May and June

May and June; 2 songs, one own and a Tom Paxton cover, 3 poets, a peace pilgrimage, and some peace sounds artist news

‘Green was the silence’ – the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda writes about Summer.

With the movements in our world over the last few months finding times of quiet nature has been a refuge; and for friends too I know. In-between doing, moments in our garden and passing parks have felt good. Here’s another poet, Mary Oliver, writing on the same subject, I’ve been sharing this ever since I read this about 3 years ago

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
Ii I am ever distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.


First song this post, ‘Lay Down’ written a year or so ago after reading Maya Angelou’s ‘Human Family’, finding the likeness in one an other – opening our hands and hearts.

About the poem Maya says: I know we can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.

This recording comes from the All Saints church room in Peckham.  Been playing the song for a few years and enjoyed what has come in the recording of it now. Appreciation for the drums recorded and sent over from a friend Tim in the states.


Some photographs to share of (and an invite to future…) Roots into Reverence events run by friends Beth Thomas and Jess Stein.

These are from the peace pilgrimage from Firle Church near Brighton, the home of writer and BBC Extreme Pilgrim presenter Reverend Peter Owen Jones. I was touched to be invited to lead some songs and a poetry workshop during a day’s contemplative walk. A student of the St Ethelberga’s Spiritual Ecology programme Beth’s project was a day of walking, song, poetry, sharing and silence. Moving and beautifully held I felt – Beth worked in collaboration with Jess Stein a movement teacher and retreat facilitator. 🙂

Second song is one we sang on the pilgrimage – walking up high on the hills…

…recorded later at All Saints space, Tom Paxton’s ‘Peace Will Come’ from the 1972 album of same name. Thanks my Cornwall Dad, Jon, for this song.


Love too this last month to Tom Robinson at BBC6 for putting ‘A Little Love’ in the Introducing Mixtape; with a mention of mindfulness and peace activism and tweeting Peacesounds.

Tom’s Introducing show goes out once a month – all songwriters can visit Tom’s page at 6music to send, everything is listened to as the shows are put together. Tom is a writer also, artist, long time LGBT activist and Ivor Novello committee member . Love to you Tom.


A few words on Peace Sounds artists over the last few month’s.

Our Luke Concannon has released a new ep recorded during current life adventures in the America, ‘In The Sea’ features 3 new songs and poem.  Message to Bears are also working on a new record to be released sometime in the next few months, shall share more when we hear more from them. Artists are out on tour; Nimo’s ‘Songs and Stillness’ is in Philippines, South Africa and Israel, Jackie Oates is playing festivals in the UK and Betsey Rose has announced playing for the Sing Out for Peace, Justice and Black Lives Matter week in Berkley (September)

And love to Flo Perlin, another recent on the BBC6 Music listeners choice Tom Robinson.

Here’s ‘Gift’ from the album that is also on Peace Sounds 2

Follow the link for the rest of the collection, ‘Cucooned’

I looked up at the moon and saw the night turn to day , that was a gift from nature, that was a gift…

with love , Joe


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