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Provençal Sakura

I always associate the coming of cherry blossoms at the foot of the Luberon with my grand mother’s change of world. To me, she flourishes every spring, and this year, I arrived just in time, for the season is precocious.

Already most fruit trees had shed most blossoms… Only a few quince and cherry trees gave me that joy. The kitchen garden well ahead for April. I landed back at Marseille-Provence in soaring temperatures, thanks to a twist of luck that allowed me to to fly direct from Edinburgh the very morning I left my northern roost.

And what a trek across the sky 🙂

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My favourite mountain, Luberon, so majestic, as we descended into Marseille… Giono’s blue whale so bright and clear by afternoon.

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Marseille, gate to the East and Africa, Massilia-Massalia, founded by Greeks, grown by Romans, with les îles du Frioul and If in the foreground, minutes before landing. La Grande Bleue, plain and magic.


I shan’t forget such moments. Always a thrill from my humble seat inside the fuselage. This year, I reconvened with JJ and Monique, whom I had such pleasure sharing with again. JJ fell in love with my poetics and he is very sensitive to artists and poets. As a matter of fact, he invests in art as a benefactor. We shared beautiful conversations and he is becoming to know me much better now. Let’s see what is going to heave out of those moments of sharing. 🙂


Ten days inside blue could be called a fantastic symphony. I reconvened with Les Huguenots, where life turns out immoveable, but also with relatives and my close friends from Pertuis, Isa and Michel, who hosted me for two days – sheer moments of pleasure.


Two days with my lifelong friend and her clan, including her grand children. We had lots of fun jam-packed in and around their home. Moments of pleasure.



Out of ten days, an afternoon tainted by grey and rain, as April strikes in any form. That heat heaved thunder and lightning in one afternoon.  Not surprising as the thermometer had soared a bit too quickly to my taste.


The air turned more breathable, colours vanished and the whole of the sky blackened to unleash its madness. That palm tree and flowers suddenly yielded to its wrath and felt the weight of freak clocking rain.

It prompted a poem, entitled l’orage / the storm.




En un Ă©clair,

le ciel est devenu métal, nuages de

charbon et d’acier.

Fort de ton flash, ciel


tous les oiseaux se sont cachés, entre les fleurs du cognassier.

Sous les tuiles je t’entends gronder,

glisser les gouttes de ta colère sur toutes

les feuilles de l’olivier.

Et sous le poids de ton humeur,

toutes les tulipes se sont courbĂ©es – robes d’or et

de rouge, leurs pétals protègent

le trĂ©sor…

Le vent fait frétiller les palmes toutes luisantes de la pluie;

nettoie ce ciel chargé de cendres,

décharne un peu plus le vieux chêne.

Tu montes le ton et vide

ton sac…

Et maintenant tu t’envenimes et te dĂ©chaĂ®nes!

Son et lumières, tes perles tombent

drues, s’Ă©crasent sur tout

ce qu’elles touchent;

sacageur de bleu provençal, dans la maison

je trouve refuge, et me souviens

du mot  frisqué.


The Storm


This sky

turned metallic in a flash, with clouds tainted

charcoal and steel.

Fully charged



all the birds hid between the flowers of the quince.

Under that roof, Provençal tiles,

I hear rebuke land & heat;

let slide raindrops

from your own

wrath on


leaves of the olive tree.

Under the weight of your temper,

all tulips bowed to protect

the treasure clad inside gold and red petals.

The wind animates every palm of

the date tree

drumming snipe


And wipes a sky

charged up with ash,

unloads the old oak of dead leaves.

Now, you raise your voice, spill the beans…

Unleash your wrath, torrential


It felt epic, equatorial.

You, Provençal



against my will, I seek shelter, and

remember that word,



© Nat Hall 2017



frisquĂ© (Provençal) meaning “chilly”/ “cold”)



All in all, nine and half blue days, moments of pleasure, and every time, that same feeling about where I really belong.

My trek back home – to my northern roost – proved even more epic. A story of mechanical failure miraculously took me home A LATER than scheduled, but am back hame, and am happy.




Filed under 2017, 60N, blogging, colours, earth, geopoetics, images, life, light, literature, metasaga, migration, poet, poetry, spirit, spring, verse poetry, world, writing


nordicblackbird / the roost is updated 🙂 Go check it out! NORDICBLACKBIRD  [re-created]

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Filed under 60N, Arcania, artipeeps, arts, atlantic, collaboration, geopoetics, images, island, literature, scotland, shetland, shetlandarts, update, writing

update for a creative date

shetland arts logo presents Wordplay 2014 

Bookmark it,

20140216-153245.jpgauthor promo pic wordplay 14workshop promo pic wordplay 2014

make a date:

Tuesday 11 November 2014,

a venue: 2nd Floor Meeting Room, Mareel, Lerwick, and a time: 1900-2100 GMT

Book your ticket at The Lerwick Box Office… Come along and enjoy 🙂

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Filed under island, scotland, shetland, wordplay, workshop, writing

discover ALBALAPSE

Got contacted by Alba Lapse earlier on today via Twitter. They shared a wonderful video promoting the magic of Scotland. Fell in love with their poetics, even though not the whole of Scotland is featured – but I love the spirit 🙂

Enjoy their work here: ALBALAPSE – A Timelapse Film of Scotland – ‘Proof of Concept’


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Filed under 2014, celebration, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, introduction, north, spirit, world

poppies forever

Le travail de la mĂ©moire On the 99th year of the world’s start to the greatest of tragedies, Lerwick’s Hillhead bathed in soothing November light. Men, women and children congregated in the highest part of the archipelago’s capital to pay homage to all those affected by all conflicts, past and present.

The Remembrance Sunday Parade always begins with pipers & their band. Young cadets follow suite. Flags go up and silence prevails until someone in uniform takes the floor.It is poignant.front row pipers

flags uptomorrow's frontlinersall rememberdignitariessoloistmusiciansyounglingsemotion in his eyesparade off

Ninety nine years and all generations still gather as one to celebrate their heroes. In France, it is called le travail de la mĂ©moire, the duty to remember. And this we must. I still remember the yearly school trips to the monument aux morts, where so many names are engraved in marble. Many young Shetlanders gave their lives in so many different conflicts. We do not forget. Such sentiment is even amplified when the community is that small. Entire communities have bled the same way, however big or small. In the case of The Great War, it engulfed the planet for the first time. We must not forget all those who, in the name of an empire, found themselves in a forest so dark and alien, they did not know the name of its trees – in a trench filled with mud and rats from a different continent. Today, all participants are no longer with us. Wherever we breathe, stand and live, we must not forget, not only all those accounted souls, but also those who vanished without trace, who fell blind-folded to a firing squad because they either deemed “deserters and/or cowards” or those who were stigmatised with a white feather as “anti-patriotic” by a propaganda machine orchestrated to bleed entire nations in the name of madness.

Nobody (as you & me) wants war.

A few days earlier, as part of Remembrance Week at my local High School, Wilfred Owen‘s most famous poem, Dulce et Decorum Est, resonated in all classrooms & corridors.

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
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NOTES: Latin phrase is from the Roman poet Horace: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.”

Source: Poems (Viking Press, 1921)

Tomorrow, Monday 11 November, on the 11th hour of the 11th month, a ceremony will commemorate all those young Shetlanders, local pupils from the AHS (the then Anderson Institute) who gave their lives in the name of “a war of attrition“.

I still believe Owen’s poem should be plastered on every government building to remind all of the atrocities of conflicts.

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Filed under 2013, celebration, earth, geopoetics, home, island, lerwick, life, north, poet, poetry, shetland, shore, spirit, world, writing

first images

IMGP9693 first images, first draft from scrapbook

enjoy – we did,

pupitre mareel screen 2

inside a “more than fullhouse” – it was amazing, and we, co-authors and publisher, would like to thank everyone who could manage to sit inside Screen 2, as well as our hosts, Shetland Arts & Joe’s grant provider, for allowing us to launch “From Shore to Shoormal / D’un rivage Ă  l’autre” on Sun 1 Sep 2013. Written by two voices, read by two voices from either side of Atlantic… Our audience enjoyed the spoken word, music and images blown up on the cinema screen. We were graced by great guest readers – Marsali Taylor, Joe Blades & Christian Tait. Steve Davidson & Aland McKay provided enchanted music.

THANK YOU EVERYONE – having you was a joy, as well as a memory I shall treasure forever. Merci.

With renewed thanks to my young photographer, Craig Meheut, who provided all the scrapbook images. Merci, mon cher photographe ;-)The trans-Atlantic adventure continues. What a fabulous celebration it was! More to come. WATCH THIS SPACE!


Filed under 2013, 60N, atlantic, Canada, celebration, geopoetics, images, poetry, poets, project, review, shetland, shore, spirit, verse poetry, writing

first of July

HCanada Day on 60Nappy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends from weither side of the Atlantic! / Bonne fĂŞte du Canada Ă  tous mes amis canadiens des deux cĂ´tĂ©s de l’Atlantique!

Today I think of you as I celebrate my first day of July, en tĂŞte-Ă -tĂŞte with my side of the great ocean. Look what I have found!

I have a deep love for the natural heritage and empower folk to enjoy it, for my Nordic home hides so many gems inside that blue casket!


RED-NECKED PHALAROPE S MAINLAND 1 JULY 2013red-necked phalarope

mam and baby selkie 1 july 2013

mam & baby selkie

meadow pipit 1 July 2013“the explorer”

Shetland’s Festival of Nature is in full swing!

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