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.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Writing when travelling

Pondering on the notions of errance and feeling at one with the world in what I might define as "odd" places, (i.e. in airport terminals when in transit between two shores), I recall an experience of pure intellectual vagabondage when, grounded at Aberdeen Airport due to seafog, I sat at a table in a sea of travellers and, in defiance to frustration, I picked my pen & jotter. Time stopped; people's voices turned into a summer breeze. Oblivious to the cascade of flight cancellations, I held tight to those sails of imagination, which transported me to the vastness of the Sahara, sea of sand. ...Scotsmen became Touaregs - this temporary prison, a desert & seafog, a sandstorm.

Once back home on 60N, I immediately e-mailed the piece of verse to Lissa in Australia, who, with David, turned it into a song entitled Parallels.

Here is the original piece.

The Hunch

King of senses,
like desert song –

trick of the heart we sometimes sketch,
like an omen or a white wish;

our will to look beyond glazed now,
we had felt it deep inside us.

When one world sleeps, its brother wakes –
we hang our dreams to parallels,

like little red flags to the wind,
hoisted so high above sandstorms.

Indigo skin on highest dune,
we drink fire among nomads,

earth travellers, desert roses,
as whirlpool eyes turn to the sun.

There, in the heart of our nowhere,
babblers gather after sunset

to blend their song into stardust –
we sit and play with our own drums…

Shadows pour tea behind the veil,
we never knew this would happen –

d of the dream, h of the hunch,
our sundial can’t really lie.

(Nat, Aberdeen, 29 July 2008)

P.S: If you ever fancy travelling to the Northern Isles during summertime, I strongly recommend arriving to our shores by sea. Air links may be convenient but travellers need to accept patience in the face of the fog! Besides, sailing remains the voie royale for the true adventurer, treasure island style!


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. Beautiful lines Nat and beautiful images in that season well in our minds.
    Your ps is correct advice. Sea travel allows our spirit to travel with us intact; whereas by air we leave it behind and it can take a day or two for it to catch up.

  3. Thank you kindly, Lucy :)
    Am glad you're enjoying it.
    N :)

  4. Thank you very kindly, Mr Heron :))
    [*smiling*] Hmmm, yes, I like your concept very much about sea and air tavelling! ...I tru to fasten my spirit very tight when leaving the runway - that cup o tea in the clouds and view above Fair Isle is magic. Although I must confess sailing past it at 4 a.m. and then past Sumburgh Head about two hours later when gannets, arctic terns and fulmars fly all around you really lifts your spirit further! Then, we feel at one with the world :)