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Leir-vík, my Boreal Eden ©

Nat Hall
Sandwick, Shetland
2004

Built on sandstone up east and north
vis-ŕ-vis shore, Bressay's staring...
fair-haired warriors, children of Thor
once christened you
the "muddy bay".
Where water plays with
deep blue skies, stone cut
in hues of raw granite -
summer fills you of its honey,
winter draped with
shimmering lights.
From mighty height, Fort Charlotte cares:
cannons keep watch on
galleons - men
and powder clashed with
marvel (!)
your heart capsized in
flames and blood.
Lerwick, mariners know
you well: in turn,
hanseatic harbour - on
your pontoons, girls'
frantic hands - herring
rekindled your ardour.
Viking homeground, a carnival
of gold and flames each
winter braves;
to this phenomenal
bath of fire, your galley
reddens atmosphere.
Today, sole haven
of pleasure,
your flame flagged as legendary,
for travellers with ease
call you THEIR sanctuary.
Ennobled by all waves, our eiders and orcas,
your hospitality does credit to
the sea.


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