The place of maps

I have just been reading The Book of Negroes by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. It gets its controversial title from a historic document from the 18th century which is kept at the National Archives at Kew. It is a ledger of over 3,000 names of enslaved African, the “Black Loyalists” who escaped to Britain’s lines in the American […]

Breath – my chosen poem of the month

Breath by Adrian Rice was Carol Rumen’s Poem of the Week on Saturday and was Mark Oakley’s #APoemADay on Tuesday. It is stunningly beautiful and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. It is my poem of the month. What is death but a letting go of breath? One of the last things he did was to […]

A Pearl from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

On this day, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was martyred – aged 39. His life, teaching and death are constant reminders of the cost of discipleship and the need for political engagement. Here is one of his pearls: God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. […]

Brexit – made in England, led by donkeys

Brexit shambles and uncertainty continues as the government suffers another humiliating defeat. Parliament struggles to find a way through an impasse which bears the stamp “made in England” – not made in Britain. What was dreamed up by some in England (and set alight by papers) has drawn other nations in. Not only Scotland and […]

Mushrooms

Mushrooms, by Sylvia Plath, is my poem of the month. Do you want to know what it’s about? One person says it’s about mushrooms. The beauty of poetry is its surplus of meaning. Poems mean a lot – a lot more than the sum of their words and usually a lot more than the poet […]