Monthly Archives: December 2009

Walking into a new decade

Night.
Outside the wind is hissing high. Final moments of 2009. Candles are lit on window sills and everytime I look outside,  I feel might of our icy world. Our Moon will act as cosmic torch, friend in blackness, enlightener…
Before we slide into the dawn of that brand new 2010, I wish you well, follower-friends. May this new year strenghen our bond, kinship, spirit and share our world in which each one of us connect & celebrate the shore[s] we walk.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, BONNE ANNEE, WI AA DA BEST FUR 2010!
Blissins fae 60N
N XX

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Walk 1 – Morning Light

Primal morning on 60N.

Sandwick’s quiet. All I can hear are birds and sea – waders with such exotic names, shalder, snippik and sandy loo… respectively oystercatcher, snipe and ringed plover.

Dawn has begun in late July. In the distance lies Hoswick Beach from where I listen to the tide, new melody out of our wish. We left behind our city life, non-stop traffic, hissing sirens… For the first time in many years, I reconnect with our cosmic mechanism – in slow motion, just like those past summer mornings in Provence: gentle, lightsome with some distinctive scent in the air. Not rosemary, thyme or sage… Here everything yields to sea spray.

Here, like at the foot of the Luberon Mountain, our Earth rotates in silence. I feel so small in the garden.

So I witnessed birth of a day and called my piece “Morning Light“.

This very first poem written in our new home was subsequently selected for The Pull of The Moon or Bicycle Dreams [New Shetland Writing Anthology, 2004] and the entire experience still feels like a waking dream.



Morning Light

Asleep,

I hear your voice,

I feel the sea;

lingering clouds caress

our hills – night wants to flee.

Drakness slips away

to the side

to let the light surf

on the return of the tide.

…Fast asleep,

I feel your hand,

I hear the sea;

strong like granite, my love

qand yours sing in a shell –

in deep ocean,

the song of whales;

on the water

morning light fell.

When fast asleep,

you roam my dreams,

we are the sea –

flowing abreast between skerries

now we can see

…light blue heavens where seagulls

fly & skylarks sing;

you are my life, my rock & blood…

not just a fling.

Now I can wake,

unlike the tide you’ll stay

with me.

© Nat Hall 2001

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Introduction



Arcania, poet’s world – sea, sky, earth scapes were born off a moment during a creative session with Jen last August, who asked us all to fashion our personal inner scapes out of local / known physical ones. Jen started us off with specific concepts and let our poetic minds wander for each section. Such exercise was taken as self-indulgence and started off with a piece of verse entitled Snapshots from Arcania.

Yet Arcania represents more than the poet’s world to me. For all I know, it is the very fabric of the shore I walk on a daily basis, virtually free of mind pollution, or chains and feel more real as it brings me closer to earth, the real world.

I once mentioned an earlier life experienced south of the border; needed and yet compartmented, obeying to specific laws, system in which we lost ourselves… By walking away from this kind of materialistic world, we learnt to appreciate each sunrise; the taste of salt glued on our lips, the way wind talks through breeze or gale, folk work and speak…rawness of land and elements, the way we fit inside it all. It’s like learning to live again.

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Intellectual nomadism

What more enriching than opening up to a palette of languages and cultures?
Humanity, our home planet, blue gem of civilisations.

Why limiting ourselves to our own (and by this I imply the one imposed by our parents, family, nation) when we can access others so easily?
As a child, my favourite authors made me trek across the planet.
R.L Stevenson, Jack London, Sir Walter Scott, André Brink, Voltaire, Joseph Kessel and Jules Verne remain my top all time favourites… And the list is by no means exhaustive! Furthermore, Africa knocked on my door in my early teens and it made a profound impact.
As a learner, humanities – literature, languages, art, history and geography – have shaped my path of destiny.
Duality in cultures & homes – one inherited by birth, the other, chosen. (Interestingly enough, Kenneth White and I have “swapped” place of birth & chosen home. He left Scotland for France and I, the opposite.)
A trinity of twangs in my tongue and this avid curiosity to widen my horizons… Living and writing in the UK’s most northerly archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic makes my mind want to reach out in all directions. SSW, to the Scottish mainland & more southerly islands; NW to Iceland & Faroe, east to Scandinavia and west, towards Canada.
We share this young ocean, cultures and languages. Connecting with (notably) the bi-lingual Canadian sphere seems a natural progression. Hence my involvement with the Canadian Poetry Association.

Yet from childhood, travelling without moving has always been possible: as a reader, books act like long ships, computers, like star ships.
As a poet, this ability to write without (physically) travelling allows the mind to go adrift and exploit that rich palette of shores, sea spray, jungles, forests, civilisations in order to create a kaleidoscope of lanscapes through a distinctive view of the world. As a teenager, I learnt to appreciate this substantifique moelle and cultivate one’s (inner) garden.

And talking of gardens, this intellectual nomadism does not stop at neither distances nor artificial boundaries. Connecting with Lissa’s Australian world forged many bonds as well as an exciting project: Garden2Garden.

Such activities enable men to metaphorically tear their passports and elevate them to the real status: that of world citizens.

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Involvement with CPA’s e-Poemata (and full Poemata)

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Octavias’ Dream by Nat Hall

Octavias' Dream by Nat Hall

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…And talking of "white world"


…Or the snowball effect.
Social networks are fantastic. Not only do we keep in touch with “friends” but make new ones. Hence networking allows the nomadic spirit to explore brand new trails.
As 2009 draws to an end, I am now fully connected with the world of Kenneth White, as introduced to Geopoetics by fellow island poet, essayist & friend Norman Bissell.
The more I delve in this concept, the more it speaks to me (either in English or in French!).
So I am looking forward to contributing to the Forums from Geopoetics’ Scottish Centre and “walk the shore”. Funny enough, Norrie confessed I was to become its most northerly member… Meanwhile, am devouring Grounding a World as my freshest substantifique moelle.

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