Category Archives: nature

Crossing the park, 11am Monday

Scattered folds of night
litter bright mown grasses
spring up into the air
startled, flapping
at our arrival

We watch them wheel and
turn above us
spot a Red Kite floating high
turn again, caw to each other
settle under advantageous trees

Kite eats carrion not crow

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For this week’s earthweal challenge, we are asked to “write of WILD MIND. How does green fire take root in the thought of our poems?”

I am offering up a little vignette of parkife here in my small town. After a morning of Internet research for a local project, I took a walk, and was lifted by my local birds.

Where the Wild Mushrooms Grow

A wonderful poem from Rebecca Cunigham. Enjoy! (Scroll to the end of the post for the poem).

Fake Flamenco

Eagle led me into the woods yesterday after school. Read to the end to see the poem our hike inspired. A forest grows between the golf course and the bike path following reclaimed railroad tracks half mile (1K) from the school. Oak trees, standing and fallen. Those that were horizontal were covered with half moon mushrooms.

Mushroomed Log Photo: Rebecca

We walked a kilometer through the woods and the city disappeared. A sacred quiet descended. I felt uprooted from time. When were we? Were minutes in motion? We arrived in the spiritual home of the mushrooms. Was it once named that way, rather than by the family name of the owner…?

Oak Log in the Snow Photo: Rebecca

The mushrooms took many different shapes, as they did their work returning nutrients to the soil.

Upright Log Photo: Rebecca

Silent workers, recycling trees, feeding tree children grown into the canopy above.

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Terminator Line

It is always dawn and dusk
Time moves on geographically
The terminator line marches inexorably
Round and round the planet
Smoothed across the sparkling Pacific
Cut to shreds by jagged mountains
Rippled across desert dunes
Unnoticed in the mega-cities
Each second brings a thousand tiny awakenings
A thousand tiny refugees from sleep
A thousand predatory opportunities
A thousand closings

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published at https://inbetweenhangovers.wordpress.com/

Robin in the Fig Tree

What are the words?
Bright, cheery red, bob-bob-bobbing?
My Robin has read Ted Hughes
he pulls worms fighting from the stiff soil
terrorises chickens, birds a hundred times his size
fights to the death for territory.
He is now lurking in our small unproductive Fig tree
that leans awkwardly out of a fake ceramic tub.
The pigeons by the pond look uneasy.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Winter Reveals 2

Trees stark against the sky
show signs of hard pruning
or scars of storm damage

Sunlight shafts through leafless woods
reveals which wild seeded
and which are straight lined planting

The artificial brightnesses of our Decembers
do not touch this hard solitude
as we all wait for the future

Copyright © 2021  Kim Whysall-Hammond

This is a reworking of a poem I wrote (and blogged) in 2017. I was never sure of the ending, and I like this version better.

I was inspired to go back to this poem by the weekly prompt at Earthweal, which is all about Nadirs and Zeniths.

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