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PER MARE PER TERRAM

Chant du monde boréal
Shoormal.
Sandshifter, 60N.
Where it all makes sense.

CHRONICLES FROM ARCANIA

Preamble

Through Chronicles from Arcania, I shall attempt to share walks with you, this poetics from 60N, where I feel at one with our Earth, my sense of place so maritime.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

blue ice


Just as we think Winter Spirits might jinx our world...

 Our garden's view before sunset.

Glorious blueness, as ice retreats - or is it just an illusion? This sun captured shortly after lunchtime can't go higher. Except for our celestial clock, comets & stars invisible... 

Too weak to melt ice in one day, it will not trick me out for long! I still feel grounded inside walls and devote time to feed my heart with others' words, spoken or sung; revive embers inside the hearth and watch our sky turning purple.  

A few days ago, I contemplated devising a sleep calendar to celebrate  that much sought after return of the spring equinox. Not that I hate winter... Let's just say I like ice in a wee dram [none in whisky though, as I favour it straight... Just with]  Bénédictine, Fécamp's "water of life", from time to time! Walking to my nearest bus stop in-between dawn & the sunrise feels like stepping onto rice crispies at the moment! Thank goodness, our sunrises and sunsets have been rather spectacular. ...If only I could ask the school bus driver to stop for a photo... Our local land and seascapes just look glorious from the main road! But by the time we reach Sandwick, dusk overrides blue afternoons... Bah, c'est la vie!


And talking of Fécamp, this delightful seaside resort on the Norman coast, where my maternal great grand mother once gutted herring for a living (or should I say as a means for survival), the following piece celebrates the connection with my "chosen home". Initially written in French, as a tribute to my ancestor, I translated it for the English speaking world. Originally entitled Les Mains, its "anglo-saxon sibling", My Great Garnd Mother's Hands, found its homepage within the New Shetlander a few years ago.

My Great Grand Mother's Hands

Mother prunes vine,
grand mother knits -
there in my soul I'm still feeling
my great grand mother's hands.
Time ties strong bones around bollards.
No more Terre-Neuvas, sixareens...
Lerwick,
Fécamp or Baltasound,
barrels belong to celluloid,
filed, filleted,
microcosm on microfiche
like a treasure
in B&W.
That woman gutting fish
looks like my ancestor:
head-dressed in a white scarf,
Benedictine sister -
their knives so feverish
on the shore of both lands,
Norman or Shetlandic...
Silver nitrate turned to yellow,
eyes on postcard revive
one tale of the hareng*.

Poet's note: hareng = herring.

© Nat Hall 2006

Talk of nomadic spirit...

And since tomorrow is unborn, I shan't worry about black or blue ice outside the front door of my home...

4 comments:

  1. You are very wise not to put ice into whisky, nor water either, for they added the exact amount before the distilling process and all that a whisky ever needs is another dram to accompany the first!

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  2. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Heron :))

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  3. Beautiful Nat, I love your work, and the poem;
    All the best my Nordic friend:)

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  4. Thank you so much, sweet Aine :)
    I love yours too!!! :))

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