Culture Articles

Between

07 December 2023 | by Dana Smith

'Between thee and me: Burnt acres of lemon and fig. Maybe a seed.' | by Tucker Tangeman on Unsplash

Between bullet and flesh, a spirit rising like mist, mostly unseen. Between the thought and the deed a sliver of time that makes the earth quake.

Read more

Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks

30 November 2023 | by Martin Shallcross

'Humans now have words in which they can communicate. They tell stories, describe dreams and hear inner voices.' | Book cover of Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks

This book is about two doctors, one French, Jacques, one English, Thomas. They form a close friendship. Jacques marries Thomas’ sister Sonia. The story begins in the 1880s when mentally ill people are locked away, often indefinitely, in lunatic asylums. They are called ‘aliens’. Those caring for them are known...

Read more

Do Quakers Pray?, by Jennifer Kavanagh

30 November 2023 | by Annique Seddon

'We become part of the conversation.’ | Book cover of Do Quakers Pray?, by Jennifer Kavanagh

Many of us already know and value Jennifer Kavanagh’s first book in the Quaker Quicks series, Practical Mystics, in which she explores the spiritually-attuned faith-in-action of Quaker experience. Her latest addition to the series helps us to think through, with wonder, the multifaceted nature of prayer as experienced by...

Read more

Peace! Books! Freedom! The secret history of a radical London building, by Rosa Schling

30 November 2023 | by Andrew Rigby

'I was reminded of how different campaigning was in the 1970s.' | Book cover of Peace! Books! Freedom! The secret history of a radical London building, by Rosa Schling

A small group of volunteers has been working on the digitisation of Peace News, a publication with which many Friends will be familiar. Coincidentally, as the run from 1950-1959 was uploaded, a new oral history was published of 5 Caledonian Road, the premises that Peace News occupied in 1959 (and which continues...

Read more

Bible and Poetry, by Michael Edwards

30 November 2023 | by Simon Webb

Light, wind, fire, all natural phenomena, brush against the invisible and open this world to another that, always present, suffuses it...' | Book cover of Bible and Poetry, by Michael Edwards

This book begins with the bold assertion that ‘we do not read the Bible as it is meant to be read’. After a sentence that casts shade on traditional theological approaches, its author goes on to explain that it’s ‘the presence of poetry in the Bible’ that is ‘the...

Read more

Callings, by Lucy Rushton

30 November 2023 | by Marisa Johnson

'The landscape, people and culture of Burma, so alien to the missionaries, are vividly brought to life.' | Book cover of Callings, by Lucy Rushton

At the last Meeting for Sufferings, held in Leeds at the beginning of October, I met my f/Friend Lucy Faulkner Gawlinski. She had recently published a novel, Callings, under her maiden name of Rushton. She gave me a copy as a gift.

Read more

In the Atlas mountains

30 November 2023 | by Roger Iredale

'Five faces and a white-nose ass disrupting dust rise up the slope of olive trees past bearing.' | Patrick Ogilvie on Unsplash

Five faces and a white-nose ass disrupting dust rise up the slope of olive trees

Read more

Beneath sufferance stones

16 November 2023 | by Steve Day

'From the comfort of our sofa we went there with you. Took her scented candle to a vigil saw your sorrow in the flame asking us to waste some silence.' | by Eyasu Etsub on Unsplash

He had been digging his four year old daughter out of the earth. We know this because there was no choice, witnessing him burst his straining back, splitting spinal minor chords of both himself, as in parent       and child, as in dead daughter. Now he lies fixed...

Read more

Garden lessons

09 November 2023 | by Jennie Osborne

'A woman may sit in a garden of young blossoms showing their faces to sun for the first time, and wait for words to take root.' |

There is more than one way of calling in the seed. A woman may sit in a garden of young blossoms showing their faces to sun for the first time, and wait for words to take root. Soil knows the spell of waiting just as the robin knows the right...

Read more

Ashes and diamonds

02 November 2023 | by Roger Iredale

'There are no diamonds in the ashes of despair.' | by Chris Coe on Unsplash

There are no diamonds in the ashes of despair.  Anger writhes along each cortège as broken souls go down to brandished flags and guns. Hope seems lost.

Read more