Tag Archives: stravaig

swallows

 

 

 

 

 

On the topic of migration, hirundines – the embodiment of summer – and swallows in particular have always captivated my heart. I remember them nesting under the roof in rue de la Libération in Gisors as a child; and their return every year throughout life – wherever I have settled – remains magical.

Today I watch them return on the island, so far away from my grandmother’s home, and every time they rekindle that moment of discovery as a child… They fly from West Africa to reach us. Their journey feels incredible – travellers without papers across our northern hemisphere. They come to create the next generation – they have two homes, they are the product of two worlds, and they embody with so much grace many of us, humans, who have been blessed with more than one home…

A powerful allegory.

 

Here, to celebrate those amazing avian wanderers, a string of micropoetry, first written in French, then, translated in mirror.

 

Les hirondelles

1.

Furtives,

des anges habillés bleu et noir,

avec dans leurs yeux, du courage;

l’iris riveté au soleil, avides d’amour hors des nuages, sous

les génoises, elles font un voeu.

1.

Furtive,

they, angels clad in black & blue,

with courage in their eyes;

iris riveted to the sun, avid to love in cloudless skies, under

a roof they make a wish.

2.

Intrépides,

elles traversent déserts, champs et mers,

se confient aux cours d’eau, les chansons de la terre

pour retrouver enfin une once du berceau.

2.

Intrepid,

they fly across deserts, meadows and seas;

confide to waterways, the many earthly songs, to

find at last an ounce from home.

3.

Je les entends venir enfin,

leurs longues plumes dans mon ciel,

s’arrêter  sur un fil de fer, entre iris et mur de pierres,

un rebord de gouttière,

la latitude de leurs ancêtres.

3.

At last I hear them come,

their long feathers inside my sky,

to perch on a wire, in between iris and stone walls,

the edge of a gutter –

their ancestors’ latitude.

 

 

 

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Filed under 2017, 60N, Arcania, birds, blogging, celebration, community, earth, education, geopoetics, home, island, life, light, literature, migration, north, poet, poetry, roots, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, spring, verse, verse poetry, wildlife, world, writing

visitors

The island remains a honeypot for all kinds of visitors – sometimes I let my imagination loose at sea, and imagine lighthouse beams as magnets… Too irresistible to the intrepid one to ignore.

  Two kinds of visitors caught my eye. The first clad in clinker and rivets looked at the lerwigian sky like in defiance – yes, a dragon in the heart of our only town!

 From the Norwegian, it translated as Dragon Harald the Fairhair, back at Alexandra Wharf for a first time in a couple of years – en route to NY via the old Viking routes. Draken Harald certainly caught our attention & hearts.


Statsraad Lehmkuhl had arrived and already moored at her usual place at Victoria Pier. I would catch her the following morning just off Bressay Light with my other notable visitor, Lancashire based Landscape Photographer, Peter Laurence who followed in the footsteps of Britain’s Landscape Photography master, Faye Godwin,  who had immortalised the island in the 1980s…


A day in the field would only seal friendship, challenge the eye, as we employed a whole day well spent between the old lime kilns of Fladdabister to the edge of the rocky promontory, Grutness.

And what a day it proved to be. Armed with our respective lenses, time turned irrelevant, for our wandering in between tall grass and muddy roadsides filled our eyes with smiles.


And we wandered across tall grass and May flowers…

And pointed to the majesty of the southern edge of my homeworld.




I may spend a lifetime  capturing that power of place, the eye remains challenged as time loses sight in salt. 

With gracious thanks to Peter for a memorable day. Enjoy Compass Head inside each page. 🙂 

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that something more

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.

Namaste 🙂20140126-133541.jpg

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Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, celebration, colours, geopoetics, home, images, island, north, shore, spirit, wind, world, 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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va et vient

As November unleashes its cargo of gales, here , two new pieces for your eyes – fresh from the pen, they will take you across the mighty Atlantic.

Old Guards’ Line

Inside blue boreal forest,
fireweed,
hidden gem,
dreams under northern lights,
coniferous silence,
in between
bogs and fens –
lone army of
Jackpines,
so heavily mantled,
stand as giant chessmen
from Newfoundland & Labrador to
the last rocks of Alaska.

—————–

Day of The Gale

Semantics from the SW sky
ruffles feathers as
salt buds fly –
curlews,
shalders, gulls,
sanderlings, purple
sandpipers on one leg
will bite the verve, dust, sleaze & lies
from this hissing storyteller.
Taste of salt plastered
on your lips.

© Nat Hall 2013

————————– Nov 2013

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coup de coeur

Fair Isle in blue e- There is a voice from Fair Isle I learnt to appreciate and love. This voice is timeless, as I am listening to her final opus, A Time to Keep. And remember all encounters. Her words and sounds flow like da tide in between the island I watch from Sumburgh Head and my hearth. And remember the very first time I actually listened to Lisa live in Lerwick at some Folk Festival. It was at The Shetland Hotel. Long time friend , Dorothy Nickerson, had invited me along. This was the start of our friendship. We later met at separate occasions, most of the time at Mary’s hoose in Lerwick, or at Wordplay. My only creative connection with Lisa dates back to 2006-7, when she approached me with the request to translate her selection of verse from Shetland dialect into French, for the purpose of the Ouessant Poetry Festival. Lisa wanted her French-speaking audience & hosts in Brittany to understand her Fair Isle & Shetland poetic scapes. She was really chuffed about that.

Today, I still listen to Lisa, and remember a gentle woman and true wordsmith. Her poetics is timeless, as well as tattooed in my heart.

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poet’s voice

Donna in her own voice

Here,

listen to the the Canadian side, in her own words, thanks to soundcloud.

Her side of the shore for you to enjoy. I still remember each line, as an earthly communion with each gentle leaping of tiny waves on the sand. Now it is recorded for posterity. Thank you, D, for such a gift 🙂Shoormal_cvr_s

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Filed under 2013, atlantic, Canada, celebration, earth, festival, geopoetics, home, poet, poetry, poets, project, roots, spirit, verse, verse poetry, wordplay