Byzantine Bindings

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Seven for a secret

Angel 2


becoming known
everything changes now
carrying an urgent message


in the landscape
showing the hidden truth
lighting up the streams and branches

becoming known
opening the window
letting in the golden message

god becomes man
everything changes now
simple story complicated

no room for her
bearing wonderfulness
carrying an urgent message

deep within her
knitted togetherness
long before the dawn of time

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Father Son & Holy Ghost (ii)


long in the tooth
locked in relationship
sustaining all of creation

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Words, words, words!

A Bit of a Mantrum Chantrum:
no need of words
follow the breath
live in the moment
follow the breath
make room for advent 
follow the breath
everyday magic
follow the breath
always give thanks 
follow the breath
re-telling stories
follow the breath
dwelling in stillness
follow the breath
dwelling in silence
follow the breath
smile to yourself
follow the breath
dealing with suffering
follow the breath

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Here he is!

that's the hardest
the rest falls into place
probably guided by God's hand

50 Words

It's all inside 
the trick is to find the tap
valve door or gap
thin place at any rate
place where knowing and being in charge
let's say
are less important than
letting go and seeing what happens
having the faith to erase that which is making meaning
easy then.

300 Words

The creative truth is nearer than we like to think
like God
waiting for you to be still enough
present in this moment
prayer-full in some way and yet 
in other ways constantly flowing like a river or a stream.

There is a tiny brook which runs under our houses it links us to the stream
and in turn to the river and the sea.

Then suddenly there he is
popping out of the page
this gentle clumsy giant with bundled flowers
longing for his innocence to be noticed
ignorant in the ways of love
feeling a great rush inside
unsure of what it means or how to handle it
there is s tremendous strength here which would overwhelm you 
crush you with his cumbersome love
he blunders into your world
lacking in the social graces 
unrefined immanent

Probably a blacksmith
great hulk of a man
forged himself in fire and ice
over the millennia
weathered now
seeking something
more than friendship
less than love
committed only to the fire 
which breathes life

Maybe a sharecropper
aware of the obligation he has
to family and land
returning home for dinner
noticing by the side of the field some posies
thoughtfully plucking them from the earth
table decoration
gifted from the earth
of no commercial value 
but being that which makes the hard work bearable
maybe me
maybe you
maybe everyone
that part of us which is strong and gentle
aware that there is nothing we need more than
a sign every now and then
kisses from the sun
changes in the season
trickle of brook
graces beyond measure poured upon us
it's as simple as that
no meaning 
or explanation
just moments when the heart beats a little faster 
or tears smile through a half forgotten memory.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Coming and Going

out of the ground
sometimes it's hard to tell
between the autumn and winter

50 Words
There is that time,
the mornings are chilly,
the geese start their melancholic tones
warning of the impending changes.
First swallow,
first geese, lime and chestnut
all tell us their tales
year after year.

Latterly I have taken to listening and it seems to be making some sort of difference.

300 Words
Last leaf fall quietness coldness and dark times evoke a time of earthy returningness
until rising again, at walking pace I'm told,
Spring shakes off the earth from her
overwintered clothing and wipes the sleep from her waking eyes.
It all begins again with joyous regularity.
I know that Sartre and Beckett would not agree and found no solace in the natural changes, at any rate it makes an impression on me these days and
layers upon the fabric of meaning
I make for myself wrapping up the baby in swaddling bands
somehow safe and secure in something known but unlearned
and for which I give thanks
in a way I thought I had lost
but even wounded bids can sing
attracting predators
yes I know
but with a zen like quality
being in the moment
becomes easier
with every breath
and things which used to
matter more
matter less
invited into the mix and meld
weave gloriously together
music and movement
I never learned to dance
another language
but it is never to late
the lost villages of Italy
still call
threatening my self -induced coma
I call life
the chill creeps though the window
the sunlight
with less and less warmth now
but that is to be expected
no dawn chorus
the dawn catches up with my rising
soon to overtake it
they say
memories become the mainstay of reality
as age creeps along too
we will become friends
you and I
autumn to winter
age towards death
and we will make a fist of it
discovering more and more about how it works
in truth though I know there will be
no knowing of truth
only significant stories
to feed the traveller
thanks be for
small changes
wonder and magic in the world.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Pray the Way You Can

sometimes it takes a while
a long time
nothing is lost
to a god who counts

quoted from a lecture given by Fr. Eamonn Bredin at Mt Oliver Institute of Religious Education 1984. I have tried to find a a source for it but in vain. Anyone out there have an idea? It has proved to be an inspiration to me in so many situations.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The sea
restless longing
daily diamonds sparkle
speaking more than words can carry

Sitting by the sea watching it watch me.
Wondering at the wonder of sea and sky.
Shoals of tiny fish, 'splinters of life'.
Covered in glory.
Losing myself in the immensity of it all.
Giving thanks for it in silent words soaking into the moment.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016


I have been coming
to this place since
just after
dad died
a wooden seat by the 
river Derwent best
part of 17 years winter 
and summer alike
there is for me a great
sense of peace and
connection I don't know
if I have built 
it up year upon year
layer upon layer or
if it was here call-
ing to me...

it is a a great blessing 
to be here
as all life is 
every where

here the two
live side by
side with each
here it is poss-
ible to hold them
in creative ten-

the end of the
whilst able 
to appreciate
the moment.

Monday, 30 May 2016


the journey continues aided by a wise and able teacher
each book becomes a journey in itself 
the choosing
folding sewing
there's a flow and a rhythm
which becomes
more like a dance an exchange
than toil and effort
give and take 
back and forth
weaving materials 
of a fashion
until the music stops
and the next dance begins

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Journey Westward

And so we wonder lately
is it the speaking and the hearing 
or the reading in the writing
that the wisdom lies
the music and the rhythm
pattern and texture of lane and waterfall 
unencumbered by the need for meaning
water flows where it will
unaware of the needful things
of tree and white flowered bush
growing in its way

The music goes where it will and 
touching in between parts
enlivens the dust clinging to
to the improbable future
we sing 
are sung in everyday operas
unseen wind moves our vane 
tripping over sentiment 
laughing at insecurity
longing for the sea

Little left now to play with
but an easy lassitude
wasted on youth when freely available
generous giver seeks soft grass of summer meadow 
at spring's turn towards heaven
longing leaves behind its pain conquering
time lost in the echoes of fragmented history
expressing freedom in new and unexpected ways
dawn welcomed dreaming solitude
smiles at the future stretching far into the sunset
with rose-golden arms wide open
welcoming the inevitable 
the king is dead
long live the king
upon the eagle's back
soaring now upon the quickness of air
glorying in all its thinness and strength 

We bought the book and read it inside our heads
wondering why the transportation failed us
it was always going to be the same
the concert's after taste 
the glow of warm notes
rolling round the mind
it was never going to be the same
borrowed meaning collapses under pressure
which always leaves us wondering 
caught in the misty fruitful moment
of now of then
perhaps and maybe
and through our grasping fingers 
flow the fragmented lives we thought to live
our gaze is now beyond the sparkling sand of 
yesterday and today
upon a timeless uncharted sea of hope.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Something moving

You have to wonder about it all.
Here I am armed to the teeth with enthusiasm and engagement with resurrected bookbinding skills and unsure what to print off to bind.

Seem to be on the edge really
ready to plunge this time 
or if not when.
I do make me laugh!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Something else

turning Godward
releasing mind and body
into the murmuring silent

Sunday, 3 April 2016


starts on going
catching my attention
murmuring since times beginning

Thursday, 3 March 2016


Just a meditation on what happens around us.
It does exist in the real world wherever that is
but you can view it here online:

Monday, 15 February 2016

Lent 6

latent image
shockwave of the big bang
negative capability

not without history
or implication
perhaps it is about realignment
when salt looses its taste
perhaps you find a compass
with no cardinals
but the sun is shining
seek the high place
watch its path through the heavens
then it is of use again
until the next time.

I am
not the God
made by religion.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Lent approaches

not perfection
always missing the mark
possible truth in the desert

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Candy Floss

in a good way
universal background
inviting participation
join in

Perhaps creativity is like a watery flowy thing whose natural state is movement. Too often I want to contain it, the water in a stream is not the same as in a cistern.
I am apt to stem the flow by procrastination, often due to fear of something, so that’s where starting comes in.
When we have blocked or locked the flow we need to start. I advocate simple ways; buy the rod, buy the licence, tie the flies, go to the river, learn, become a fisherman (artist, bookbinder, carpenter painter writer pray-er etc).
Often I need to give myself permission to do these things. In the past I have not done them because of fear of failure or feelings of unworthiness. This is a courageous act, who knows what chaos will ensure if I give myself permission to be who I am.
Finally the stopping. I have to be careful to keep hold of the idea that the gifts I receive need enough of me to make them manifest in the world. I like the candy floss metaphor. It's as if somehow we poke our little stick into the stream and the sugary filamented ideas cling. My job is to hold the stick up somehow and let others taste/see, it is not to take the idea and then dip it in chocolate add gold leaf flakes and by reverse alchemy transmute the precious into the base. The lilly needs no gilding.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

St Teilo

sitting outside
probably always there
gazing inward at the outside

Backwards forwards
fear revealed in dreams
reaching out to touch the flame
with sure knowledge of loss and regret
wonder at the pain of it.

Nothing prepares for the parting
everything there in memory
no reason to doubt
no reason to fear
no evidence to the contrary
ashen voices.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

it's been a while...

what with hospitals
death and a funeral


in the present
it's not getting over
life is in the mix and messy

all in a line
moment of grace is now
opening the door and leaving

50 Words

The thing is
it's beginning to happen
acquiring the tools
making decisions
critically and intuitively
working towards making
all the time aware of something
glowing in the darkness
creeping lightward
honouring something
without the need for recognition
confident understanding
giving permission

we begin again*

*St. Benedict