Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dérive Papier II is out!


among the many other dériveurs from the side of Le Saint Laurent 🙂 With grateful thanks to Victoria Welby, Myriam Bergeron and Benoit Bordeleau for their invitation.

Time to brush up your sense of adventure!

Leave a comment

Filed under 60N, atlantic, earth, geopoetics, images, project, shore, spirit, writing


Major project under way, and humble contribution to makk an yarn (though not with wool, but syllables) with Jacqui Clark and her gang of car knitters. 

More to come 🙂

Leave a comment

November 27, 2012 · 1:59 am

new collaboration

 From the depths of Artipeeps & Kobo Art. Fresh from the press and own palette, we have a collaboration starting with Artipeeps’ English correspondent’s & artist James Mackenzie. It’s got to do with present, now. I shall choose my god or ghost carefully, as with zest from jolly giant – the very one that comes to mind is no other than


More to come through artist’s grapevine…

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012, colours, december, geopoetics, images, poetry, project, snow, spirit, winter, writing, Yuletide

end of day

 At the other end of November’s spectrum comes indigo. Saturday shone till it majestically vanished inside headlights. If starlings own most of the day, together with curlews, common gulls, blackbirds and sparrows, dusk and night belong to the geese. At such a time of year, I love to drive into the night from the very edge of my world, Ninian.

As I was tidying the boot of my car – then filled with sandgrains, bruck (trash) and poetics from the beach, together with old verse left in an A4 envelope and  hiking boots – I noticed clouds had turned the pale colours of flamingoes. My eyes focused on in the SW direction. Time to catch today’s sunset! On a nearby fencepost, a starling performed a fabulous solo, as an alto apprentice. So I left my township, armed with my lens and best fleeces. Under fifteen minutes, I reached a perfect orange glow from the top of Bigton Farm. If Dragon Head looked was already engulfed inside a dusky blue, Ninian’s holms silhouetted like polished gem stones, backlit by a daring evening sun. Black fleecy hat and mitts were de rigueur.

 A first glance  from the top kerb, all began to show the magic of Arcania.

The tide was high and its magic synchronised rollers engulfed the very sandbridge that leads to the island. From the distance, I imagined the sheer power of rollers engulfing the dragon that sleeps near the edge at the north side… So I wandered down at slow pace. And reached the edge of evening at the edge of the sand. Walking the shore that felt like very soft – as soft as descending winter light itself. Now and again, the Atlantic leaves traces of delicate lace at your feet, and come to drape sand as a shawl or a petticoat.

 The mighty North Atlantic leaps without shame to the centre of the sandbridge, like wild fire would engulf desert bushes, leaping over ditches. I know I cannot fully walk across, so wet the sand & restless tide… Before my eye, the turtle-shaped island lies inside blue that we call dusk. It’s not yet 4, but Arcania slides into shades that will gradually unveil Venus and later the whole of our Milky Way. I am not racing against time, and merely listen to water. I paused and turned like a wind rose, as waves offered a spectacle that never fails to marvel at. Spray flies very high in the wind. It wanders like scores of mayflies above a river or lake infested with summer evening. Mesmerised by the this whole moment, I stopped and listened to evening. Redshanks and ringed plovers made themselves scarce, although a trio of waders flew through the spray to reach the edge of the island. Somebody asked, “what’s an island?” I once answered in a poem the many faces of the word. 

Now, we reached the point of no turning back. Our closest star has retreated below this Nordic horizon.   A darker hue of indigo begins to fill this winter sky. I need  to walk back to the side of the biggest island.On my way back to the dunes, a woman walked to the widest part of the beach with an infant. I caught their silhouettes and smiled. I take they too wished to see the end of day by the sky- and waterline. And by the time I reached the top of my sandbridge, the time in between  the end & beginning – or the ticking & the talking clock, as Kate would put it –  tolled in my sky. Soon, too soon now, time to drive back to the warmth of my own hearth.

Until a new dawn takes over, we’ll have to make do with the mystery of darkness – time of earth spirits, magical creatures of the cairns, water horses inside surf. Every fencepost along my road turned a saluting soldier on parade. On the eve of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, my thoughts remember their bravery & sacrifice. Inside night, geese call in their flight. They too need to find their own way to live and survive through the mystic of nocturne.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012, Arcania, atlantic, colours, geopoetics, home, images, island, magazine, ninian, north, shetland, shore, spirit, winter, writing

morning light (November style)

Considering we have embraced the paleness of northern winter, waking to (even pale) blue warms everyone’s heart. Over the course of this weekend, my island and I have been graced by such wish and beauty. I usually tweet every morning with a hashtag “presseslugtowindow” , then started off by a friend in Scalloway a few months ago, sharing my dawn chorus with the language from the earth (including, obviously, birds!). However, I must confess this morning was so calm, I just opened the back door from my kitchen and marvelled at the golden light.

On the day before, more Scandinavian invaders tore more rose hips all around us. Whereas a single individual popped its pinkish crest on top of my tree skyline, eight more appeared in the course of the afternoon (as photographed on the right by D Hall). All in all, some 300 waxwings were reported in Shetland and, when you add to that 200 from Caithness, well, the image begins to shape up about the sudden irruption of such species. These are linked with the berry crop failure in Scandinavia. Ultimately, the weather determines life and death. They really delighted everyone over the past few days!

On Sunday morning, I walked around my neck of the heather – or should I say, my neck of the torn away rose hips! – so clement morning was. I first inspected my local community garden, just a few hundred meters (yards) away from home. Starlings and blackbirds distracted my eyes around lawns and willows. I wanted to see for myself the extent and impact of waxwings’ hunger. I still remember a message via Twitter, encouraging the giving of fruit in every possible garden… Well, many rose hips did not resist their need for replenishing their energy levels!

My walk then took me back to much more familiar, and equally dazzling, birds – starlings. You find them everywhere: around gardens & buildings – perched on stone walls, fenceposts or on sheep (as personal fleece keepers – just like ox peckers in Africa with giraffes – or cattle egrets with bulls in Camargue!) They are truly beautiful birds, especially in such honey light. Walking around my neck of the township can stretch quite like a rubberband, since it comprises quite a few scattered groups of settlements… However, I decided to walk to the sea.

Every burn (local word for “stream”) leads to the mighty great North Sea (or Atlantic). In my case, it is the former, since I live on the eastern side of the (main) island. I first followed the single track stretch of tarmac and then, that burn. On my way, I met with Kate, who came to the shore to collect flat pebbles she would then decorate in time for Yule. We both marvelled at the quality of light, and she also confessed she could not really believe how kind the sky was to this first weekend of November. She knew I would not need a lift, since I had my lens in hand. I said I would meet her at the edge of the water. I went cross-country through the brae and joined her back among boulders and pebbles. Joy, as a wren welcomed me by rotting kelp. To our avian dwellers, kelp’s just an open-air restaurant! All join in: starlings, wrens and sparrows.


As Kate harvested her bagful of small flat pebbles (the very best for skimming on the surface of water!), we reconvened and begged each other a good day. She would drive home to her part of the township, whilst I would carry on with my morning stravaig (wandering)… As I walked past Eileen’s pampas and waved at Rosemary, a robin led me to the narrow lanes of Hoswick, for it was happily hopping in front of me. I lost my sense of time in between weathered doors and stunning windows. The chicken coop looked s a stunner too & I fell nose to nose with a peat stack! I love Hoswick – so charming and so picturesque… It is a haven in all seasons!

As I turned right once more, I chatted with Alison, joined in a few minutes later by Jim, and Lee, who popped out from his inn with his kit – “half an hour of freedom by this light is not to be missed indeed,” he smiled. We still have a blackcap and a crestie (goldcrest) playing around the old sycamores! In November, those peerie guys are the very last remnants of some autumnal migration. Yet their size and knack for a solid game of hide n’ seek kept us on a look out for a while… I trust Lee eventually caught them through his gigantic lens! As afternoon overrode morning, I wandered back to the burn, where a detour would take me towards Swinister (the place where pigs were once kept…) – well, still do!

Wonderful morning light dazzling my entire world! It brings folk to their surroundings, keep them smiling and share a slice (or two) of life. November began with honey… Let’s hope we won’t have to re-pay with too many icicles too soon… I don’t want to turn a waxwing!

Have a great week, everyone 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012, Arcania, celebration, colours, geopoetics, images, island, life, north, shetland, shore, winter, writing

nordicblackbird’s roost – website / the roost

All in one nest!
Thank you for visiting and, if you like it,
just bookmark it! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012, 60N, Arcania, celebration, geopoetics, images, island, metasaga, north, poet, Uncategorized