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Nicholas Gill



Favourite 3 Writers:

TS Eliot, PG Woodhouse, Spike Milligan


I'm only mildly disturbed by the thought of death


I hope there will be some addition to my life


Beginning to love with clearer channels

Notes Entries 100 Books

22:38, 27 Jun 2016
Visionary and Cynic Raging in the Countryside
(Hour of Writes entry for “Love Thy Neighbour”)

Said my Inner Sioux Chief, “All of Nature is in us, and all of us is in Nature. We are neighbours, you and I – though I lived a long time ago, still my breath is the same breath you take and also the breeze which flows through forest and meadow. Nature is your Mother and she will take care of you if you let her”.

So too said Percivale to Arthur, “You and the Land are One. Drink from this cup and be restored.”

I heard these words and chanted them as a mantra, walking past red gash of poppies, blue inlet of lavender and yellow blanket of oil-seed rape – nature's colour chart offering summer samples to blend with the soul's wallpaper. I walked along the the good red road asking the questions all good mystics ask.

Is it me, the sky? Am I a cloud drifting on the edge of life's horizon? Where does the green field end and where do I begin?

Am I grass?

But another voice said, “Pipe down – you sound like Fotherington Thomas saying Hello clouds, Hello sky...

“Any fule kno that poetry is wet and nature is a gurly place where aunts skip around with butterfly nets and say how luvly is the lark ascending...chiz, chiz.”

Then the voice changed again and I remembered lying by the river with warm revolver in palm, the kind muzzle nuzzled by my temples and seeing the willows bowing low to the river

“not in the slightest like Japanese diplomats in green kimonos,

nor in the least like an emerald firework display,

and certainly not the cascading hair of the River Goddess.”

Said a voice, “This is it, baby. Life is a matter of being born, struggling through the wilderness and flopping gratefully into the black hole at the end of it.”

But something in that hard Chandler voice hadn't quite convinced me. The swans didn't seem aware of the nihilistic, fully automatic model of the universe.

So I'm still walking, seeking a deeper connection in spite of the Inner Punch and Judy Show where the Big Stick beats it all down.

“Let's be down to earth about this – you've come out here to get some exercise because the last blood pressure readings where a bit off-beam. You are an organism among organisms. Flowers have colours to attract insects. You put on a cool jacket and poetic aura to attract the Dames. So it goes on. The sky is blue because the atmosphere refracts light. Clouds are just bunches of water waiting to rain on someone's parade. The countryside is wet and full of cow shit and stinking dead sheep. We live in a planet-sized laboratory administered by the Divine Vivisectionist.

“That's why we have cities – to keep people safe from all that oozing horror.”

But I don't want it to be like this. I want to hear the deep heart's core of mystery in the song of Nightingale and Darkling Thrush.

These voices are all my own – neighbours within the Inner inner city council flats of my mind. Neighbours forever fighting for ownership of my soul.

But I wouldn't be without them.

“Let us go then, you and I, while poppy fields spatter their bloody petals by fields of chemical corn, rotten as a green corpse.”

Let visionary and cynic walk together.

We all know that poetry is not nature, but a manufactured version of this wet graveyard we have to walk through. Let us walk and get fit for whatever is to be...

“Nature sucks.”

22:59, 7 Nov 2014
Beyond Treasonable Doubt

I didn’t want it to end this way. Of course not. But as the rope tightens round my gizzard I must confess to savouring the moment. For this is the final proof of my victim-hood and we would not have it any other way.

To strangle the life from this body is a more tangible murder than what I have done to my soul over the years with rusty knives.

I look at the virtual crowd on a vast screen above me, faces in the Cloud. It was a big selling point that a billion YouTubers could subscribe to the grand finale, and that I would watch them watching me watching them. The rope chafes my neck. I may be getting a rash. It worries me.

The black cloaked man that is a recording of myself continues to read the charges. It is clear, his wrinkled lip sneers, that I am guilty of failures and betrayals beyond all treasonable doubt. But treason against whom? Our brave boys who fought for the English language?

It is true that I never listened to the Word of my Teachers, the grey tank-tops charged with transmitting the tribal lore. I stared through the classroom window for ten years, cultivating succulent shoots of asparagus syndrome.

And then the years of my rebellion. When Royal weddings came I limply refused the general erection. As gleaming carriages passed by I wanted only to be a passenger on that Golden Gravy Train, not an on-looker. When the great arenas filled with human fragments of collective charitable hysteria I deserted to fields of absinthe green reading Keats beneath a tree. When the Soap Princess popped her diamond slippers I kicked the flowers all over the road and laughed when they locked me up. And you know what? I’m glad I done it.

And when they wanted cynicism I was sincere. And when they wanted sincerity I became heartless. And when sex became a cyber-product I found some real balls. I fell foul of the family nexus. Refused to consent to consensus reality. Systematically avoided the System.

As a youth my collars were always too tight. And to think I once contemplated clipping on a dog collar! This bow tie around my neck takes me closer to God. I’ve learned to tie my own, you know.

But when it comes down to it I might say that my greatest act of treason was to collude with all of you. To have suffered a thousand whips of rejection and given sanctuary to them all in this prison of laughing faces is the act of a man determined to overthrow his own State of Mind.

And if I don’t jump now, you’ll want your money back. But I ask you this. Whose face is this? Mine or yours? Did you dare to be yourself or did you sell your own body down the river a long time back? Whatever. I must think of a good last line.

“Minnesota Fats, you play a great game of pool.”

Not mine, but it will do.

My Notes