I got a little carried away on this one. Then I decided not to post it. I feel so strongly that a new time is coming, where what we care about, whoever we are, will be integrated, not only with whatever others on this world are in need of, but within the way the world works. When I talk of the world here, in this prose poem, I am talking of the people world, the way of conscious thought effecting our perception, rather than the earth, which would be cleaner and more beautiful without us. I also think I wanted to be a bit sensational. Wanting people to sit up and listen. But I didn’t want to be like Lennon with Beatles records being burnt for his likening himself to Jesus. I didn’t want to offend those who don’t believe in a way of being beyond the concrete conception of the mundane either. I think the God below is conceptual, no, metaphorical. That God the power of thought is in us all. I am trying to speak for us all, for what is in you, inside. You are that God. I seek to empower you, to become. Together. What I have to say is right. I am very sure of this. This is the time. If the one phrase I express here is acted upon, repeated and remembered forever it will not be because I was deluded in a creative moment that I was God, or that we all have God inside us, it will be because this is when we need to change the way the world happens. Now. Yes now. This is right. Listen to me for I am God.
(Warning; if you buy into this you may be emotionally affected, plus your desire to work for change will be enhanced dramatically.)
God. God. I have become God.
Only eight weeks of writing a blog.
With six hundred views and a reported one and a half thousand email readers.
I am God. I will be remembered.
Alexander lived to be immortal.
Alexander the Warmonger lived upon his word.
While, I, will be remembered. Or. The world will die.
I am God and you will hear my word. God.
For God is a simple thing.
God I become. I stand before all in the form of man (woman). I am a man. This man.
I also by the way am History. If there is hope in the heart. I am:
God. Man. History.
I will be remembered.
By you. And then, because of you, by World History.
For one sentence.
For one phrase.
This Will Not Do.
I am old (relatively).
I have lived.
I have seen.
I, this is important, I, have dreamed.
Dreamed and Dreamed and Dreamed.
Lived and Lived and Lived.
I will say this once;
This will not do.
The World will not do.
This is what you will repeat.
This is what will become God-like.
This is what will become History.
With Hope leading to reality.
Prometheus’ False Hope.
Leading to the hardly realised death of us all.
We killed ourselves. Or would have, if it had not been for his…
The World will not do.
I look now.
Forget your selfish pride.
All the things which History will look at and judge.
You are not good at all.
You are the darkest cuss word.
You will be judged.
The future will say.
They could not see past their own little existence.
In the early twenty first century.
The World will not do.
Stop looking at the little bits.
The clever philosophical pics.
Your smart garden fence.
I am God.
I am History.
It has been said,
The World will not now do.
The World will not do.
The World will not do.
The World will not do.
The World will not do.
Say it, (I am God)
The World will not do.
Will not do.
I wish for you to share this. – Or at least the message herewith.
If anyone is offended by my style of writing I am sorry. The message is what is important. Things must change. We are communicating now. And you can reassure yourself with the knowledge that my next blog will be about cooking tips.
I really am enjoying blogging and am encouraged with the amazing reactions to my eclectic way (crikey its hardly a month and I am seeing notifications of over a thousand clicking in). Topics to date have included Vikings, fairy, recipes, poetry, medieval, storytelling, relationships, haiku and Norwegian farming. Here we see me getting a little carried away at the thought of a new career and soundly uplifted by people’s work upon the earth.
Introducing Farmer Giles
Breaking news: The chicken isn’t called Elsa she is called Clara Cluck
Journey to the Earth
Career change – was a nurse, then a single parent, Performance Poet, then of course storyteller – then blogger – pah all that’s behind me (calm down Adrian) I am a farmer now. I might be getting carried away; it was just one small harvest.
(Perhaps I am still being a storyteller here?) It started with the barley, no before that, when I wrote about past life connections with Otternes, no before that, when Laila named the lamb after me.
Eeee By Gum
It was in my bones all along. As a child I recall as the bus neared my mum’s home village she would become broader and broader. By we got off the bus I couldn’t understand a word. ‘Sithee Noo Tha Nohs’
And Granddad talked of Martinmas Sunday of standing on the village green with his wooden chest of belongings. The farmers rode around in their carts to choose from the likely. And that was you for the year; picked or not picked, lucky to be part of a well fed family or working long long hours for skinny pie.
Not immediate however; first there was the two shilling piece. All the chosen hurtled to the pub to fill themselves with 24 pennies worth of beer.
And, I was, at one point, a poet for farmers. Now we are going back a bit here. York Arts Centre, some grand occasion with wine and nibbles, (horse’s doovers as my mum calls them). It is clearly a long time ago as we were all excited to be welcomed by a computer. There was a person involved too, but they asked for your name and position and typed it into the thing, and, (very exciting this), it printed off a label for you.
Name? Adrian Spendlow. Position? Performance Poet. The label printed itself and was stuck to me. Off I went, wine in hand, to mingle and mix, (networking hadn’t been invented yet). I caused a great deal of interest. People wondered if I ever got any work. It was remarked that I was quite unusual. As this was in a room full of arty types I wondered how I could be more unusual than the usual.
As I was leaving the door person leaned in for a read and then said, ‘Goodbye Mr Spendmore’.
Once out I peeled off my label and had a look. It said Arian Spendmore, Farmers Poet!
So you see, it was destiny.
I am lucky to know people who work the land. When Chelsea sends me duck and quail eggs I feel part of things. When I climb the bank at Mum’s to fill baskets with fruit I feel a connection. Cutting back a mountain of briars for Helen brings a great sense of achievement, (and a bramble and apple pie), being lucky to know Michelle and to have the opportunity to work for her. Can you start to see now how I am turning into a farmer?
When it comes to agricultural construction I am a prize-winner. Don and I share the award of the best chicken hutch in the whole of Gudvangen. It was much admired and as market skald it is a duty of mine to make announcements. So, the second it was finished I turned to the market and in a mock shout made everyone aware that the competition for the best chicken hutch would be judged in five minutes time. The fact that no one else had brought a chicken plus five minutes not being very long to get building in may have secured us the position.
But prize winners we are.
I can’t keep calling her Johnny Chicken, I think her name is Elsa; she is a survivor and part of the family. She had been at the bottom of the pecking order (poor lamb) and had suffered greatly. That was until we went to Bjorgvin Marknad, leaving her and the rest of the brood back at Don and Wenke’s small holding. The sea eagle came! Or the polecat? Or perhaps it was Reynard? Someone snuck past the chicken-sitters, someone with feather or fur, someone with teeth or beak, someone with claws (build up to the sad bit) and…
When they returned they only had one chicken, (the previously pecked one); – one chicken who cannot bear to be alone. Not alone in the hen hutch at the top of the hill, no. she quite likes the stable, she sits by the hot tub, she hangs out with Molly the sheepdog, and even with the cats, she really prefers to cluck away on the kitchen work surface, and now, now, she visits Viking markets.
Oooooo, she has laid me an egg…
Back to Michelle
Every visit to her allotment is a joy. We always have such a wonderful sharing time and do things in our own way. The sowing of the grain however seemed a step too far for me. Allotments are allotments and I have been quietly worrying to myself that the committee might not approve. I have been secretly half expecting a ‘visit’ or worse still a ‘letter’.
The planting of wheat, barley, buckwheat, oats or rye are strictly against regulations – that sort of thing.
I worried for nothing. And, oh the joy. The first of these crops was ready. This was the time of the harvest. First the wheat, and then the barley. I cannot explain the experience. All I know is my eyes were moist, my smile was large and my energy knew no bounds.
Blessed I was, and connected to the earth, to my grandfather, ‘the grandfathers’, and all the way back through the ages of hunter gatherers.
Stoop, cut, gather.
Well sheaves to be correct.
To see Michelle heading home on her mobility scooter with buckets of grain and sheaves of corn is a thing which will stay in my heart forever.
Many a Blog Makes Light
I have been thinking of writing a blog on proverbs and one comes to mind now. Only vaguely connected to the theme but please do forgive me for the inclusion here. Russian I think, ‘Beware of pitchforks for they make three holes.’
I may have turned into a farmer rather than a revolutionary, but watch this space.
The Abundance Problem
I am reminded of the only marrow plant in existence in the whole of Norway and will be blogging on that shortly too.
Here, (well, I am on a plane to ‘here’ as I write this) but here (in Blighty) Johnny Marrow is a thing of abundance at this harvest time. Abundance yes, a thing of plenty, no, there are too many of them. A thing of great discussion among allotment gardeners. They fall within the range of ‘things to use up and how’. They are in there with, courgette pudding, rosemary tea, fried green tomatoes (recipe blog coming up soon), and beetroot ice-cream.
One day, one day, the whole of Norway will be enjoying my marrow pancakes, (and of course my Neolithic cave bread too).
Here it is I’ve found a pic of a marrow…
For now let us think only of the advice received from the Norwegian farmer Camilla Hansen.
Lets Take a Break for a Poem…
Waterfall girl has flowed here
To be beside me
Her limbs grow and turn
The nine known world’s experiences
Shape and form her
All the unknown worlds as well
Hugginn and Muninn fly wisdoms her way
And as hands dice and place
Wonders of taste are promised
I swear her thoughts enter straight in
Like a voice enjoining with you
There is a sense of Amma, of Freyr
Inspiring to be
For I, am farmer now
So, to be empowered
To grow, and crop and gather
Learning how to feed
Minds, hearts and bellies
Loved ones will be nourished
Because of her
With thanks for this connection I now fly home in a hurry with ideas and recipes and suggestions. How to use the barley. As for the wheat, I am on a quest to rediscover the recipe of a forgotten York only delicacy, the food of royals, mayors and journeymen; Morne bread, but that is another story, and another blog……
After just over a month of blogging I was delighted to see well over a thousand copies have been viewed via email alone. Topics to date have included Vikings, fairy, recipes, poetry, medieval, storytelling, haiku and Norwegian farming. Here we have poem and art which comes with a warning; you may be effected emotionally and reach out to another.
The little boy inside
Dragged himself slowly
Sure, that he would not
Be able to find his way back
To the thing he had had
The thing which was called
Perhaps if he dug deep
Below the hard rooted turf
He just might be able to find
That which he had buried
Then eventually managed to forget
If he could find the place
And had the strength in his fingers
What was it which lay hidden?
What was it? – So long ago – What was it?
Otternes Farm, Flåm Valley, Sognefjord, Aurland, Norway
When I sit here, I have sat here before. I am hobbit-like and living. In my sense of belonging, I know: I know this place.
Families are thin, thin on the ground, of the mountain. Long line of families in the mountains, dug in, right into its rock and earth and grass. There are long deep roots which hold us in place. Some say if you chop too many the whole mountainside will slide with us into the brakk below.
Yes here I belong, and feel I always have and if it is so and I have visited before it would have been in ancestral time a momentous occasion.
I still feel, when I stand there now, the haunting presence of one unallowed to love, ghostly appearance in the corner of story. Even with a broken heart one can still be of use up on the farm, never allowed to leave, no matter how the visitor requested. The corners of this history are cluttered with such figures. Then look upon the well. The well so deep and wide it speaks. Its dangers are voiced within its memory, “Do not throw yourself down here, as I did.” “As I did.” “As I did.” “As I did.”
For there is beauty here and love and light…
…and even in the dark-times-long there is the promise; the promise of moisture, the recollections of growth which knows it will return.
Others will come, for such is the way of a mountain farm. Love can be found in such a meeting. Small farm memories of seasons with only each other to survive and flourish for. Yet there will be gatherings and visitation where young hearts can view across the clans-collecting and see eyes; eyes which sparkle only for you.
This is why we bury the salmon. As a promise and a way of surviving. They will leap again, as will hearts.
We shall go down from our steep sides as will everyone among the wide spread hill families.
The leap. The leap will come. Nets will spread and one of us will leave one steep farm to join another. Here and there love will flourish among the catching.
The bounty is there in the grave. The grave of the fish, saving us throughout the winter.
So came the sheep. The flourishing is here too, with care. They also visit. New faces, growing adults, turning from teens, turn their flock this way.
The drove is long and this is a place where we can rest; to replenish. Fish is brought from grave, berry from jar, and water from the well is hung above the fire.
Some of these creatures have journeyed far, as have I. An instinct inside me sees the path. It twinkles elusively in my mind. I believe it is ancient. As the brown sheep belong here I am of a different wool.
Other drovers journeyed over the more flowing lands where I am from. Just as rugged, these moors were traversed to sea-going vessels which sailed up this very fjord I see flowing below to bring the trade.
As these pathways arrive here. I see them glittering as timeless memory moving in upon this land to spread and trade, spread and grow. My path stops here.
As soon as I sat upon this stoop, as my eyes twinkled, my long past had led me here and settled.
A part of me will always be here and always has. My path stops here.
For more on Otternes and Gudvangen including Adrian the Lamb and Johnny Chicken see here Farmer (Adrian) Giles
I thought I might recycle some of my older blogs from my Facebook notes and this one came to mind. Mainly because I have just sailed through.
Pancreatic Blog – a travelogue
May the saints preserve us, and so St Pancas did, in terms of being boiled, solidified and kept in one place for a long period. Just across the road from Kings Cross they said, well, no one said, it was on the print-out from the online booking. Two changes it said; York to Kings Cross, Kings Cross to St Pancras, St Pancras to Gatwick. We pulled into KC at 13.51 and the next step was 14.06 to St Pancras; arrive St Pancras 14.07, time of journey one minute. I looked again; method of transport – walk. Why I wondered did I have to hang about at KC till 14.06? Perhaps there was an official guide, I hung around near all the other lost looking people expecting a guide with a flag or a flooded umbrella or something, but to no avail. At 14.07 I panicked and took flight, on my own.
Now it might seem that I hereby qualify to join the team of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ but this is a real crisis for me, since posting a page ‘Getting to Gudvangen’ to make it easier for would-be British Vikings to travel with ease it came as a shock to discover I couldn’t find my way to a train.
It is all the saints fault. I know the concept of a rail station is a little blurred in ‘Lunun’. London Bridge is a place to catch trains (or Tower Bridge possibly) and some of the trains are ‘tubes’ and travel under the ground I am told. I have been around though, (for a very long time), and I have been in many stations – even Voff! Everywhere I have ever been there is an information board with the details of all the trains. Not in Pancras’ spot. There are five that I spotted – five displays in different places – and all different.
My first attempt was ‘International Departures’. I was going to Bergen, I always feel at home there, but, it is another country. Not so today. They sent me round the corner. ahead were the escalators, above them a sign, ‘All Trains’. Ah ha, that’s the way! No. Not a mention of Gatwick or a 16.24. Was I in the wrong station?! Time to check to check the print out, as I unfolded it to scan for details, (not for the first time today I can assure you), a thought crossed my mind; I hadn’t looked at method of travel for the St P to Gatwick leg of the journey, perhaps it said – Walk.
Walk I did, no I ran, back down the escalator, (not the same escalator), off across the station, not in the previous direction. A man in blue said go right, so I did – there was a huge display Up by the ceiling of this new hall with completely different information to the ‘All Trains’ board. I searched for my time and destination. There was nothing here. To make matters worse it wasn’t one board. It was two separate ones for two different sets of services. I ran up and down, they were very long; Nothing.
With moments to spare another helper in blue sent me back a little. I turned the way they said; no information boards (so I lied about there being fie, but there should have been). A or B. A or B? Southbound. Northbound. “Help, which direction is the airport!” Passers by pointed in two directions, neither of which related to A or B. I took a chance. As much as I would have liked in my heart to be back north of Watford I made the right choice and here I am, bag checked and everything. I breathe a sigh of relief and look ahead of me; there is the sign I have been waiting to see, ‘All Departure Gates’ – just along the corridor is another sign, ‘gates 10 to 40’. Ah, so not all of them then.
Postscript: they are just announcing that my flight will be delayed as a bag is trapped in the baggage loader – it will be mine.
BTW I will Post this blog if I ever make it to the nation of many lands (Norway)
I am moved and excited by what individuals are doing to help other people and, of course, to affect the people in power, (there are some u turns happening because of human opinion), I think social networking may be the new way of understanding. Dealing with the details of all these people is absolutely wonderful. Rescuing and caring.
We need to deal with the bigger situation now. We need to rise above and beyond all the wonderful wonderful work people are doing to help each other. See it globally. –
We need a Statesman (not gender specific though) not a party politician who is trying to maintain control. There are too many angry people out there. The world is a frightening place. We are frightened.
We need someone to speak for us all. To bring us together and turn us away from the echo of so many years ago when the world went mad and hate ruled.
Strangely I recall Conservative (right wing) people being in such a way. When Heath went beyond actual human bound barriers to seek peace. When Churchill put politics aside and all the parties worked together.
We need a world voice to speak out. From a position of power. Bring us together. Please. Please. Speak for that which is bigger than where we are from.
Here is my opening speech for the Gudvangen Market in Viking Valley in Norway. I thought I would share it with you and a few links, pics and footage too.
This is our encampment, our village, our market, our time
We are Vikings now
We live that way
as Vikings have always gathered, we gather here
And we learn
The people here know so much
We are living as Vikings
For the love of our past
And our heritage
Our shared heritage
Of the way you were
Of what you are from
There is something like this inside you
We can all learn from each other
For we are all experts
There are so many here with such amazing skills
It may well be the magic of the modern world
which brings us together
The skills of the dreamer, the planner,
of the group; those who bring trade goods
But know you this now
The Viking is in our hearts
And can be in yours
As you step through these gates
As you know you must
The small price you pay
Here in the moment
Will open greater doors for you
Within the heart
Whether you stay for a short while
And acquire a treasure
Or wander for the day
Or the week
There will always be a part of you here
And a will to return
We have pride
We are a community
We are together
Are the past
Step forward and enter
We are Viking
We have always embraced you
We listened to your stories
We visited you
And we gave
And all of us are united
In our hearts
In your forgotten memories
For this is Viking valley
It was such an honour to step towards that platform with Rune and our chieftain Georg Hansen to be in front of the Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation cameras (nrk.no) and present our opening speeches. As I walked I couldn’t help thinking, ‘How on earth did I get to be here?’
Of course you can get there, and you really should, it is an amazing experience. You may well hear this speech as you do for I designed it as a piece that would work for any Viking to learn and use at the gates as people arrive.
There is a guide to getting there too. I created it with particularly British visitors in mind, but I am sure it will make things easier for anyone wanting to get there for the first time.
And here is the footage of the repeat performance at the feast