Category Archives: parenting

It’s all geek to you

Sixty six thousand miles an hour she spins us around her
yet a layer of grey moistness
stops the Sun’s nuclear furnace from warming my bones
as I lie here on the garden deck
wrapped old lady like in fleece blanket
and suburban birdsong

Five hundred thousand miles an hour we all turn around
the black maw at galactic central
that swallows worlds and never enough
lunching on stellar archipelagoes
leading me to think of  Schwartzchild radii
and equations I once manipulated.

Faster than both, you fall through the front door
laughing over the factorisation error you made
in today’s school test.
Functionally innumerate, mathematically gifted,
golden, green eyed geek son of mine.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For my youngest son, 19 today, still a geek, soon to be an aerospace engineer.

This poem was written when he was still at school.

The teenage years

All bets are off in the teenage years
You still share your child’s hopes and fears
But they are a child no more –Can you hear that slammed door?
It’s a bumpy ride–Sometimes Jekyll, sometimes Hyde
You love them to bits, you can’t stand them any more
And there again is that slamming door
You glimpse a young woman, you glimpse a young man –Try to catch them if you can
Sometimes it seems they’re a toddler again –Needing to share some of the pain
Do you remember when this was you?
Now you know what your parents went through……

  Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Re-blogged from 2015….This is our second time round with teenage moods and contradictions. And he leaves us for University soon, after which time I’m sure we will long for the thumping around and those “I cant believe my parents are so thick” looks once more!

 

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..

Worry

We worry about you, our dear boy,
as if, by worrying, we can affect
your journey through life.
It is a parent’s lot to be apprehensive.
But we must take pleasure, bury  fears,
lift our fledgling to the sky
and laugh delightedly as you fly away.
We need to grow
to trust your endurance
to give you to the universe.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Evening in Norwegian mountains

White cold sun slides down
The arc of brief afternoon
Dips behind a shattered peak
And  snow and air turn vivid blue
Colouring all in dimness
Silence becomes more so
It is the time for trolls

My sons laughter fills the sledding slope
As I cajole them to the cabin
A long walk away
Across deep snow
During the time for trolls

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Conversation with a teenager, playing a computer game

Him: I have no idea what I’m doing
Me: Welcome to life.
Him: I was in a cave and now I’m not.
Me: Welcome to life. Just go and hug a hen, it often helps.
Him: I wish I could navigate by Crocodile
Me:  Don’t we all?
Him: Mum, why are you talking nonsense?

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Re-blogged from 2015. This conversation really happened— and going to speak to or hug one of our hens is a proven family remedy for most of lifes burdens.

 

 

 

Beach

Crunching down the shingle
Drinking the sea breeze
Listening to your chatter
As you throw pebbles into the sea

Heat is no longer the enemy
Its relaxing powers repaired
Breathing salt essence
In gloriously cool sea air

Brothers gently bickering
Who threw the greatest distance
Your deep voices lift in humour
And how we love to listen

Chilling on the shingle
Hanging out with the family
Talking about almost nothing
Companionably

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

…we went to the beach with our sons to escape the heat, and I broke out in rhyme once more….

The plant place

Today we visited the plant place
Delighted in sturdy trees and shrubs
And many small flowers nurtured to full brightness
In a long slow chill spring
By a couple who could be us in fifteen years time
We took time to linger, to chat and choose
Brought home Lavender, rooted stems of Blackthorn
Several small domes of Thyme
“We bought some Thyme” I said to our teen-aged son
Who contested that time cannot be bought
But is spent often heedlessly
Slipping away unnoticed
We bought time in his younger days with reduced incomes
Time spent with him and his brother
Not wasted, but well-used and treasured
I delight in this sturdy young man
Tended and taught, growing to the light
Both plants and children need tender care
Nurseries are a well spring of civilisation

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

The”Plant place” is Wolverton Plants. I wrote this a couple of months ago after a visit on my birthday, and have just found it again on a stray piece of paper. I publish it today in honour of ‘Where are the Chickens’ new baby son….

https://wherearethechickens.com/2017/06/08/blackberries-and-a-baby/

 

 

A mother to her son

A mother to her son

When I look at you, I need to look further up
Each time I come home from work you seem to have changed
My eyes devour you
I hug and hold you to discover your changing frame

 Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

…re-blogged from 2015….and yes, hes even taller now and still growing. These days I have to tiptoe to kiss his cheek.

About a boy……

He turned 20 years old yesterday, off to France today…………and it seems only a little while since his first trip away without us, nine years ago.

       The School Trip

Long limbs, freckled cheeks
He slips between us in the bed
It’s nearly time to go
We hold him, all nervous and excited
The week long trip looms
Kiss in the hallway at home
Dash to the coach in a gaggle of friends
Pulling faces at the window
I put ‘ears’ on Dad and little brother
The coach goes, and so, nearly, do our tears
They grow – you let them go
Nerves, sadness, excitement and pride

Copyright © 2015  Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

… poem originally published 2015…..