Category Archives: love

Flower

I held a flower in my hand
Delicate, whole, perfect
A small world within itself
And, as we searched for a gate.
A stile, by which to leave the field,
I crushed it.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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Being English

Show no emotion, hold everything back
Say ’I think we need a bit of support’ when you are under fatal attack
Go about your business as the world falls apart
Hiding the fear deep in your heart
Delight in the odd, the strange and the weird
Live beside the newcomer, even if they are feared
Chicken Tikka Marsala is our national dish,
An island nation that rarely eats fish,
Throw flowers under a princesses hearse
Life may be difficult but it could always be worse
Marry the outsider, swallow them whole
Quiet, loving and different is the English soul

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First blogged in 2015 and it seems a bit appropriate this week. I admit that both people in the photo not actually English….but its a great photo!

1939

She did not weep,
nothing so soft or poetic,
my grandmother sobbed long and hard
remembering war-crippled brothers, war dead father.
She had nursed soldiers, married one,
spent recent years in dread.
A few words on the Wireless,
a husband mustering with his gun,
and the nightmare returns.

As a child, thirty years later,
I saw hunger in her old eyes
a longing for security from fear
that she never lost.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Ethel Maude Wellsted Brown (known as Maude), orphaned by the Boer War, Pharmacist during the 1918 Flu pandemic, wife and mother to Airmen and Airwomen. My beloved maternal Grandmother who married a poor boy from Malta and, despite the attitudes of the time, danced with black GI’s in Wiltshire  as they waited to fight in D-Day and the liberation of Europe.

The photo is of her and her children in the mid-1930’s. The little girl in white grew up to be my mother. The three larger children were all in the RAF or WAAF in World War 2. They and their father came through the war unscathed.

According to my mother (who was eleven at the time), Maude sobbed for hours after the declaration of war was broadcast in September 1939..

Recluse

People drain, push through
boundaries, demand attention.
Childhood reclused with book after book
reading to the exclusion of most else,
an interior life but for the
vibrancy of a sunset, the thrill
of abstraction in flowing water
and then, at seventeen,
the bright blue art of your eyes.
The world and you, my love, stimulate
refresh, make me whole
give me myself once more.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Coal

He told me of how coal can be split
to reveal the hoof prints of long buried deer
if you get the angle and the grain right

Of how, in the deepest mines
Darwin was proved each day
by the strike of a miners hammer

And how opening the coal opened him
drove him to library and Miners Institute
to learn, wonder and argue

His gentle voice, with its natural grace
led me into his world
to the child opening trap doors in constant dark

To the young man, passionate for justice
filled up with the joy of learning
all forged in dark coal.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Wilfred Whysall, my paternal Grandfather (1909 – 1979), on his birthday.

 

The things you have said

At seventeen you said,
You know I really think a lot of you
Well, you haven’t hit me yet
Dear Miss Whysall, but we’ll soon out a stop to that
Do you know how to call a waiter to the table?

At twenty one you said,
I sleep with a woman who sleepwalks Mars
Will you marry me?
I think you should go away to Oxford to realise your dream
Can we see the poverty stricken student line of engagement rings?

And so it has continued
and so I love you

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A soppy love poem for my Cheese seller. It’s his birthday today!

Global

She flies in to a land below the sluice gates
under leaden  wintry skies
braving bone chilling, joint stiffening cold
to regain a lover and husband,
surprising family and friends
with a festive presence.
He cossets her adoringly
treasuring the time they are together
sharing memories of a hot Penang wedding  a world away
that celebrated a fealty lasting across oceans and years.
Tenderness and  connubiality,
happiness built on avocations and contrasts.
Cherishing time together with all those they love
partaking companionably
endearing us all to them.
Soon, she will travel back
to the other side of the planet
to summer heat and extended family
that now stretches globally
to a tall Dutchman.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Nesa and Edgar

 

Neanderthal

Was it the red hair
that so entranced us?
The strong nose
on a strong young man?
Or that capable stocky young woman
who didn’t moan at first frost?
Where did we get our blues eyes from after all?
In the snows of almost perpetual winter
and at the warm shores of the middle sea
we met them, loved them,
raised their children.
And left them behind.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond