Monthly Archives: April 2010

bairns on the beach

I see two eyes and a friendly nose…

What better place to chill out after a hard day’s work in the classroom but the serenity of the shore? Add to it a fisheye and… Voilà!
Earlier on this afternoon, Anita and I just did that and we left today’s stress to the mercy of the North Atlantic, as we descended on Meal Beach with our cameras. Miss Orheim provided her natural joie de vivre, Norwegian coffee – I, my smile and the motor. The seclusion of the sand provided the perfect playground for imagination. We stepped on it defences down and clicked away like two children. Please check out this link Anita Orheim

Unexpected meeting with…

As we kneeled down to bruck* level, a black labrador drew nearer, followed by a yellow pair of wellies and red jacket. Friendly eyes met for the first time. The mystery Man turned even friendlier once we unveiled our forenames and informal chit-chat… “Hi, I’m Neil… We moved last November…”
Neil, new to the island… Could it be? Yes, Neil in Shetland in the flesh! Bloggers unite!!! Oh, please, have a peep at the man’s e-diary. Neil in Shetland I like its author’s philosophy :).

Neil, we will meet again.

And thus we returned to our triv an bruck, as man and dog made their way back to the cosiness of their home.

Two happy bairns free like two birds, watching selkies in the vastness of the ocean… Locked in capsules of carelessness – firmly anchored in one moment. The waterline remains a friend. Back in the safety of the car, we toasted to trolls and Norway, the magic of our nordic roots, as the sky unleashed trillions of beads through pouring clouds. I shall treasure this experience. And if the world was not enough, I am now learning Norwegian – hence adding a new string to my bow!
…What better way to share the shore?
Wi twartree shetlan wirds
bruck: rubbish
bairns: children
triv an bruck: bits and pieces
selkies: seals


Filed under 60N, Arcania, images, island, life, writing

April, this Snow fool…

 No air sock, no wind vane…
Just on course.
Lissa’s four sleeps away from leaping over the planet once more – from southern to northern garden…
Soon she reunites with Trinity, Edinburgh. Familiar façades and pavements. By some twist of fate, David remixed Bravery this morning – giving the track new wings thanks  to some technological add-on… Don’t ask me which, I dunna ken! I’m the Poet, not the arranger/techno-wizard!
And there, somewhere from the ether,
My favourite living Scottish poet, Mr Edwin Morgan, celebrated his 90th birthday today. He, fountain of inspiration and traveller from out of space! I love the way he takes the reader for some ride… That visionary rendez-vous.
Happy Birthday/Joyeux anniversaire, Mr Morgan 🙂
I cast runes every time i find myself in the present. Keeps heart on track. 
From life’s least enigmatic trivialities to the very source of the cosmos, my favourite one remains Gebo, the gift. from the runemaker
Now April is waning away, I shall ask for warmth and mercy. Windows of light reach for our earth and create mist around our homes. Whilst that volcanic plume left us alone for a moment, we feel at last the tenderness of nordic sun. So I shall keep my fingers crossed and remember to bow to the magic of the island, my chosen archipelago.
And ask of you to let Lissa land to the realm of Arthur’s Seat.
I’ll wave at you from each classroom until you tell me you’ve arrived.

Unfinished Definition of… The Wind
So elusive and yet so bold.
Mode of transport to the dreamer,
            seasonal sigh or kiss of death –
it never fails to deliver messages to those who listen.
It tears off storms off TV masts,
            forces clean rain to come undone;
with feathered wings on each grass blade,
Aeolus knows it too well –
he Caesar in our northern sky,
who brings his legions to hilltops.
Now hear me out:
I spend my dreams flying with you –
sleep on the wing like alpine swifts but never fail to recognise
that I would be lost without you,
out of my dream,  at each sunrise.
© Nat Hall 2010

 …Who said the garden fell asleep?

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at once with my "treasure islands"


edge of our world on this island.

Old Norse : Esjanes = Ash Ness, ‘Esja’ as reference to the easily split, ashy volcanic rock.

From this cliff edge we contemplate might of the Atlantic; the sheer blueness of our planet tangled in waves, spray and our awe… Those carved faces stand like vigils shaped in the rock of some ancient super volcano looking towards north Canada. Wow, it gives us wings and no nonsense in direction.

What’s so magic about islands  is that we can walk from one edge to its opposite one without losing our sense of belonging. We can hug it like an old friend and feel happy to walk the shore.

I love to come on this headland. I feel at one with the wholeness of tides and stones.

And since I’m dreaming of summer, I now recall a past moment I spent with friends & guiding chums, as we made our way to the Light and back to the serenity of a auld Haa…

Magic island filled with treasures… 

As daylight overrides darkness, I’ll swap my cap for another and  share the bounties of this world with the rest of nomadic hearts, who seek a bit of kindness from this earth… My chosen home & each headland for a lifetime of adventures!

moving images doon below 🙂
   60 to the highest dreamer!
   When I think of homeland,
     I look at earth, ancient part of
     your American universe –
     domes of heather
     above ocean,
   our Atlantic,
            tungsten sky,
                                                                         majestic shades of Viridian,
                                                where birdsong loops like
        cases left
                                                            on carousel…
                         where peat fills air
                            through chimney stacks,
                                       like rising smoke from
                           where each geo sounds like shelter
                  to fishermen,
                                where I can feel our hearts moving.


© Nat Hall 2007 


Filed under 60N, geopoetics, island, poetry, spirit, verse

some gods must be crazy…

from this to that

Our homeworld’s amazing – unpredictable, skyshifting like a celestial chameleon – from ash plumes to ash-tainted mini-blizzards and back into blue before sliding down to the monotony od speckled white. Wow! This morning was so promising in spite of melting snowflake during overnight showers… And then, our nordic sky blackened again and snow flew towards us at great speed. Big, gluey, fluffy, fat snowflakes falling on and off all day and still at the time of typing this entry…

Both amazing and mental… Not uncommon on this latitude.  That cold airflow from more nordic latitudes (Arctic circle, Iceland…. Oh, poor Iceland. I do not mean to stigmatise you – you’ve got enough on your plate at the minute) can bring such mini-blizzards as late as… June! Our British Met Office has been very accurate recently. Snow was just the last thing many of us wish to see right now. Our garden here, so promising with buds and flowers everywhere. Argh well, I trust nature has ways to deal with the elements. 


Wish for pebbles.
 I’m losing sight of horizon, that blue barrier in heavens,
where all my dreams in single file
gather and dance;
 Now I walk through mirrors in ice,
icicles betray more than eyes –
out there,
here comes a monster in disguise; ego shadow,
blown by west wind invincible,
that doesn’t breathe,
direct or talk.
Sandwick, May 2007


Filed under Arcania, ash, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, north, shetland, snow, verse waxing crescent

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waxing crescent

well spent day
I am beginning to wind down. Outside, the Moon is waxing once again… The night is crisp and beautiful. Wir “Shetland hut” is tidy again… Have lit candles for my angels on either world and asked Uriel to appease that Icelandic ring of fire, poisoning of water sources for the sake of all Icelanders.
 My little African sister is stranded somewhere in France… She among thousands of others, caught in the power of earth dust that grinds jet engines to a halt.  What angers me is the fact the media highlight the event – they seem to focus on airlines’ daily losses instead of folk’s daily challenge. And so little on the people directly hit… There’s something “wrong with the system”. What if the eruption lasted a month or a year? Would it signal the end of the artificial world, as bankers, shareholders and politicians know it?
From the window on this outpost
The world looks and tastes so different. Every single rock’s a diamond – every beam of light, a blessing. Today the sky belonged to birds, flies, bumblebees, instead of helicopters and FlyB. And we have boats  to move about… Humanity is resilient. In the face of “natural disasters”,  we do believe in miracles.
Mind you, earthly hiccups only become disasters when certain mankind’s (profit’s) affected… It’s a matter of semantics. …What with those Icelandic bankers?
Look at the light, all the time it’s a changing
Look at the light, climbing up the aerial
Bright, white coming alive jumping off the aerial
All the time it’s a changing, like now…
All the time it’s a changing, like then again…
All the time it’s a changing
And all the dreamers are waking.
That last verse from Kate’s track entitled Nocturn resonates deeply in my heart. It reads and sounds like a wake-up call… I think Kenneth White would love Kate’s world, for both celebrate it in their respective way.
Let’s now play back the Waterboys!
There’s so much more than that  wonder hit about the moon. Mr Scott’s a troubadour with heart and feet firmly anchored in the beauty of our dear world. 

What is between the star and the sea? …What is between the bird and me? 
Only a star, only the sea”
And finish off with Björk herself.
Earth Intruders, Wanderlust… And will refer you to one place.
That’s when geopoetics speaks so loud 😉


Filed under 60N, Arcania, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, kenneth, life, white

Sulphuric Dream

 Our place on Earth
Strange day, Thursday.  
My northern sky looks and smells weird.  As if norse gods made an omelette with rotten eggs… Oblivious to the wheel of news we’re spoon-fed on each breakfast show, I sense differences in my world.
We’re caught in it! The land of ice is shooting ash high in the blueness of our atmosphere – everything is clutching at straws…
And in this maniac media rat race, the western world admits stand still at terminals. Air travelling merely postponed in the name of life! For once, wisdom has won the day instead of cash.
And my senses record it all.

Sulphuric Dream
That earthly plume,
invisible above our heads.
April, 15, 2010.
700 miles off my Shetland Box,
brand new steam column on the rise. And wind carries volcanic ash
like a long ship across a sky turned buttercup…
Dressing roof slates, wir triv an bruck,
with strange clingfilm;
I didn’t want to believe it,
particles of Icelandic world
found on the edge of my windscreen.
Sulphuric dream filled Egil’s eyes.
Poet’s note:
wir triv an bruck (Shetlan): our bits and pieces
© Nat Hall 2010


Filed under 60N, ash, earth, geopoetics, iceland, poetry, verse, volcano


And light returned
So I went back to Ninian Sands and paid hommage to this side of the Atlantic… My kind of perfect end of day, holi- or not.
Only this time, monsieur Chopin was not playing in my headphones. I let him day-dream somewhere else and focused on this earth rengaine called our rollers.
And found my castle in the sand, as beautiful as Tintagel…
Now time to dream.

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Strange morning fog

From yesterday’s euphoria to the dampness of morning fog. Vagalam’…

I take it from 19th century French vague à l’âme, this undefined inner state of malaise, discomfort, type of melancholy… Peeping through my window, I watched greyness filling this world and thought of a better end to this spring break. A hooded crow perched on my neighbours’ totem pole most of the morning. If I listen to shamanic wisdom, it is a sign of change and yet, back then, it looked so static. Here and then, a lone starling gathered nesting materials in secret… 
Now what’s the connection with the picture above? I never really explained it when it was first published as a picture on the blog. Pure linguistics in a form of a word game.
Vague and lame in French mean wave. However, I was listening to Chopin on my iPod watching rollers that day and the great Polish master tainted what I usually feel as platitude when faced to the North Atlantic into his sense of melancholy. Hence Vagalam’.

And talking of iPod… 
I once chose this device to express two opposite states of emotions last month. Different type of verse to what I usually write. Healthy from a creative viewpoint and  well received at the Library on 26 March…
1.    Touch
asked to write about an object either taking pride/feeling guilty/angry from the viewpoint of that object.
i Touch
Slid ON and OFF in your pocket, I’m on stand-by.
all I feel is your finger tip, that gentle touch
right from your skin that connects you
with the rest of our secret world –
robin, blue bird…
pages, faces
where you can hide from loneliness.
out of touch
don’t even try to plug me in.
my icons froze
somewhere between 2 USBs,
I’m in that state, cold as a fish – I will need time to recover,
too many megabytes of pain,
today I will remain silent.
© Nat Hall 2010

Here comes the sunshine

The musician has changed.

And now fog dissipated I begin to smile again and even think of pushing it to Ninian once more before I make my way back to that headland in Lerwick…


Filed under 60N, geopoetics, poetry, verse

awaking sky

Magic Sunday in Shetland blue

Just winding down after such day packed with wonders – shameless azure filled with delights… or with shimmering lights, as night sky decided to entertain us with magnificent aurora borealis a couple of hours ago… Thanks for the tweet, Kev :))

Looking back in today’s mirror, everything seems to fly in 2s above our heads, from sparrows to red-throated divers! When not floating in pairs around our lochs and voes… Like those two mergansers at Weisdale earlier on this afternoon.  On our way back to the eastside of the island, we stopped and watched spring spectacles – northern lapwings, curlews and red-throated divers in full display… Aerial ballets or more daring acrobatics, our Mother Earth’s teeming with life! What a show… 


and then off to Dreamtime…
With special thanks to our P and M 😉


Filed under 60N, celebration, colours, earth, home, images, island, life, north, shore, spirit, world, writing