God of the Wild


I was raised in a verdant place where roads consisted of a single lane, and lanes were carpeted with tyre-marked grass.

Hypnotised by feeble lure of tainted, small town tinsel which seemed glamorous to this country girl, I turned from the trees and trotted to urban pastures, where a Mars Bar was only a minute’s walk away, and the night was exciting to one who had never spent time in a town after sundown.

Frowzy bars wafted billows of booze-tinted nicotine and noise into the street, where kids dropped vinegary chip shop wrappings that were lifted by the wind, to ripple and drift past my shins.

Teens nattered and swore, cat-calling high-heeled hopefuls out on the pull.

Drunks staggered backwards into bushes, sideways into clumsy fights, forwards toward a lock that didn’t match the key, dribbling piss and spittle as they spun erratically into muttering oblivion.

British bikes spluttered and roared, leather clad bikers uttered curses that spat on the paving beside a backstreet cafe where spilt coffee left dingy rings on scratched formica, and filter-tipped ciggie butts were stamped out on a greasy floor.

Cars that had seen better days splashed muddy rain onto complaining passers by.

The strains of Petula’s sixties song echoed in my head:

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go down-town,

down-town.” she said.

It took me a while to admit she wasn’t describing this ditch-water town, but the city.

Soon, my soul ached with an unspecified hunger.

My shoes leaked. I was used to sopping feet, but my socks reeked of chemical pollution.

Mulch-strewn liquid dripped and gushed from blocked gutters, making slim rivers where slithery algae collected, eager to trick careless feet.

Tired stars glimmered with little lustre, too listless to compete with jaundiced streetlights that advertised pools of rain on the road.

Shrubs were artlessly arranged by human hands. Wild rebel seeds – should they have the audacity to shoot, were uprooted and sentenced to death without trial.

Parks were designed for mild childhood behaviour. Swings and slides were made with safety in mind. No-one climbed trees.

Two Mormons knocked on my door, proselytising,
looking for a neophyte.

They found it in this hollowed-out soul who greedily supped from their biblical cup, as yet too blind to recognise my plight:

I was missing my God of the wild.


©Jane Paterson Basil

20 thoughts on “God of the Wild

  1. Very nice and quite poignant. People give many faces to God. Maybe in their own image? I know, I do. No, no, I’m not deluded enough to imagine I’m God, in the biblical sense. Yet we are all a godhead. Through us, God is manifest. We are free to do as we wish. That’s my experience. Sometimes we see God, in the bottom of a wine glass, smoke or even injection. That’s what seems to make people crazy, insisting they are God. Society will not accept that, it seems. God is love, love is God. Etc.
    How does one show others, this beauty? They are free, we are all free, except from the mores of society. Which makes jungle living, so wishful. God is in the essence of the world about us. I often wonder about whether we bring it forth through mind? Create our own world from reflections within? I notice drug users often start with that. Feeling in touch with God. Maybe that’s true? To feel the very essence of that love, here on Earth?
    A very brief escape from the pressures of this world, into a cosmos of feelings and emotions that then sends us spinning into a world apart? I enjoy a glass but I’m not too deluded to think that brief perfections of inner bliss, are the real thing. Ultimately even a cup of tea can bring addictions. That is always the back edge. Whether we may get through life without dependencies?
    I suppose it’s one of our challenges? For to allow rebirth into another life away from the temptations. I suppose, that is an extreme POV? Temptations? Now I’m sounding so old testament? If it were such an accident? Life, I mean. Then why do thing like dependencies, matter so much?
    Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My upbringing was such that any suggestion of faith in a divine creator was almost as bad as confessing to a penchant for necrophilia. My father considered religious faith stupid. I think that attitude is both arrogant and parochial; space is infinite, and is therefore able to contain infinite possibilities.
      I don’t feel qualified to give an opinion about the existence or non-existence of an external God. I have faith in the collective consciousness, but I don’t consider that a religion – more a Science that hasn’t yet been properly researched. However, as a child, when I lay in a field on a sunny day, and gazed at the overwhelming beauty of the trees and the sky, I felt safe and nurtured, and worshipful. It felt like a religious experience. Since then. I’ve learnt that (for example) the bee colony is a single organism, and the bees are components of that organism. I think that this planet is the same, but it’s gone wrong somewhere along the way, and we’ve become detached from our joint purpose – to survive each of us doing the job we were designed for; plants, animals and humans alike. That would make the bee colony an organism within an organism.
      Something just occurred to me: you could compare the life on this planet to the cells in a human body. I like talking to you, Jamie; it helps me to figure things out.
      Thanks, Jane

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate the nod. Thanks, same to you. All too true, too. In some ways I agree with your father’s sentiment. Religion and belief in a higher power we call God, is not the same thing; in my book. That’s what ordinary people do. Have a religion. Nicely packaged and safely away from them. Instead of actually trying to have a loving personal relationship. Seeing God as something to have to salve conscience, or blame, or beseech to. I mean, we can do all of those things and more beside. I find those attitudes a little arrogant. It’s strange to me how when something goes wrong, the first thing we say is, “no, please God”. Right?

        The power is only in our own hands. Nobody else. Not priest or another pilgrim. Only we can do it for ourselves.

        I do not see, however. Denying religion and then carrying on in some hedonistic manner. We need to live up to a higher ethic. Even if the body is the only thing that lives in us. We can head to a date w’worms, head held high. Doesn’t mean it needs to be boring, either. Really it seems to be a win/win situation? Cheers Jamie.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think if you’d met my father, you’d have been disappointed. He slapped down any mention of a higher power. Discussion was not allowed, or if it was, it would be sneered at. There was no God. Only fools held spiritual views.
          It’s sad. I embrace the spiritual theories of others. They’re interesting, and best of all, no-one can be proved either right or wrong in this life. I find anyone who slams those who have spiritual answers to metaphysical questions, boring and lacking in imagination. I love it when a young person asks “What is real? Am I real? Am I just a chess piece on a massive board game, being moved around by the Gods?”
          Yes, we can only do it for ourselves, and not having definite answers makes the whole thing so much more fun. We are all free to make up our own answers, and some people can only be saved by doing so.
          The thing that matters is compassion, which goes hand-in-hand with tolerance.


          1. Jane,
            Uh huh, I’ve met plenty of people like that. I do not blame them. If you have not met God, face to face? Then it does not exist for you. As your father. Mine also. Although mine was mostly superior, when it came to those types of things.

            Yes, that has been the whole point, it seems to me. We are free to make up our own answers, as you write. The power of our minds is largely untapped when it comes to ability to project circumstance and surroundings. Instead we float like jetsam on the tides.

            The thing that matters is compassion and tolerance, which are both expressions of universal love. Which is all we really need. Cheers Jamie

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the sensuality of your piece. Especially, “I turned from the trees and trotted to urban pastures, where a Mars Bar was only a minute’s walk away, and the night was exciting to one who had never spent time in a town after sundown.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Judy. I love the way poetry brings out the essence of a moment, or feeling. I’d forgotten the Mars Bars 🙂 Where I’d lived before, the nearest shop was three miles away, and it closed at 5 pm. For a while, I was thrilled to be able to get a Mars Bar at 9 pm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s going great so far, enjoying it immensely, just need to work on good shoes as my feet ache on the ball of one foot by the end of the day….and I’ve purchased some new outfits too, feeling good about the whole thing💜😊

        Liked by 1 person

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