Faith Initiative is an interfaith magazine published by Initiative Interfaith Trust

Strings Attached

All these mornings, you'd think I'd go straight
for the beads, but no, missed alarms, wrong shirts

lost keys, snatched kisses, "go safes", network news,
jiving dogs and then the post jostles in, till

I've run out of time to save any time
or contemplate peace without or within

so the Buddha is left with the breakfast crumbs
- I'll get to compassion later, OK?

Right. Put museli away cream face, replace rings
what's this? A pause for my fingers to braid,

fill the place where my prayer beads could be
if I sprint for the chance to save my day.

On my mat, with the string of my sandle wood
worlds holding my hands, I recall each one's

a singe of desire or a flare of insight
like the alternative futures within my grasp:

and forgetting to choose is still a choice,
in a time that is endlessly finite.

I rattle the beads and release their scent,
the spheres resettle, and I too am changed.

© Rebecca Irvine 2006. Photo: Michael Bilkau

Initiative Interfaith Trust

Registered Charity Nº 1113345


Heather Wells, Lorna Douglas & Emma Winthrop


The promotion of religious harmony by: providing educational resources and information to promote a better awareness of the causes and consequences of inter-religious tensions and conflicts; and educating the public in the diverse nature of religious belief.

Editorial Team

Heather Wells
Co-editor & Design Consultant
Lorna Douglas
Charanjit Ajit Singh, Sr. Maureen Goodman, Shiban Akbar, Matthew Youde & Umm Hanié Rebler
Poet in residence
Rebecca Irvine Bilkau


The aim of Faith Initiative Magazine is to open windows on the beliefs and practices of world religions, in the hope that this will foster understanding and reduce religiously motivated violence.


Whilst the contents of this website/magazine will always be in accordance with the object of Initiative Interfaith Trust there will be freedom of expression.


We thank all our contributors - writers, artists, poets and photographers - and of course subscribers. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of donors, who wish to remain anonymous. To sustain and develop the magazine however we need regular financial donations. If any readers know of Trust Funds, Grants or private donors who may be willing to help with funding, however big or small, the Editor (Heather Wells) would appreciate your advice and/or recommendations (see contact details below).


We invite you to contribute articles, poems, letters, illustrations and responses so that the magazine reflects the religious communities it seeks to serve. Editorial guidance can be obtained from:
Heather Wells, PO Box 110, Lancaster LA2 6GN. Email