Category Archives: Life

Broken Doll

I broke the doll almost on purpose
Trying to fit her into the toy tank

Determined to play my way
My own game not theirs

Broken dolls littered the playroom
Symbols of a girl who wasn’t

Broken dolls litter the promenade
Broken bodies strew the road

He broke them all on purpose
Because they do not play his game

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published by Califragile:

https://califragile.org/2017/09/23/broken-doll-by-kim-whysall-hammond/

When?

When this all settles
I will walk along a stony beach
Stepping across rock pools
Looking for fossils
Life has been here before and will be after

Nothing was ever certain
Life was always frail
A bubble has burst
But we will float again
Life is all we have, treasure its small joys

When this all settles
We must mourn the dead
Unpick our mistakes
Grieve for lost chances
Life for us should never be the same

We have another danger
That may take us all
This is a rehearsal
Now we must save our world
Our grandchildren must live and thrive

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Present Future

The machine just doesn’t stop
but clambers across and smothers real life

capturing privacies, swapping
small unregarded freedoms

for dopamine flash rewards
and a watered down electronic

recognition of sorts.
The screen’s constant siren call

replacing small intimacies
for others not yet evaluated.

Interconnected yet further apart,
we stumble on into the present future.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published at https://www.thesunlightpress.com/…/20…/10/30/present-future/

Uncle

Waking up with Nanny in her soft double bed
the room white and pink with swans and roses
Sunday morning and you would bring milky tea
Hot in her best rose gold china cup and saucers
we would sip, little fingers raised as you left
Before we too rose

Later, your Saturday visits to our house
bringing a bounty of colourful comics to read
And a secret pocket of sweets, for Mum not to see
How my brothers and I took you for granted
Never noticed the shining love in your eyes

Your hand grasping mine in supplication
As they wheeled you, protesting to surgery
from which you did not return, your
faltering loving heart finally stopping
Under the anaesthetists care

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Dreaming of seeing you again

You tread on the tail of my eye
carving crosswise through the crowd
that flows into the station
we greet with hugs, kiss cheeks
talk of our priceless opportunity
of a week together
after so long apart

Later, rinsing sorrow away
we linger out
a hundred glasses of wine
the clarity of close friends filling small talk
a lucid moon keeping us awake
and after we’re drunk, we’ll sleep
all heaven our blanket, earth our pillow

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Inspired by Chinese poetry, this one is for our best friend, away in Amsterdam. Our first trip abroad will be to see him, but we do not know when that can be….

They looked and turned away

They looked and turned away
Londoners afraid to interact
With the girl sitting, weeping
On a stinkingly hot day in the city
Exclaiming that she had gone blind
Oversized suitcase abandoned near her feet
My feet
Someone pushed a cold drink into my hand
A woman’s voice comforted me
A stranger joined me on the step, asked where I was going
Told me that a long hot walk carrying a load
Had affected my sight
Sat until, miraculously, my sight returned
Then left
Pulling myself to my feet
I retrieved the offending suitcase
Slowly made my way to the Tube station
Continued my journey, moving from London to Oxford
Changing university, leaving friends and home city
Aiming for a Doctorate, I should have noted the omen
For I found loneliness and failure

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Fist published by Silver Birch Press:

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/they-looked-and-turned-away-poem-by-kim-whysall-hammond-when-i-moved-poetry-and-prose-series/

Calling Sky

The unspeakable vastness
of the unconquerable dark
speaks to our hearts
where no harbour beckons
no port waits

A calling sky lids our lives
it shields, shelters
imprisons us
gravity the jailer to be overthrown
the well to climb out of
hand over hand

Climbing to where the only sounds are
a popping of particles
into  matter phase

We will not see stars with our own eyes
nor hear the sounds of space
our travelling world
built of systems noise
ventilation hiss and engine thrum
will seep through our lives
even outside
suit noise and visors will hide
the photons trip

Yet unspeakable vastness
and unconquerable dark
will sink deep into our subconscious
refashioning our very selves
varying what is human

Will we wish to sink once more
into the trap of gravity
or shall we run with the particle streams
out into the dark?

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Calling Sky’ was first published by Utopia Science Fiction  in the April 2020 issue.