Honest Rust and Gold

by Francis Etheredge

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.



The title of this book of prose and poetry was slow in coming although, in between other work, at times it seems there was a pull toward the title. Like the sculptor who looks at a piece of stone, a piece of wood or a found metal or object and sees a possibility in the grain, in the shape and textured surface, to be uncovered by others by attention to weathering and workmanship.


Change can either belong to the work itself or the change is foreign to first thoughts. Gradually what comes about is an unforeseen development which, not like a cancer, grows amorphously before shedding what is irrelevant and standing clear as a word in its own right. This book is like that moment of stepping out of the busyness of life in order to notice what is around us. It is not so much about where a person is, rather it is more about the gift of time to stop and notice and sense the connecting threads, barely visible to the rushing eye, like tearing through spider webs in the early-dark mornings, until some startling frost or dew drops, makes these visible.


The author decided to include a “guest Poet and Poem” at the end of each section and in this way, to enrich the book, possible widen its audience and too see where it leads. There are plenty of places for the reader to make his or her own notes in the course of reading. This book is a dialogue between grace and nature. Nature is what it is because grace has not penetrated its depths and like the work of a gardener, trimmed its excesses and cultivated its beauty.


There is an inevitable tracing of the writer’s journey and an encouragement to others to either begin or to continue on the path of life. There is the mysterious consolation of the Christian faith that no one is beyond the reach of God. This book provides time for contemplation in many areas of our lives. It is a book filled with the meditations of the author and his friends.