from his wife’s private stash,
sharing the spoils.
He ate whipped cream without a spoon,
slept in his favorite suede shoes,
told me he wished he could fly away.

He will never be entombed.

He will be given back to the earth,
mingle with the roots of trees,
become the soil that cultivates life.
He will be branches that touch the sky,
leaves rustled by a gentle wind.
He will be a field of sunflowers
that greet the day,
rolling hills that stretch
to the edge of night.
He will be a tiger lily that blooms bright
for just one day,
reminding me to breathe,
to treasure what is beautiful,
what is fleeting.

-Susan Richardson


Today the spirits are partying
while the corpses are dancing
in their graves.

They have done it!
They’ve broken the loop
of birth & death.

All these souls are free of regrets
for they can’t repair anything now.

The loads of setting things right
in the next life have drowned.

The manipulative manual
is in tatters.

Having broken all the shackles,
having won the ultimate battle,

there is one thing that’s
irking them now:

Why didn’t we live like this
in the very first place?

-Jay Gandhi

Writing My Epitaph

My ghosts already haunt me.
Ghosts of poor choices and
Things I shouldn’t have said;
Ghosts which sneak up around my grave, and
Show me those deeply-buried,
Long-loathed parts of me
That haven’t fully decayed.
The rotting, fleshy bits hanging in
Their grotesque way,
Reminding me they wait for me
To address their presence, pick them apart and
Bury them again so they may properly deteriorate
Into fertile earth for healthy new growth.

When they come haunting,
My ghosts make a compelling case.
They are translucent, persistent things,
Not unlike the memories they dredge up to share with me.
Sometimes, they nearly convince me I’m already dead.
But why is my headstone blank?
My ghosts don’t understand, but as
They walk me through graveyards,
Instead, I see orchards of opportunity
Ripe to harvest in good deeds for
My future epitaph.


Our Blue Mary (A List Poem)

A caged bride
A dog called what
A salamander’s wool
Age is only a number
Blue Hawk
I decide
In a grain of sand
Kill it my sister
Let me pass through
Midwinter is
My flame
My stone
On the road
Our spired unicorn
Our Unicorn spire
Path of seeds
The cost is prohibitive
The one hand
The ruin
The Rung down
The Stag
This egg asks
Trees hold hands
You Meet

=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:


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.

One thought on “Thankyou to all those who stayed the course and achieved this final day as part of my annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge amazing Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets moving Susan Richardson, profound Samantha, telling Jay Gandhi, deep Ali Jones, inspiring Dai Fry. April 30th

  1. Pingback: The Final Poems – Stories From the Edge of Blindness

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