Category Archives: garden

Compostable Love

Happy hours are spent caring
for my compost heaps, feeding them
weeds, grass cuttings, kitchen scraps

The joy of opening a lid
limned with curvaceous curling worms
writhing in clammy pink clumps

a welcome puff of warm air
demonstrating that abundant life is
busy about its bacterial business

watching millipedes and centipedes scatter
diving deep into their insectivorous city
that teems with life and death

I look forward to spreading the fine rich proceeds
of all this work by others on my soil

This poem was first published by Bind Collective, November 2021.

Posted here as part of the Open Link Night over at Dverse

In the Garden

Many years ago I planted honeysuckle, roses and a vine
at places along a brand new fence.
This year the vine scrambles over my cherry tree
with blousy leaves and pygmy grapes
the honeysuckle scents the air while
wrestling writhing pink roses that are
so well-thorned they defy pruning.
A purple clematis has stretched over
from next doors, keen to join the lively party.
The presence of the fence is implied only by
marked lean as the opulent weight of green abandon
has cracked the posts sundering their hold
upon the rich earth beneath.
It is evident that Nature, if left, grows
and I wonder what else is waiting for a spring
where it might seed again.

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Seed Guardian’ at Silver Birch Press

I’m very pleased to point out that my poem Seed Guardian is now up at Silver Birch Press.

The poem is about my husband, who not only sells Cheese but is also a Seed Guardian for the National Heritage Seed Library, helping to save rare vegetable varieties for the future.

Seed Guardian by Kim Whysall-Hammond (HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH Series) | Silver Birch Press (wordpress.com)

Two poems up at the Bind Collective

Yay!! I have two poems up on the excellent Bind Collective site:

https://bindcollective.org/2021/11/24/soil/

Compostable Love is all about the abundant life and wonder in a compost heap, while Meditation tells you about sowing seeds , that ‘promise to the near future‘.

Many thanks to Ella & Flo for publishing my poems!

Seed Guardian

I joke that he is now a bean counter
as, indeed, he kneels to count his beans
small white capsules of DNA
strung up on life giving proteins

He needs to send a minimum of two hundred
to a seed bank upcountry, for these beans are rare
a variety that may die out soon if not cherished
grown, saved, stored

A variety that may feed us when times are hard
but only if we keep it, saving for a rainy day

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Tony, who is a Seed Guardian for the UK Heritage Seed Library. The crops we rely on for food need to be diverse so that diseases cannot totally wipe out our food supplies , but agrobusiness concentrates on only a few varieties.

For Earthweal

Friday Poem: The Mower Against Gardens

Luxurious man, to bring his vice in use,
Did after him the world seduce,
And from the fields the flowers and plants allure,
Where nature was most plain and pure.
He first enclosed within the garden’s square
A dead and standing pool of air,
And a more luscious earth for them did knead,
Which stupefied them while it fed.
The pink grew then as double as his mind:
The nutriment did change the kind.
With strange perfumes he did the roses taint,
And flowers themselves were taught to paint.
The tulip, white, did for complexion seek,
And learned to interline its cheek;
Its onion root they then so high did hold,
That one was for a meadow sold.
Another world was searched, through oceans new,
To find the marvel of Peru.
And yet these rarities might be allowed,
To man, that sovereign thing, and proud,
Had he not dealt between the bark and tree,
Forbidden mixtures there to see.
No plant now knew the stock from which it came;
He grafts upon the wild the tame,
That the uncertain and adulterate fruit
Might put the palate in dispute.
His green seraglio has its eunuchs too,
Lest any tyrant him outdo,
And in the cherry he does nature vex,
To procreate without a sex.
‘Tis all enforced—the fountain and the grot—
While the sweet fields do lie forgot,
Where willing nature does to all dispense
A wild and fragrant innocence,
And fauns and fairies do the meadows till
More by their presence than their skill.
Their statues, polished by some ancient hand,
May to adorn the gardens stand,
But how so’er the figures do excel,
The gods themselves with us do dwell.

by Andrew Marvell – 1621-1678

This will be the last Friday poem for a while — it’s becoming a chore choosing them…..