Sampo – A poetic journey about losing and finding yourself

12026554_978649748861614_1430686060_nI sat there outside of Old Saint Stephan’s Church overlooking the graveyard down to the bay. Watching the tide playing its endless game of gaining and letting go. The dust covered the fields in mystic scenery, the wind smoothed my skin and comforted my restless soul. I head up north with many questions in my mind and only the course of time will be able to answer them. To evoke them to me when my soul is ready and the open land took away my doubts about the journey I am on.

I have been invited onto a journey of poetry and music back in time. An exploration of something that has shaped a man who was brave enough to set out on his very own journey to find himself and heal the wound of separation. Today I will listen to this story that has not been told before, it is a personal exposure of honesty and truth and what it means to question yourself: Who am I? Where I am going to? Where do I belong?


Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie are poets from Teesside in the North of England. Sampo is a quest that takes you back into new territory of poetry where the edges from past and future melt together shaping the present moment. Poems told from the very depth of their own hearts and at the same time a voice for so many who lost their lives through the industrial revolution, by following their dreams to build a better future. Knowing that we are all shaped by what has been and what is yet to come. Within that we need to find our very own form. Looking for ourselves out there in this ever-changing cycles of growing and becoming.

Before Andy found himself on a very long journey, he floated around England, got lost in big cities and stranded on many beaches. Always looking, restless searching for that something that has gone missing and was so hard to find. At the age of 30 Andy Willoughby travelled to Finland, heartbroken, but convinced that time would heal every wound. He was in need of space, time and peace. How many of us are aware that the only place we will find this, are the eternal arms of nature?
Over there in Finland Andy Willoughby came across the Kalevala, an epic poetry a mix of finish folklore and mythology. A timeless expression about the beginnings of creation, the earth, the sky, plants and creatures. By reading through this poems he suddenly felt something deep within him. An inner calling that can hardly be described in words but pushed him to the next stage on his transformational journey. The spiritual journey is an inward process that reflects itself on the outside once we are on the track there is no turning back.

When a shaman hears its wake up call there is no need for him to over-think, nor regret, but time to follow the path that opens up in front of him.

The Shamans Song

“I can sing light with the knowledge of bird heart and feather
So wings sprout for a moment from the backs of the listeners

I can sing the cold vas mass of primeval stones
Until the world around me takes on the state of crumbling slate

I can sing the wind in the Baltic reeds around the islands
Into a symphony to soothe the heart of the raging bear king

I can sing the sea into a winter thickening despite its salt
So I can walk across the achipelago in my snowshoes

I can sing the solid earth into soft sucking quicksand
Beneath the feet of bumptious rivals for the bard’s crown

I can sing a village into a town and a town into a city
And with a chosen word or trumpet sound bring them all down

I can sing a single spark into a raging forest fire
Reduce all behind me into black wasteland for the enemy

I can conjure tears as broad as beans from young lover’s eye
Remake the last sound of a cruelly wounded hart

I swear on a good day I can turn a hill into a mountain
And cover its steep slopes with lush green forest

All these things were given me in the floating dreamtime
But sing as I will, I cannot bring you back from the deeps.”

Sitting in this church, listen to poetry, touched by a very personal story I gained a lot. A lot which reminded me how important it is to keep going even if the mist invades the land.
More than often our path is the goal and we need to walk it bravely and proudly with all our heart and soul.
Along this journey Andy Willoughby found his purpose of bringing words into existence. Turning the inside to the outside and express all that is there to tell.

Andy Willoughby has been a huge inspiration for me. Bringing the past and the future together and melt them into the present moment where there is no separation. More than often we can only find this if we allow ourselves to get lost.

Thank you for this wonderful journey, a visit to places where I haven’t been before but to which I will definetly return again and again.

“Let us begin with something small;
a seed, a fresh start, that’s already a result –
more of a point upon a spinning wheel;
a seed is a perfect way of saying sorry,
of starting the whole cycle again, and you,
Joukahainen, what seed do you see in yourself? …….”

– from the Book Sampo – Heading further North

written by Julie

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