Category Archives: exmoor

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.

Stone in the Water

Deep plunge pool in the heart of the moor
Centred in spring time unfurling of bracken
Shadowed by a twisted thorn tree
Water pours in over a mossy lip
Large pebbles line the sloping
Glowing colours in crystal water

Something falls
Breaks the surface
Circles upon circles radiate
Contours ripple to a point of disappearance
Sparkle in the dawn light
Stone in the water

 

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Re-blogged from 2016.

Places of Poetry revisited

I’ve mentioned this  poetry project, Places of Poetry, earlier this year :

https://www.placesofpoetry.org.uk/

The aim has been to “prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place.”  Many people have submitted poems and the site is now closed to new submissions but will remain available for readers.

I highly recommend the site as a treasury of original poetry about places across the United Kingdom.  There is a slider to take the map between ancient and modern graphics, and you need to zoom in to find where poems have been pinned.

I have been browsing the site and there are many excellent poems there. I was interested to see that others think of West London as colourless and grey too.

There are poems of mine near Didcot (south of Oxford),  at Iwerne Minster in Dorset, in North Hillingdon, Lake Glaslyn near Lllanidloes, Mid-Wales, at Stratford upon Avon and in the middle of Exmoor.

Happy Hunting, and I’d love to hear any recommendations from you.

https://www.placesofpoetry.org.uk/

 

Rain on the moor

Here on the moor
Rain closes you down
Takes away the horizon
Soaks and settles
Creates hazards
Can flood and kill

Rain lashes at the face
Stinging like needles
Sends cold tendrils down the neck
Seeps into all things
Deepens bogs and fords
Hides the path from view

A rainy day on the moor
Be it drizzle or a squall
Leaves you slipping and tumbling
Heading for shelter
Dripping at the pub or tearoom door
Grateful for the warm and dry

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Fellow Traveller

Drowsing on the wayside
Halfway through our walk
We are stopped
Something rustles and I open my eyes
Raise my head
There in the red tipped grasses of the moor
Stands a doe, ears twitching
Black liquid eyes gazing into mine
Two creatures on the uplands
We exchange something in that moment
Before the nearby bleat of a sheep
Startles us each
And the moment and doe are both gone

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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We live on the high ground

We live on the high ground
Below us the water tumbles and falls, jumping over buried rocks
Water criss-crosses the land  eventually falling to the sea
Life is good here on the high, fresh soil and clear water
Healthy children, full bellies, long lives
Yesterday we sowed seed, laughing and singing
Today the sun is warm and the birds are singing for me
I try to put the birdsong into speech
As we knap flints from the coast
Mother is drawing a circle on the turf near the Family stones
A circle stones of to encompass Grandmother who closes in to death
We will cover her in the soil of home to keep her with us
Here on the high ground

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Originally published in Three Drops from a Cauldron: Issue 11

Places of Poetry

Colin Hill has found a great poetry project :

https://www.placesofpoetry.org.uk/

—It’s open to all and aims to use “creative writing to prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place.”

The site is open for writers to pin their poems to places from 31st May to 4 October 2019. It will then be closed for new poems but will remain available for readers.

I have pinned these poems of mine on the map:

Farm   (pinned near Didcot)

Picking up the Cheeses  (pinned at Iwerne Minster in Dorset)

Rat Trap (pinned in North Hillingdon)

Glaslyn (pinned at Lake Glaslyn near Lllanidloes, Mid-Wales)

At Stratford with William (pinned at Stratford upon Avon)

Fellow Traveller (pinned in the middle of Exmoor)

 

Um, yes I think I got a bit carried away….have you got some poems to pin there????