The Scrimstone Circus Gospel :: part three

My enemies grew strong in fifteen years. The world changed. The rulers of men’s lives have always been the rich and the empty-hearted, but now they were emboldened. Greed rose from their mouths like grasping snakes of smoke. I closed my eyes and tried to ignore it. All around, I heard the world groaning. I plugged my ears and moved one foot in front of another.


The Scrimstone Circus Gospel :: part two

“Ladies and gentlemen! Lay-dees and gent-el-men! Roll up, roll up, roll up . . . ”

I look out at them there in the grey rain and the candy-floss night and my eyelids flicker with the dismalness of it all. Look at them. Content with so little and yet . . . and yet . . . Content with so much discontent in themselves. I cannot fathom it. Cannot, will not. So much could be theirs. So much wonder, so much passion, so much life. They accept a thin wafer of it, a bowl of gruel, with a tip of their hats in thanks. Why not bow too, or curtsy? Kiss their masters’ feet? Their lives could be a feast. I hate them for it, for their acquiescence to such a shallow plot of happiness. For this, what do they receive? They are used by governments, by business, by bankers and money-men to play their parts in the machine of it all. They enter into such one-sided bargains and I cannot, will not, let it go unsaid. It leaves me with despair and a curse for him who left me here among them. Whether he hears my curse or not, I don’t know. Do not mis-cast me as a villain, friend. My curse is, I admit, no more than the curse of the rejected lover to the beloved. Do not tell anyone – there may be A Scene.

The Scrimstone Circus Gospel :: part one

To read more about this piece, have a look at the previous post, which has links to all manner of things about it, and the book of which it is part… The illustration at the head of the page is a detail from Rima‘s accompanying pencil drawings, to which the previous post also has links.… Continue reading The Scrimstone Circus Gospel :: part one

Ivashko Medvedko at Chagfood

I’ve always thought that if there’s one flaw in the concept of Community Supported Agriculture, it’s the lack of Russian folktales. So tomorrow evening, Rima and I shall be remedying this state of affairs by telling this summer’s tour-piece, Ivashko Medvedko, at the remarkable entity that is Chagfood, as part of their day of Harvest… Continue reading Ivashko Medvedko at Chagfood


This is a piece of my writing that appears in the latest Dark Mountain collection along with Sometimes a Wild God – I’m posting it here as a taster of what you can find in the book, which is being launched in Liverpool on Saturday 15th September. Do go along to the launch if you… Continue reading Nettle-Eater