Curing the Pig, by Eliza Granville

Episode 5 The Quixotesque misadventures of unreconstructed Marcher Morgan Jones-Jones, who has probably not heard of the suffragettes let alone second- and third-wave feminists. Rosie had laughed long and hard when Morgan claimed he worshipped his mother. In those days, he was trying to impress her with every bit of ammunition at his disposal, including […]

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How does it feel?

Remarrying body and mind Our post-enlightenment belief system is built on pure materialism. It must tear before consciousness can be put to work to heal. by Philip Hall What is the experience of dying? Well, the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol) describes it. You can imagine monks told monks, as they were dying, […]

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Beyond Religion: Imaging a New Humanity by Valson Thampu

Reviewed by Peter Cowlam You might posit, from an Hegelian perspective, and given the long-term goals of history, that reformations of one kind or another cannot be avoided. There can be no refining process otherwise. If the long-term goal of human history is spiritual as much as material, then an intractable problem occurs in the […]

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The Consciousness Economy

We need socialism if we don’t want to turn into capitalism’s cyborgs The distinction between humans and intelligent machines is consciousness, so in future we must all seek jobs which require consciousness by Phil Hall Machines will soon be able to do a lot of the physical work and some of the intellectual work of […]

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A short history of the Pilgrim’s Way

The Origins of the Old Road from Winchester to Canterbury by Derek Bright Over a century ago the writer Hillaire Belloc penned the term the ‘Old Road’ for an ancient trackway that ran between Winchester and Canterbury.    Belloc’s work, entitled the ‘Old Road’ has been described by a number of commentators as the first authoritative […]

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Doorways to Mali

The carved wooden doors and doorways of a Dogon village are great works of the imagination. By Leigh Voigt Mali is in the middle of the bulge of Africa. In the middle of Mali, is Timbuktu; inaccessible, intriguing, fabled. The very word conjures up images of men in blue robes on camels in the desert. […]

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A lifelong buddy

Tench: always there for me, even after years of neglect by Paul Halas Most anglers have a favourite fish, even if, like me, they don’t spend their entire lives obsessing about a single species. I’ve fished for well over sixty of my seventy-plus years, and a great affection for the first “serious” fish I ever […]

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Jackie Marua, the Abbey Road Studios, Thirteen Eleven, and Suicide & Co

by Peter Cowlam Jackie Marua, songwriter and music producer, has announced his latest project Thirteen Eleven, an autobiographical piece that has arisen, phoenix-like, from the ashes of his wife’s death, who after a struggle with depression took her own life in 2018. The couple were childhood sweethearts, and had been married for under two years […]

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saint peter s basilica

Intrigues and Machinations: Conclave by Robert Harris

Review by Jon Elsby Assessing Robert Harris’s1 Conclave is not only a question of style. Also singled out are the quality of the dialogue, the architecture of the narrative, the balance between different sections, the sharpness of the characterization, the economy and precision of the descriptive writing, the ability unerringly to choose the telling concrete […]

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Ukraine should be non-aligned and NATO should back off!

The situation couldn’t be more dangerous By Phil Hall Through their actions in recent years, the leaders of Nato have succeeded in rewinding the clock and taking us back to the most dangerous phase of the cold war. The result is that we are now on the verge of a hot war. At the same […]

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David Rushmer’s theatre of poetry

Yogesh Patel When I discovered David Rushmer’s uncluttered poetry with distilled expressions in the mould of neo-impressionism in Remains to Be Seen published by Shearsman Books, I was thrilled but wondered if such European style of abstract poetry would be appreciated at all in England. Chhāyāvād in Hindi is akin to such writing, and even the […]

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Letters from Leigh

A Lowveld Garden By Leigh Voigt I send you greetings from a lovely summer Lowveld. I shall send you pictures of my garden. Leigh Voigt is a South African artist best known for her studies of trees, birds, cattle and small wild creatures. Her wildlife studies have great sensitivity and are remarkable for her use […]

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Tahrir and the Poetry of Witness

The Utopians of Tahrir Square: Dr. Anba Jawi and Catherine Temma Davidson Introduction by Catherine Davidson The Utopians of Tahrir Square contains poems from 28 young Iraqi poets whose work responds to the protests for human rights that took over Baghdad’s Tahrir (Freedom) Square in 2019. Bringing these poems to life in English was the product […]

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Anthropocene: Climate Change, Contagion, Consolation, by Sudeep Sen

Poems Reviewed by Peter Cowlam The term ‘Anthropocene’ has been proposed as the definition of the geological epoch dating from the start of significant human impact on the earth, and on its ecosystems. Anthropocene is also the title of Sudeep Sen’s latest (multi-genre) book of poetry, prose and photography – published in the UK in […]

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In defence of the Upstart Crow

All writers have a voice, and Francis Bacon is not Shakespeare – not even Shake-spear By Philip R. Hall Shakespeare is the author of his own work, not anyone else. Why should people try to separate Shakespeare from his own work? My rationale for this is quite simple; it’s a miguided attempt to hoard intellectual […]

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Curing the Pig, by Eliza Granville

Episode 4 The Quixotesque misadventures of unreconstructed Marcher Morgan Jones-Jones, who has probably not heard of the suffragettes let alone second- and third-wave feminists. But now it was time to party. Morgan produced the own-brand sparkling wine and a column of plastic cups, shook the first bottle, untwisted the wire, looked up, and grinned. Above […]

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“We’s Who’s the Earth is For”: Storm Visions

by Ciarán O’Rourke A decade ago I began to form a habit that in the intervening years has evolved into a strange passion: going to the cinema, and watching movies, alone. Two films in particular, from those early days, seemed so urgent and exhilarating, so attuned to what was then (and is still) being talked […]

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War on wokies

Is “our” culture in peril? By Paul Halas The right wing press doesn’t pull its punches: an army of do-gooders, snowflakes and lefty killjoys are out to rob us of our freedoms and force us to abandon our cherished traditions. Our history is being re-written, monuments are being torn down, our favourite books, films and […]

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Reborn as a Buddhist

My Metamorphosis from Christian caterpillar to Buddhist butterfly By Patrick Taggart Caterpillar: in reality I was a judgemental asshole I am ashamed of the young man I was in 1985. I was an evangelical Christian and I remember chiding a friend for not being sufficiently joyful. Yes, she had lost her only brother, her soulmate, […]

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