What people say:
“Thank you. Your book is so beautiful and a lovely read. Brave, raw, honest. You’ve got to me… I can’t stop thinking about Scotland. Your words are powerful. Thank you.” Christine, UK
“I have just picked up your book and just the first poem gave me shivers. That’s powerful and emotional. I am looking forward to reading more. Great work.” Roy, UK
NeonBooks Literary Magazine review:
Publisher’s website reviews:
Being a fan of poetry and also Scotland… (I live here) I had to read Soul Land.
Perfect for anyone who is after a quick read, who wants to find some peace and tranquil and who loves poetry and nature.
This poetry collection really was a love letter to Scotland and how the author feels about Scotland. There was some beautiful imagery and wonderful phrases that painted a picture of the wildness and beauty of Scotland.
I did really enjoy the poems and language, but wished it was a little longer. I would have loved to read more since I did feel it was a bit short. Still, a lot of the images inspired by her words were wonderful and definitely make you feel like you can see the landscape she’s describing.
I have just picked up a copy of Soul Land and just the first poem gave me shivers. That’s powerful and emotional. I am looking forward to reading more. Great work.
by Roy, UK
The book was a gift and is such a beautiful and lovely read. Brave, raw, honest. It got to me… I could not stop thinking about Scotland for days after. As I also love Scotland it resonated deeply with me and touched my soul. Powerful words.
As an avid reader of poetry, I found this collection to be completely different from anything I’d previously read. This was my first time experiencing transpersonal poetry and at the very talented hands of Natalia Clarke, I’ve found it a most enjoyable one!
I’ve read a decent amount of poetry, especially in the last couple of months, and Soul Land was very unique from all the others I’ve read. I really enjoyed how descriptive the poems were and the beautiful picture the author painted with each poem.
Calming nature poetry about Scotland that will make you want to pick up a walking stick and wander through Scotland’s beautiful landscape and relax your spirit.
Thanks so much for sending me a copy of your book!
I love your introduction and I can feel how much Scotland touches your soul through your words! I’m truly honoured that my painting connects with that feeling!
I love how you write! You write the way I feel!
Congratulations on your book and your poems are simply beautiful!!
by Ann Fullerton
Soul Land spoke to me and my love of Scotland. The pictures that Natalia Clarke’s poems paint in my eye made me long for a trip out into the Highlands.
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Sometimes what once was the centre of your world becomes exhausting, murky and isolating. This year I have opened my eyes to others’ perspectives on that very important thing I had only looked at from my own heart’s perspective. It can be hard to separate heart and mind when the love one feels is all consuming. It is very true what they say about love being blind. Grateful I am for insights and clarity on a picture, which had only ever had one presentation, nothing else compared and something I fiercely and unconditionally protected shutting eyes and ears to anything else in the process. It nearly cost me dearly and took me away in a direction I knew nothing about however much I convinced myself that I did.
Today I looked at that same picture and saw a gloomy, lonely, unwell landscape what before seemed like haven on earth, the only place to live and die. Strikingly it looked back at me as there we both were as if seeing each other for the first time. What an eye-opening experience this summer. I finally admitted and accepted that suffering does not equate eternal bliss, they are polar opposites, yet my attachment to pain, an old pattern, slowly sneaked up into this experience. Being blind was part of the game, part of the lure into a place dark and lonely. Love is a funny thing and that, I understand, relates to all sorts of love, be it for a person, behaviour, place or a certain feeling. We often get blind-sided by what we are not willing to see for the sake of preserving what we think will ultimately bring us joy. When we get out of our heads and step away from this one perspective we can see all the blind spots. The words of others would ring in our ears all at once and suddenly, for the first time, we hear their voices and see their perspective. Being trapped in a love that is projected, idealised can be dangerous, I know it now, as that kind of love will ask you to give up many things and people, who are actually meant to be in your life. Others are like mirrors into our experience, they are there to point out where we are going wrong and take us back into their arms no matter how far we might have strayed. This is a blessing, as what would happen if there was no way back, no one there to welcome us back to a safe shore?
It has been a difficult summer in particular. I found my allies in places I didn’t expect and returning to a home I long forgot provided me with much needed foundation to start rebuilding my experience, anew, in a different way, more kind and compassionate to the whole of myself, not just an isolated part.
Relationships, however, weak, strong, distant or unnoticed are valuable for us all and should be cultivated and cherished even if only for a while, but the most important thing is to notice, to hear, to allow for that hand of help stretch towards us when we don’t know what is good for us. Living in the earthly is fundamental for the spiritual to feel safe – that much is clear. One without the other is limited and it is also the most difficult integration and manifestation there is, the hardest lesson to learn while we remain in this time space reality.
Summer always feels unsafe to me with its unforgiving, merciless sun and the overwhelm of all senses with dense, unpenetrable forests’ paths. I get lost, confused and on edge all of the time, which makes me vulnerable to all sorts of experiences. They hit all at once, relentless dreams, mental states confusion, anxiety, body shutting down its communication. I don’t feel healthy or well during summer and by the end of it I am always exhausted and in a break-down mode in every way. Now with autumn coming, I am finally coming back to myself., back to safety. Relieved I can begin to breathe again. A process of recovery and reconstruction starts all over again, as it does every year. I am yet to figure out a way of working with summer, something, I suspect, is meant to be that exact way, although difficult to tolerate.
Photo: Arielle Vey ariellevey.com
What if I took a breath and I was there
With eyes closed transported into the heart of you
Green, solid, luxurious
You talk to me through the veins of my heart
Within the blue of my throat lies the truth of my devotion
Do you feel it?
In every second of my life dance I step into your cauldron of wisdom
Teach me more
I am open to multitude of your lessons seeping like nectar into all corners of my being
To be, to rest, to love and surrender
I want to keep on knowing the treasure that is you
The wilderness possesses me with its air as fresh and sharp as a blade of grass
My senses entwine with the spirit it holds
Precious, powerful, ancient
I walk the place feeling the roots grabbing at my feet
I need it, oh how I need it
Take me whole, I say,
Swaddle me in mystery and myth so I can become the voice as ancient as eternity
Wilderness feeds me with its elements as vibrant and penetrating as a gaze of a loved one
I surrender to the glory of all it is and become myself at once as a native animal at a distance and wild flowers all around
The wind slaps me in the face and I welcome its magic of removing webs of my unseeing
Immersion in the body of its water engulfs me as the loving and nurturing mother
I am home, fed, alive like never before
A beautiful melody of your heart brushes against a shore
As I stand in trance-like state amidst the symphony that is your waters
Silvery shimmer like a thread connected to my inside
I spill my musings into a flow of the sacred grey depth
Loch Tay is a dream that is continuous
Without interruption it comes to my imaginings again and again
The deep calm waters touch into my unconscious like a life’s mystery never to be discovered
But what an ecstasy it is to wonder
To gaze upon the expansive body that takes me places of indescribable power, beauty and spirit
Like a lover long gone it gently teases with its promise of pleasure
Like the first love long dead it stirs the ashes of my shaken heart into yarning
Like a smoke over the hills it entices me home
Like a river it washes off my worldly doings
You never were mine, will you be mine now?
Will you come like an old friend that never forgot?
Like an old wound that still remembers the pain of love
Will you heal with me in embrace eternal and sacred?
Will you die with me always knowing the love we shared?
Will you come home?