You were never more lost than you are now, if you cannot reach out, touch the wild earth and weep...
Note - this edition has now sold out, but the beautiful second edition is on the shelves now! Click here to see it.
Living wild on Dartmoor, a man eats only nettles. His body disappears; he learns to fly. He encounters demigods and eloquent trees. He is Nettle-Eater, crooked, arrogant, self-proclaimed bastard of the moor. This is his testament. By the author of Sometimes a Wild God, also available from Hedgespoken Press.
You can read the text of Nettle-Eater in full here.
First seen as a previous version in Dark Mountain III, Nettle-Eater is a short, sharp prose-howl in the direction of genuine and magical wildness and an uncompromising love-letter to the wild places of Dartmoor. Hovering over the pages is the ghost of Milarepa, the Tibetan saint who - it is said - survived on a nettle-diet for seven years, achieved a powerful enlightenment and became Tibet's best-loved bad-kid-turned-good. Nettle-Eater is written to be read aloud as a prayer to the wild earth and a reminder to us mortals that our lives are short and on fire and that there is no better time to remember our essential nature than this instant, no better time to discard the masquerade of our civilised lives than now...
These signed and numbered editions of Tom Hirons' Nettle-Eater are riso-printed on 100% recycled paper (100gsm internal, 170gsm Kraft cover) in a limited run of 500 in England by Footprint workers' co-op, using soya-based green ink.
Cover illustration by Rima Staines.
Dimensions: 4.2″ x 5.9″ (A6) 32pp.
Delightful and full of insight!
Brilliant read. I read it to a group on the moor one night by a stream where a panther was seen. It was magical.
Sometimes a Wild God directs you to look up a couple who where mentioned in a recently published book. And then you are amazed at the way the poem speaks to you. Lovely!
A beautiful book!
Wild, raw, beautiful. Very much needed in these tamest of times.
I was very excited about the arrival of my books. A lovely little parcel bringing magic from the other side of the world! I had to stop what I was doing and read them right then. I read Sometimes a Wild God first, out loud so I could savour the words. I loved the imagery (and the images, too). SO evocative. A real treasure.
The Nettle-Eater (signed AND numbered) was amazing, again with the imagery of the words describing the struggle and the letting go into a different (and difficult) realm of living. Also very good and great use of words.
Thanks you so much for these two small and mighty little books packed with ethereal power!!
I appreciate the diligence and love you put into your works. They light up again in this precious little book, which I will give as a present to a dear friend. She is very familiar and gentle with all kinds of plants as well as with spirits. One of her favourite plants is the nettle, so I am sure she will be delighted by this book and the thoughts in it. Love, Anja
Not-a-chap enjoying the chapbook, with a meerkat and my daughter on a rainy day. I haven't read it to my children yet but I will. I loved this beautiful, wild reminder of how we can and must dissolve our domesticated selves and wed ourselves to nature. Thank you.
Delightful words, some with stings, that come like memories from a time before........thanks Tom.
What good would it do to tell you? Read! I, myself, am about to run. :)
A wonderful, wild, life affirming story, to be read and re-read. It will continue to grow and develop and connect with the reader over time.
Here it is on my bedside table, ready to send me on amazing dream journeys...
Powerful, powerful stuff - a heady distillation. Tom Hirons is a natural trancendententalist, in a tradition that traces back through Ted Hughes, Thoreau's Walden to Rousseau. Hirons' relationship with nature is elemental, brutal, terrifying - and exhilarating.
This is my second piece of prose from Hedgespoken... both little books are very precious to me as their work is full of intrinsic magic... and a beautiful reminder to connect with the energy of nature and the wild heart within...
Wild words for walking with.
Manifesto insight beauty. Holy seeing. Liberation.
Beautifully made, the right size for my pocket.
I'm really glad I accidentally happened upon this! It's a quick read I can pick up anytime I need a reminder.
Storytelling at it's wildest and finest! So raw and tangible, and at times a very deja vu experience! Upon finishing the story, I looked up only to find that I was't actually on the Moors! Earthy, wild, nourishing, and that hint of other-worldliness....just like the Nettle itself. Love this little book!!
A feast of words and emotions, chaos and comedy in this wild narrative. A tingling-green-treat of a book
Tom's storytelling ability has again made a magical transformation to paper. The 'Nettle-eater' will take you to the depths of a man's journey into the soul and nature. This piece of enchantment will make you forget about time and space, and take you to the wilderness of Dartmoor.
The 'Nettle-eater' is a neat little booklet which feels comfortable in your hands. The Nettle-green letters are mesmerising and guide your eyes towards the end. The illustration of Rima is subtle and its use throughout the booklet feels like a personage coming to life. The 'Nettle-eater' is a creation for the imagination, nice to have or to give.
I am taken on the soaring of another's imagination to touch the world of otherly things - the things we have lost the touch of over the years, the world of mad and half-mad spirits that underlies our existence and lives and grows in its own living, that you can only feel by joining them in their madness, which is not madness, and exulting in the old knowledge, the deep and gone knowledge.
To tumble into the word weavings of Tom Hirons one must leave all expectations by the wayside. As the words are taken inside they invoke all manner of emotion, startled breaths & stunned knowledge/remembrance. Be brave. ‘Nettle-Eater’ patiently waits.
After 'Sometimes a Wild God' I was expecting a visceral reaction to nettle eater and I was not disappointed. Reading and rereading certain lines which sang into my heart, fighting down the urge to run barefoot from the house and hide in the woods. Glorious, thank you for the blessing of these words.
This author uses words like music! Highly recommended!
A lovely little bit of Magic.
Reading Tom Hirons, is like having a wild, joyful dream.
There's no tiptoeing gently into his environment; he plunges you straight into a mythical landscape which engulfs you completely, leaving you bewildered, but ultimately enriched.
This is a fabulous poem that I have wanted a copy of for a while. The layout, printing and format is beautiful, which I had anticipated, having bought from you before, in fact I was so confident of this that I bought an additional copy to give away as a present, not sure who to yet, but someone will enjoy! Please print up your middle earth poems too, really urgent, vibrantly, ‘alive’ and necessary poetry.... all of it!
Thank you so much for being a conduit to this creativity- I have found it deeply medicinal to read.
I bought this little book for a 'foraging friend' who lives in Scotland. She has enjoyed it very much and it is particularly pleasing that it has been physically created with zero harm to our environment. A lovely book to read and possess. Thank you
I had read Nettle-Eater onlne a long time before I saw it advertised as a book. I loved it then, but a physical book is carry-aroundable and lendable in a way a website never can be. Even if everyone has a smartphone (which many do not) people might say 'oh I'll look it up later' and then don't bother. BUt to press a beautiful, limited edition BOOK into someone's hands saying 'I thunk you should read this', who could say no?
And the book itself is beautiful. The typeface, the choice of ink, Rim's illustations all set off the prose. The plot is not obvious, nor is it simple. The first person i leant it to descibed it as a series of 'bright pinpoints' strung thorughout darker imagery. Neither could work without the other for Tom, but he does both perfectly. I very much look forward to whatever comes next!
I got Tom’s first book ‘Sometimes a Wild God’ because I’m a fan of Rima Staines’ artwork (so let me give that 5 stars as well) but I am now a follower of both of them. He never disappoints—- both moving and meaningful. Beautiful piece!
Like the Wild God, the Nettle Eater is dark and disturbing; just a little bit frightening. I like the way Tom Hirons makes us look at the world in a slightly different light.
This is a beautifully written, gorgeously produced chapbook. I'm never disappointed by Hedgespoken Press. Thank you so much!
Nettle-Eater brings out something from deep inside me. In a similar way to 'Sometimes a Wild God', but perhaps in a more eloquent way, it teases and tugs like a surgeon performing a delicate operation - a cut too deep and you've gone too far, but Nettle-Eater is a precision instrument that makes you stop, reflect deeply upon your life. It's moving and simply beautiful. I love it and the words are brought even more to life by the sheer beauty of the printing, typography and layout of this little booklet. It's my treasure.
This is a very beautiful piece of writing by a very talented writer. I found myself genuinely moved by it - he knows how to get right to the heart of what truly matters. I can’t wait to read more of his work.
Love this little book..love all of Tom's writings..they take me to a place inside that very few things can..thank you so very much, both Tom and Rima, for sharing your art with us...the world is so much better for it!
A wonderful book indeed, and beautifully printed.
Order arrived in a timely manner and is exactly what I expected. Love the book.
Lovely work and wonderful service from lovely people. Thank you so much!
Another fabulous poem from Tim Hirons, I believe I have them all.
So unique and so raw, it strikes at the heart and the soul.
I feel quite privileged having discovered his work although I shouldn't take all the credit, my son bought me the first poem.
Please keep them coming Tim, the timing is just right, I think, as you welcome the 'new baby' with open arms after a long and difficult pregnancy.
Another beautiful book from Hedgespoken. Tom's poetry is just sublime. I ordered two this time, to keep one aside for a gift to someone who will really appreciate it.