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poets in arms

auld enemies 1They came, they shared, they went…

Let’s re-phrase.

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 2014  friedlander auld enemies Murrayauld enemies hall + sinclairauld enemies 2014 herd + fowlerauld enemies sutherland + van wrinkle

Auld Enemies, Shetland 2014 - Photo courtesy of Steven J Fowler

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

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impromptu visitors

 Amazing sighting this afternoon as I was minding my own business.

There, on the last day of B(ritish) S(ummer) T(ime), among decay and rotten leaves, they invaded my own  garden. Not one or two, but five or six, attracted by the golden jewels of October,  they came to perch and tear out red… To them, the larder was Thor-sent. I reckon they might have escaped the harshness of winter’s grip on their own land. They packed their ambition under their  wings and crossed the sea like explorers in search of gold and other bounties, juice or mead…

waxwings are like Vikings,

they come from the East/NE across the wild North Sea (or Norwegian Sea for what we know…) in their cohorts and  invade your neck of the heather without shame; terrorise the locals (i.e. sparrows & starlings that never asked for blood or strife) – pick on your most treasured high autumn possessions (in my case here, my bundle of ruby rose hips that have come to maturity) and loot the lot! Their bills act like pick axes and they won’t leave until they finish off their feast… They come with mighty impressive markings too – take a look at their black masks and bibs – that array of rufous edge around their bills – that ferocious white eyeliner to remind you who’s looking at you in the eye and fluffy crown synonym with Erik The Red… (without the helmet, that is.) So I thought twice before I dared and opened the window to point my longest lens out in low light. In the mayhem, my felines fled through the cat flap,  attracted by the invaders’ fierce cries. They did not wait for fur & claws to get at them, as they hovered above rose hips, in between stone wall that guards my neighbour’s long(er) house and their trees.  That’s when everything went quiet…

Now that night came, I wonder where my warriors went roosting. Did they assault the nearby community garden, where sycamores harbour starlings? Did they empty the walled garden and ousted robins and sparrows? For all I know, I’m left with heavily torn rose hips. Another saga unfolding…

P.S: If Per Kåre and/or any member from the NYBAKK Clan – or any Norskie friend and/or reader come across this particular post, well… Skål!!! 

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