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Poetry by Catholic writers, or that deals with subjects and themes of interest to Catholics.

Poem: At the school gate

Fr David O'Malley has published Charles Causley's powerful poem in his blog this week, reflecting on the start of the new school term. Timothy Winters comes to school With eyes as wide as a football-pool, Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters: A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters. His belly is white, his neck is dark, And his hair is an exclamation-mark. His clothes are enough to scare a ... Read More

A Poem for All Souls Day

Photo by Yulia Gadalina on Unsplash

So what is heaven? In each year's eleventh month we ask: so what is heaven? (And on the eleventh day at the eleventh hour reply: An end to war, at least!) We ask this not abstractly but from the place of loss. Unlike the case of Christ, we don't proclaim the death of those we've loved to be the source of life; yet we profess their resurrection, too. The Afterlife is, as seen from here, an act of t... Read More

Poem: Breakfast In The Safety Of A War-Zone

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

The radio crackles into life beneath my clumsy early morning thumb, bringing the latest from a basement under siege. As the kettle boils a plume of smoke rises in the distance, followed seconds later by the dull thud of the landing shell. The loose dry leaves cascade like shrapnel into the pre-warmed pot. The clatter of machine-guns punctuates my stirring of the brew. I reach the fridge door just... Read More

Poems For Ukraine: 'A Word In Edgeways'

Up and down the country all sorts of fundraising initiatives are taking place in response to the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the invasion of Ukraine. As his own contribution to efforts by his parishioners, Canon Rob Esdaile has put together a little volume of poems, titled, 'A Word In Edgeways'. This is his fifth collection, following '50:50', 'Renew, Refresh, Rejoice', 'Yes, Thanks!' and '... Read More

Poem: Song of the Child with Simeon

Simeon with the Christ Child in the Temple by Rembrandt

Song of the Child with Simeon Whose are those dimmed eyes I see? I feel safe, held well, By a warm, deep, growling voice. I cannot quite focus on this person, But I know he is about to be born- Not like I am now, but into a greater whole. Go well old man, Adieu! Go towards the Light! Read More

Mary in Our Hearts

"'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May your word to me be fulfilled.'" - Luke 1:38 I pray that we find it in our hearts to have faith like Mary. For Mary didn't understand how it could be that she, still a virgin, could bear a child. Yet she trusted and accepted the call proclaimed by Gabriel because she believed it was God's will for her. Mary must have known that she, pregnant and unw... Read More

Poem: Running Orders

Shejaiya residential neighbourhood after 2014 war on Gaza. Photo: Garry Walsh

They call us now, before they drop the bombs. The phone rings and someone who knows my first name calls and says in perfect Arabic "This is David." And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass-shattering symphonies still smashing around my head I think, Do I know any Davids in Gaza? They call us now to say Run. You have 58 seconds from the end of this message. Your house in next. They think of it as ... Read More

Poem by John Bradburne for Earth Day 2021

As we collectively celebrate Earth Day on the 22nd April 2021 in a unified response to an environmental crisis that we are all facing. We can look to the words in John Bradburne's poetry in the 1970's as being some of the first to notice this crisis. Let us try and make changes not only for our sakes and future generations, but for the nature, environment and saving and protecting the planet. Def... Read More

Liverpool: Eulogy For The Lost by Frank Cottrell Boyce


Catholic writer Frank Cottrell Boyce gave this powerful eulogy yesterday at St George's Hall, Liverpool, to mark the first anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic: We're coming to you from the concert room at St. George's Hall. This is the first building in the world to have air conditioning. A labyrinth of Victorian cast iron brings warm air in and takes stale air away. This building breathes When D... Read More

Celebrating the life and poetry of John Bradburne

John Bradburne

Earlier this month the John Bradburne Memorial Society (JBMS) launched its 100-day Poetry Project, in honour of the life and work for his Centenary Year in 2021. For the following 100 days, leading up to John's 100th Birthday on 14 June 2021, prominent figures and supporters will read out one of John's poems on the Society's YouTube channel. (See link below) You can also visit the JBMS poetry w... Read More

Poetry: Holy Week Voices from the Holy Land

Holy Week Voices from the Holy Land is a unique spiritual resource with 15 contributors from the Holy Land drawn from across the main Christian denominations, compiled with a series of poems and reflections written by Fr Richard Nesbitt. Fr Richard is parish priest at Our Land of Fatima's in White City, west London, and wrote the poems during Holy Week in the first lockdown in 2020. In an imaginat... Read More

Review: 'Green Burial', by Martin Hayden

Green Burial by Martin Hayden. Published by The Garlic Press. Price £10. Many years ago I spoke to a veteran activist in the peace movement. When I asked him why he did what he did, he said, "It's my love song to the world." This book feels very much like a love song - to the world, to creation, to a family, and to a precious lost son. I have rarely been so moved by anything I have read. Out of t... Read More

Ring out, wild bells

image ICN/JS

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind For those that here we see no more; Ring out the feud of rich an... Read More

A poem for Remembrance Sunday: truly to remember is a pledge to fight for peace

A VIRTUAL REMEMBRANCING Remembrance means much more than 'not forgetting'. Re-membering means the impossible piecing back together of the fragments of lives taken, given (lost in either case); the smithereens into which were blasted long ago ancestral bodies, limbs, minds and, alas, whole nations. Remembrance means a re-assembling after countless moments when clocks stopped, threads snapped, brea... Read More

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