Other Ways to Practise Resurrection, Or, How to Beat a Pandemic: After Wendell Berry

When others horde, share. When others sneeze, do not be startled. When the numbers rise, take heart. For your life is more than your days on earth and your planet is more than a virus. When the shops are packed with people and the shelves are emptied of products, do not push and shove andContinue reading “Other Ways to Practise Resurrection, Or, How to Beat a Pandemic: After Wendell Berry”

Companions for the journey: Reaching for Mercy

This morning, because the start of daylight saving tricked my son into sleeping in, I had time to read. So I opened up the new poetry anthology from Proost Poets, Reaching for Mercy, a collection that I contributed to. I must admit that, the first time I looked at it, when I had just received a copy,Continue reading “Companions for the journey: Reaching for Mercy”

Sonnet for the Armchair Geographers

You may be right, Eratosthenes…but you are not right when you take away from [Homer] his great learning, and declare that his creativity is the mythology of an old woman…Homer tells myths more accurately than later mythological authors, not totally recounting marvels, but for the sake of knowledge. (Strabo, Geography) Our first aim was accuracy:Continue reading “Sonnet for the Armchair Geographers”

Damascus Road Prayers: Advent 1

He rose up like a shoot before Him, a shoot from the parched earth; something spoken secretly occurred openly today. (St Ephraim the Syrian, Nativity Hymns 1) TV screens bear children’s prayers to a jolly man in red. My wish list is as full as my cupboard; my spirit is silent today. From department storeContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Advent 1”

Damascus Road Prayers: Saphro (Morning Prayer)

When you are able, bend your knees, when you cannot, make intercession in your mind, ‘at evening and at morning and at midday’. (St Ephraim the Syrian) From the rising of the sun – whatever morning reveals – to the setting of the same – You remain. What ruins lie at our feet – whateverContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Saphro (Morning Prayer)”

Bulletproof Part 2

And, in early morning, before the suburb rightly wakes, a shot is fired straight into the law. When cars arrive to learn for the day, there is tape and blue-and-white cars mark the place where safety cannot go just yet. First impressions: a colleague mentions ISIS, and though a wry smile suggests irony, beneath theContinue reading “Bulletproof Part 2”


Reading Italo, I see Italian youths preparing to swim while il Duce prepares for war. At home, on our couch, while afternoon leisure blends with our tea, a reporter speaks to a background of song: Australia may soon be under attack. The words overlap with piano and strings and my mind hears, I am titanium.