Hygge Feature #5 Kaddy Benyon

Today I am featuring two poems by the same poet, because they go so well together. Kaddy Benyon is something of an expert in Hygge. She tells me: “‘Winterlight’ was written during my residency at The Polar Museum in Cambridge when I made a research trip to a forest in Northern Finland and tried my hand at reindeer herding.  ‘Nest, Eigg’ was written during a residency with The Bothy Project this time last year, when I stayed in a tiny hut alone during Storm Gertrude.”


Afterwards, I bathed in winterlight –
lolling in her copper tub, my eyes
raised high to the blackening smoke
hole gasping the last of my spirit’s

wanderings.  I soaked until bloated
stars shrank back to invisibility
and a woozy sun lumbered above
the horizon to spread its pale fingers

around birchbark pots of buttermilk,
cloudberries, runes.  I curled myself
by her stove, fingercombed my drying
hair, every so often lifting the kota’s

flap to watch her scry the ice; to listen
to her winter tongues twist ancient
songs around her milky reindeer feeding
on lichen, moss and handfuls of salt.

Kaddy Benyon

* A kota is a tent-like nomadic dwelling used by Saami reindeer herders in Northern Finland.

Nest, Eigg

It was John-the-Bird who warned me
to be careful when out walking the moors
not to step on a hen harrier’s nest
camouflaged in the wild gold grass.

I tread warily even inside the bothy,
afraid I may break something,
afraid I may break myself
on my changeable, untameable

inner landscape.  I’ve come to feel
sheltered here: a chick tucked up
in its shell-domed sac and warmed
under a yolk of lamplight.  Afternoons

and I’m coiled under a tartan blanket:
two oatcakes, a hot tin mug of fennel tea,
leafing through Camille’s History
of the Island as the light outside putters out.

Kaddy Benyon

Photo credit: Angela Topping




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2 responses to “Hygge Feature #5 Kaddy Benyon

  1. lovely! esp the first one for me!

    Joan Leotta Author, Story Performer “Encouraging words through Pen and Performance” Giulia Goes to War, Letters from Korea, A Bowl of Rice, Secrets of the Heart. now available from Desert Breeze Publishing Simply a Smile–collection of Short Stories WHOOSH! Picture book from TheaQ All are on Amazon in paper and e-form Free mini-poetry book to download http://www.origamipoems.com/files/Books%20/2016/Joan_Leotta_-_Dancing_Under_The_Moon_2016R.pdf http://www.joanleotta.wordpress.com 910-575-0618