Now, to a darker one…

Have you chosen your place of death?

Is it in the shade of blossoms, 

where the 


blows to carry words


one will 

know? Or 

is it outside a

lighthouse – where 

whiteness stands so 

close to



maalies* glide,

the great wild bairn* 

free and 


Now, in


eye of

the compass,

you see the meaning of

your birth –

your talisman 

in between breasts,


tattoo of

staves in circles;

what’s left of

It lives inside you,

deep inside

the womb of the dead, and 

yet you need me

as a

guide – as

no one points to

their last 


(From Shetland dialect)

maalies: fulmar petrels 

bairn: child 
© Nat Hall 2016 


Filed under 60N, Arcania, geopoetics, home, island, life, literature, north, poet, poetry, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, verse, verse poetry, vikings, winter, wordplay

10 responses to “Vagvísir

  1. Love it.
    Saw fulmars on Orkney, along with those sky pirates: Arctic Skuas.

  2. Thank you, dear Jackdaw. I sometimes delves inside blackness, from which such kind of piece emerges… Thank you for visiting 🙂

    • Thank you again, dear fellow “lantern holder” 🙂

      • Ah, you saw it 😉 (yep) well I live in Texas now (French by birth) so I need a rather illuminating lantern as I’m sure you can appreciate 😉

      • 🙂 oh, Texas… We can use lighthouses from both sides of the Atlantic!!! My first book celebrates this oceanic connection with a Canadian poet. I love lighthouses 🙂

      • I think ‘oh Texas’ is apropos because I would have said exactly that had the roles been reversed. I lived in the UK a long time also and am familiar with your neck of the woods though not in the detail you are. I also lived in Canada so maybe this is why I can appreciate your breadth in your writing you have many voices. I love lighthouses also.

      • Not crossed the pond (yet), though that could happen… Never know 🙂

      • You are not really missing anything. I think that saying ‘wherever you go / there you are’ is so apropos especially in terms of travel. Not saying travel is ‘wrongheaded’ but it’s a double-edged sword and when you think you are escaping you are right back where you began.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.