Monthly Archives: January 2016

talisman 

   They say Gertrude has fingernails ready to slash through waves & land…
Whatever the colour of warning, putting a name onto a storm personifies eyes from the sky.

  
I don’t particularly like purple in such context. A storm’s coming.

For the first time, have dressed my neck with an ancient binding rune from the viking world. The one that’s said to fulfil your wishes. It has its place between Wunjo & my angel. I hope it will bring good fortune.

Meantime, 

a haiku de rigueur, as my dreams jigging with gale gusts.

Veillée d’armes. 

Every storm has its own paraphernalia of bullets… Tonight, the sky turned a sniper.

  

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loose

   My very first thought as I discovered Wednesday from mid-morning: 

Do we need to set alight replica viking longships to stop rain? …Let’s carry on, ’cause it’s working! 

The day after the great bonfire in Lerwick gave us all hope to stretch our legs in style, as a much calmer day overrode a miserable Tuesday (and the final Wednesday of January allows us that in the first place!) . 

Needless to say I would not stay put inside home, as the island was calling me out for an afternoon in the wild.

  
And it began with a great northern diver off Rerwick Beach, where a colony of common seals littered a good part of white sand.

  
From the roadside, they look like slugs…

   A family of whooper swans graced the dullness of Spiggie Loch in low light. 
  
And moorhens whizzed in between pools… 

  
On the North Sea side of the island, teals & waders foraged at will on what the bay offered to them. Every wild gale feels generous, as rollers bring forest of kelp to be picked on from the edge of our known world. 

Loose on a Wednesday afternoon, with the magic of the island.

  
That wonderful window of freedom felt a privilege, as well as penicillin to winter. 

Magic moment so beneficial to the soul – a sample of winter wildlife on my Nordic doorstep. 🙂 

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veritas 

  
What do we know of a people sheltered from old Roman dogma?

Isolated from old scriptures that shackled man off his own heart?

The Norsemen  lived under such terms, lived their own lives, free as the wind, so unafraid…

   
They treasured beliefs to the sea, where they would reach their Valhalla. To them, death had its own meaning, glorious to their reputation. 

Immortality through men’s songs… 

Here, as a song to their greatness, 

some brand fresh verse, in time for bed and your own dreams.
Viking 

They say

history down to us…

Like a

river of fire, 

they never feared alien God – 

whatever raid was meant to be, 

in the name of

skin trade & gold, what mattered 

was reputation.

Swing an axe or

a heavy oar,

everything done, 

forever written in your bones. 

© Nat Hall 2016

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Feathered

Feathered for a day,


Feathered and proud, on the final Tuesday of January, as eyes of the world turn to a group of young Vikings about to perpetuate a tradition fit for our Nordic latitude.

It is a time when our Junior Jarl Squad shines inside our hall before they stampede through the school and then the town with their elders for a marathon of merriment.

Every year, the island’s sole urban centre sets itself for such day.

As night settles, their replica viking long ships will be torched like a winter bonfire. You can watch live via 60N TV online.

May this summons the return of the sun 🙂

Happy Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa!

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full

  
I can only imagine it, as clouds forbid me from such sight.

So, in a haiku,

wolf moon – 

there, in the claws of January,

           blackbird preens at the moon. 

#haiku fae #60N

#geopoetics 

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winter

   Already the sun has begun to rise higher at its zenith.
To celebrate its return, men have built long boats to immolate out in a gale from winter’s depth. Whereas Scalloway opens a season of fire torching,  and merriment inside halls, the island’s (modern) capital will attract crowds local and global on the final Tuesday of this month. 

 

Winter will die out by fire. Like cosmic laws on the island, we brave the rawness of the ice that grips the Auld Rock to the core – from Saxa Vord to Compass Head… As snow covers heather and shore, and swans gather on frozen lochs.

    And every trip defies the light in icicles.
Dawn starts earlier, 

  
Crystal purple before sunrise. 

It feels magic when this sky speaks in such colour. By the time I go home, light still lingers behind curtains… With it comes sly thin layer of black ice that seek your feet every morning.

  
Winter feels harsh on us, dwellers of the north. Yet I find solace in the thought that February welcomes Imbolc – the early signs of Earth’s Spring – in spite of struggle with more ice. 

Winter possesses so many claws it defies those of the dragon. Soon the sun will revive our hearts as it continues to rise higher in our sky. 

In the meantime, we shall raise our eyes to torches, it is written in every bay. 🙂 

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nor, north, northern

Three, 

Always a trio of filled thoughts, poetic worlds – three books are gracing my Nordic bookshelf during long stormy winter nights.

  
One I know well, as a project curated “south” and yet so close to the tip of my fountain pen, inside which some of my heart flows, tattooed in black on blank pages… It is a world close to my home.

And yet I delve back inside time, familiar names without faces from a family of writers. The editor harnessed our verve inside a long house for nine months that would allow us to tie gods, Giants, dwarves, elves within stanzas, prose or music. How I loved each of those nine realms.

  
And then two more about the north.

   I feel avid and yet humble to discover two fellow poets from the house.
My every night filled with their words, universes bound inside pages so distinctive – songs from the north. You too can discover their realms, travelling prints through sun & snow.

  
Delectable through my northern edge, 60N. 

Both titles found on  Amazon 🙂

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