Across the road

Was a whole different universe,
of course the road was the A40
or the Western Avenue as we called it then.
One side urban west London
the other a seemingly limitless sprawl of brambles
riddled with paths sized for squeezing small children
as if the local mothers had arranged it so
that adults could not blackberry but only
give instructions from the edges.
Everyone brambled in summer
red stained children limping home
at days end with huge leaking bags of berries
and a future full of pies and jam.
The real magic of that place was a stream
clear and sparkling, running over pebbles
in places deep and wide, where
baby brothers could be washed
and drinking cups filled.
The shallows were my solitary joy in spring when
armed with a net and an empty jam jar I searched for
blushed red male Sticklebacks, to bring them home
and watch them, marvelling at
their writhing sinuous shapes,
those outsized blue-green eyes
the sharp stickles on each back.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Taking part in Sarah Connor’s challenge over at Earthweal.

Here’s Sarah’s prompt:

“So, for this prompt, I’d like you to think about how you first felt connected to nature – maybe as a child, or as an adult. Some of those lost words may inspire you, or you may have your own lost word (or world?) that gave you a sense of wonder at the natural world around you. Maybe you collected caterpillars, or watched birds on a bird-table, or squatted down to watch beetles, or looked up to see squirrels in the treetops.”

Chorus

Serenading light’s rising,
waking at a first feeble glimmer
creeping from the east.
Each bird a separate voice
whole body singing from tails depth.
Performing a duty since the original melodious call
heralding dawns radiance
thankful for a daily miracle.
Worshipping warmth’s return
and the new day.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Climbing a beech tree in your parents’ garden

A truly wonderful poem from Sarah Connor. Enjoy!:

Fmme writes poems

You will come to a place
where you can stop,
back pressed against the trunk –
a place where you can feel
your soft limbs branch and stiffen,
and the sap pulsing under
your skin, and all your thoughts
are nests and breezes,
and the taste of sunlight,
and the tree holds you here,
like a father holds a child –

Or maybe
your father hoists you up
onto his strong shoulders,
so you can peer through
the green leaves of his hair,
over the fence to where
next-door’s cat lolls in the sunshine
and the old lady jabs
at her flowerbed

and now two butterflies
spiral up towards you
and a bird swoops in
to land upon a twig

and no-one else can see
the tree-ness of you.

I’m hosting at earthweal this week, and asking you to think about how children connect with nature. Or adults, I guess. 

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Poetry meeting minutes

The committee agrees
That poetry should be heard and not seen
The hearing impaired will be given the poem
Realised in interpretative dance in lieu
Of sign language translation.

The committee decrees
That all the stuff about whether Instagram
And Landmark poems are actually poetry
Is taking more time to sort out than expected
So it all will be on next months agenda
The chair is looking forward to being on holiday then

The committee is resolved
That rhyming shall be a crime best dealt with
By poetic justice. In fact rhythm is also suspect
As is meaning.

 

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Friday Poem: August

Every year, the bright
Scandinavian summer nights
fade away without anyone

noticing.

One evening in August
you have an errand outdoors,
and all of a sudden
it’s pitch-black.

A great warm, dark
silence
surrounds the house.
It is still summer,

but summer is no longer
alive.
It has come
to a standstill;

nothing

withers, and autumn
is not ready to begin.
There are no stars yet,
just darkness.

The can of kerosene
is brought up from the cellar
and left in the hall,
and the lamp is hung up
on its peg by the door.
Day by day,

everything

moves closer
to the house.

 

By Tove Jansson

Baby Brother

This wonderful poem from Glenys has really taken me back to dressing up my little boy for the school pickup–he had a Loch Ness monster hat!

lifecameos

Baby brother is dressed up
to collect his sisters from
school st home time.

Great Grandma knitted his bright
striped beanie, cousin Paul grew
out of the dashing dinosaur leggings;
little friend Oliver passed on the
jacket with Barney on it. The
tiny tartan sneakers came from
Sarah over the road, she’s at
kindergarten now, nearly a big girl.

Yes the big girls at school
will gush and coo and gasp
over him – he enjoys that already.

Mummy thinks he is cool too.
Holding him on her hip she
tickles his ribs with her free hand.
He giggles and wriggles
wiggles and jiggles
chuckles then shrieks
gleefully, joyously
grinning from ear to ear
energetically, excitedly.

It’s a happy day today !

Previously posted November 2016.

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STAR TIME

I love this poem from Damian and where it goes at the end. Enjoy!

best poetry blog in the cosmos

STAR TIME

we sat
under the night sky

making love
to the stars

matching them
with their names
figuring out
new ones

trying to make each
star-naming moment
a special
ultimately
memorable experience

until
longing for a star
of our very own

we decided
to birth one

and
having no uranium
no plutonium either

loaded the microwave
with every item of kitchenware
aluminum and iron
and high tec appliances

set the dial
to hyperdrive

and aimed
for the Sun

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The Network Engineers

Me and my lads in the office
We like to chat and to call
Laugh at how shiny Nicks head is
And tell Andy he’s not very tall

It’s a big open plan sort of office
With desks jammed in several rows
We laugh and we joke and we banter
And everyone shares what they know

The boss really don’t like to come here
Looks down his nose on our fun
Says our chat is inappropriate
But without us his Network won’t run

We configure, programme and monitor
Run a network no one will believe
Complex, fast and enormous
We are proud of what we achieve

Whilst fingers dance over keyboards
And engineers cable in floors
I manage them and also I love them
For the jokes they put up on the doors

So my lads and I sit in that office
If we aren’t out mending the kit
Share pictures of Katy’s new baby
And tell David he’s not very fit.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

This poem is a hymn to the team of Network Engineers that I had the pleasure to manage several years ago.  It was written in response to Jim Feeney’s Lads Poetry Project. His poems are a lot better than this one, here’s an excellent example :

https://stopdraggingthepanda.com/2020/07/08/rob-the-lads-poetry-project-3/

This poem is also part of the dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night:  https://dversepoets.com/