MOST RECENT POSTS

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.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Gliese 581 by Kenneth Steven (in English and Gaelic)


 Gliese is a red dwarf star (see below for more detail)

Following last week’s post focusing on the glorious book, “Iona, The Other Island’ by Kenneth Steven (Words) and Iain Sarjeant (Photos) I have had permission from Kenneth to post one of his poems which aligns beaufifully with the main focus of this blog. I am especially delighted at this, as Kenneth is an author of note, with his books published in sixteen languages and tributes from such as Ted Hughes and Magnus Magnusson I am also grateful to Ann Dankin of Kyleakin in Skye for allowing me to publish her Gaelic translation of Gliese 581. Another veritable feast! This poem features in Kenneth’s book of poetry entitled ‘Evensong’. Links to Kenneth’s website and blog are at the foot of this posting.

Gliese 581
If we should find some other star –
Half a century away, still in the silence of the sky –

We’d leave (the ones who had the money for the fare),
This planet gassed and poisoned by our wars.

We’d look back one last time in wonder
On the blue beauty of our home left empty:

A gust of toppled promises,
Growing further off (but never less).

Then dark and doubt, and fifty years
To get to somewhere only telescopes had seen;

Unbegun and perfect,
Our chance to start again.

And in the beginning we’d believe we could;
We’d keep our promises for sure.

But then the shadow of ourselves
Would fall, we would forget –

And on the eighth day
We’d be whispering for war.

And in Gaelic


Gliese is a red dwarf star about 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Libra. It has a planets rotating around it and for a while one of them was thought to be the most promising exoplanet for hosting life. More recently the Kepler Space telescope has found more likely candidates at similar distances in space .

See more about Kenneth’s writings and listen to him on his website by clicking here

AL;SO  Call up Kenneth’s blog (Including a recent poem ‘Twelve’ by clicking here

ALSO read my comments on the book mentioned at the head of this posting ‘Iona, The Other Island’ HERE


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'