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Hear Philip Car-Gomm introducing The Seven Valleys, a new book co-authored by Philip and RoMa, which explores the use of a Sufi story about the soul’s quest for Paradise as a means of spiritual development.

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Send me a message to inquire about receiving a copy of my book, MEANT.

21st Mount Haemus Lecture: The Well and the Chapel: Confluence

“RoMa Johnson, a Druid scholar, sets out to build bridges between Druidism and Christianity, describing these different approaches as hailing from the Well and the Chapel. Her radical exposition of communion between the two addresses the intimacy and the visceral nature and fierce and tender love that is ever present...

July 6, 2020

Published Works

EPHA

As the sea-gnarled boatman guides his small craft in to shore, she sees a mottled crowd gathered on the strand: a few men come down from their chores, a few strong-armed women, their skirts sheltering peeking children.  Her welcome party.  She sees in their faces the eagerness of orphans...

August 10, 2020

Published Works

Omaha

I’m crying

a little bereft


I picture the girl in a cotton dress with a cardboard suitcase

standing by the side of a dusty road

out on the Plains somewhere and

she’s waiting for the bus to top the hill and

pull up with a snort of exhaust . . .

May 10, 2021

Nebraska Stories

Elephants

Thinking of a film—there may be more than one version—I saw again while in England. The documentary follows an old circus elephant (I think I may have seen her for real in my childhood, say 1949-1952, when my father’s friend Francis Krumenacher, who later changed his name to Frank Lee, came to our house in Ralston, Nebraska . . .

May 10, 2021

Nebraska Stories

4th of July Picnic

The Fourth of July family reunion takes over the entire town park. The men place huge picnic tables end to end to make one long trestle down the middle of the park.

The women set out the food—every morsel carried in from the farms covered with damp tea towels, held in laps, wedged in the back seat between kids. . .

August 29, 2021

Nebraska Stories

Blanche

She pushes open the screen door and steps through, brushing a wet strand of hair off her flushed face, shielding her eyes from the sudden glare, trading the heat of the kitchen for the heat of the day.

The hens bustle and gossip in the yard, picking in the dirt in the false hope of a worm. . .

August 29, 2021

Nebraska Stories

Rusty

Grandpa had a horse named Rusty.

Our grandparents lived on homesteaded land in Nebraska and us kids spent summer days on the farm. We were handed an egg sandwich and sent outside in the morning and not let in ‘til supper. Kids were like dogs, it was felt, not civilized, not yet fully human, not fit to be in the house during the day. . .

August 29, 2021

Nebraska Stories

Thanksgiving

Our parents pile us in the DeSoto and we go “home” for Thanksgiving. (“Home” is Nebraska; “the house” is where we live.)Dad sings Oh Mister Moon, Shine on Harvest Moon and all the other songs he knows with the moon in them, and Shenandoah and I Told a Lie to my Heart and all kinda Hank Williams as he drives . . .

August 29, 2021

Nebraska Stories

Dial M for Murder

Saturday night. All the kids old enough to stay up past 7 pm are sent to the movie house under orders to

          Behave! and

          Watch out for each other!


The movie house is a skinny, dilapidated clapboard building at the end of Main Street, across from the Town Hall. . .

August 29, 2021

Nebraska Stories

About those Boots by the Door

diamond studded footsteps stamp out time to the forged platinum shadow walkers,

balancing on tighter ropes, navigating a razor thin edge

above the cavernous void, a friendly abyss

where fireflies are dancing like trophies

presented upon the successful tapping

by effervescent ruby colored cosmologists

awarded for those who found the most black holes . . .

February 18, 2021

About that Tree

Perhaps someday I'll believe my eyes

when, in time to come,

endless deserts of earthy sand

stop hiding your gleeful chortles,

showing how empty the sky was

before dawn's greasy streaks

turn to green summery shades,

and blazing into

a glorious emerald harvest

all bare branches covered with hospitable

leaf-shaped snails . . .

February 18, 2021

Apogee

There comes a time in every outward journey

when you reach apogee

the mathematical

hypothetical

mystical instant of the orbit

when you are furthest from your life

and you feel the curve of it

the swerve of it

the pull of it

toward home . . .

February 18, 2021

Plague Diaries

The Mirage

Last week it all seemed like a mirage, really, I mean we knew, of course, but it wasn’t real if you know what I mean. The map of the world turned red, country by country and I found myself thinking, well, we’re all one color now...

February 18, 2021

Eggs in Lewes

I boil an egg.


The kitchen smells of egg

well, it’s not a kitchen really

          a cooker

          on a shelf

          under a window

          in a hut

          in a garden

          in a village

          in a park

quaint and lovely as those painted eggs we used to get

nested within each other . . .

December 23, 2020

Two-Candle Morning

Oh these two-candle mornings

post-Samhain

the ephemeral veil

between us and the beloved dead

thickens once more

folds over and into itself . . .

December 10, 2020

Alien Rest Stops

I have come to believe that aliens are among us,

But that doesn’t mean they belong.

They might walk-in to our disused bodies,

But it would have to be—to them—

Like one of us putting on sealskin trousers,

Then swimming out to sea.

Inhuman inside a human...

July 6, 2020

Arctic Wings

South of Iceland I look down and see her

Cresting the fetch in her tiny craft,

Riding down the long green wave.

Brave she sits inside the skin

Carrying only one small dirk,

One dram of water.

All around her the seabirds soar

Blinding white as seraphim,

White winged

Long necked...

July 6, 2020

Longing

There was a way she walked that reminded them

of someone…

a flickering memory… a hand reaching for a hem.

Sometimes little bits of light escaped

from the folds and seams of her clothes

ephemeral as fireflies, not catchable, not caught, but

sticky in a way, as if

if you touched one...

July 6, 2020

Wild Geese over Ronaldsay

Flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap

Clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack

Whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh, huh, whuh

What is the wind (around us) made of?

Not hard.

The breath of sun.

The sweat of moon...

July 6, 2020

Sisters

What if they were to meet

in the cloistered garden, there on Iona,

What would they say to one another?

+    I am the Bride of Christ.

•     I am the bride of no man.

+    I clothe myself in humility and walk in silence...

July 6, 2020