Arts Articles

The heart and the hour

05 November 2020 | by Angela Arnold

'At the start, it’s no more than a fist' | by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash.

At the start, it’s no more than a fist, doing that opening, shutting, pumping business.

Read more

What lies ahead

29 October 2020 | by Anne M Jones

'Permitted, but risky is a bus ride. I take my familiar 172.' | by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash.

Mashed into the last summer sunshine cold wind, a paper-cut barb Hints at winter ahead. Though told that warmth would banish this virus it hovers still, a vulture that threatens our fresh horizons Corralls us back into our cups Of joys, miseries and memories.

Read more

Ground zero

15 October 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

'...building a meeting-house from open air...' | by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash.

Rain is all mist without fall, and mottled with grey motions, the sky. There’s a sea-roar in that fruitless sycamore, and eucalyptus leads the cheer, throwing jackdaws in streaming perichoresis about a pale, unblooded sky.

Read more

The proud old lineage

08 October 2020 | by Reg Naulty

We Poets of the proud old lineage Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why (James Elroy Flecker) When found, they are free to follow their imaginations, gladly, wherever they may lead:

Read more

Wild Olympians

24 September 2020 | by Ann Banks

'And still they come – in the hope of last-resort' | Brian Sumner on Unsplash

And still they come – in impossible inflatables – The pregnant, the children, men, stubbled And hollow-eyed with desperation. Dwarfed by towering tankers, their tiny boats Pitched and tilted, precipitously, by ferries’ careless wakes.

Read more

Psalm 119

17 September 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

'Sophistical butterflies – good heavens!' | by David Clode on Unsplash.

O Lord, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant Butterflies are happy for our garden. Something coppery there, a Small Heath, and a Wood White skipping, luciform.

Read more

Poem: Friend

10 September 2020 | by RV Bailey | 2 comments

'I never knew you were a Quaker.' | The Chelsea Meeting, Nelson Dawson, 1891.

I never knew you were a Quaker. I might have guessed. A silence in the midst of argument; A pause for thought. A sense that something else was going on Quietly, all the time.

Read more

Unique selling point

20 August 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

'We shan’t last long. Holiness takes her chances.' | Magda Lukas / Unsplash

Fall of dregs-from-the-wine-vat petals: unprogrammed, let’s say, or aleatory blossom. The thought (today’s) is this: unique selling point of religion is (still) holiness. Petals in blood-spill asymmetry make it more arduous for reason to prevail. Stamens sift rich sand in timbre, shock flakes are tumbled pumpkin.

Read more

‘Caroline provided Virginia with a role model of an independent woman.’

13 August 2020 | by Kersti Wagstaff | 1 comment

Portrait of Virginia Woolf | by George Charles Beresford, 1902.

In Simon Webb’s review of Virginia Woolf’s biography of Roger Fry in the Friend last month, he was right to point out that Virginia Woolf was not a Quaker. But she had much closer contact with Quakerism than is often realised – in particular with something quite like Quakerism...

Read more

For America in a time of a drought

30 July 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'Alongside the ancient Siberian apple. I offer what I am to the alongside of it.' | Shelley Pauls / Unsplash

The rain in the old cemetery is simple. It falls on yarrow, clover, ragwort dispensing pearls into the grain of day, into the Yorick skull-clot of Devon clay. The tissue of the warm-wooded dead is wormed with the first drop of its showers, runs into the finger-hold of tiny oaks,...

Read more