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
Name your poison, I’ll name mine.
Tai Strike is fundraising again for a good cause. She’s a nutty one but I love her as much as I am proud of her. She is renowned for her veterinarian and athletic prowesses… From time to time, she trades her sthethoscope for a mad challenge, including skydiving.
This time, she is taking back to the water… And she is prepared to swim for marine wildlife.
Help her on the way, and please, just give. Thank YOU.
Filed under 2016, 60N, blogging, celebration, earth, education, fundraising, geopoetics, home, life, project, spirit, wildlife, world, writing, zsl
as gales gradually sweep away the harshness of winter, and birds begin to fill our sky with slightly bolder songs, a poem of love 🙂
Now come undone.
in between branches and
dawn’s pearls, as
blue dominated their
deep in ivy;
they fell on satin
burnt their game of
fell to prey,
pleasure & dust…
As furtive as dawn may vanish,
they will nestle in secret
warmth from an
in an orchard charged with
apples, cherries & love.
© Nat Hall 2015
Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, birds, celebration, colours, earth, fire, geopoetics, home, poetry, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, spring, verse poetry, wind, 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
A woman’s world is her own heart. From the roadside, nothing is visible.
So many times – in between Central and Sandsayre – have I driven & walked past those high walls without notice… Yet in summer, there is a sign, that reads “Open to the public”. One has to stop and dare to step through the high wooden doors. The creator of this secret Eden on 60N has shimmering eyes and she answers to the forename Margaret. Her heart beats as she leads you through to her secret garden. Very soon you forget you are actually on an island battered by gales, storms or other relentless winds from August to May! All is so secretly guarded by tall fences of all kinds – rock, panels or palettes. Every thing will do in order to grow her world’s plant kingdom… And I heard some trekked as far as from South Africa.
Her welcome is unparalleled. Her verve is insatiable. She speaks of her passion for her vegetal realm you feel enchanted in your heart. It feels you are surrounded by angels 🙂
Some forty years have been necessary to reach this stage of growth. Margaret does not count, even though she is bound to the planet’s own agenda and seasonal calendar – Mother Earth’s own rhythms. Hospitalisation even does not deter our intrepid gardener – she is a survivor who lives for her own world, with her husband & cats. A grand tour of the place is necessary to enjoy the full extent of this woman’s work.
And if you are invited to make a small donation, as a tn’s marked, you will only show your own appreciation of a gardener’s sheer passion in the face of such Nordic latitude. And yet, so possible.
Away from salt and wind, amazing gardens emerge from the roughest of soils and elements. It is a joy & sheer pleasure to step inside!