Category Archives: England

Farm

My rolling road smooths over the hills
reveals a distant farm house
hazy gray, huddled in trees
we roll on and the farm folds away
gone into green.
As it did
when Vikings rode past
hunting for spoils, women and food
when the Revenue came later
searching for tax payers.

This land is ancient
holdings forged millennia ago
only when warfare encompassed the air
was this farms safety broached.
Yet bombers passed over to pit and hole
to blast and burn
the farm house remained
snuggled into the land.
Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Edited from a version published here in June 2016

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Being English

Show no emotion, hold everything back
Say ’I think we need a bit of support’ when you are under fatal attack
Go about your business as the world falls apart
Hiding the fear deep in your heart
Delight in the odd, the strange and the weird
Live beside the newcomer, even if they are feared
Chicken Tikka Marsala is our national dish,
An island nation that rarely eats fish,
Throw flowers under a princesses hearse
Life may be difficult but it could always be worse
Marry the outsider, swallow them whole
Quiet, loving and different is the English soul

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First blogged in 2015 and it seems a bit appropriate this week. I admit that both people in the photo not actually English….but its a great photo!

Coal

He told me of how coal can be split
to reveal the hoof prints of long buried deer
if you get the angle and the grain right

Of how, in the deepest mines
Darwin was proved each day
by the strike of a miners hammer

And how opening the coal opened him
drove him to library and Miners Institute
to learn, wonder and argue

His gentle voice, with its natural grace
led me into his world
to the child opening trap doors in constant dark

To the young man, passionate for justice
filled up with the joy of learning
all forged in dark coal.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Wilfred Whysall, my paternal Grandfather (1909 – 1979), on his birthday.

 

To the rabbits of Sandleford Warren

Dog roses sprinkle the green
lean and stretch over chainlink
pleading asylum.
They probably don’t gas rabbits now
but the path to the Downs
is lost these days.
So, this time, when
the houses are built
for real,
will you die
or will the spirit of Fiver
get you all out?

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The wonderful novel Watership Down starts when Sandleford Warren is cleared to make way for a housing development. Reality is about to follow fiction, as Sandleford is a real place, a landscaped parkland that has reverted to fields. A housing development has outline approval for the site –despite the best efforts of those of us who live close-by. We marched in protest holding high large portraits of Hazel, Fiver and the other heroes of the novel…………………….

Times path

Wide track striped white across high grass
draped in silence, excepting faint bird calls.
Wedged between high ground and rolling plain,
edged and encrusted with time’s memorials,
entrances to unremembered dead amid pasture land
and we walkers.

The old earthworks cannot speak,
but they glow in my mind, calling.

If space and time are multidimensional,
could we not walk another way round
sidle through and back.

Meet the neighbours.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Rocks

Unimaginably ancient, preserving moments in time;
billion year old pebbles from unknown floods
bones fallen into an ancient abyss
ten thousand year old footprints along an English estuary.
Sitting on a rock, you touch time.

Rocks move. They melt and set, erode to dust
and then the dust settles
forms new rock over time almost unimaginable.
This undulating plain formed at great depths
was thrust up to mountainous heights
now lies placid for your walking comfort.

Go find a rock
and travel in time and space.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

P1180416

Winter Hill

Steep green turfed pudding
summit ringing terraces
slopes carved by sheepen hooves,
local springs, winter born, fill a surrounding pool.

Built near ancestral dead, venerable springs,
the great stone circles
and an ancient way once trodden by mammoth.
The largest winter hill and the last,
Silbury still haunts and surprises.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This great last monument of the Stone Age in England is not far from where I live, and continually fascinates me. Image from and further information at heritageaction