As a writer i live my life
deep within the timeless magical world of the written word exploring, probing
and pushing what we call reality to the very edge of its own sanity. I have
never claimed to be able to see the future but i have always known what will
one day become. As i write this piece i am wandering the back streets of chatham with kent’s homeless and it’s junkies, those people society would refer
to as down and outs. In truth i am only one step away from standing in the same
place these people are standing myself, i reckon by the summer solstice no one,
not even my own family or friends will be able to tell the two of us apart. I
may not have any cash; i have had money in the past i know the darkness and
despair that clings to what an old friend of mine once referred to as the white
man’s god. Very soon now it’s only a matter of days i will have reached the
very bottom of the abyss, the end, the point when everything has gone, lost
forever, the point when my enemy returns for more but leaves empty handed
realizing i have nothing more he can take. When all hope is lost, when the only
thing there is left to do is to die, it’s at that moment, like my ancestors
before me as if in some way honouring their memory, to somehow honour their
lives, even though i may live and work in the towns of the modern twenty first
century inner-city environment what i like to affectionately refer to as the
urban rainforest, underneath this urban complexion i still wear the blue tribal war
paint of my ancestors and i will stand up straight, face my enemy, and in one
final act of defiance against those that would destroy not only me but everyone
and everything i have ever cared about, i will look my enemy in the eye and
smile, at that moment, that one moment, that one little moment in the entire
history of time, the first, the last, the only time my enemy will know the
truth, that he has lost. The little things i have, those things i care about
the most i have in abundance, when you ask me to trade, when you ask me to trade
my heroes for ghosts you not only insult me, you insult yourself, you exist
inside a world of greed, hatred and jealousy, so corrupted by your own lust you
cannot see what is in front of your own eyes. You could read my words for an
eternity and still not understand because you don’t know how to listen, and you are unwilling to learn how to change.
are things back home? Did you get the last letter i sent you? The mail is so
slow these days, hopefully with a bit of luck you should get this one before
Christmas. According to a three week old newspaper i was reading the other day
the politicians claim this will be the war to end all wars, that has to be good
news, let’s give peace a chance for a change. We have been in this trench for
weeks now, i am tired of the constant rain and the mud, but its ok we are part
of a big push we will be in Paris for Christmas. I wrote to Susan, i asked her
to marry me. She said yes, we are getting engaged when we meet up with each
other in Paris. I am so excited mum i have already saved up more than enough
money to buy her a big fat diamond ring. I have been writing poetry for her i
hope she likes it. I had a really strange dream last night Mum, it was really
weird. I was at a stone circle, i was dancing, a strange dream, i guess it was
just a dream, i don’t feel much like dancing. I have made friends with a few
yanks, nice guys but they do talk a bit funny. After the war we are going to
keep in touch and send each other copies of our poetry in the post. I wish
there was a faster way to do it, who knows one day maybe there will be. I met a
really weird Indian bloke today, he claims there are an infinite number of reality’s, and in each of these reality's we
live out our life in a totally different way from any other, or something like that. What a strange
guy, he reckons there is another me somewhere who is living a totally different life from this one, i reckon he must take
drugs, or be mad, who knows. I have to go now Mum, they have found my
body, it don’t look too bad, Dad is with me. Tell Susan i love her. Goodbye.
Everyone is born with their own unique set of skills, gifts and talents, it defines who we are and the role we are chosen to play during our very brief membership of a very elite group of people, a group I am proud to boast membership of after passing the groups very strict selection process where anything less than 100% at any time means certain and instant death. Few people have heard of our group, we hide away in our own little corner of the universe, in jest some call us the tribe of headless chickens because we spend our lives running around trying in vain to catch our own shadows, involved in our own spiritual contest we call the Human Race.
They say fortune favours the bold,
Ah… To hell with it anyway,
Who wants to grow old?
When we were kids the punks would scream,
Cold comfort in our old age,
When staying pretty is all but a dream.
Recently while sorting out a
box of junk I found an old Association of National Park and Countryside Voluntary
Wardens Newsletter - dated winter 1990.
The Scunthorpe and Glanford
(An overview by one of the
projects voluntary rangers)
The Scunthorpe and Glanford
Countryside Project is an Urban Fringe Project funded by Scunthorpe Borough
Council, Glanford Borough Council, Humberside County Councils, and the
The project area covers
approximately 70 square miles, which includes both Scunthorpe and all its
The project employs one full
time countryside project officer Tim Allen. His job ranges from talking with
parish councils to sometimes working up to his neck in mud, or worse.
The project has six voluntary
rangers including myself who work both weekends and mid-week engaged in
practical countryside conservation, recreation and management skills, as well
as the usual ranger skills such as patrolling, meeting and chatting with the
public, instructing school and college groups etc. The project also has the
help of local schools and colleges, who provide extra pairs of hands and
willing volunteers ranging in age from 5 – 18 years old which can be quite a contrast and bring their
own problems and rewards. The projects team of voluntary rangers also organise
and run practical nature conservation working holidays in conjunction with the
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) these working holidays are usually
based around traditional countryside crafts and skills, such as hedge laying
and dry stone walling. As a voluntary ranger with the countryside project the
working holiday side of the role is my own personal favourite.
Some of the problems of
working in the urban fringe are such things as vandals, motorcyclists, glue
sniffers and litter, which can range from an empty beer can to a burnt out car.
A subject that causes many problems for the project and the public is certain
members of society who live in caravans. These people move onto a site and
totally destroy it, leaving a mound of rubbish, ripping down every tree, bush, fence
and gate in the area.
Another problem is motivating
the public of Scunthorpe and Glanford into going to their countryside to enjoy
it, which would show the powers that be that the public need this open space
more than another chicken processing factory or supermarket complex.
Stewart Hall. Voluntary Ranger.
Scunthorpe and Glanford
ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL PARK
AND COUNTRYSIDE VOLUNTARY WARDENS
true friend may have nothing to give but friendship,
could ask for more?
I remember what seems like a lifetime ago, in the heart of the Cumbria countryside, in Keswick, a place so close to my heart. A magical place, far far away from the inner city slums and the heartache and heartbreak of Chatham in Kent. As always I am hiding in an old second hand bookshop, do they ever build these places from new? Would we want them to? Both questions for later. I search for an old Bible, a gift for a friend. Books both old and new have always been a passion of mine, as a writer I live my life deep within the timeless Magical world of the written word, exploring probing and pushing what we call reality to the very edge of its own sanity. If I cannot be found reading a book, I can usually be found hiding somewhere far away from the madding crowd writing one. I remember as a very small baby boy finding the very first wax crayon I had ever seen. It tasted like shit, but I soon discovered that if I held this newfound wax crayon at one of its two ends and rubbed the other end of this wax crayon along my Mums living room wallpaper this wax crayon left a mark, very interesting I thought. So I held this wax crayon at one of its two ends and rubbed the other end of my newfound favourite toy along my Mums living room wallpaper again, the wax crayon left another mark, and another mark, and another. The marks left behind on my Mums living room wallpaper was the very first story I ever wrote. The marks on the wall told a tale of a kind old Witch who died alone, afraid, on his own, some place cold, betrayed by those he trusted and cared for the most, betrayed by those he called his friends, those people who’s loyalty and trust it never occurred to him to question. With his dying breath the kind gentle old Witch, the keeper of the magic archive, the nice bloke, the one who always gave his friends presents at Christmas, cast his fateful final spell, the spell his only option was to use, passing on a lifetime of knowledge ,and the closely guarded secrets of the magic archive, those secrets he swore on his life to protect to the nearest suitable Witch he could find, which as keeper of the magic archive he knew no matter what, at all costs to transfer the knowledge of the archive was the final thing before his death, he must do. So the kind of man, the keeper of the magic archive passed on his lifetimes knowledge, and the secrets of the magic archive the knowledge he had sworn to preserve and protect with his life to the only Witch he could find before he died. A very small baby boy sleeping soundly, somewhere far far away, in his mother’s living room. Back home in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire where as a child I grew up, the keepers of the local Ashby legends speak of a tale which claims that as a school boy I would play truant from school to avoid playing rugby outside on the playing field in sub-zero temperatures and hide in the local library, spending my time devouring and absorbing the endless, ceaseless, seemingly infinite source of knowledge contained within the books on the shelves. I cannot confirm or deny any such rumour at this time, all I can confirm is that my body was never designed to withstand the extreme sub-zero temperatures of the arctic tundra style wind that blows off the River Humber. The keepers of the local Ashby Legends also claim that even after all these years i still hold the record as the only child in the history of the North Lincolnshire comprehensive school education system ever to play truant from school and hide in the library. I hail a taxi and I am at Stonehenge with the band Hawkwind, I ask for a request they play the pink panther and ghost dance just for me. A few more old friends arrive, Paula, Sue, Lewis, George, Lisa P, Kelly, Twilight, Andy, Shane, Mitchell, Hannah, Sam, Brad, all the Lisa’s, Matt, John, Mark, Drew, all the Inside-Out crew, the guys from Nokturnal, Craig, Karen, Scotty, Wayne, I am not sure exactly how many Shaun’s turned up that day but they seemed to be everywhere, even Kate Moss turned up just after lunch time and stayed till the end. A reunion of our order an excuse to party, as if one was ever needed. I play a tune on my flute for our friends in the spirit world, in less than an instant transported by her own deepest dark shadow magic some say older than time, my old friend and Argenteum Astrum mentor stands beside me. Lisa Gilmour, a naturally gifted witch and a pleasure to work with, and learn from.The A∴A∴ or Argenteum Astrum is a magical order that was created in 1907 by Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones after they left the hermetic order of the golden dawn. The acronym, A∴A∴ has many meanings, the goals of the order are the pursuit of light and knowledge.
Its motto is, "The Method of Science - The Aim of Religion" The Argenteum Astrum is unique in that members officially only know those directly above and below in the chain of instruction. There are no regular group rituals and measures are taken to hide the identity of the officers during the few temple initiation rituals, and members are expected to work alone, consulting as needed with their superior in the order. In this way, the founders of the system hoped to avoid the many political problems that allegedly brought about the downfall of the predecessor organization, the hermetic order of the golden dawn. The Argenteum Astrum is a spiritual organization focused on enlightenment of the individual with a strong emphasis on maintaining the chain of initiation from teacher to student and devoting all of one's attainments to those individuals who follow. My mate will one day take her rightful place in the history books of magic and witchcraft as one of the greatest occultists of the 21st century. It is widely believed within the world of the occult, that my mate Lisa Gilmour is the secret love child conceived after the magical union between Jim Morrison, songwriter and poet, best remembered as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors, and Patricia Kennely, Celtic high priestess and dame of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani following a hand fasting ceremony in June 1970, a Magical ritual during which Patricia and Jim both signed a document declaring themselves to be husband and wife. I play a tune for the Spirits and we watch my mentor dance the ghost dance for a while. Oh, what a breath of fresh air, like the kiss of life to the dead to have the chance if even for a short while to walk the road of the rainbow with those I consider my family, with those I choose as my friends. They say you can tell the black or white witches by the colour of their cats, in my experience you can tell the difference by the amount of time they spend in cheap bars. We walk up a winding road and enter an ancient magical bookshop and see the book with the mystical page, a picture of a stone circle, the site of a castle and memories of people long dead, of magical friends, of old witches what seems like a lifetime since I have seen but will never forget. In a primeval vortex of magic and black billowing clouds of brimstone an old woman appears, a very old green witch from the past takes my hand and walks with me a while, the black road on which the medicine man is destined to walk alone is a journey through spiritual darkness while seeking the higher light. Suddenly the universe comes alive with magical pulses of energy so strong I can taste it on my lips, some kind of stone temple appears at the end of the road. The old green witch scarred by the passage of time shape shifts into a beautiful young dancer with blue feathers in her hair. Like poles of a magnet balanced in perpetual union the Stonedancer’s are one.
Ancient prophecy fulfilled. Time once more runs linear, For now. Good news for my friends, And for those of our order, For the battle is won. Once more. For now. We watch, We wait, We lurk in the shadows, We wear the mask of invisibility, We have waited since the dawn of mankind, Our time will come, We wait for the darkness, In this we find strength, We wear many masks, Many disguises, How many of us are here? Who knows? We wait for the dark side, Time is of no importance to us, We watch, We wait, The darkness will come, When it arrives, We will be waiting, We watch, We wait, We lurk in the shadows.
all hear talk of the old man's death,
But what about the old man's life ?
A life of beauty,
The season’s change,
In a blink of an eye,
The flowers in spring,
To know true love,
For the very first time,
Fresh snow in the winter,
The birth of a child,
The dawn of the autumn,
The smell of the leaves,
The warmth of the summer,
The children so happy,
To bask in the sunshine,
So gaily they play,
Oh what it is, to be in love,
To walk in the park,
One day in the rain,
With the son you adore,
And the girl of your dreams.