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
Filed under 2017, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, blogging, earth, education, geopoetics, home, humanity, island, literature, north, poet, poetry, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, verse
September, month of smiles and tears.
Yesterday, I congragated with friends and fellow writers from the Westside as well as the Waas community to say agoodbye to one of us. I loved the way his son spoke of my friend, and the way Janet somewhat managed to conceal some of her grief. The service was very poignant. I, among so many of us, will miss the good doctor who animated our monthly friday nights in Weisdale, as well as the many facets of everyone who was connected to his life. But he lives in our hearts, and his writings testify the life journey of a very brave, adventurous, life and children loving man. Rest in peace, Robin.
September, change of light.
Weeks fly like lit gun powder; fridays tear down the pages of our almanacs like a develish, untamed child too eager to rid of school days. And the sky follows suite. Little have I noticed sunsets and sunrises shifted on the the great cosmic clock… That daylight had begun to shrink. The island now unveils those autumnal hues. A more difuse light now clads everything on the island. The sky awaken and talks again. Whereas swans are starting to flock at Spiggie, others are thinking to go… Northern wheatears, pied wagetails and meadow pipits, together with a few swallows still grace our fence posts, road verges and fields… Though they too will depart from our shores and let others replace them for the darker months ahead.
September, trade of wings.
That juvenile northern wheatear will home itself south of my eyes for a few months, should it survive that great epic maiden flight south. I feel somewhat eager to reconvene with our winter visitors, whilst already marvelling at eclipse or winter plumage from some of our local avian friends. Guillemots certainly are noticeable from Gutters’ Gaet or Bressay Sound. And if observation feels rather limited during weekdays, the odd visit to harbours, lochs, fields, voes and wicks (bays) rekindles that pleasure.
And as nothing remains the same, September will vanish in flames, and let October take over. With the tenth month, I too will trade land and migrate for precious time to the other side side of he North Sea, as I will reconvene with friends and fjords. That second collection of verse demands so, as my heart does.
With October, the more prominent return of darkness… And the almanac will obey the laws of the universe.
Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, autumn, birds, blogging, colours, earth, geopoetics, hairst, home, humanity, images, island, life, light, migration, north, scotland, seabird, shetland, spirit, wildlife, winter, world, writing
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
Let me take you to the edge of a dormant volcano tonight.
You need to perch right on its edge to take that pic; it is iconic and always gives the wow effect…
Now, to the accompanying words
coastline, where Atlantic ebbs & lashes,
unleashes wrath against your craigs, cliffs & great geos –
where clouds bypass
granite & teeth of
home for the maverick kittiwake,
ruffled gannet in need of
Let me show you
edge & meaning of the dormant volcano,
le va-et-vient de l’Atlantique.
Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, earth, geopoetics, images, island, north, poetry, poets, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, verse, verse poetry, world, writing
From the lightness of being, to the darkness of despair… Or, is it?
For tonight’s second attempt, I chose a “raw” image – not gore, but dark within lightness. That carcass of life on white sand. Mortality as the finality of life.
The poem that accompanies the image is called Bird on Your Shoulder –
and goes like this:
So many feathers
creased, keratin –
inside my book of elements,
jinxes & spells,
you can dream
on the wing,
high on a roof
with a blackbird.
Chose si belle,
above spring waves,
with storm petrels
lose your way across
© Nat Hall 2015
Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, birds, colours, earth, geopoetics, iceland, poet, poetry, poets, scotland, seabird, shore, spirit, verse, world, writing
That bridge of sand at St Ninian knows so many prints of our feet. Human or not, we tread its length in and out, trace & retrace like sand weavers…
The other day, I took a friend after lunchtime. The sky was right, and we fancied to share our marks with sand and shells, light… Atlantic.
So we walked it, came heart to heart with waterline… Reflected with clouds in mirror – smiled at the sun & sea of jade.
And if we felt alone on this vast expanse of freedom, our journey back to the mainland was crowned with a fabulous encounter in the form of two Arctic Skuas that came to add their prints to ours. My friend spotted them first from the distance. She knew my heart would pounce, and lens would wish to immortalise them. So I approached them with caution, and deep respect.
What a moment. Eye to eye with their majesty – heart to heart with our world. Such earthly encounter.
Their tolerance allowed a couple of shots before they decided to leave the sand for a moment… At every opportunity, such meeting feels a privilege, so natural and whimsical.
I still feel grateful to my friend for pointing me out to such moment.
And as we continued to imprint that fabulous sand bar, other wings on passage ennobled our afternoon, in the form of our swallows of the sea, locally known as tirricks, or Arctic Terns, those phenomenal travellers that come to grace our skies every summer.
How I love this point of passage.
Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, ninian, north, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, world, writing
Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, celebration, colours, earth, festival, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, north, scotland, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, spring, world, writing