Lights : A Speculative poem

Moonlight feathers treetops
reveals hill slopes, shadows gullies
sketches out my beautiful Exmoor.
Lone headlights angle skywards on the west horizon
twisting along the high road.
I watch at the window on this cold night
as the car winds along towards us
(to however may
or may not be listening)
that traitor Moon
will not glint on my rifle barrel.

Gripping the gun with amateurs nerves,
I reach for Eva’s hand
and we hold our breath while
a child cries fitfully in the house.
We all have broken sleep in these remaining days.
We eke out, stand watch, wait.
For what? For a quiet death perhaps.
But in the day we want very much to live
so we tend straggling sheep, shoot rabbit,
go on.

Fear clutches my gut as the car turns past empty houses
and down along our valley road,
and a form of relief washes us as it continues on
following the river to richer pickings in the southern towns.
I move my baby  to feed at my other breast
and mourn the futures stolen from her,
the violence awaiting.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Lights’ was first published in The Future Fire:


14 thoughts on “Lights : A Speculative poem

  1. I don’t think we can have a vision of the present without forebodings like this. Who doesn’t wonder if the collapse comes sooner than later? The location of the poem is perfect — a cold moonlight night, not much visible and a possible threat approaching. Great sense of how much could be lost, too — baby feeding at one’s breast, rifle in hand. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Brendan. I actually wrote this poem last year……..and the very idea of having as gun is very strange to me.

      It’s been very interesting to get american reactions to this poem , not only here, but at its first publication in an American journal where the editors told me it was refreshing to get a downbeat poem about apocalypse (!)


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