Category Archives: Ghosts

Bye bye Blackbird

Last spring the laurel hedge by my window was empty
No chirruping, calling, no rustling of glossy leaves
No fledglings edging off the nest onto twigs and then the adjacent fence
No wobbling and frantic flapping as parents patiently cajole
No triumphant flights to the Rose bushes
Only to tumble to the grass
As the chosen twig was too thin

I didn’t see a blackbird in my garden all summer
An oven of a season, hot, glaring, unseasonal in England
I mourn the fathers melodies, sung full voiced to advent dawn
The mother following me, chatting as she pirated fallen chicken feed
All those babies, remember the funeral my small sons conducted
For a tiny one found dead mid-lawn

Our erstwhile neighbours
Missing, presumed…..?

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A second poem written in reponse to Earthweal’s challenge ‘Ghosts’ at

https://earthweal.com/2020/01/13/weekly-challenge-ghosts/

Please go and see what else is there!

This poem is also a direct reponse to Sumana Roy’s poem “Bring them Back”

https://gangulisumana60.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/bring-them-back/

 

Too hot, too hot

Like tracks in the snow
Little lives go
In our melting

 

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Not the poem I thought I was going to write, but the one that came. Another is brewing, but this one is for all the small lives lost in forest fires everyhere…..

Written in reponse to Earthweals challenge ‘Ghosts’ at

https://earthweal.com/2020/01/13/weekly-challenge-ghosts/

Please go and see what else is there!

The Funeral

There is a ghost at your funeral today
a face so familiar, still loved
my friend, your wife
gone these twenty years
now you too have left us
we all stand stunned
grieving
missing your expansive
presence in our lives

Looking over the crowd
I see eyes, cheek bones, jawline
the image of her mother
your much loved step daughter
wiping away fond tears

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This summer we lost Martin Hoare. A great presence and a good friend. We were standing-room only at the funeral, his coffin was a TARDIS and the committal music was the Dr Who theme tune — which turned out to be quite moving. At the end, we all sang ‘Always look on the bright side’ and we all had tears running down our cheeks.

….and then as we left, I saw the ghost…..

Burning

English summers, often damp, can invoke long stifling twilights
nothing landbound needlessly moves
contrails crayon across the sky
so many, this close to London’s hub.
Distantly, the buzz of a low plane, pleasure rider reaching up
into the realm of the starlings as they susurrate
a car comes past in the lane droning away round the curves
here the runway cross remains
the old tower still stands intact
as ponies munch and cattle chew
larks lurk in the grass where bombers once turned
occasional ironwork testament to hydrants and gun emplacements
war and weapons layered over by Nature and time.
But, as the dark deepens, the lost come home
tearing blazing incandescent screams rustle up drowsy birds
look up and the dazzling burning blurs past
metal screeches as it tears apart, each time the same
one last attempt at landing whole, at bringing the crate home
so wanting to see sweethearts and Blighty again
then gone, back to oblivion.
The burning pilot saluted you as he passed.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem first appeared in Peacock Journal earlier this year.

 

 


Ridgeway

Tombs, forts and settlements
String the Ridgeway
As beads on a necklace
Testifying to ancient use
Above the spring line and refreshment
On a hot Summers day
The white chalk is hard walking
Reflecting sunlight back onto the traveller
When wet, millennia of churning feet and wheels
Have crafted a deep sucking cloying mudclay
Is it true that you continue on and under the sea?
A road so old that it predates the English Channel
Is humbling

Walking from the great stones of Avebury
Up through fields to the ridgeline
Following in the steps of so many
Stumbling in snow through ramparts
Thrown up three thousand years ago
Passing where the Smith of the Norse gods
Will shoe tethered horses
Looking down on the rolling plain
Or trudging deep within the occasional copse
Fires my imagination
Brings to mind stories, legends
Archaeological finds and study

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Drifts

Nebulaic drift of space glows pregnant with stars
Pulsates with unseen radiation, reflects  light upon broken hulls
Billowing gases thread through holes laced by stellar blasts
Huge gas pillars glow with the light from star birth

Strange shapes eclipse the details of  nebulaic magnificence
Ships riddled by particle winds after a disaster deep in spacetime
Now drift in loose orbits within a mystery, artefacts lost to sentience and story
Deep in the cloud lies a graveyard drifting to gravity’s pale tune

Gas jets burst from infant stars, glow in unseen colours
Shoot forth  ionized subatomic debris
Push against torn metal, shifting orbits, prompting collisions
Against desiccated limbs, simulating life once more

The beings who struggled and died here disassociate and powder to dust
Microbes  drift and seed, await rebirth in planetary clouds
Amino acids alter with the alien input
Nucleotides drift forward to the future

Ghost DNA haunts the spaces between worlds
Drifts onto comet sand meteors
Drops into planetary atmospheres
Visits us tonight as it has done before

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published at In Between Hangovers

Some Science Fiction to celebrate that fact that I’m attending the Science Fiction Worldcon this weekend!  :)