Category Archives: parenting

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…..

M1 in winter

M1 in winter  (Watford Gap 1 mile)

 Mist enwrapped trees extinguish the low orange glow of the Sun
Taillights warm the twilight ahead
Headlights shine on traffic cones and road workers  jackets
Jagged shadows in a field reveal a ruined brick barn
Aerofoils loom above, rotating for electricity
We return from lunch with a son at University
Time, long and relaxed, spent talking junk
Films, comics, games, YouTube
Reconnecting the family

Each capsule of metal alongside, before and behind
Contains a story
Adulterous trysts? Mismanaged meeting? Half Term visit to the Zoo?
All these journeys and ours are twenty first century bubbles
Made manifest in the manic twentieth
Our posterity is as yet uncertain
The fields and their shadows will outlive us all
Animals will graze, trees loom in the dark
And Suns set, wetly

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

The teenage years

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….

Toddler

Toddler

You cuddle up to me in your sleep, comforted by mother warmth
What do you dream little man, my child full of wonder
You exhaust  me by day and then enthral me at your time of sleeping
Always asking for more, lifting my soul and life
Every day is an  adventure for us
As I discover the world in and through your eyes

  Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

I wrote this poem when my sons were much much younger….

Boy Migrant

Boy Migrant

He haunts me
A young boy
Mid teens
A lad like mine
Seen on the news bulletin
Scrambling over razor wire
Raised to protect Fortress Europe
From the migrant tide
From him and his like
But these were children, boys
Far from home, searching for safety
Fleeing from disaster
Alone

 

Other ghosts have returned
Living skeletons
Toddlers the size of newborns
Eight year olds that look like toddlers
Flies settled on their blank eyes
Pot bellies distended with death
Once more I weep
As the news plays on
Once more I am ashamed
To live in paradise
While the majority suffers
Watching their children die
Or sending  them on a perilous journey

 

I don’t have to send my son away
Across a continent
To avoid death
To avoid being forced to be a soldier
To avoid starvation, disease
To escape that ultimate killer
Poverty
But if I believed that his safety
Is to leave home
Go through immense danger
To reach the promised land
I would surely send my son away
To take that journey

 

Hope will take you through hell and back
These are children
Those travelling boys need a home
Need  mother and  father
Need to be children
These children have been surely stripped of it all
I weep for the starving, denied a life
I give money for aid and comfort
Is that aid and comfort to me as well?
Am I a Good Samaritan?
Or just trying to salve a conscience as I continue with my life?

 

Each night I wake thinking of that boy hiding in the bushes in Hungary
I pray to a God I no longer believe in
Look after that boy, to keep him safe
I want to give him a home
I want to hold him and tell him it’s alright
That we will look after him
I need so much to treat him as my own
We are all family in the end
All human beings on the road
Between birth and an ending
We are each but a moment way
A moments bombing from displacement and death
I feel helpless in the face of an unfolding situation that is inhumane

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Written and posted in response to  Peter Notehelfers ‘A Voice for the Voiceless poetry Challenge’.

Written for a boy I  saw on the news many months ago and for the starving children in Yemen today.