Born in flight

 25 December 2015

 Born overnight

‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’ Luke 2.7

wasserman inn syrians

Cartoon by Dan Wasserman for the Boston Globe at

Born in flight


Liqaa, baby Limar and husband Basel in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan



Born at height

Ciconia_ciconia_juv_smallHuman-made nests welcome migratory White storks in Poland

Image at

Fighting for rights

from Refugee Blues by W H Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me…




Set all the birds free

Quirky birds

Rediscover (and reappropriate) the spirit of Christmas, courtesy of UA Fanthorpe and the Quaker Tapestry

From the 'Ecology' panel

From the ‘Ecology’ panel


Dear True Love

Leaping and dancing

Means to-ing and fro-ing;

Drummers and pipers –

Loud banging and blowing;

Even a pear-tree

Needs space to grow in.


Goose eggs and gold top

When I’m trying to slim?

And seven swans swimming?

Just where could they swim?


Mine is a small house,

Your gifts are grand;

One ring at a time

Is enough for this hand.


Hens, colly birds, doves –

A gastronome’s treat.

But love, did I tell you,

I’ve given up meat.


Your fairy-tale presents

Are wasted on me.

Just send me your love

And set all the birds free.

by UA Fanthorpe, 1929-2009

One of an annual series of poems illustrated by Nick Wadley, published as Christmas Poems, Enitharmon Press 2002.

Set to music by Australian Quaker Tony Noakes see