Category Archives: Life

Time washes all clean

Washed ashore
bathed in pouring light
dissolving into sky
swashing across mud flats
in an infinity of loss
I am many and alone.
Vampire clouds gather above
come to subsume my part
into the whole.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Time washes all clean’ was first published in Issue 39 of the Irish poetry magazine ‘ The Blue Nib’ in September 2019

Storage issues

Images of distant snowmen
long melted and gone
haunt my eyes.
The heat of other summers
warms my skin
as my feet try to kick through
thirty year old fallen leaves.
It seems my memories are filling my senses.
Is this what is means to grow old?
I have many years yet to go
much more time to forge more memories.
This storage crisis needs to end.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Winding Road


The winding road I walk
wanders through country hedges
stuffed full of brambles and bomb-weed
across hay meadows to where
gauze mist veils distant hills.
Rust red cows huddle by a gate
tails swishing away flies
and rooks shout from their rookery
hurling bird banter from tall tree to tall tree.
Later the Sun will lower down to the west
shadows will merge and meld
owls will hunt. But now
rabbits nibble in golden light
and a peace settles deep inside.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The weird font is due to my struggles with the new block editor. 

Under Dover

Father and sons knew their worth
objected to their place in the ladder of profit
and so were sent to where southern mines
took men deep under the English channel
no sparkling mornings for them, but toil in darkness
too far for safety, too damp for peace of mind
off-shift, nightmares of death by water
haunted villages across the weald
on-shift the family built farther out
tunnel men all, determined to live
to fight for justice back up top
 
Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond
Wilfred Whysall, my Grandfather, one of the sons in this poem

Friday Poem: Two Beacons

Two lights gleam equally across the snow
The traveller hesitates which way to go . . .
One is a cottage lamp; the other ray
A world four hundred million miles away.

 by Theodore Stephanides, who should be familiar to all who love Gerald Durrell‘s “My Family and other Animals”. Theodore was a polymath—-both Doctor and aquatic biologist, and he wrote wonderful poetry.

Mansplaining

Don’t try to explain
You will find it a pain
Quite literally
I’ve dealt with men like you
Who think what you say is true
I can put you down brilliantly
So talk a whole load more
Though you are a stunning bore
Because, as you do, it adds piquancy
You’re explaining something I wrote myself
For which I would never need help
But your need to explain shows your fragility
The other men gather to smile
As you go the extra mile
But, you see, they all know me
They wait at your back
Wolves in a pack
As I smile in magnanimity
They will get their show
Not yet though
I’m enjoying your vapidity

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

mansplainingthe explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

I sat on various committees writing Telecommunications standards in my early thirties. In my early fifties many younger men in my field simply will not believe that a middle-aged woman has any technical ability, let alone is an expert. It is depressing as I thought we had moved further in the struggle for equality than that.

I never put these idiots down in a nasty way. Politeness kills…

Across the road

Was a whole different universe,
of course the road was the A40
or the Western Avenue as we called it then.
One side urban west London
the other a seemingly limitless sprawl of brambles
riddled with paths sized for squeezing small children
as if the local mothers had arranged it so
that adults could not blackberry but only
give instructions from the edges.
Everyone brambled in summer
red stained children limping home
at days end with huge leaking bags of berries
and a future full of pies and jam.
The real magic of that place was a stream
clear and sparkling, running over pebbles
in places deep and wide, where
baby brothers could be washed
and drinking cups filled.
The shallows were my solitary joy in spring when
armed with a net and an empty jam jar I searched for
blushed red male Sticklebacks, to bring them home
and watch them, marvelling at
their writhing sinuous shapes,
those outsized blue-green eyes
the sharp stickles on each back.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Taking part in Sarah Connor’s challenge over at Earthweal.

Here’s Sarah’s prompt:

“So, for this prompt, I’d like you to think about how you first felt connected to nature – maybe as a child, or as an adult. Some of those lost words may inspire you, or you may have your own lost word (or world?) that gave you a sense of wonder at the natural world around you. Maybe you collected caterpillars, or watched birds on a bird-table, or squatted down to watch beetles, or looked up to see squirrels in the treetops.”

Chorus

Serenading light’s rising,
waking at a first feeble glimmer
creeping from the east.
Each bird a separate voice
whole body singing from tails depth.
Performing a duty since the original melodious call
heralding dawns radiance
thankful for a daily miracle.
Worshipping warmth’s return
and the new day.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The winding road


The winding road I walk
wanders through country hedges
stuffed full of brambles and bomb-weed
across hay meadows to where
gauze mist veils distant hills.
Rust red cows huddle by a gate
tails swishing away flies
and rooks shout from their rookery
hurling bird banter from tall tree to tall tree.
Later the Sun will lower down to the west
shadows will merge and meld
owls will hunt. But now
rabbits nibble in golden light
and a peace settles deep inside.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond Last week the new block editor allowed me to select a font for my posts. this week, this is not possible. I'm stuck with this weird typewriter font!

Baby Brother

This wonderful poem from Glenys has really taken me back to dressing up my little boy for the school pickup–he had a Loch Ness monster hat!

lifecameos

Baby brother is dressed up
to collect his sisters from
school st home time.

Great Grandma knitted his bright
striped beanie, cousin Paul grew
out of the dashing dinosaur leggings;
little friend Oliver passed on the
jacket with Barney on it. The
tiny tartan sneakers came from
Sarah over the road, she’s at
kindergarten now, nearly a big girl.

Yes the big girls at school
will gush and coo and gasp
over him – he enjoys that already.

Mummy thinks he is cool too.
Holding him on her hip she
tickles his ribs with her free hand.
He giggles and wriggles
wiggles and jiggles
chuckles then shrieks
gleefully, joyously
grinning from ear to ear
energetically, excitedly.

It’s a happy day today !

Previously posted November 2016.

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