The Little Isle; An Illustrated Tale of the Realms of Faerie – this magical collaboration is slowly building towards becoming a publication and will feature these words below with the marvellous artwork of New York-based artist and designer Toni DB. For this first edition you will need to content yourselves with my illustrative scribbles which are in here for fun and to help get the process started. Toni’s illustrations will be appearing increasingly in future drafts as I blog the piece in a few stages of development so you will be able to experience the growth towards being ready for a publisher’s consideration. Wish us well on this exciting adventure.
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The Little Isle
Let Snowdrop Fairy flutter,
A crumbling pixy utter,
Does no one now believe?
No one now believe
Rock troll in mountain melds
Where elf-lore was upheld
No longer real belief
Oh, you who once believed
Bumbling Hobb is sadly gone
Where Titania is frowned upon
Doubters scoff belief
Where doubters scoff belief
The fabled ancients say,
As tall tree people sway,
You no longer believe
No longer believe
Jackie Paper blows
With Samwise to goodness knows
The land of disbelieve
Land of disbelieve
Eritrea altered course
White waves leaping horse
Die as you disbelieve
As you so disbelieve
Will o the wisp will splutter,
Wish Fairy dying stutter,
Death of belief
Death I believe
Dragon-heart, Camelot, clover
Flower-painter, cobbler, prince; all over
In doubt you lost belief
All gone, oh yes, believe
Sleepy hill or hidden meadow
Timeless tower or treasured bower
Forgotten to believe
Too modern to believe
The turn of page, the nod of dream
The whirl of pool, the trickster’s scheme
Are all beyond belief
Belief beyond we leave
Let dandelion fly, or white fluff sail
Let all cream curdle, each story fail
Die without you; disbelieve
You do not now believe
No stones open, no princess dance
A swan is just a swan, a frog will not advance
A foolish past believe
They used to all believe
Go sweep the moon, go skip the primrose
Smash the tooth, the lost morose
Forget all once believed
To dwindle we believe
Dwindle we believe
For those of you still wishing
The fey are all diminishing
No matter how you weave
No matter how you weave
Or does a little glimmer stubborn
Provide a tiny isle to live on
In the way that you perceive?
In the way that you perceive
So still the faerie weave
In the way that you believe
In the way that you believe
Say, faerie live today
In the way that I believe
In the way that I believe
Toni; the images are just to fill the spaces for now, I don’t expect they will inspire too often. One thing I realise I have not been too good at is the ‘recipient’; like I’ve done someone blowing the dandelion but not having the dream or looking disbelieving or imagining the white horse etc.
I have very little idea as yet on page layout or font type or font integration.
Footnote: I have been a year thinking of a suitable tale to match the magical work which is to come; I am tremendously excited and fittingly thrilled.
Nerd in Norway; A Spotters Guide – It is actually a report on my performances at Gudvangen Viking Valley, Norway.
I am looking at the stories I didn’t tell and wishing I had fitted them in. But there are other times of course and I am thankful of the times, the many times, I was able to tick a tale off the list.
Ticks, lists, statistics, I am getting into these. Nerdy I am. Becoming a spotter. A lister. A ‘tick-er-off-er-a’.
Long journeys listening to the sixties and memories.
Looking out and listing waterfall world; shadow waterfalls, gentle waterfalls, rainbow waterfalls, multiple waterfalls, tiny waterfalls… I list and tick.
The times of tears might be listed soon. This is a place of many strong emotions – emotions amplified. Moving yes, but everything inside, everything discovered, everything listened to, everything experienced: amplified.
It might be the water. It is everywhere.
As I overheard, “They have water here,” says the tourist on the bus, “all kinds, rain and waterfalls and all kinds. It is like a great big island with sea all around it.”
Now – 61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30, but more on these later, stay tuned. I bet you just can’t wait.
But at last you will get down to where you will read what this blog is actually about – make a second coffee.
I creature spotted – I cheat – I award points for imagination, molehills count (as definitive proof of the existence of a mole), as do beehives and woodworm holes. I play alone and only cheer internally. So that is alright then.
Interlude: A tourist at the hotel sat next to me has a sandwich, a baguette actually, she is eating it with a knife and fork – it is not going well. Wait, (this is my live-feed happening as I am writing), her husband is opposite, (they are old so I guess they are married), he has a suggestion, he is thinking she might do better by picking it up off the plate to eat, she is asking if he means with the hands, and he does, so she is trying it.
I hit sixty! Sixty different creatures. Yes. It included reindeer, firefly, alpaca, llama (duplication cheat), and I saw a thing climbing.
I didn’t count the enormous statue of Georg, (hours away from Gudvangen and surveying a valley where thousands of deer can gather some mornings). That goes on a list with a Roman Villa, hundreds of pre-history pictograms, standing stones, Half-Dan the Blacks funeral mound, concrete bunkers, winged horned gods, actual horned helmets too (oh yes), rock falls, trees on rooves (I gave up at 178 of them), ‘Danger Falling Rocks’ signs – extremely rare here for some unknown reason which I will probably blog about at some point, large fish rings, organic vegetable gardens (sadly a rare occurrence apparently), drummer boys, huskies pulling a white van and sounding like geese, iced coffee to die for, Godt og Blandett Frukt Salad (a must have), salty liquorice fish, trees in rivers, quadrillion-bends, ‘Deer Crossing 0.2 kilometre to 1.3 kilometre’ signs (go figure), naked wrestlers (no she needs to be on a later list which is chiefly flesh-related, as do arm-slings), bear-hunting dogs, armed seven year olds (I will document this more fully I promise), M. Thatcher pictures thanking her for Soft Ic, Pagans, Asutra, twins (no there’s loads), sausage boutiques, and
(Sorry I fell off that list.)
Btw the lady did manage to get most of the baguette in.
Btw 02 if you are someone who puts ‘of’ when you mean ‘off’ I actually hate you, quite actively, vigorously. Just thought you might like to know.
Tourists who are between coach and ferry and stand without looking up at the host of waterfalls.
No stop, don’t even start that list. ‘Tourists’ can wait.
I could write a list of the times people have told me of fearie things – a long list
(Please note; fearie is the topic, the place, or an actual list, not a being or thing.)
of the number of times people have approached me and insisted upon the existence of such and their observation of same. Usually just after I have done a silly story and have danced and pranced.
I know I am neither dancing or prancing in this picture, but I like it
They are very insistent.
I shall list this visit’s oddities.
There are several. Read on because you might be on this list.
The winged-thing will be listed last (damn I have just listed it). There was a drone. I have seen them before over Viking camps, once I saw one shot down by an archer, there were cheers. This one looked like one, but acted funny; shall we say impossibly.
I saw a brown blob. I am almost sorry it wasn’t black – then it would have been an ABB – Alien Black Blob. As mentioned often in Fortean Times magazine. They are officially what you get if you try and take a picture of an oddity. Always. Flying saucers, puma, yeti, troll, big foot, naked huldra; try it, you click, you look later – it’s a blob.
I cannot do other at this point than to instruct you to buy Fortean Times. If you are in the dark on this one search for Charles Fort; “Nonexistence of evidence is not evidence of nonexistence.” etc
My blob was brown, it was moving, it was far away, it was high up, it was climbing. I estimate bear-size.
Mine was above the Georg statue, Alan’s was above Goerg’s house. It was witnessed by many. I will not bother you with the photos of it, they have a distinct element of ABBness.
They watched it though. Crikey it was large. Gosh it was something other than is known. Wow are the hairs going up on our necks as we hear about it. It was tall as a hang-glider, slim as a snowboard, as quick as a skier, it disappeared as quick as a base-jumper. It is documented here, so it is true. There are photographs. It is true about Alien Black blobs too.
Calm down the hairs on your neck a little and read on.
There are wasps.
And this is the interlude where you get to listen to a story. A story. The thing I actually do. Yes, a story.
It involved Anders. He is cool. He is Viking. He talks steady and slow. We listen.
When I talk of the wasp I dance, I do voices, I comb my hair in a beautiful way, I get cross. I am wasp.
Anders simple says
“They are spirit.”
That is why he jumps. This is the only time his smile leaves. The only time the cool goes.
The deep dark growling drawl which is only just within the range of the human ear stays – so listen with your bones.
“They are spirit.”
This is why we should be frightened of them. This is why to be fearful of their sting. For they will sting. It is their intention. To sting.
The spirit which once was and now is wasp, is angry.
Imagine. If you will. To be of another realm. Where all is magical and – kind of – wispy. Then, you human being people stopped believing. Stopped sending all that belief in the magical to the realms around you. They dwindled. They faltered. They ceased. They died.
It is your fault.
The fairies died.
Spirit of fearie is part of this life and is subject to the same lore of living as us – reincarnation.
Can you imagine how cross they are.
Every single morning they wake up, the eyes are glazed as yours are, the brain is slow the same; thinking isn’t easy: “Oh a new day. Which frock shall I wear? I think I will choose a long flowing frock, and then I will comb my long flowing hair, add a few flowers. I will sing to myself blissfully as I skip toward the flowered meadows – and then I will – dance!
I am a wasp!
I am a bl**dy wasp!
No wonder they are angry.
Get ready to be stung.
That may be the end of the story, but not of the list.
There is one more. I can see it. I can still see it. So can the man who told me. I didn’t see it. Neither did he. It is in our mind’s eye. It is about to enter yours. Alan went on the Viking ship. Down to where the fjord walls are tall and close. It is quiet down there. The skipper is quiet; a quiet man. As they flowed, so did his words. To a quiet crew. “Out there it was. By the side of the wall, and only just above the water. The dark thing with wings. I have sailed this way, and other ways, many times. I have never seen such a thing as this ever. It was slowly flying with large angled long slim wings; a suggestion of shape, a definite shape of wing. A timeless slow sense of flying. I don’t know what it was.”I don’t know what it was.
61, 78, 30, 2000 (est.), 30.
Yes here it is. The time. The point of the blog.
I held a story circle each evening and sixty one people came and listened. Some of them popped in briefly, some came every time. Some of them said ‘awesome’ in a quiet voice. Some made tricky suggestions.
I felt young.
My main audience were 15 to 21. I am honoured to be listened to by such. For up to three hours at a time. I still see the faces.
From 61 to 78. I performed alongside others. Vikings flocked to take part in my stories and talks or to join our parade. 78 of them, yes, I worked with 78 co-performers. Some of them, I admit, are duplicates. When someone drummed and marched one day and then acted another day I count them twice. It is still a whole host of willing Vikings.
Each day my chieftain (Olafr Reydarsson, we call him Georg) and I led a group of musicians around the camp inviting everyone to join us. Lars Magnar of course was beside me. We stood upon the holy hill. Our rune-lore master, our Glima lord, our mythology study, our wise scholar of all of the once was, he stood among us, we called upon him, and he unleashed the ancient, the returned, the spiritual, powerful, Galda. That screaming call. It changes your understanding of what it is to be alive.
We welcomed, we warned. We stood upon the stage and we informed, we made fun, we celebrated, we shared, and a host of people from Anabel to T’or Eric filled the floor with their re-enacting. Mainly. We laughed.
We celebrated and laughed with the mayor, with the team who are building our Viking Town, with crafts people, with entertainers, with spiritual leaders, with the dead, with the children who crawled and climbed to be part of this.
And most of the tourists survived.
There were presentations on the new Viking town we are building.
T’or Eric carried a dead body across (Daan) and Anabelle wowed the crowds with her product demonstrations. We even had a guest spot from Lady Shaga and a couple of guys carrying a plank. Vibeke and her team fought to the death and Kjell robbed them.
We even had a slave team run screaming through.
Every day we lined up and were multi-national. The pic below here shows most of the people involved, but one or two weren’t there that day. We had many languages and many accents, including, Scooohtish, posh, New York and Minnesota.
I spent thirty hours in performance. I estimate that two thousand people watched us and I probably spent about thirty hours planning it all.
No, hang on.
I am wrong. I am wrong about the 78. I forgot about the one I wasn’t at. As Holger had been in the news we thought it right to redress the balance and have him kidnapped as a slave. I put the word out through Karyn who whispered while she was braiding, and over thirty women turned up to clap him in chains and wrap him in a net. He didn’t fetch much though.
One more number to finish. As I walked back from the bar I counted 31 waterfalls within sight of the camp.
And an enormous thank you to Angela and Georg for putting up with my trying ways and for making me feel so at home.
The many interesting things told to me while I was working at Barley Hall.
The Nosegay Blog Too
The nosegay experience continues, and as promised in the first instalment, we will be visiting alternative realities, plus jumping hoops and drinking mud (participation is optional)
Yes there are, and they have been seen – elves. Little childlike figures with elven faces skipping around a waterfall, appearing and disappearing. Credible sounding witnesses too. This, I am sure, will be great news for many of my readers; for the many who have approached me to tell me of their experiences. I now wish I had interviewed lots of you personally as it may well have been worthy of an international news feature as in the case of this latest sensational sighting.
Now. I tell stories, and often silly stories, so I am perhaps not one of those credible witnesses, but I am, it seems, a credible pair of ears. I skip about trapped in a fairy ring turning my hat inside out and people come up to me afterwards and tell me very serious accounts of their experiences. Trolls in particular, the littler variety usually; giggling and peeping and following and such (and turning up again later somewhere completely different to remind you); other creatures too, some quite large and all are not humanoid. These tales are most often told to me among the heady environment of Gudvangen in Norway by my Viking friends or by passing tourists, but I do hear tales of places elsewhere; small people of Iceland and the alternative world human sized helpers who wait for you to step through for instance, or the nature spirits fluttering to follow the song-lines of Aboriginal lands. There are lots of sizes and types I am told.
Well. Do any of you identify with the latest creatures to be reported in the news? If any globetrotting fairy searchers are reading this and already have their bags half packed (I am serious for I know a few like this) hold fire. Do not head off to Gudvangen, well do by all means it is a magical place, but read on; we are heading to a far different part of the world.
The reason I was prompted to write about the beings from the Americas is my surprise reaction. I was scared! I am not sure if that feeling will transfer to you as you read on, but you have been warned. There are surprises in store for you, that is for certain.
Yes the Americas, the middle strip. Head there with me now for a few encounters.
The ‘children’ the account of which scared and excited me were spotted in a storm in a national park. They are not the only mystical creatures to be reported credibly in the region however. As well as these particular playful little people there are many reports of ‘Duende’, fantastical spirits or elves, and of course there is folk-lore; long long have people talked of these beings, most often as household spirits, very similar to the Hobb of Yorkshire farms. These creatures are most often talked of in their rural areas, but ‘Duende’ can be complained of in town houses too. They tend to frolic though often cause mischievous disruption. Things go missing, there are sudden bangs to wake you up or right behind you. They are cheeky to say the least. They are no doubt blamed for many a thing which is amiss and unexplainable. Not actually spotted that often, when they are they are described as elf or gnome like and wearing green, sometimes with a red top or cloak.
So it is with the being seen in the nearby Bijagua de Upala who was wearing a red cloak, almost covered by it in fact; a child-like being sat upon a rock by a volcano. Officials from the park say many report being worried for the welfare of this little guy all alone smiling away in the middle of nowhere. The latest sighting of beings cause greater concern.
Although people seem unsettled and challenged when reporting these concerns, there is far more fear associated with the very many reports of Duende visitations. The military academy of La Glorieta has catalogues of sightings and reports with a great deal of fear and worry among the officers and men. This highly respected institution based in a large old castle has the goal of instilling civil, moral and spiritual values. They are connecting with the spiritual certainly!
Reports from all grades are starting to be made public and there are many who fear the guard duty of the early hours, with some quite disturbing repercussions. Residents and guards alike hear whisperings behind them, see objects moving about, and are suddenly touched by unseen hands. Cadets report a heavy and intense atmosphere throughout the area, from the river bank to the depth of the castle. Sudden apparitions. Los Duendes.
Eufronio and Jhonny sat listening from their guard station to bangs and the sound of picks down by the river for long moments, then all went quiet. Then there was the sound of something being dragged towards them. They reported that they knew they should have investigated (one of them is now of the rank of Captain) but they felt such unearthly fear that they hid under blankets. Presently they felt the heavy chains being dragged over them and they lost consciousness.
Not too pixy–like perhaps but the worlds of fearie hold many beings of many forms and motivations. Some are seen. Walter a cadet officer at the time reports small figures appearing, sometimes floating, shadows of smaller beings in dark corners. Talcum powder left sprinkled reveals very small foot prints. Objects appear from nowhere and are missed in another part of the castle. The lightning flashes! This is dreaded. For when there is a storm and a flash of lightning comes, small figures are seen. These figures carry swords.
Mainly they are diminutive but there is also a womanly figure which floats right through you in a long flowing gown; a queen of the fairies perhaps. These are not glimpses into a magical world where one might be enchanted; these are terrifying to the beholders with a real sense of intimidation. This phenomenon is intensifying over recent years and one cadet was admitted to hospital following seizures and talking in a strange language.
We shall put this place behind us, yet for those of you who perhaps would like to know more I refer you to the writings of Alan Murdie in the magazine of those interested in the philosophy of Charles Fort – Fortean Times (you might well read elsewhere, but this is the account I recommend).
Let us move now to somewhere beautiful, to the place I actual intend to report upon; the pathway by the waterfall on the Rio Celeste. Come with me now to the Tenoria Volcano National Park where guides and officials and visitors have had some very magical experiences. Giggling small beings, holding hands and skipping and dancing. They are dressed all in green, bright green, with little dark green hats. The torrential storm and the wildness of the area had no effect upon them, they were happy and lively and going about their own experiences. They were seen and then they were gone.
Gone from sight of humans at least, it seems they are still there living their way in their world which overlaps our own. They step through into vision for many, and there are some among us, I know for a fact, who see such beings more clearly and constantly. I await feedback from my readers who are of this persuasion for further details of these creatures way of life and demeanour.
Yet I should not encourage visitors there. There is another side to these visitations. A chilling aspect. No contact has been made, not even eye contact or acknowledgement of our existence upon this plane, there are interesting reactions however from those privileged to witness.
There is an atmosphere, it is as if you know you should not be part way through to their world. An unaccountable feeling of fear. This feeling comes on before you are witness to the other lives. Homer, one of the guides who has walked that fearful trail tells us how chilled and frightened he felt. He didn’t know quite why he felt this way, but he was shortly to become rooted to the spot. There had been a sudden storm and he had advised his party to join him in taking a short cut at the end of their trail to enable them to return to base quicker. The rain came sudden and heavy, they were instantly soaked, so they went with him, some slightly ahead of him, down a little used path. There is an old path which traverses the bushy growth and comes very near to the entrance to the waterfall where a darker area can be seen within.
He was trying to catch up with the tourists who had got ahead of him when he saw other movement. He stopped, he stared, he could not move. Those before and behind him were also fixed to the spot. Some remembered nothing of this experience whilst most had detailed accounts. It was strange. It should not be happening. It was from somewhere else and yet from right here.
How incongruous to see happy small people in such a wild place and especially in such torrential weather. This environment was not affecting the beings at all. Party members Jennifer and her mother found it strange that a group so small should be alone and unaccompanied. They leaped and skipped as they moved, you could see that they were very very happy. This was not the feeling of the viewer however, especially when one looked into their faces. These were not the faces of children, they were gnome like, like dwarves, beautiful yet ancient in appearance. Her mother later said that a chill had ran through her body for the brief while that she watched these entities traversing the path ahead of them. They were there, they will always be remembered, then suddenly they were gone.
I will not be visiting such a place, but if you do I look forward to hearing from you upon your return.
And to my friends who are spotters of the world of faerie, I am on my way to interview you now…