Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Poets and Poems: John Latham and “From Professor’s Murasaki’s Notebooks”

John Latham is a research scientist, specializing in cloud formation. He’s received several medals from the Royal Meteorological Society, founded the Atmospheric Physics Research Group at the University of Manchester, and has served as a senior research fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.

John Latham
He is also a poet and novelist. His latest poetry collection, From Professor Murasaki’s Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body, may win the prize for the most unusual poetry title. It’s a title with a scientific sense; it almost sounds like the title of a research paper published in Nature. And the first few poems in the collection suggest a scientific theme – poems with titles about lightning, the chemistry of fog, and the forms and qualities of ice.

But that’s not where Latham goes. Where he does go is to the familiar territory of relationships. But it’s a journey marked by a practiced eye, an intense gaze, and a sensitive understanding.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Monday, September 25, 2017

“Unwritten” by Charles Martin

Katie Quinn is a star of stage and screen at the top of her profession. She demands, and gets, $25 million per movie. She has a stable of automobiles and houses on two continents.  She has a staff to command satisfaction of every whim and desire. She is in Miami, saying confession to the aging Father Steady Capris.

Katie Quinn is preparing to kill herself.

Following Katie at confession is a man whom we only know as Sunday. He has checked out from the world, and lives in and near the Everglades. His one engagement with the world is to disguise himself as a janitor, sneak into the children’s wing of a Jacksonville Hospital, and distribute toys and books to the children there.

We will come to know that Sunday has already tried to kill himself.

The only link between the two is the priest, who’s in the business of saving souls and healing brokenness. And he has his hands full with Katie and Sunday. And he will use both of them in what be a last attempt to heal.

Charles Martin
Unwritten by Charles Martin is the story of Katie and Sunday. Martin is the author of numerous books that plumb the depths of human emotion and experience. Some could be called romances, like The Mountain Between Us (soon to be a movie with Idris Alba and Kate Winslett).  If Unwritten is a romance, it’s the strangest romance you may ever read.

Sunday will have save Katie from suicide. And he will help her escape her life by successfully faking her death. Katie will gradually come to know who Sunday is, and she will learn that his pain is as intense as her own. Each will teach the other how to heal, and the healing means “unwriting” the lives written for them.

Unwritten is an engaging novel of brokenness and redemption.


Top photograph of a sunset in the Everglades by Jean Beaufort via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

To plunge into the second part

After Isaiah 56:1, 2

To plunge into the second part
is a mystery, a bewilderment,
this justice bit, this doing
right, aimed at whim, aimed
by whom, aimed when
although the why is less
unknown, because of what
is at hand, suggesting or offering
a mercy and a grace, a blessing
for doing this consistently and
daily, a moment by moment
commitment to act and act
of commitment, and how is
justice bound up in rest
or the Sabbath, as if we
need rest from a hard work.
It’s a mystery, this drenching
of the world with the kingdom.

Photograph by David Marcu via Unsplash. Used with permission.