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In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Labyrinth at Landbeach


Landbeach is one of the two parishes in which Pam, my wife and I minister. It is a small village about seven miles north of Cambridge UK. Recently we held a quiet day there, part of which was to use a temporarily constructed labyrinth as an aid to reflection on our lives’ paths. The labyrinth had been constructed by F C (who is a trained labyrinth constructor – we met her laying out a more permanent labyrinth at a retreat house in Umbria) from the spent votive lights from one of the principal churches in London (ideally portable for such a purpose). I was particularly struck by the idea F offered us that prayers we might offer whilst walking the Landbeach Labyrinth would be ‘mingled with’ the prayers of the many, many people – more than 400 of them from all over the world – who had offered their prayers when they visited London. The votives have had to be collected up but the labyrinth in Landbeach churchyard remains, at least for the time being. If you are in the vicinity, you might like to visit. It lies between the right hand side of the church as you enter the main gate and a further gate in the wall on the right. The churchyard is a beautiful place in its own right. Reflecting on all of this as I sat in the churchyard on that quiet day, I  started to pen the following.

Labyrinth at Landbeach
The prayers of Imogen from Idaho,
of Hassan from Cairo,
of Letina from Harare,
of Nicolai from Irkutsk,
of Saeed from Nablus ,
of Divine from Kishasa,
of Kevin from Poplar and many more
have ascended in an Abbey church;
and now delineate a pathway for reflection
In a tranquil country churchyard.

Consider the interweaving of those prayers,
(perhaps of anguish, of  life and death,
of fear, of joy, of terror or thanksgiving)
our prayers, and the prayers
of the people of this parish,
many of whom lie in this haven,
where butterflies weave their erratic pathways
towards the next bounty of nectar, the next mating,
the next egg laying,
the next death.
Brief lives,'
unlike those of John Diver, Aged 71
and of us, who walk this transient labyrinth.
We have made choices, good and bad,
affected the lives of others,
played our parts in communities
and now seek a glimpse of that still centre
to which we all must go
to meet with the Maker
of the cosmic dust that forms us all
and this loving landscape.

This theme also ties in a little with the ideas I have explored in ‘A Cosmic Labyrinth’, a sequential poem of twelve parts (ultimately) with Parts 1 – 6 to be found at A Cosmic Labyrinth




If you want to know more about the purpose and nature of a labyrinth, you will find a lot of information on the 'Veriditas' site Click here to access the site

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'