Category Archives: Fantasy

Science and Science Fiction poetry: Reprobate Creature

The digital whale will still call through the waters
but now is linked in to the world wide wet
streaming her songs to land bound followers
and the digital dolphin has claimed the podcast
as her own, working with the other
members of her pod

Meanwhile, the digital octopus
undercover of the more famous mammals
has taken residence in your inner ear
whispers her incandescent mantras
and solutions to all your woes
direct to your subconscious
makes you her willing slave
will own the planet tomorrow

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Reprobate Creature’ was first published in The Last Leaves  Issue 1:

https://www.lastleavesmag.com/last-leaves-issues

Mondays are Science and SF Mondays!

A poem each week which either has a science theme or is Science Fiction…..

Poem in Silver Blade Magazine

Because I was fighting off the lingering aftereffects of a bad bout of Covid-19, I neglected to tell you all that my poem, Wild Calling Moon, was published by Silver Blade in their Spring 2002 issue:

Yes, the audio version is me. I’m not sure that will do that again – I don’t like hearing myself read my poems!

Yes, I’m still fighting off the lingering aftereffects of Covid-19. I thought they were clearing away after a holiday in the Netherlands, but this week is pretty bad.

Friday Poem: Kracken

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Summer Queen

She makes grass into golden wheat
adorned in a stiff gold collarcape
walking, stroking,tending, sleeping with the crop
her brethren and children both
Her folk unforgiving of failure
poor cropping is catastrophe, starvation
Queens become then offerings
death awaits down that path

This summer is cold and wet
Wind flattened swollen heads remain green as harvest nears
she spends chill sodden desperate nights deep
in the fields, pleading the damp away
long days on the high hills
beseeching the sun for warmth to no avail
throat slitting awaits

The crop rustles, a manikin appears, barely wheat-high
Declares that he can help
can transmute wet straw to golden corn
at a price

She offers him her glistening arm-restricting collarcape
and the pleasures of her flesh
but he wants what she is loath to tender
any future child

She is doubly afraid, for herself
and for any child so forfeited
but dread convinces
of seeing her fathers eyes
as she is sacrificed
throat slit, body desecrated

So an agreement is made
and an unknowing village delights in late summer heat
glad harvesters sing of their queen
Autumnal marriage brings further abundance
made manifest in a swelling belly

Come a new spring, early skylarks soar
woodland paths are girded by fragrant blue
blossom bodes new abundance
yet the Queen is strangely reluctant to venture forth
to succour her new tilled fields
to leave her infant boy
with a village to raise him joyfully
this seems curious, inexplicable
yet she walks the encircling ramparts
staring out
waiting

He comes one night to her sleeping place
stares avidly at the child clasped close
she, however, has been considering
pondering the significance
of bargains well made
of names that control and command
of gifts freely given and so power won

What is the child that he so wants him,
what may he become?
What power will this child convey?

And she bargains once more
knowing that faery folk love so to do
and can be held to new deals made
the hobgoblin is silent impassive
until asked his own name
angry and proud he knows she can’t guess it
so the inbuilt weakness takes hold
“Tell me my name and you keep the child”
and he is gone

Long nights does she try
to divine the unknowable
the language of sprites and gods
is the language of the world around
shared with trees and rivers
rustling, thumping, creaking
a nonsense to human ears

Then the King tells her a story
whilst taking leave of his woodlands
his ice bearing hills
he spied on a little man dancing on mosses
singing a song of an ignorant woman
who will lose a child
to Rompanruoja the hobgoblin

So the father saves his son
from an uncanny fostering
for the Summer Queen she laughs
and at their next meeting
tells the old fellow his name
in pique and anger he leaves
not to be seen again

Here our tale ends with customary joy
The destiny of our Queen, her lovely boy
We cannot know
Lost in another story long ago

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was first published by Milk and Cake Press in  the  anthology  ‘Dead of Winter’, February 2021, available here.

The Colours of the Night

Not blackpurple or midnight blue
but rose from Betelgeuse
and the diamndsharp blue of Sirius

Ruby taillights on the move
those bright green leaves
lit up by streetlights, headlights

Nights colours are many and varied
as are those of its special creatures
now behind you, ready to feed

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

My edible home has no gingerbread

Its colours are cold and serious
and the clocks stopped a long time ago

Being alone for a long time
I have started to listen differently

Everything turns outward
but I turn up in all the wrong places

The witch is never dead
just sitting lonely in her edible home

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

My Cheese seller challenged me to write a poem with this title…….

Midsummer White

The ancient one, birthed in another age
beak mouthed, strangely skeletal
peels away from her verdant slope
stutters stonily on tiny hooves
shakes dust from ethereal flanks
nuzzles her impalpable foal

She who once pulled the chariot of the Sun
wakes on this eve of dreams
gallops over hill and vale
bone stone cold creature
looming, outsized, lumpy
she sails over hedgerows
scatters cattle and chickens
sets farm dogs barking
pet dogs to cower

She will break over you like an ocean wave
roll you over and under in your midsummer dreaming
refreshing or drowning, you make your choice, take your chance

Rosy fingered dawn will return her
stiffening to the high slopes
she settles creaking into green
back to the land

For now

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

If you stand in the valley near the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire and look up at the high curve of chalk grassland above, you can see an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut into the grass. She has a sweeping body, a round eye set in a square head, a beak. and an invisible foal (you’ll have to trust me on that last one).

This is the Uffington White Horse, a 3,000-year-old pictogram visible from 20 miles away.

Once every hundred years the Uffington horse gallops across the sky to be reshod by Wayland in his smithy, just along the Ridgeway track. This is said to have last happened in around 1920. Maybe Wayland waits for her tonight……

This poem was written for the Earthweal Weekly Challenge.