Tag Archives: winter

wild

starlings in black n white

October, the month of heaven & grace

Marvellous moments of lightness, privileged times among paired swans, preening and sharing love in grace at last light… Statuesque haigries (herons) around our bays, the joy to reconvene with our beautiful Earth. I observe them from the distance, with that humble feeling, so intimate the moment. The light is soft, nearly sunset. The air is charged with tenderness and love in that autumnal sense of rawness…

Intimate. So privileged, I feel.

Sensual, magical.

This north end corner of Spiggie Loch gradually welcomes them back, as the Arctic winter dictates. They will flock in and preen, share a few weeds with a few ducks – gather on the shore for bathing and arrange their feathers, and roost by twos… A bit of love inside a world so few can taste.

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lumière

sumburgh lightI did not know what to expect.

Extreme Light North based at my favourite headland, Sumburgh Head, and so very aptly at my favourite lighthouse, where a troupe, led by Clare Duffy, has a very precise project.

Performance art instigated at Shetland level by our Shetland Library Reading Champion, playwright & artiste extraordinaire, Jacqui Clark – in which light is celebrated in collaboration with Clare Duffy & her troupe.
On the 18th night of the eight’s month, selected reading of Compass Head were broadcasted to the world via the internet, whilst being recorded in the intimacy of the stone wall with a mic in a cranny…

On a more personal note, Sumburgh Head has a very special place in my heart. The most southerly headland from da Auld Rock, the place where I twice worked as an Assistant Warden for the RSPB in the early 2000s, a place I celebrate as a poet, and share with the rest of the world. A place associated with dreams and adventures. And when I think adventures, RLS springs to my mind like a boomerang. After all, his grandfather has left luminous prints with his family of lighthouse builders! So all in all, it felt a pretty funky night to the wildest audience! Open air poetry reading… Both ethereal and  fab fun!

jacquis balloon writing 18 june 2016

Jacqui Clark & her balloon adventure

With gracious thanks to Jacqui Clark and Lucy for nurturing me at such event.

poet and Lucy

with Lucy from the Extreme Light Project, 18 August 2018

Local actors are preparing with Clare Duffy’s troupe for a very special event. There is an upcoming art performance on the 28 August at Sumburgh Head. Grab a ticket and come along.

It is truly a unique experience and Project in full osmosis 🙂

 

Sumburgh Head, 18 Aug 2016.

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VagvĂ­sir

Now, to a darker one…

Have you chosen your place of death?

Is it in the shade of blossoms, 

where the 

wind 

blows to carry words

no 

one will 

know? Or 

is it outside a

lighthouse – where 

whiteness stands so 

close to

gold,

where

maalies* glide,

the great wild bairn* 

free and 

shameless?

Now, in

the 

eye of

the compass,

you see the meaning of

your birth –

your talisman 

in between breasts,

the 

tattoo of

staves in circles;

what’s left of

It lives inside you,

deep inside

the womb of the dead, and 

yet you need me

as a

guide – as

no one points to

their last 

breath.
Notes:

(From Shetland dialect)

maalies: fulmar petrels 

bairn: child 
© Nat Hall 2016 

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Valentine inside Ice

  
On the fourteenth morning of the second month, my latitude sprinkled with ice.

As I watched snow fly, each flake reminded me of winter, and then, one shrieking call of the blackbird, which, in turn, inspired this poem.

Valentine inside Ice

That thin layer of icicles on

every inch of your garden has petrified

water & song of the blackbird.

Those arpeggios 

they hold so deep inside their heart

still fear raw sharpness of winter,

blunt edge of mid-February,

lace,

epic layer of crystals on

every branch of your pine trees,

fur cone, needle…

Still far too shy to set them free.

That elusive outburst of

love, primal 

showcase of desire 

in between blue & icicles

still needs the sun.

It is the song I want to hear.

And if you too 

could let notes fly,

reveal true meaning in your

smiles, and find your

way out of winter,

and leave your

prints on

my 

stone wall,

I would sing back in unison.

© Nat Hall 2016 

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talisman 

   They say Gertrude has fingernails ready to slash through waves & land…
Whatever the colour of warning, putting a name onto a storm personifies eyes from the sky.

  
I don’t particularly like purple in such context. A storm’s coming.

For the first time, have dressed my neck with an ancient binding rune from the viking world. The one that’s said to fulfil your wishes. It has its place between Wunjo & my angel. I hope it will bring good fortune.

Meantime, 

a haiku de rigueur, as my dreams jigging with gale gusts.

VeillĂ©e d’armes. 

Every storm has its own paraphernalia of bullets… Tonight, the sky turned a sniper.

  

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loose

   My very first thought as I discovered Wednesday from mid-morning: 

Do we need to set alight replica viking longships to stop rain? …Let’s carry on, ’cause it’s working! 

The day after the great bonfire in Lerwick gave us all hope to stretch our legs in style, as a much calmer day overrode a miserable Tuesday (and the final Wednesday of January allows us that in the first place!) . 

Needless to say I would not stay put inside home, as the island was calling me out for an afternoon in the wild.

  
And it began with a great northern diver off Rerwick Beach, where a colony of common seals littered a good part of white sand.

  
From the roadside, they look like slugs…

   A family of whooper swans graced the dullness of Spiggie Loch in low light. 
  
And moorhens whizzed in between pools… 

  
On the North Sea side of the island, teals & waders foraged at will on what the bay offered to them. Every wild gale feels generous, as rollers bring forest of kelp to be picked on from the edge of our known world. 

Loose on a Wednesday afternoon, with the magic of the island.

  
That wonderful window of freedom felt a privilege, as well as penicillin to winter. 

Magic moment so beneficial to the soul – a sample of winter wildlife on my Nordic doorstep. 🙂 

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Feathered

Feathered for a day,


Feathered and proud, on the final Tuesday of January, as eyes of the world turn to a group of young Vikings about to perpetuate a tradition fit for our Nordic latitude.

It is a time when our Junior Jarl Squad shines inside our hall before they stampede through the school and then the town with their elders for a marathon of merriment.

Every year, the island’s sole urban centre sets itself for such day.

As night settles, their replica viking long ships will be torched like a winter bonfire. You can watch live via 60N TV online.

May this summons the return of the sun 🙂

Happy Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa!

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