MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Friday, 24 July 2015

‘Iona, The Other Island’ – A veritable feast!


 Words by Kenneth Steven: Photos Iain Sarjeant.

Calling all those who love Iona, wherever you may be.



In a bookshop in the last few days we spotted this absolutely delightful book about the wonder that is Iona. It is unusual in that it spotlights many of the less well visited coves and ‘wilder corners’ of the Island, opens them to us through Kenneth’s profound prose and lilting poetry and additionally shows them to us through Iain’s stunning  photographs. As Pam , my wife, looked through the book, she murmured, ‘It’s gorgeous’ and it is.

We got to know Kenneth when he led a couple of writing retreats, the second on Iona, so we knew this book was in preparation, but we simply had no idea how lovely it would be. Nor did we, until now, quite discover how well Kenneth knows the island, having fallen in love with it as a child and having visited many, many times since.

You can find out more about Kenneth, and listen to him as well, on his website Click Here
There’s some more material including one of his recent poems titled ‘Twelve’ on his blog which you’ll find Here

As you will see if you look for Kenneth via a search engine, Ted Hughes has said of Kenneth’s ‘Collected Poems’,: 'I'm enjoying it intensely, style and subject.' Magnus Magnusson describing Kenneth’s poems says ‘(they)… ring bells in us, and chime with the profoundest responses of the human spirit’

If you are minded to buy ‘Iona, The Other Island’, do think also of it also as an ideal, modestly priced (£14-99)  gift especially for any other Ionaphiles you may know or those with whom you would like to share your experience of that amazing place. The ISBN number is 978-0-86153-830-0

I am delighted to say that a couple of my own Iona collection (see general index in the right hand column) were written during and after the retreat I refer to above: Kenneth is an excellent teacher and great encourager, so this small tribute-by-blog to his latest work comes with my grateful thanks.

You can also read ‘Gliese 581’ (A brown dwarf star with several exoplanets) on this blog by clicking HERE

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'