Category Archives: garden

Husbandry

He talks to chickens
Sometimes with their own sounds
Otherwise in English
Discussing the state of the hen house
The undesirability of chickens entering the house
And pooping on our elderly carpet

They themselves have their own opinions
Apparently
The availability of fresh greens in their diet
The joy of scratching about on the shingle path
The delightful crunchiness of dried meal worms
When I suggest that the girls take part in family decisions
In order to address the gender imbalance
I am rejected
They have their own forum
Talking with my husband each day
True husbandry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Tony….

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Fireworks over England (Penny for the Guy)

Flying across England on Fawkes night,
peering down onto fiery blooms
sending light into the night,
bright chrysanthemums burnt to celebrate failed terrorism.
Fireworks and neighbourhood bonfires spark and glow each November
in long and splendid tradition, now organised and commercial.

But where is my Guy Fawkes?
Built each childhood year from old clothes stuffed with straw,
wheeled around the street, “Penny for the Guy please?”,
burnt on the family bonfire amid fireworks bought with the proceeds of my begging.
Tradition lost in a land that wants to go back on itself once more.

We also used to play in the Trafalgar Square fountains,
splashing in icy midwinter,
kissing Policemen at the stroke of midnight,
fraternity with authority on the turn of the year.
Now crowds buy tickets to watch fireworks over the Thames, passively.
We no longer make our own festivals, they are arranged for us.

We need to take back the small anarchies,
set off Fireworks in our own gardens in November,
burn the Guy as effigy of all we are told to be frightened of,
embrace the neighbours, we are all in this together.
Whatever colour or creed.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This weekend, the British celebrate Bonfire Night  with fireworks and large bonfires.  The tradition of burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes on the bonfire has all but disappeared.  We also don’t tend to set off our own fireworks in our gardens anymore, but go to large neighbourhood displays.

Of course, the classic poem, that we all learnt when very young, is:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Scrabbling

I am scrabbling for a word
To describe the noise of chickens
Scrabbling in the garden

It isn’t rustling
The leaves above are doing that
Rustle is a high pitched word
I need a lower pitich
Mustle, grustle
Tustle is what one hen is doing with a worm

Now there’s a sudden outbreak of snail football
The snail always loses

It’s life

On this sunny late October afternoon
Maybe its scrabbling after all

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Topiary

A map in a foreign language is a misheard story.
The path broken by translation. The betrayal of truth
That slips in, knife-quick, between the fireside and the forgetting,
Stripping the stones of all but cautions to take care
As you step between the constructed cracks, the topiary-shaded grass,
Of gardens grown from the bones of unremembered past.

The paper creases with the the grim grip of disappointment,
Lines bend and meld together, new tracklines between
The dead-living things. And so, new stories begin.

Time has slid away from you here,
Paths well trodden and unseen through the depth of years,
Local tales sing little of your legacy,
The trail an ephemeral, skin-thin thing;
Your mounds made a mockery, mirrored in suburban topiary.

Penelope Foreman

 

From her blog ‘Suspicious Mounds’

Source: Archaeopoetry #3 – Topiary 

 

Rainy Day poem

Refreshingly grey day
Cars softly swish past
Light staccato rain
Washing the world clean
Bejewelling my windows
Where muted light
Shines in stopped droplets
Gently loosing blossoms
And wiping them away
Rinsing down new leaves
Dripping from bent over grasses
Soaking the seed bed
Sparking spring growth

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Winter reveals

Winter reveals

The structure of  trees
Stark against the sky
Showing signs of hard pruning
Or scars of storm damage

Sunlight shafting through leafless woods
Illuminates gloomy roads
Reveals which are wild seeded
And which are straight lined plantations

The dark days of November
The artificial brightness of December
January and February chill
All uncover different weaknesses of the human heart

 

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond