It takes courage to speak out loud from the tip of an island.
Who are we to raise voices when all seems fine? Or is it? For years on end, people flee wars, in an attempt to save their lives. For months on end, the wheel of news feed us garbage— by this, I insist on political spoon feeding on TV screens and newspapers… Where viewers and readers are bombarded with highly controlled news, (namely “intox”)
And then, it takes one image, one single shot of a toddler by the edge of the sea. The ball’s rolling.
For the second time, my pen responded to a world scale crisis. Call me an idealist (or a dreamer), but nobody wants to find themselves fleeing from war zones, or hanging between life and death at some railings by a frontier or a headland… Or a tunnel.
To this effect,
I was solicited to write and share verse, by friend & event coordinator, Wendy Sinclair, a month ago. The event, “Solidarity Through Music”, took place on Saturday 24 October 2015 in Lerwick, and gathered a palette of amazing local talent – including The Donald Anderson Band, Lisa Ward and The Dirty Lemons to name but a few – among which I, the only poet, was invited to perform.
Always daunting when in a crowd of musicians! Yet I rose to the challenge. …After all, performing among musicians, bands, is turning a kind of habit, since Open Mic Nights at Mareel Café feature mostly the sung voice.
What an experience! The atmosphere was fantastic. The audience turned up in good numbers (by Shetland standards) through the eight-hour entertainment marathon, gave generously through applause and money. Today, I learnt that the event raised over £1000.00 in donations and raffle ticketing… It may not read very impressive, however, it adds to the continuous generosity of island folk when it comes to humanitarian crisis. Already, folk have donated in kind – shoes, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, etc. – earlier on in the year, in an effort to help the stranded refugees by Calais.
Shetland Supporta Refugees is well active.
Here, my humble contribution to the effort, through two stand-alone pieces, The Rift and One World, One Tribe.
Am a humanist with a pen, and so happy to contribute to such event. With renewed thanks to Wendy for including my work among the day, as well as to Alan McKay for the introduction.
We may live on the fringe of a troubled continent, but we listen to world distress.
Filed under 2015, 60N, autumn, birds, collaboration, earth, geopoetics, home, humanity, images, island, lerwick, life, migration, north, poet, poetry, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, verse, world, writing
Not an occupational hazard, but a marvellous world, where we, poets, writers and artists, mingle and collaborate to bring alive our heritage.
This weekend, somewhere in Norfolk, at King’s Lynn Hanse House, a multi-disciplinary collaborative project – entitled The Nine Realms – is celebrating the Viking world. It is the fruit from a wonderful tree, curated and nurtured by Nicky Mortlock c/o ArtiPeeps. It has brought together a long boat load of writers and artists, as well as a boat (head) carver and Millfield School – younglings, who have been participating to the project in their own words.
Two links here, should you wish to acquire a copy of The Nine Realms’ Poetry Book, and or The Nine Realms’ School Book. Now, and if you are lucky enough to visit Norfolk – King’s Lynn this weekend and/or Norwich Library – where there will be poetry read by the poets present there on Monday – please do go along and leave your prints in the guest book! I, the poet based on my 60N latitude, am here in spirit.
“Vikings Ahoy!”, Nicky and all!
Have a marvellous time, everyone!
Filed under 2015, 60N, artipeeps, arts, atlantic, celebration, collaboration, education, exhibition, hansehouse, norfolk, poetry, project, theninerealms, vikings
They flock, they feed, they fare, they fly…
SO is the tale of Earth’s winged creatures that dare to tame our meridians, gales, tides and cycles of the moon… This urge to breed make them undertake an extraordinary journey, from the estuaries in Eastern and Southern England to the more sub-Arctic region where I find them on my local mudflats. I, as many, am in awe to their ability to find their way, memorise routes, resilience in the face of danger(s), as well as their physical stamina for their size in this everlasting race for life and endurance.
How do they do it? So extraordinary, for us, humans from the 21st Century, parked inside patches guarded by politics & passports…
Some even go further than that.
Take the Arctc Tern (Sterna paradisea) – a species that holds a formidable record in terms of annual migration. Its story reads incredible. And yet terns remain one of many avian species that takes this immense risk to defy the rules of nature and undertake such vital marathon.
At this moment in time, autumnal migration has begun. Many waders – knots, sanderlings, ringed plovers, redshanks, godwits, to name a few – grace the edge of each tide, beach or pool, around the island. Some, still in full regalia, others, moulting. They come to feed and prepare for the long journey. And then, they will take to the air and disappear…
We really live on an extraordinary planet.
Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, autumn, birds, celebration, earth, hairst, island, migration, scotland, shetland
How I love this statement 🙂
featured at the Federation of Writers (Scotland), with grateful & graceful thanks to Anne Clark & Ian Noble’s relentless efforts on giving exposure to the many creative voices all around Scotland, including those from remote rocks & skerries. Am thrilled & humble 🙂
Filed under 2015, 60N, atlantic, Canada, celebration, geopoetics, home, island, lerwick, life, north, poet, poetry, poets, review, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, verse, verse poetry, winter, world, writing
In between time, tides, meridians…
2014 had its magic moments – new friends, projects, travels, publications… Holding my breath when it mattered, smiled at the world without restraint, burnt my fingers, ego & pride…
Now my heart’s reconciled with each moment, I celebrate then & now.
Than YOU for being a part of it, wherever you are,
thank YOU for
help in any way
As we prepare for the next stretch, let me wish you the very best –
may 2015 fill your eyes & hearts with smiles, health, joys, happiness beyond desires.
Let it guide you towards success.
I love that word that means the world of boundless beauty inside out:
Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, december, earth, geopoetics, home, island, life, north, review, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, Transformations, winter, wishes, world, Yuletide