UKArchive ID: 35748Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly by prospero
Originally published on November 6, 2015 in Humour

Dedicated to the grandchildren of the world.

Grey sky and grey mind
Obscure the wide world.
Cars and buses, lorries and vans
Come and go.
People walk calmly along
As if they have somewhere
Important to go
And intend to get there.

Railway lines lie beyond
The road and the old stone wall.
A Virgin Train
From Edinburgh
Heads towards Newcastle,
Then probably London.

The banks of the railway cutting look like a nature reserve:-
May, Ash and silver birch;
Seeding rosebay willow herb
Hide a fecund fauna
Of mice, moles,voles and foxes;
Ants, moths and whirligig beetles;
Worms, slugs and snails,
Magpies, crows and pigeons;
All unaware that they are
In an illegal wildlife sanctuary.

They live a quiet unobserved life
Behind the giant advertising billboards
Facing the passing traffic
And in front of the incongruous
Painted graffiti facing the train passengers
Passing in or out of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The everyday world
Is busy and unconcerned about the passing of time
But once this place was a glacial plain
And before that the floor of a shallow sea.
Soon it will al be flooded again
Or perhaps part of a global desert.
Possibly future palaeontologists
Will unearth a thick layer
Of strange limbed creatures
With enormous skulls,
Quietly accepting their
Self inflicted Destiny.

© prospero (corin on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 35748
Archived comments for Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly
Mikeverdi on 06-11-2015
Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly
Excellent, I really enjoyed reading this David.

Author's Reply:
Thankyou Mike

gwirionedd on 06-11-2015
Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly
You expect Northumbria to relatively soon go the way of Doggerland?

That would be a shame.

I often wonder what the Doggerish dialect would have sounded like. Perhaps a bit like Basque, with Scandinavian overtones.

Maybe you could think of a more evocative verb than "heads" to Newcastle?

Author's Reply:
You live in Berlin now don’t you. When the Polar Icecaps melt Berlin will be in Doggerland too!

The people in Doggerland, like most of the people in England today, were closely related to the Basgues. Our DNA is very similar. All the invasions of Britain - Celt, Roman, Saxon, Danish, Norman merely changed the rulers and the language not the general population. The Basques came over the post Ice Age land bridge, then the slow global warming of the intergalactic period melted the polar ice and drowned it.

How about ‘crawls into Newcastle’?

Best Wishes


gwirionedd on 06-11-2015
Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly
Poor old Europe... Poor old Planet Earth...

The genetic and linguistic history of Britain is truly fascinating. The link between us and the Basques is particularly mysterious and intriguing. Isn't the Basque flag basically a Union Jack in different colours? Why is that? Is there an ancient, pre-historical reason behind that, some kind of reference to a Basque-British link, or is it just coincidence, do you know?

Yes, I think "crawls" works better.

All the best,

Author's Reply:
I think that our links to the Basque peope go back so far - over 10,000 years that there is no historical or cultural connection left so the flag similarity must be coincidence - after all the union jack in its present form only goes back to the act of Union with Ireland in 1801.
I suspect that the Basques were the first peoples into Southern Europe, after the end of the last Ice Age, about 20,000 years ago and when the land bridge was uncovered they wandered into Norther Europe, including Britain.


sweetwater on 07-11-2015
Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly
I think I saw this poem slightly differently judging by the other comments. I was delighted by the day to day life gently coming and going, the lovely description of the railway cutting, against the ugly backdrop of our human life. Then the last verse reminding us of how our world came into being and how quickly it could become unrecognisable once again. That subject never ceases to enthral me. I suppose mine is a far less knowledgeable understanding, but nevertheless I loved your poem. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sue,
I think you caught the mood of the poem precisely. It was basically a writing exercise for a Multi-media play I am involved in called, ‘Normal Norman’. It is basically about a group of people who are not really normal at all, which is why they are looking out of the windows of Chilli Studios on Newbridge Street in Newcastle upon Tyne while doing some art therapy.

The the incongruity of the explosion of nature between he railway line and the busy road struck me. The theme of momentous change in the history of the Earth and the imminent dramatic change that globa warming will cause has been a a favourite topic of mine for a long time - since 1967 in fact:-

David M Turner

In the beginning there was night
And the night was Dark;
Yet the spirit of darkness was LIFE
And the LIFE shouted so there was light.
Then Light and Dark came together
And of their union was the Earth.
With the Earth came the Sky, the Sun, the Moon and Stars.

Under the Sun, with the blessing of full time,
The Earth blossomed and bore Men;
But the Men brought death and death Sin
Till Sin grew grew bigger than Men.
Then LIFE became angry.

The ANGER became a wall of water
Which washed over the whole Earth
Except for the highest mountains
All but the brave men on the high mountains drowned.
After the brave men on the high mountains descended,
And there was a new beginning.

Now the beginning has ended:
The end has begun;
LIFE will again be Angry.

This is obviously a retelling of the story of Noah, but it was inspired by a similar story in Ovid’s ‘Metamorphosis’

I hope that you are not very young and won’t have to live through the coming disasters:-(

Maetheforsbye, (see, See


stormwolf on 07-11-2015
Through the Chilli Studio Window Sadly
A very thoughtful and also thought provoking piece David. It shows what goes on in that brain of yours. It can be hell to be a deep thinker. I have been acused all my life of "thinking too much" as though it is some kind of fatal flaw.
It does make us tend towards depression at times though. Hard not to be when we see what's happening in the world.
Perhaps it's better not to think? but bugger that for a laugh as they say!
Alison x

Author's Reply:
"It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question."
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (1863)