Friend, columnist & writer Marsali Taylor offered me an e- advent calendar to help me go through the dark times of December. Even though religion’s not my thing, I embraced her present with a certain degree of joy, for I know it came from her heart. Marsali’s just like me – a tough cookie when it comes to be resilience in life; a great spirit and a heck of a pirate when it comes to seafaring! Haha, my dear Marsali, yes, am talking about you! Where did our friendship begin? Was it at The Westside Writers’ Group? I love the way our lives entwine – from words to pages into books. In have to confess Death on a Long Ship will travel with me this Yuletide. It may travel by air instead of sea, but I shall delve into it away from the island.
For the very first time in years, there will be no holly wreath on my door. Twenty sleeps left until my familiar shore and favourite sandbridge roar away from my feet.
If I’m longing to re-unite with loved ones, I am enjoying each sunrise & sunset from my lofty latitude – every moment of now that bathes inside light – let it be glimpses from a low-lit sun, beam or candle. Sunrise remains my favourite moment, as dawn vanishes with Venus. Whether I enjoy it from the heights of Setter (looking SE towards Mousa, or from The Sletts in Lerwick, it is precious, like a rare stone. I can never imagine a moment away from the edge of my world without light… However the low the sun may glow, currently flirting the edge of my horizon, it is a star that defines us, you & I, on this Earth. Today, in the face of more Arctic conditions, I adorned the edge of the composter with nailed apples, for the starlings, that (like pirates) dilapidate the dangling bird food for sparrows I had attached to tree branches on the previous morning. Mister Robin joined in the feast. How delightful! Sadly, I have not heard the wren for a while… And as my world neared roosting time, I counted over twenty garden birds perching on the alders & roses, feasting like kings and quarrelling like kids (!) The price of survival in such harsh conditions remains a daily set of jousts. Earlier on this afternoon, in between snow showers, I littered my area of No man’s land with unwanted soup leftovers. My avian friends are not fussy and will accept all offerings! Gripped inside a thin layer of ice, the grass felt like cardboard when treading on long blades.
I imagined a winter’s tide, when the Atlantic wrecks the very bed in the shoormal and vomits kelp, like a greedy Pantagruel. Master Rabelais (with whom I humbly share my birthday!) still echoes in my heart, after all those years away from my lycée years in Aix-en-Provence, where, Madame Silve, my French Literature teacher, introduced us to such giant, who, like his father had impressed me. The very essence of geopoetics from this time… Walking the shore after a storm rekindles light. I promised myself to walk that edge before I go.
PROJECT UPDATES IN A FLASH
Collaborative work with Jacqui Clark (NTS Ignition) and with James Mackenzie (ArtiPeep’s Project) are flourishing with grace. Verse has reached each artist and creation can follow. As for the verse collection with D Allard from New Brunswick, Canada, I wait for words from Broken Jaw Press. Look for it at the bottom page. Until tide turns, the hyperlink sleeps in shallows… Twenty sleeps till the magic of Yuletide, with unknown rocks along the shore. I’ll always love the dark jade sea, from wherever I stand. Must be flowing inside my Norman veins. 🙂