Category Archives: beauty

Summer’s loss

Heart broken she withdraws
as every winter
into dark soil
as every winter

The promise of the stars nightly turning
the sinking and turning of constellations
the track of planets wandering  across the sky
say that she will return

Time past she was encouraged
by midwinter fires
now we trust to orbital mechanics

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Chalklands

Chalk undulates across Southern England
Hills, gentle yet steep
Can be overtopped by clay peppered with flints
So treasured by the old folk

As old as the hills is true here
The chalk is a two hundred million year ocean
Stiffened and folded over time
By our living planet

Several human species
Have hunted  in these valleys
Have dug into and sculpted these hills
Have left their ghosts for us to trace

The ancient monuments we treasure
Hill forts, stone circles, long barrows
Are but modern remnants
Compared to the first folk

My hills have deep roots

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Standing on Dunkery

Any hill will do
They all are sacred, but
Dunkery at twilight
As mist seeps up from
Purple heather
Horizons broaden out
And valleys settle into shadow

Sheep bleat, asking for their land back
But we walk the broad path
To a scattered mound of stone
Skirting nervous wild ponies
As the sun paints them golden

Ponies never ask, it is always theirs
As it belonged to the mound builders
Five thousand years ago
As it belongs
And doesn’t belong
To us all
But especially tonight
To me and mine

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Written in response to this weeks EarthWeal challenge “Sacred Landscapes“. Exmoor is very special and it’s highest point, Dunkery Beacon, even more so.

Glass bottomed boat

 

Swaying bobbing we peer through the hull
Eagle Rays swish beneath us chasing the unknown
Light glints on a startled shoal sashaying across the rocks
Gas bubbles up from volcanic clefts
Crabs glance sideways, looking for the main chance

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Day 3 of our virtual Azores holiday!

 We will be there all week — a poem a day to fly you away……

Azores Evening

Moonlight  has banished an ocean of stars,
pouring  molten silver across the water.
Murmuring waves remember a primal ocean,
write poetry in their foam,
erase the day from a busy beach.
A harsh breeze crashes across treetops
as if breaking on a coral reef
and distant sea-birds call evenings end,
sharp disembodied sentinels of the night.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The first evening of a glorious virtual holiday in the Azores. Enjoy!

 We will be there all week — a poem a day to fly you away……

Sky

The sky seduces me
fills my eyes.
Staring out at grey rains today
blessedly cooling
remembering white noons
brick red sunsets, lemon dawns
whales breaching, jellyfish jellying
wind in hair and lungs
exhilaration and joy
memories that tip toe in
hand in hand with all my loves and woes
happinesses, griefs.
I hum songs of the sky
her shadows and canvases
float in my own internal ocean
drift and dream.

Each time I see her, I am joy.

 

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Friday Poem: May Day

A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Is everywhere.

Red small leaves of the maple
Are clenched like a hand,
Like girls at their first communion
The pear trees stand.

Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;

For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?

by Sara Teasdale

Friday Poem: I am listening to Istanbul

I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
First a breeze is blowing
And leaves swaying
Slowly on the trees;
Far far away the bells of the
Water carriers ringing,
I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
A bird is passing by,
Birds are passing by, screaming, screaming,
Fish nets being withdrawn in fishing weirs,
A woman’s toe dabbling in water,
I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed.

I am listening,
The cool Grand Bazaar,
Mahmutpasha twittering
Full of pigeons,
Its vast courtyard,
Sounds of hammering from the docks,
In the summer breeze far, far away the odor of sweat,
I am listening.

I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
The drunkenness of old times
In the wooden seaside villa with its deserted boat house
The roaring southwestern wind is trapped,
My thoughts are trapped
Listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
A coquette is passing by on the sidewalk,
Curses, sings, sings, passes;
Something is falling from your hand
To the ground,
It must be a rose.
I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
A bird is flying round your skirt;
I know if your forehead is hot or cold
Or your lips are wet or dry;
Or if a white moon is rising above the pistachio tree
My heart’s fluttering tells me. . .
I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed.

by Orhan Veli Kanik

translated by the poet Murat Nemet-Nejat

…and I admit, this time the poem comes not from my poetry bookshelf, but from Leonard Durso’s glorious website leonarddurso.com

Also, we should have been in Istanbul last week, but Corona got in the way.  :(