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



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.

Friday, 26 February 2010

From "hellery" to heaven

Wow, the past 48 hours have been felt like a rollercoaster on this North Atlantic outpost!

Poet's log -

Thursday 25 February 2010

All Shetland schools shut since Tuesday. Pupils & staff awaiting their fate for the day... Eyes riveted to my window: no pink sunrise - the whole of the sky, titanium grey, filled with snow. 
Hey, here's a boannie Shetlan wird, a hellery - or nightmarish weather, traditionally, horizontal rain... Not today though. Thursday would see horizontal snow from about 07:20 till late at night.
Utter "whiteout"! (It got so bad the Northern Constabulary ordered folk not to travel...) 
Thursday's hellery, in a few shots:

With snow levels rising thoughout the day, I felt our growing  willow trees and composter would not give in to the arctic wind - well anchored in this sea of ice.

My NB based fellow maritimer & poet Donna Allard later confessed that we had more snow in Shetland than she had in Richibucto. ...Unreal!

I called that day "white Thursday".

whipped by the wind,
wiped out landmarks, traps in terrain...
whimsical world we watch
now we are free.

Heavenly world, Friday 26 February 2010

The light is back, the wind, asleep. Am listening to one of my alltime favourite albums, Aerial's Sky of Honey, by Kate Bush. Light peeps through the double curtains. It's a good sign - sign that our world sparkles again thanks to a shameless nordic sun.  With a long weekend under way, I am in need of a wild walk after lunchtime. The air may sting my eyes and skin but I don't care! ...Remember that Finnish proverb about bad clothing. Yet first of all, I must not forget  our avian friends, dashing blackbird, wren and starlings. I have leftovers from last night - chick peas Provencal style... Their resilience to stay alive in such harsh conditions must not be taken for granted. I also soak old bread. They ken too well our friendship bond...

Here's to Friday bathing in sun :)

...What a lovely afternoon, as Kate would sing so graciously. 
My winter cold triggers dry cough and walking around the southern edge of our village helps clearing out my throat :).
Clean and fresh air fill lungs and heart whilst sun warms my face. Magic moment.
...What better way to feel at one with our whole world?

As am walking back to the hearth, I hear Skydiver in my head... Its original poem, as published in Canada's poetry magazine Poemata last year.

                With renewed thanks to Mr Morgan    
                for his phantoms.


    “We have increasingly become phantoms.
                        … To Jupiter to Hell and any place…”

                        I look at you from out of space,
I see great rifts, long mountain chains,
cyclonic eyes steamed up with rain,
white against blue.

I need to delve in that membrane
that protects you –
I might burn through your stratosphere,
my heart feels like a meteor.
Gravity retracts all my fears.
I look a spider in your sky –
I’m still looking for your garden,
stretch of heather you call Eden,
let me open my parachute.

                        It’s like a dream,
strangest of game –
I braved your shield to hear your song,
            I dared to dive,
                        I still have stardust on my suit.

© G2G 2008           


  1. Hi there, The Villager :)
    Thank you for dropping in.
    Yes, it is very impressive in winter as it is in summer! ...And more so at the moment :))

  2. Snowy scenes make beautiful photographs, for I do like the way in which it carries the light and shapes the ground.

    Yet for old bones that feel the cold it is better seen on a postcard, than experienced!

  3. They do make beautiful postcards, Mr Heron :)
    Thank goodness, our spring equinox is now beginning to loom on the horizon - just under 3 weeks, isn't it? Then your heart will take you out :))

  4. beautiful photos and words...thank you

  5. Hi, I love Norway, and all things related with nordic culture.
    Your blog is great, cheak mine!
    It is in portuguese, but you can translate it!

  6. ok I'm seing that you don't live in Norway, but the ambient is amazing!!!!All that snow!

  7. Ola Joao :)

    So you love Norwegian, Scandinavian culture?
    Fantastic! Although we are geographically west off it, Shetland is very much part of it! Why not dig in its history and you will find that the archipelago feels more Scandinavian than Scottish in places! :)

  8. And, oh, Shetland, together with Orkney ("The Northern Isles") lies at the crossroads between Norway, Iceland and Scotland. Such geographical position makes us share more than a common heritage :) ...And yes, snow too!
    Thank you for your very enthusiastic comments :)