I toy with the thought of
touching the Moon that
hangs out in
this dark blue sky;
tide turns in
your favour, on that last weekend of
I feel its pull, rolled up in
I lit a tea light in your name, and
let the lantern on the deck, for
you to find me in
mørke, mørkin, in murky night, where
the Moon shies here in
thin clouds, between my world and
summer tides – where Angle shades fly to the flame, where your voice vanishes with
© Nat Hall
Sandwick, 26 July 2018.
Note: Mørkin, from the Norwegian, mørke, dark(ness)
Filed under 2018, 60N, Arcania, arts, colours, earth, fire, geopoetics, home, humanity, irishness, island, life, light, literature, north, poet, poetry, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, summer, verse, verse poetry, woman, world, writing
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.
Filed under 2017, 60N, Arcania, blogging, boats, celebration, community, earth, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, humanity, images, island, life, light, north, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, woman, world, writing
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
It takes one jarl to lead his squad to beach and flames, and his community to celebrate the return of the sun.
SMUHA is a young fire festival that has now grown to rival with well established ones, such as Delting in the more northern township of Brae.
Every procession is magic, every burning of the galley, mesmerising, every moment, memorable.
This year, I shared it with a friend, who came especially for her first experience. She would tell you it is unique.
And it is! The atmosphere, torches, embers and smiles glow inside night.
A moment to savour every time!
Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, celebration, earth, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, north, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, vikings
I always have to make things up to distract my heart from this one.
Month of rainbows, dark and tears, March is the wild beast in my head. This year, for the very first time, it feels somewhat different.
Time-tight schedules, activities that keep my soul right off the edge of oblivion, March is flying like a comet.
Some extraordinary meeting with amazing poets, including freshly former Makar (Scotland’s National Poet) Liz Lochhead – as pictured above – during a night of poetry at the Shetland Library; whilst reconvening with Welsh-born Emma van Woerkom, on a short-stay on the island for our local fire festival (SMUHA) proved so much light and breaths of fresh air!
Such two slices of life took me temporarily from my ivory tower, as Compass Head is mutating into a book 🙂
Light has returned on the island, and with it, the spirit of #voar, “planting season” as we know it on the windswept, wild 60N latitude.
There’s still a few miles to go, but it looks bright till publication.
Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, arts, atlantic, blogging, collaboration, colours, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, library, life, north, poet, poetry, poets, project, scotland, shetland, spirit, spring, verse, verse poetry
What do we know of a people sheltered from old Roman dogma?
Isolated from old scriptures that shackled man off his own heart?
The Norsemen lived under such terms, lived their own lives, free as the wind, so unafraid…
They treasured beliefs to the sea, where they would reach their Valhalla. To them, death had its own meaning, glorious to their reputation.
Immortality through men’s songs…
Here, as a song to their greatness,
some brand fresh verse, in time for bed and your own dreams.
history down to us…
river of fire,
they never feared alien God –
whatever raid was meant to be,
in the name of
skin trade & gold, what mattered
Swing an axe or
a heavy oar,
forever written in your bones.
© Nat Hall 2016
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Feathered for a day,
Feathered and proud, on the final Tuesday of January, as eyes of the world turn to a group of young Vikings about to perpetuate a tradition fit for our Nordic latitude.
It is a time when our Junior Jarl Squad shines inside our hall before they stampede through the school and then the town with their elders for a marathon of merriment.
Every year, the island’s sole urban centre sets itself for such day.
As night settles, their replica viking long ships will be torched like a winter bonfire. You can watch live via 60N TV online.
May this summons the return of the sun 🙂
Happy Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa!
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