Category Archives: art

His Pencil

It is missing him I can tell
mourning his deft touch, firm but gentle hold

It has been in the filing cabinet drawer
in a muddle of discarded stationery
since the world
as I planned it

It asks for Dad, but I cannot say where he is
instead I ask it about the last drawing it made
and it trembles, remembering pudgy three year old fingers
clutching it as they outlined a tigers sharp teeth

I was hoping for a memory of Dads art
as most of it is as gone
as he is

Then it tells me of the many years
stuffed in a drawer of tools
in the house I grew up in
where it and Dad
learned to forget what they had done together
in that glowing youth of expectations
and dreams

All too soon I will be older than
Dad was when he was taken
in the meantime his pencil and I
make new memories

Copyright © 2023 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Painting and Poem: Art for my sake

P1180444Art for my sake

Brush in hand
I decide on the first stroke
Relieved to have got this far
Having chosen what to paint
Searching through ideas
Then mixing the colours
A bit of this
No, not that
Thinning, adding
Contemplating the paper
That moment of peace
Before I take action

Both painting and poem Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Cold cold morning

November, and you stand in your mobcap
that hated worn black gown
look up at the big house, lit and warm
your tear-stained face pale as the mist
a mist cold as the employer that has told you to leave
leave the one job that feeds your family
family bereft of a father or sons to work
servant work you despised, literate girl that you are
work you so needed

Beggars can’t be choosers

But once the son of the house chose to court you
and you rebuffed him
your days there were numbered
have been sent home without a reference
on a chill winter morning
so you stand in your mobcap, your servant uniform
look up at the big house, lit and warm
weep for the hungry mouths at home
those so small sisters

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem has been written in response to a prompt at Dverse, where we are asked to respond to one of four paintings. I chose John Atkinson Grimshaws painting entitled A November Morning (1883). I looked at the painting (see below), saw the servant girl looking up and her story just came to me.

John Atkinson Grimshaw – Shipley Art Gallery. Title: November Morning, Knostrop Hall, Leeds. Date: 1883. Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 61 x 86.4 cm. Source: I have changed the light and contrast of the original photo.


A non-poetry post! Some of you may know that I also paint. During the pandemic I took up life drawing via lessons over Zoom. I have a wonderful teacher, Tanja, at Jolly Sketcher.

September is promoted as a month to draw each day, via Sketchtember:

So Tanja is encouraging her students to do a bit of life drawing each day. Here’s her prompts for the first few days:

….and here are my sketches for the first three days of the month:

My right hand!!

Done from a photo found online

A very fast sketch of my feet, done with a biro on an envelope while waiting for dinner to cook this evening!


Amsterdam and Leonid turns up at a friends house
with a case of ikons and art
new identity papers
no longer a Russian
but a proud Ukrainian
selling treasure for hard currency
to build a country
we traipsed with him around dealers and auction houses
awkward in an unfamiliar world
waiting for bona fides to be checked
deals to be made
I wonder where you are my friend
cannot understand how it came to this
how dreams shatter
conceptions of nationhood crack
peace shatters into sharp fatal shards

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond