Monday, 27 March 2017

Becoming Prayer

(Photo: Jacqueline Durban)
The most blessed result of prayer would be to rise thinking,
But I never knew before, I never dreamed.”

I find Her in the psalm of sun on skin,
in turning my face towards the light in early spring,
in the honeybees who worship at the altar of our cherry tree,
in crow's dark wing against the vivid blue of sky and sea.

It's then I know that prayer is in my bones,
in my cells dividing, quickening, allowing space
for the never-ending wilding song of grace
that breaks through winter's frozen state
and sets my bloodsongs free to sound and shine.

I know that sister starling prays Her better still than I
with whirr and click that cleaves the day to life,
her feathers gone to stars, and yet I try
to find the words for how it feels
to see the first petals against snow
and what that means to light,
to fall in love with what wind means to wings,
and peace to night.

And this black ink I use to write is whispering cormorants
I wonder just how deeply I can dive...

(Jacqueline Durban, 27th March 2017)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Flowers and Blood and Mercy and Miracles

So, today London happened, and today, 33 civilians were killed in Syria in a US-led airstrike on a school which was being used to house refugees. And today, as on so many days, many are weeping for their lost brothers and sisters, and for the seeming loss of hope and love and compassion, none of which is ever truly lost because we are human and humans hope and love and care, in spite of and because of it all.

And everywhere humans are at this moment lighting candles and lifting prayers to their God, or Goddess, or gods, or no god, and will care all the more fiercely because of a day like today, and some will hate and call it care and not the fear that it really is, and some will lift up weapons and some will lay down their weapons because they are sickened by it all. And no doubt tomorrow, somewhere, more will die needlessly and more candles will be lit and so we go on in our broken and bewildered way. Because this is what life is, or part of it anyway. It isn't worse than it has ever been. It just is.

And we don't have to say that 'they' won't win, because there is nothing to win and there is no 'they'. There is only us, spinning around on this messy, precious little planet filled with flowers and blood and mercy and miracles, and we have to make it work. And we might not know much but what we can know is that we are all going to die trying. And we don't have to say that we aren't afraid, because we are allowed to be afraid. And I won't be looking at images of people bleeding and dying on Westminster Bridge, or of a man lying dead because how it 'just is' twisted his heart into this act of violence. I will be thinking of the candles and lighting my own. And there are just too many words, and never the right ones, so I will just say that this is how it is. It isn't going to stop, or not any time soon, and so we must find a way to love life and one another all the more because of it. There is nothing else.

Today, London happened and children locked inside Parliament with people dying outside sang to offer comfort and lift people's spirits, perhaps not knowing whether they would live or die themselves. We all need to remember to sing and just keep on singing. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Hare-heart ~ a Poem for Spring Equinox

'Beneath Her Robes' by Kay Leverton. Find her at

How bitter sweet the snowdrops' lucent leaving
Frosted flames returning to the earth
To be held in hope as winter's cherished children
Gathered in darkling dreaming round the old year's embered hearth
As jackdaw comes with ice blue eye and silver gleaming
In winter-winged devotion to spring's rebirth

In untamed form, Melangell drums our aching
Wild lands prayer made woman, sanctified by honey and by hare
Her chapel is our ground of adoration
Our suckling hopes protected by the tresses of her hair
As her fleet-foot lambs spin the triskele to waking
And hill and valley echo to her prayer

Hare-hearted woman, devoted and defiant
One unto herself, though chased and run to ground
No hunt can halt the wildfire of the springtime
No snare bind up the sweetness where her rebel grace is found
And the outcast soul finds sanctuary in her silence
The hallowed place with which her spirit's wound

How bitter sweet the snowdrop's lucent leaving
We might close our eyes and miss their transient sea
But the seductive spell of winter's ours for breaking
Swept on a warming tide of celandine and bee
And Melangell has no time to mourn the snowdrops
Her wish, her spell, her prayer, to set us free.

(Jacqueline Durban, Spring Equinox, 20th March 2017)

Kay Leverton ~ find her at

'Safe in Her Arms' by Kay Leverton ~ find her at

All images used with permission by the artist. Thank you so much to Kay!