mud god

He sleeps under the generous shade of a family of laurel shrubs, fishes in the lake and roams the land like Huckleberry Finn. When he spends enough time in direct sunlight, he froths up long poetic jams, or grabs anything to hand- twigs, leaves, grass, flowers and hurriedly, in a manic frenzy, makes art. Art, man, art, has to be art, he says pulling up handfuls of dirt. If nothing comes to hand, he twists his skinny body round in all sorts of inhuman shapes to form anything, something that represents the feelings and ideas rushing through him. He balls up or stretches, squats, twists limbs around limbs, whatever comes to mind to express the ineffable contents of his soul. He’s a hobo, a beatnik, stuffed full of beautiful ideas about life and moments little moments in the sun with ants and feathers and leaves. He talks to the trees before he climbs them, like he’s whispering to a horse before he rides it.  He got so hyped up once, he twisted his body like a corkscrew into the soft ground in the forest and tunnelled among the giant roots of a chestnut tree; Covered in mud he emerged proclaiming to the forest, to the clouds, to anyone who would listen that he was the Mud God. They found him in the boughs of an apple tree in the old fruit grower’s research station, there he was clung to the tree like a koala, munching away on a cox apple, the might of the East Anglian sky behind him, like some prophet in the sky. He was a wild man, wild as the dark clouds across the moon. He stayed in that twisty-boughed tree preaching his sermon about how we should love the earth because it was the only home. Buildings would come and go, so would girls and cars and religions, maybe, or at least he said there was a time when there were no religions, just pure sentience, an unmediated love of all things. It was all in soil or in the petals on the flowers or in the wings of the bees. He was the Mud God and life was about mad and dirty art. Just stop your thoughts, he said and grab handfuls of whatever is around and if there’s nothing around use your body and shout your truth. It can be savage and raw or gentle. It can be slow, yes, slow and deep like the roots spreading inside the great heaven, for heaven, he said, is not in the clouds above or above the clouds above. It’s in the earth. It’s under feet, boy, he said. He was the Mud God from Great Whelnetham, Suffolk, blackened by wet clay soil, arms stretched out of his sockets, bursting with big, raw, dirty love

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