Wild God trails and half-world journeys

The Dogs Lick His Wounds by Jinn Bugg

As some of you may have noticed, December saw a flurry of attention for the poem ‘Sometimes a Wild God.’ I’m really not sure quite what happened, but I know that facebook was heavily involved. The site went from getting about 250 views each week to almost 20,000 just before Christmas. Yes, 20,000. Thankfully, we’re back down to about 100 a day now. Phew.

Perhaps it was the solstice, perhaps it was some fortuitous conjunction of the outer stars. Perhaps it’s just a mystery and that’s that, but I’m glad – there’s nothing that feeds a writer’s self-belief more than having lots of people from all over the world saying how much they like the writer’s work. And – in the wake of four years’ studying and a distinct lack of soul-nourishing-deep-water-poetry-inspiring time, for all that I’ve managed to drag up the occasional word-nugget from the poetry-veins deep beneath Black Mountain – that praise, my friends, has been like nectar. I’ve begun writing again and paying more attention to the poetry than I have in a long time. Thank you all for your kind words and for spreading the Wild God words in your circles.

One of the delights of this attention has been that a few people have used SometimesĀ  a Wild God as a departure point for their own work or given readings of the poem at a variety of events over the last few months. There are probably many more than I’ve heard about, so do get in touch if you’re aware of any funky doings based on the poem, but here are just a couple that have crossed my path. I’d intended to gather a whole compendium of Wild God happenings, but time and the pressure of an imminent journey have proved too much for me. There are some other related projects in the pipeline that I can’t tell you more about yet (a stage production based on the poem, for example, something that’s been brewing for over a year now, or the band in the States that are using Sometimes a Wild God in the liner notes of their next album…) and more things to come, such as the book of the poem that Rima and I are planning to put out later in the year, but here’s a couple of Wild God offerings for you to peruse as you will…

Just before Christmas, I came across this reading of the poem by Mark Lewis. I didn’t know about it until Terri Windling (a local artist, writer and blogger who some of you will know already) told me about it in passing, assuming I knew. It was the first time I’d heard my work in someone else’s voice, which is a mighty strange experience, but it’s done well and I enjoyed hearing it.

More recently, Jinn Bugg wrote to ask if I’d mind if she used the poem as a springboard for a series of photographs with Ron Whitehead as the model. Mind? I was delighted. You can see some of the pictures hereĀ  and more in her facebook album. I see prog-heathen album covers galore in this series – contact details are on her page

Sometimes a Wild God - He Does Not Know the Ways of Porcelain - photo by Jinn Bugg, words by Coyopa
‘He Does Not Know the Ways of Porcelain’ by Jinn Bugg

Yesterday we left our blue-eyed lurcher and our Devon home to begin two months of much-needed holiday in New Zealand, where Rima has family. Today, we’re in London and tonight we fly. I can’t quite believe it, as proper holidays are definitely something that other people have, but our tickets seem to be real and our suitcases are definitely made of more than dreams, so it appears that we will actually soon be off.

Eyes see the world differently at times of arrival or departure. Looking out over the Dartmoor landscape yesterday, preparing to leave it for two months, I saw the land as if I had been seeing it only dimly for months. What a land it is! I shall miss it and will miss seeing the still point of Winter turning to the miracle of Spring’s first heartbeat. I shall miss our incredible community and our home, and Macha. But, I think, somehow, I’ll struggle on…

Struggles on stoically...

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16 thoughts on “Wild God trails and half-world journeys

  1. Hello Tom,
    I believe I may have played a part in stirring up the ‘Wild God’ frenzy :-) A Canadian friend, Lana Winter, sent me a link to the poem on your website. I absolutely loved it, so posted the link on my facebook page on December 3rd and emailed the poem to a couple of friends. Everyone who read it loved it too and, it seems, just kept on sharing. But really: 20,000? Wow!!! So, yes, facebook was the main medium by which it spread, but the reason it spread so far and fast is simply that it is so extraordinarily good.
    Perhaps the strangest part for me was that four days after sharing the poem on fb, I came across a copy of ‘Dark Mountain,’ issue 3, in a charity shop, flipped idly through it and found ‘Sometimes a Wild God.’ Wild synchronicity! Of course, I bought the book…
    Thank you for writing such a brilliant piece, I’m delighted that you’re working on more and look forward to reading them.
    Many blessings,
    Greywolf (aka Philip Shallcrass)

  2. This poem is quite powerful. Has remained with me, working its magic on me, for months now, and I have read it and shared it many a time. I am grateful… And very much hope to read more of your work at some point

  3. Dear Tom,
    A friend in Ireland sent this a while back, and my friend and I read it before hunting.

  4. Wow. That’s either amazing or horrifying. Hunting what? (Here in the UK, ‘hunting’ can mean anything from fox-hunting to deer-stalking…)

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