Forget Me Not: A Short Story

PRESCRIPT: Like the other short story, “Kintsukuroi” that I have posted on this blog, the idea and shape of “Forget Me Not” pretty much occurred to me in its entirety. For various reasons, it took a little longer to write; and I have sat on it for a few months, tinkering with it here and there. But I now feel that it’s at least in presentable shape. Enjoy! Continue reading “Forget Me Not: A Short Story”

The Autumn Leaves Have Fallen

Cover TextFolks who know me also know that I have an abiding interest in Chinese and Japanese culture and history – and that from this interest, I also have an interest in writing verse modelled on two traditional Japanese poetic forms: haiku and tanka.

Thanks to the encouragement of a couple of people who were kind (or foolhardy) enough to suggest I do so, I have gathered together a collection of such verse under the title The Autumn Leaves Have Fallen. It is available through Lulu in printed and ebook (epub) form – and will be available through wider distribution networks (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc) soon.

Here is the link where you can buy the book:

Kintsukuroi: A Short Story

PRESCRIPT: This is a short story, the idea for which occurred to me – seemingly out of the blue – almost in its entirety earlier this week. In terms of total writing time, it only took a few hours spread over a couple of days.  For those unfamiliar with the title, “kintsukuroi” is the Japanese art of mending broken pots and bowls, based on the philosophy that they are all the more beautiful for having been broken.  

Kintsikuroi: a short story by Brendan Byrne. © Brendan Byrne 2017. All rights reserved.

He did not know where the idea came from, or when it first occurred to him. He just looked out the window one day and thought: that space needs a bonsai garden. Continue reading “Kintsukuroi: A Short Story”

A New Venture – Podcasting!

As many of you are aware, prior to my ordination as a Minister in the Uniting Church in Australia, I was involved in the trade union movement for about 20 years – as a workplace delegate, as an elected honorary official, and finally as a paid official.  I worked for both blue collar and white collar unions, negotiating on behalf of union members, undertaking research into industrial issues, and even representing the unions I worked for at industrial tribunals. Continue reading “A New Venture – Podcasting!”

Poems Based on Japanese Models

In recent times I have been experimenting with poems based on two particular Japanese models: the haiku (3 lines) and tanka (5 lines). Both are ancient forms of traditional poetry in Japanese culture; and although, when rendered in English, do possess certain differences from the Japanese originals, are nonetheless popular and compelling poetic forms.  I can’t speak for the results – but I do hope they are nonetheless of some merit. Enjoy! Continue reading “Poems Based on Japanese Models”

Does God Have A “Plan” For Me? No; Because It’s Complicated.

As a Christian minister, I have been asked more than once (and usually in a context of suffering or anxiety) “What’s God’s plan for me?”, or “How do I uncover what God has planned for me?” The question itself is instructive, not least because it suggests the questioner is feeling assailed by a sense of loss, separation, or confusion. Loss of God’s presence in their life; a feeling of separation from God; a sense of confusion about what they ought to do – the all-too-familiar WWJD syndrome. Continue reading “Does God Have A “Plan” For Me? No; Because It’s Complicated.”

By An Image Defined

As the end of the 2015 calendar year approaches, I have been thinking about everything that has gone on in the world over the last twelve months, everything that has happened in my life in that time, and everything in between.  Like all years, 2015 has been a full year: full of heartache and joy, full of tragedy and grace, full of elevated nobility and awful baseness.  And in between all these highs and lows have been a plethora of “ordinary” days, when the simple joy of merely being alive, and the quiet pleasures of reading a book or listening to music, have competed with the busyness of daily life, the demands of ministry, and the tricky complexity of human relationships. Continue reading “By An Image Defined”

Social Media, Trolls, and the Church: What I Learned from Having an Online Presence


The internet – and, in particular, social media – is often touted as “the way to go” for churches and congregations eager to increase their social outreach and interactivity. And, indeed, there can be profound benefits from doing so – even if the internet is not the “magic bullet” solution to a church’s problems that many people think it is. However, there are also down sides which any faith community exploring this option need to be aware of; and of these, perhaps the most confronting is the phenomenon of the “internet troll”. Continue reading “Social Media, Trolls, and the Church: What I Learned from Having an Online Presence”