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
They came, they shared, they went…
They came, they spoke, we shared, they went… We are now connected.
Visiting poets on our home turf – Mareel, Lerwick, Shetland for a few hours – met with familiar faces, thanks to Shetland Art’s Literature Development Officer, Donald Anderson. On a particular trail, that of “Auld Enemies“, the brainchild of Steven J Fowler and Ryan Van Winkle, who notably brought along Colin Herd and Ross Sutherland in the Green Room where a few dared to step for an hour of poetry. Their six date tour around Scotland – taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick, and Kirkwall – concluded in London.
So we, the featured Shetland poets, L.J. Friedlander, D.S. Murray, J.A, Sinclair and I, joined our visiting poets in some battles of the spoken word before we ceased fire, chatted and smiled. Unique, electric, unusual & memorable event which enabled us to share in a different format, and, for James & I to actually write together for the first time since we have been united by literature. My thanks go to Steven and Ryan for providing such an opportunity. With very best wishes for the upcoming Auld Enemies – Ireland!!! 🙂
Auld Enemies, Shetland 2014 – Photo courtesy of Steven J Fowler
What a trek! Before they came to us, they had pit-stopped in Aberdeen, where they blended with other familiar faces & voices, including those of Catriona McLeod and Haworth Hodgkinson – then they stayed a couple of days, to ensure Mr Melville was okay again – and then they joined in other familiar faces in Kirkwall, notably including Pam Beasant.
My thanks go to Steven and Ryan for providing such an opportunity, as well as to Donald Anderson & Shetland Arts for making it happen on our latitude.
With very best wishes for the upcoming Yes But Are We Enemies? -an Irish Enemies Project!
Filed under 60N, celebration, geopoetics, home, images, lerwick, life, north, poetry, poets, project, shetland, verse, verse poetry, writing
Scottish poetics rekindling an artist’s life, that of Megan Boyd. You do not need to be a fisher to get into her world – she never fished herself 😉
It is storytelling at its best.
That something more I felt yesterday as I wandered around the edge of my island with kindred spirits… Respite from a violent storm, Beaufort 9-12 winds had made a truce for Saturday and let winter light shine from sunrise to sunset. Arcania looked so magical in spite of the big sea that made boulders ramble from the shoormal to the shore. I felt at one with my wild world! Salt filled everything: the air, our hair, tainted lipstick on all lips… Our spirits.
If the land – from peatlands to meadows – have reached levels of water saturation, I & my fellow companions welcomed that day of light, which is so rare this January. So we stood still and admired the great earthly show that unfolded before our eyes.
Heart warmer, as that storm resumed with even more vehemence from this morning.
Here, a a peerie string of images as a token of light.
Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, celebration, colours, geopoetics, home, images, island, north, shore, spirit, wind, world, writing
first images, first draft from scrapbook
enjoy – we did,
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 à 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