On Top of the World
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
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I did not know what to expect.
Extreme Light North based at my favourite headland, Sumburgh Head, and so very aptly at my favourite lighthouse, where a troupe, led by Clare Duffy, has a very precise project.
Performance art instigated at Shetland level by our Shetland Library Reading Champion, playwright & artiste extraordinaire, Jacqui Clark – in which light is celebrated in collaboration with Clare Duffy & her troupe.
On the 18th night of the eight’s month, selected reading of Compass Head were broadcasted to the world via the internet, whilst being recorded in the intimacy of the stone wall with a mic in a cranny…
On a more personal note, Sumburgh Head has a very special place in my heart. The most southerly headland from da Auld Rock, the place where I twice worked as an Assistant Warden for the RSPB in the early 2000s, a place I celebrate as a poet, and share with the rest of the world. A place associated with dreams and adventures. And when I think adventures, RLS springs to my mind like a boomerang. After all, his grandfather has left luminous prints with his family of lighthouse builders! So all in all, it felt a pretty funky night to the wildest audience! Open air poetry reading… Both ethereal and fab fun!
Jacqui Clark & her balloon adventure
With gracious thanks to Jacqui Clark and Lucy for nurturing me at such event.
with Lucy from the Extreme Light Project, 18 August 2018
Local actors are preparing with Clare Duffy’s troupe for a very special event. There is an upcoming art performance on the 28 August at Sumburgh Head. Grab a ticket and come along.
It is truly a unique experience and Project in full osmosis 🙂
Sumburgh Head, 18 Aug 2016.
Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, arts, atlantic, autumn, blogging, book, celebration, collaboration, colours, Compass_Head, earth, geopoetics, help your library, home, humanity, images, island, light, literature, north, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, verse, verse poetry, world, writing
The island remains a honeypot for all kinds of visitors – sometimes I let my imagination loose at sea, and imagine lighthouse beams as magnets… Too irresistible to the intrepid one to ignore.
Two kinds of visitors caught my eye. The first clad in clinker and rivets looked at the lerwigian sky like in defiance – yes, a dragon in the heart of our only town!
From the Norwegian, it translated as Dragon Harald the Fairhair, back at Alexandra Wharf for a first time in a couple of years – en route to NY via the old Viking routes. Draken Harald certainly caught our attention & hearts.
Statsraad Lehmkuhl had arrived and already moored at her usual place at Victoria Pier. I would catch her the following morning just off Bressay Light with my other notable visitor, Lancashire based Landscape Photographer, Peter Laurence who followed in the footsteps of Britain’s Landscape Photography master, Faye Godwin, who had immortalised the island in the 1980s…
A day in the field would only seal friendship, challenge the eye, as we employed a whole day well spent between the old lime kilns of Fladdabister to the edge of the rocky promontory, Grutness.
And what a day it proved to be. Armed with our respective lenses, time turned irrelevant, for our wandering in between tall grass and muddy roadsides filled our eyes with smiles.
And we wandered across tall grass and May flowers…
And pointed to the majesty of the southern edge of my homeworld.
I may spend a lifetime capturing that power of place, the eye remains challenged as time loses sight in salt.
With gracious thanks to Peter for a memorable day. Enjoy Compass Head inside each page. 🙂
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Please mark a date in your diary, Compass Head, available on Amazon, will be celebrated at the Shetland Library in Lerwick on Friday 20 May 2016.
We – the poet, our Shetland Librarians and friends – have the beginning of a plan.
More to come, as dusk slides into a starry night.
Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, arts, atlantic, birds, blogging, boats, celebration, collaboration, earth, geopoetics, help your library, home, introduction, island, lerwick, library, literature, music, north, offcourse, poet, poetry, poets, project, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, spring, update, verse, verse poetry, welcome, world, writing
It feels like the sunrise.
Out of the curtain of ink, Compass Head has emerged, amid birdsong, gales and tides.
Its date of publication was important to my heart – my grandfather’s birthday; and my grandmother’s change of world, 9 nine years ago. Whereas the book is dedicated to three generations of mothers, including Mamie, my grandfather also features.
As a matter of interest, and by some coincidence, 30 March is also the birthday of one of my literary heroes, Jean Giono, whose works celebrate nature & thus, his very own brand of geopoetics.
By some twist of fate, will visit Manosque tomorrow with lifelong friend & artist Isabelle Foriat to pay my tribute to the great man; and looking forward to it.
Released and available on Amazon, “the world’s biggest bookstore”, as a close friend kindly reminded me just a few days before I migrated back to the foot of Luberon for a short spring break.
So, here it is.
Compass Head, c/o NordlandPublishing
With gracious thanks 🙂
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If I went wild on Saturday with my gang of kindred spirits right on the edge of the island, admiring with awe the raw beauty of returning Red-Throated Divers reinstated on their summer lochs & lochans, those everlasting mesmerising cliffs battered by time, salt & ocean, and listened to skylarks at the narrowest isthmus- yes, the world famous Mavis Grind – where the strongest of us might be able to throw a stone in both the North Sea & Atlantic, Sunday was tossed like a pancake, with Force 12 winds battering us as if we were still in winter…
To sum it up, here comes a short piece from my pen.
Easter by the Hearth
unwanted gale that
tossed our season inside out –
my westside windows
filled with salt,
tucked in imaginary grass
voar needs to weave
seas of glass…
Until Monday’s final hours,
body & heart inside Shetland’s
finest of wool.
© Nat Hall 2016
Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, blogging, earth, fire, geopoetics, home, island, life, north, poet, poetry, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, spring, wind