Monthly Archives: March 2013

the hitcher


I spent so many nights on the roadside, I came back home with a lantern.

Miles of darkness, cloaked inside white, with an ankle strapped to endure grit and tarmac, the very edge of the known world – with resilience as an ally, I made my way amidst hitchers, kindred spirits. On my way home, I found all sorts of cars and other four-wheeled vehicles. Apocalyptic, teenagers’, knitted (aye, a very Shetland tradition) – even a Volvo filled with free running spirits that came alive as dancers glided through darkness – amazing cars and occupants. A camper van so hospitable… And a bus. A bus filled with wild stories. “Through the window, I can see, I can see, I can see…”

I braved the unknown after dusk and dared to knock on car windows – hopped my north in between Brae and Cullivoe, via Bigton, Levenwick & Ninian – where theatres are void of walls; where The White Wife (originally from the most northerly isle of Unst) waves at lone cars, eyes and hitchers. She too travels in the same way. In any case, she seems to protect


us with one reassuring waving hand. And then we find her once again inside a village hall, where she serves tea & ignites smiles


with her army of white aproned choir-waiters. each journey starts without control.

Have you ever wondered about strange and peculiar things that happen through your life? Your car or sense of ignition? Have you ever noticed how life can sometimes fall under a spell or a strange jinx?

Such was my own journey in the past months… Funny how tarmac turns into the middle of nowhere – a headland or a precipice. You never know till you taste tarmac and the kerbs. “Sit back and enjoy the ride!”


As a hitcher,

I find my way in between junctions & ferry terminals. From Hay’s Dock to Cullivoe, via narrow roads, miles of  dreamt cats’ eyes, white lines and stops. I, forgotten ghostly figure, suddenly turn storyteller, who sometimes waves at The White Wife… Meet with others who have their own story to share,

whatever they carry with them – a broken shoe, heart, or milk jug…

a frozen trow, gnome, skimming stone,

camera or ukulele…

In the footsteps

of one

white wife.


And then,

the Final Gathering.

NTS IGNITION Community ProjectWe all gathered for a last leg of ignition, inside the middle of nowhere, where we could burn and ask where next…

Dancer, hitcher, storyteller, free runner-performer, choir-waiter or musician.

We shared our words through the beauty of ignition,

made new songs, drank tea & soup,

thanked hosts and friends,

and sang our hearts out to the world.

Some felt a new journey has begun. It is my case. Let us define the next stretch of road 🙂

IGNITION through CAR YARNS – with shared notable words:

Road runner –
roaring rubber & clicking clutch,
red scent of dead flesh on tarmac…
#haiku fae #60N

Boy racer –

to every change of gear,
quartet of ravens by the road.
#haiku fae #60N

Stitch-hiker –
needles off the speedometers,
I knit,you knit by the roadside.
#haiku fae #60N

Shiny alloys,
rings of fire on wet tarmac,
cyclops’ eyes
with numbers inside
circles of chrome –
somebody left
cold wax on hazelnut dashboard.
#micropoetry fae #60N

Now, let me enjoy my lantern 🙂


Filed under 2013, 60N, celebration, fire, geopoetics, haiku, home, images, island, life, north, poetry, project, shetland, spirit, spring, white, writing

new poem

peachesI still remember how prolific colonial New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield helped me shape – among many other great classic writers – my love for creative writing when notably reading English-speaking literature in Aix-en-Provence.

katherine mansfield

Katherine Mansfield, photo courtesy of National Library of New Zealand

Her body of works is so resonant and magical, and has always struck me, with two short stories in particular, “Tickets, Please!” and “Bliss”, which remain forever tattooed in my heart.

The latter, Bliss, notably include peaches, as bliss via the symbolism of the peach tree.

Now, when I think of peaches, it takes me back to Mansfield’s wonderful constellation, as well as two places in time – as a nine year-old struck by chickenpox and being nursed by my beloved grandmother, as well as right now, recovering from a viral infection.

Peaches, to me, have always been golden healers. Now, there is a poem, of the same title, published in British Columbia by Michelle Vinci, for the purpose of The Global Twitter Community Poetry Project

Happy reading! 🙂

You too can get involved.

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Filed under 2013, 60N, Canada, celebration, colours, geopoetics, life, norman, poet, poetry, project, roots, shetland, spirit, spring, verse, verse poetry

IGNITION, as seen by others

Fabulous string of press reviews for NTS Ignition – from local to national level!20130324-095605.jpg

Such a magic show and so great to be part of it all!

Local level: Shetland NewsShetland Times

National Level: The ScotsmanThe TelegraphThe Times

with greetings from the hitchers!


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Filed under 2013, 60N, celebration, geopoetics, island, north, poetry, project, review, white, writing


National Theatre of Scotland & Shetland Arts


A community project through a mobile theatre, via the car & our bittersweet relationship with it. A journey with an unforgettable experience through the intimate space of a vehicle… Car theatre, car coral, hitchers, Parkour Boys, dancers, storytellers, musicians and, The White Wife!

Tonight we had a real flavour of the entire show via the dress rehearsal. Magical, eerie, fun, joyful, poignant…

It is celebration time, with a series of performances taking place in three major venues:

Brae, 20-23 March 2013 (Meet at Brae Hall)
Bigton, 26 & 27 March 2013 (Meet at Bigton Hall)
Yell, 29 March 2013 (Meet at Cullivoe Hall)

Book your ticket via


And a gathering in Brae on 30 March 2013, as a grand finale!

All performances start at 7pm



Come and join us! 

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Filed under 2013, 60N, celebration, geopoetics, home, island, north, project, shetland, spirit, spring

peerie bits for the scrapbook

Friday is special.

Here, on the island, it is also nicknamed “Shetland Times‘ Day. Our local newspaper – established in 1872 – spreads many words from many fields throughout not only our local community, but worldwide.

ST FRONT PAGE 15 MARCH 2013Today, its front page featured S(outh) M(ainland)U(p) H(elly) A(a)  Jarl Dale Smith pictured by friend & photographer Kevin Osborn. Fond memories from a very fine night at Hoswick Beach for the SMUHA procession & galley burning. Dragon Watch SMUHA 2013

What a fine night last Friday (8 March 2013) was. We assembled around Sunnanhamar and watched her burn atween da shoormal an da haaf. Wir toonships (villages) enjoyed three days of merriment 🙂

ST AND NS COVER 15 MARCH 2013 Now, Friday 15 March was equally enticing, as our Shetland Times’ Day produced a double bill of excellent reviews for From Shore to Shoormal – not only did the ST featured Marsali Taylor’s wonderful review, but this day also coincided with the release of the Voar Issue No.263 of the New Shetlander, in which its co-Editor, Laureen Johnson, featured her own review of the same verse collection. Double bill of pleasure for the poet 🙂


S2S Laureen Review [NS VOAR ISSUE 263]

S2S Marsali review picture [ST 15 MARCH 2013]Eloquence from both trilingual reviewers.

Very first peerie (small) bits for the scrapbook

that means the world to my creative work 🙂

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Filed under 2013, 60N, boats, Canada, celebration, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, north, poetry, project, review, roots, shetland, shore, spirit, spring, writing

dragons & I…

SMUHA 2013 Dragon head 1 I have a thing about dragons.

They make me dream.

Let them fly to you. Amazing creatures with glowing eyes and power to elevate your spirit. They are fire. Fully clad with claws (sometimes hidden in velvet gloves) that resemble a fully extended Swiss army knife, the most charming of smiles… Would you believe they can be truly elusive, so shy they are? I once met one, who answered by the name of Feenix. We lived on neighbouring islands – we spent our time wrapped up inside our poetry… Feenix then flew south of my headland. She came back once inside my den, though I have not heard from her since then.

Now, there is another, a he-youngling, who is growing north of my den. He will be eight weeks on Tuesday. His mum’s a poet too 🙂

On the twelfth night, fire rekindles my spirit!

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Filed under 2013, 60N, Arcania, ash, fire, life, poet, shore, spirit, writing

poet’s voice

soundcloud logo

now available via SoundCloud: come and discover selected verse from the poetry collection (fS2S) nordicblackbird c/o soundcloud

HAPPY LISTENING! 🙂  (not “blackbird braille”…)



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Filed under 2013, 60N, geopoetics, poet, poetry, project, spirit, verse, verse poetry

In Mary’s hands

with grateful thanks to mary and all at BBC Radio Shetland

in the nurturing hands of BBC Radio Shetland Broadcaster & host, Mary Blance for The Books Programme, 28 Feb 2013 [photo courtesy of BBC Radio Shetland]

As we are sliding into Voar – spring – From Shore to Shoormal begins to travel into many hands, starting with The Books Programme hosted by Mary Blance,

Do enjoy the programme for a limited time at the following link:


Happy Listening 🙂

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