In the end, the truth is where love lies.

With foresight, we may see  where  problems lurk
And  root them out before they start to grow
Yet often life’s mysteriously dark
And what we reap is what another sowed.

In hindsight,  this seems obvious and plain.
But some can  pick the  true out with no pain
Yet others choose  their fantasy again
They amble down a cheerful sunny lane.

Though what is real may not be what we wish
Better truth that hurts  than lies  that charm
Reality is not an easy  choice
Yet falsehood will mislead and even harm.

Insight grows with patient watching eyes
In the end, the truth is where love lies.

To living where there is no hint divine

The geese which I  once loved no longer fly
In their unique  geometry  so fine
Above the school fields  through the empty sky

Some locals think that “immigrants” came by
Trapped the geese and ate them with dark wine
The geese which I  once loved no longer fly

In the morning  I would  hear their cry
Heading South in that great V shaped sign
Above the school fields  through the empty sky

Onto   fresh  water , London’s first supply
The River New flows down the contour lines
But the geese which I  once loved no longer fly

In  the muddles of suburbia, we find
Conserved places lingering,  benign;
Like the  old school fields  below the empty sky

Never must we humans be resigned
To living where there is no hint divine
The geese which I  once loved no longer fly
But the school fields  house wild birds  beneath this sky


I wrote this when I was starting out and I noticed I was drawn to images of worms and beetles and life in the darkness under us.I was not aware of that when I began to write

Winter weather, frost, dark sky,
See white geese and silver stars.
Two cooing doves with collars red,
Are watching out for seeded bread.

From the sun, low in the sky,
Light falls slantwise to my eyes.
Trees bud, though invisibly,
Nothing that our eyes can see.

Bulbs shoot up from dark cold soil
Where worms and beetles quietly toil.
We take for granted air and sky,
Love the birds we see fly by.

But who can love the worms and slugs
And those creatures we call bugs?
So in our dark cold winter time,
Praise these creatures in the grime.

Without these worms, our crops would die.
No cornfields for us to lie,
Amidst the poppies’   wild red  blooms.
So we forget all winter’s gloom

Praise the snails and bees and ants
For these and spiders, let’s give thanks.
As the lightness needs the dark,
From darkness come life-giving sparks.

Enrich darkness with our gifts.
Look not always to the swift.
Slow and patient like these worms,
Nature’s lowness is my theme

The Faith that crucifies women

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In Hampson’s worldview Christianity is on the scrapheap not only because it cannot possibly be true, but because it harms women. Since Christianity is anchored in a particular time, events from that point in history become a “benchmark” to which constant reference is made. “The circumstances of that past age are propelled into the present, influencing people, not least, at a subconscious level,” says Hampson. Obedience and worship are inescapably fundamental to Christianity. This, she says, must be a problem for feminists who have struggled to free themselves from patriarchal dominion. In her new book, After Christianity, she takes this argument a stage further: “I began to see that the very raison d’etre of the Christian myth was to support men as superior over women, that it served to legitimise how men see themselves in the world.”,


In After Christianity she acknowledges that the Christian myth is a symbol system “which has carried people’s love of God” – though “we need to reformulate what God is”. Like the 19th-century German Protestant philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher whose work inspired her and who talks of human beings lying “directly on the bosom of the infinite world”, she undertakes theology because she believes there is another dimension to reality.

The book explores case studies from the Oxford Religious Experiences Research Unit, one of them being the story of a woman who goes to the cinema with her husband. Part-way through the film she smells burning and has an irresistible urge to return home. On entering the house they are enveloped by smoke and manage to rescue their baby and babysitter just in time. “I don’t think one can rule out the possibility that something else is brought into play here.” She is at pains to point out that such an experience does not constitute a break in the natural order. “Such experiences always have been and always will be, they just have not been discussed in the annals of theological academia.”

About Kierkegaard and post Enlightment theology with Prof. Daphne Hampson

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MT: In your Preface you movingly acknowledge your personal debt to Kierkegaard, saying how important he has been for your own intellectual journey (“a source of delight and edification”). If, God forbid, Kierkegaard hadn’t existed who would you turn to fill (some of) the gaps?

DH: This is a lovely question but I absolutely don’t know how to answer it! I simply cannot imagine who I should be or what conclusions I should have come to had Kierkegaard not been on the scene. I have read him, as I said, since a teenager – and I am now 70. He has been inextricably wound into my life in that he has been a constant dialogue partner as I have engaged with his thought. That is exactly what he desired his readers should do.

For myself, Kierkegaard allowed me, at an earlier stage and with far greater clarity than might otherwise have been the case, to arrive at an understanding as to what it is that Christianity implies and claims. I may have come down on the other side of the fence than he; but it has been important to think this out – and at least we should have understood each other as to what the issues are. So I’m grateful. I’ve also thought a lot about what is the difference in historical context between us: what is it that has changed more generally?

But also in other subtle ways – as I’ve indicated – he has been endlessly edifying. Kierkegaard has enabled me to think out what my values are or confirmed me in what I already thought. Last but not least I think it has sometimes encouraged me that Kierkegaard could keep going, all those hours working on his own, while receiving little recognition. Kierkegaard speaks to one as an individual in a way that few authors do. That is why one comes to care about him – however much one might think differently.

MT: Why and how is Kierkegaard still relevant? Why should we read him?

DH: I think I may have answered this question. Or perhaps Kierkegaard can best answer it when he writes: ‘I know what Christianity is. And to get this properly recognized must be, I should think, to every person’s interest, whether he be a Christian or not, whether his intention is to accept Christianity or to reject it.’ People need to stop faffing about and to consider the validity of what it is that Christianity maintains. Anything else won’t do.

But others will surely read Kierkegaard for the sheer joy of the beauty of his prose (which comes through even in translation), for his insights into human life (including its pain), and not least for his wicked humour and his joy. At the end of the day I have to say of Kierkegaard that read him on account of his tender love of God, which I in some sense and in some moments share, even though I may have come to judge Christianity otherwise.


On random deaths

We might have died in childbirth;
We might have died in war;
None of us imagined
Death in a grocery store.

We went out buying fruit and meat,
Fresh eggs and chicken breasts.
We wanted to make dinner
For this night’s Sabbath Feast.

But no-one knew that warm goodbye
Was to be our last;
A few shots and some bullets
Another life has passed.

What were our young children
going to feel tonight?
We should be serving love and food
As  the candles give their light.

Candles burn in memory
Of all the innocent,
who are caught up in tragedies
That someone else invents.

Let young men delude themselves
And politicians too….
Don’t forget those murderers
Could be me and you….

We are not so different
But for circumstance.
The murderers and their victims turn
In a macabre dance.

God’s position nobody’s divined.

God reached a position we can’t find
He moved  astute and humorous through the air
Being human we are almost blind

A game beyond the games of Wittgenstein
The willing player  has found a wondering flair
God’s position,  nobody’s  divined.

Impossibly  the  paths of nuclei wind
Cast a glance and upset the whole air
Being human we are violence blind

We cannot cast a light on his designs
Infinitesimal eyings push the photons where?
God’s position  nobody will find

From unknown spaces, love  and hate  combine
The light divides ecstatic,pure,two,bare
Human , we survive by being blind

Love God if you will, it is a dare
Powerful, vivid as leaps a March Hare
God reached that position we can’t find
In the Arctic wastes of our own minds




At the edge of reverie and dream

At the edge of reverie and dream
In the dusk or dawn, the edge of life
We catch sight of  images  sublime

The fantasies, the daydreams, how  they seem
Elusive yet eternal in  their  strife
At the edge of reverie and dream

Are they wishes, we’re too scared to deem
Part of our self,  defensive how we shy!
We catch sight of  images designed.

Prophecies of futures  not yet seen
They tell a truth as they flow swiftly  by
At the edge of reverie and dream

Life at these dusk times is slow and green
Aversive to the tempo of  new times
We catch sight of images that stream

Can a writer catch this theme in rhymes;
Write it down in short and telling lines?
At the edge of reverie and dream
We  fish our pictures from this image stream


The poetry of disobedience by Alice Notley

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Over the course of her career, poet Alice Notley has aimed, as New York Times critic Joel Brouwer observed, “to establish or continue no tradition except one that literally can’t exist—the celebration of the singular thought sung at a particular instant in a unique voice.” Though at different junctures she has been associated with the second generation of the New York School, feminist and political poetics, and the Language poets, Notley has consistently reinvented her approach and formal structure with each new collection of poetry.

“The Poetics of Disobedience” was written for the Conference on Contemporary American and English Poetics, which was held on February 28, 1998, at the Center for American Studies at King’s College London, and was also presented at Naropa University on June 15, 1998. It was later published in the anthology Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action (2004), edited by Anne Waldman.

In this essay Notley asserts, “It’s necessary to maintain a state of disobedience against . . . everything. One must remain somehow, though how, open to any subject or form in principle, open to the possibility of liking, open to the possibility of using.” Explaining her overarching desire to “blow away the gauze,” she articulates her belief that the essential disobedience of the poet and the reader are necessary for a fuller perception of the self and its connection to the world, concluding that “self means ‘I’ and also means ‘poverty,’ it’s what one strips down to, who you are when you’re stripped down.”



Flowers R Mee

DSCF0024He saved me a past party tickle.
I missed his algebraic forms.
He’s only a number to me.I am numb all over.
He says he’ll give me peace of mind.Or did he mean a piece of his mind?
What tense are your muscles?
Is the past infinite?
The future is friction.
Can we split the indifferent?
Was the past subjective?
My eyes need besting
The subjunctive is Latin for may be.
How about the past, perfect?
What is the future when not dense?
Grimmer than grammar: the autolieography of a woman of many alarms.
Can a noun be irrational?
What about an infinite sequence of jumbles?
What is a transcendental word?
I hate logs but like rhymes.Log-o-rhymes is my next book.
Why do letters need indices?So we can locate men?
Dryden wrote poetry in Latin.Unfortunately he manslated it into Bringlish and renounced ending a sentence with” of”.
What was he thinking of?
Meet me  at the end of the line to.

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