Every first Friday of March, as told by the tide, we gather, united by bond and fire, and we celebrate the return of the sun.
#smuha 2017, from Cunningsburgh, with burning at Mail Beach.
#smuha 2017, from Cunningsburgh, with burning at Mail Beach.
After the rain,
three herring gulls on
two rounds of
out of wharf, ripples & ruffle,
it comes to dip among
and finds solace amid
harness silver edge
tides… Where wings wrangle
herring gull pride.
Look at the edge of your own world.
Free your heart & feet from tarmac,
where gutters offer
Untie your boat, grab your
Hear the call of the
everlasting song of rollers
melts in white
some call it a desert
but to my heart,
it is music.
Either side of the shining
we find our prints tied around kelp:
on the dry side of the mirror,
men have wandered among knives and
shells spewed offerings;
so few can listen to the wind,
the song of seasons inside wings
of a kingdom made of
where the sun rests
I hear you
“you’re a dreamer” –
“time is money to all of us.”
I say “throw your coins to a sea, paper to oblivious
The world you live feeds from
despair, liars and lice;
they gave you dreams as
Tied to a tree inside concrete,
sea rockets smell so alien…
We imagine resolutions
locked around feet,
with their keys kept inside
their makers –
make no mistake,
they will not give them easily;
magpies like anything
This world I love has its
© Nat Hall 2017
How I love the way she paints those flowers, poppies, coquelicots, as she knows them in Provence.
In a second #wearewoman post, I am celebrating lifelong friend I met in 1990, in transit between two life chapters, en route north, beyond the horizon…
Her name is Isabelle Garnier Foriat.Sensitive eye, accurate, meticulous in every sense of her iris,hand and brush… Please click on the two following links, ELLIA, the painter’s constellation, and ATELIER PATRIMONIUM, where the artist turned saviour of artworks.
Every visit weighs all its gold. We reconvene at spring by the shores of River Durance. Our friendship flows by Les Moulins.
I recall a poem I dedicated to the artist. Initially written in French back in 2003 and available online at Poésie Française.
Pour toi, Isa la Belle, en attendant de te rerouver dans ta constellation.
A Isa, avec tendresse.
Cézanne, écoute :
Le Lubéron s’est éveillé –
Isa la belle
A fait jaillir
De ses palettes
Un pic épeiche,
Un âne bleu –
Dans la chaleur du vent,
Ses pinceaux sont encrés ;
Dans un panier de pêches
Tout son génie est né.
Iris ou fleurs d’amandiers,
Et Sainte Victoire
Se sont comptés fleurette…
Ses mains de peintre
La magie des couleur,
Tout un plaisir
Bleutés par l’huile,
Ou l’aquarelle –
Dans ses regards
© Nat Hall 2003
I love common mouse ear, and so much so it embodies beauty a lot of us take for granted.
Yesterday, my heart marched in the streets of New York, Lerwick, Bergen, Edinburgh, Oslo, Lisbon, Paris, Philadelphia – wherever women marched along with those who love, treasure, respect them. And they were joined by a whole spirit, the one that says and reminds all that America and the free world make one.
To celebrate that spirit, fire that shines deep inside us, I will celebrate our womanhood, the way we love, look at the world and smile; and hashtag it in the title of every post.
Many women have touched my heart throughout my life journey. Let them be now known to the world. Some so famous, others, unknown.
I will begin with Victoria, the one who smiled and touched my heart – a station nurse working for USAID, based in NYC, NY, USA. Tremendously spirited, so aware of the ills from far less privileged regions from our world, and investing herself in her duties and people in her care – she, humble, unknown American ambassador of the world’s bastion of freedom and democracy . I am in awe of her beauty inside-out.
I am so proud of you, Peerie Mouse 🙂
For you, my tiger, in my own words, as a poet and a woman, and wish you well on your forthcoming tour, from my island to your island.
I already chiselled your name on
every train you take and
on every door yet to
open, on every
footbridge and rope that
suspends us in between now and
the river that divides
where I wonder how Venus shines; and
imagine the big apple,
compressed sand grains…
flower of chaos,
that little big bang from your heart.
© Nat Hall 2017
That tunnel ride across mountains, under water (as I once left Måløy on the first time…) has left a mark indelible, and illustrates how I feel at the start of 2017.
Here, the highlights back in limelight.
From winter into spring, as I rolled back in Provence for a short while, bringing Compass Head to the last survivor of that trio of women to whom the book is dedicated. Symbolic journey in itself… However, there was another reunion as important with a lifelong friend, artist and Art restorative Artisan, Isabelle Foriat, who took me to Manosque to meet with Jean Giono’s surviving daughter, Sylvie. Marvellous encounter.
Prior to that trip to the foot of Le Lubéron, a night at the Library to meet with Liz Lochead, Scotland’s former makar; and a much cherished reunion with a friend and fellow poet, Emma van Woerkom, who will pen, among others, an eloquent review of my peerie book of verse.
20 May 2016, launch of Compass Head at the Shetland Library. Full house, for a memorable night I will treasure all my life. I really felt humble and touched.
Mid-June, my first crossing across the sea with a close friend to be reunited with da Norskie Clan.
A dream come true for the first time. I knew this was my early gateway to Vestlandet. Unforgettable and tattooed in my heart forever.
Throughout summer, wrestled with a boiler without a suit. That techno-joust cost two plumbers who worked wonders, though at some cost I cannot regret…
July, with an event at the Peerie Shop Café for the purpose of a mag launch by Shetland Create. Great fun and pleasure to share selected verse from Compass Head in a place where I come to write. 🙂
Summer, spent around those wild islands with the world, come rain or shine. I love its magic and blue nights; that sense of freedom, colour saturation and overgrowth… And in between May and July, friends & fellow writers – Marsali Taylor and Laureen Johnson – will pen their respective & eloquent reviews for the Shetland Times and the New Shetlander. Both are trilingual like me. A blessing.
August, invited to read at Sumburgh Head, as part of a unique project, Extreme Light North, led by Carol Duffy. Friend, playwright and Shetland Library Book Champion Jacqui Clark is a magician! I will share verse broadcasted to the whole world via the Internet from the great height of my favourite headland that first made me dream some 19 years ago… Tout un symbole et une histoire, from which Compass Head derives and was born.
Whereas mid-August rhymes with a return to class and school bells, September reminds us of a slow return to darkness and a trade of wings, as avian visitors perform that orchestrated seasonal ballet…
But by October, the deal is struck. Winter visitors found around, and I would marvel at those Norwegian White-tailed sea eagles again around Kvinnherad and Fanafjorden! What none expected was a twist of fate from the sky! Crystalline, diamond blue, with only one hour of rain, as I set foot in Krokeide… Out of this world!
Reunited with some of my Norskie kinsfolk for my October break. Magical, ethereal, as we had so much to share. All would also provide me that space to write, develop what I started in June – namely, that second collection of poetry. Furthermore, François took me further afield, across mountains, the Sognefjord to Vågsøy and Måløy, Viking country, where friendship grows so beautifully since 2010 and a certain encounter with the NYBAKK . La boucle est bouclée. Full circle, past-present and future sealed in one stone.
November, Lerwick Book Festival, and, on a less happy note, saying goodbye to [another] close friend resettling in Glasgow at the final Open Mic Night Chris Grant co-hosted with passion with friend & artiste Lisa Ward. What I did not know would be the taking part in a creative project with Chris and his two musical buddies, Andy Kinnear and Cho Johnson before the end of the year. That was great fun. Chris recorded me inside his tiny office at the Anderson High School on his final day…
Yule – stormy and filled with lights, Compass Head has a readership on both side of the Atlantic AND the North Sea, in Scandinavia. Chuffed 🙂
December, and a final accolade for the poet, as Compass Head features in the annual review of the Shetland Times, the long printed island newspaper. In addition, and on the last Wednesday of December, a special Singer/Songwriter “Cabaret style” event takes place at Mareel. My verse has a new home. It was warmly welcome by both organisers and the audience present that night. Magic within the great vessel of glass continues. 🙂
Thank You all for a marvellous 2016, both in Shetland, the UK and Norway. It has been a fantastic journey, and I can only wish 2017 to be a year of growth. Storms may be raging round my hut and my island, there is so much to look ahead, on either side of the North Sea.
Very best wishes to YOU all from my breezy 60N latitude! 🙂
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