Category Archives: poem

Riverine

My youngest son is rushing
from the sharp hills of adolescence
over rocks and stones, always onwards
like a river to an unfathomable ocean

His thoughts are deep
his soul ancient, older than the flow
kept within his banks

He bickers down valleys
sometimes stilled, mostly calm
until an overflow of joy
forces a burst, a breaking of the levee
and he talks, oh he talks
of his passions, fears and hopes
as a waterfall speaking to the wind

Who will dive into his depths
see the treasures within clear waters
bring them to the surface
for the world to see

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Stanza 2 References “The Negro Speaks of Rivers By Langston Hughes 

Fragments

Dark clouds lurk at the horizon
Promising

I was hungry and you gave me food
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink

We are each but a moment away
From displacement and death

I was a stranger and you welcomed me
I was naked and you gave me clothing

A Fuel Tanker slides over the middle line
Edging to disaster

I was sick and you took care of me
I was in prison and you visited me

We are a greater whole
Diminished when others suffer

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Written in response to the Earthweal challenge this week, where I learnt about the concept of Ubuntu. I had not realised that one of my heroes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was influenced by Ubuntu in his work on reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa. A definition is below:

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

Of course some of the lines in this poem are from one of this planets great socialist thinkers.  ;)

Friday Poem: Going

There is an evening coming in
Across the fields, one never seen before,
That lights no lamps.

Silken it seems at a distance, yet
When it is drawn up over the knees and breast
It brings no comfort.

Where has the tree gone, that locked
Earth to sky? What is under my hands,
That I cannot feel?

What loads my hand down?

Philip Larkin, from The Less Deceived (1955)

A Fox Crossed Barley Lane

A wonderful tale of foxes and people over time:

lifecameos

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
towards the scattered Essex farms
to hunt for a springtime dinner of hens
ducks, geese with newly hatched young.
He passed a farm labourer plodding along
the rutted track to a meagre dinner.
The fox would dine better than he tonight.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
towards the prosperous Essex farms
keenly seeking a poultry dinner
from their large abundant barns.
He briskly rounded the loaded wagons
creaking along the potholed track.
His mind was on his dinner.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
to seek his dinner at Essex farms and
backyards along the High Road
crossing Barley Lane as it followed
the new railway with its deafening trains.
It took more work to extract his dinner
but…

View original post 80 more words

Walking in the Park

They have mown the grass in the park
Well, most of it
The scent is wonderful
It has been left long on the Bronze Age burial mounds
Where the wild grass flowers form a purpled haze
Behind, Foxgloves spike up from the drainage ditch  into the hedge
I walk up the southern mound to find the stone marked PEACE
Commemorating more recent dead from civil war
The sky is littered with clouds white and gray
As its blue darkens towards twilight
On this long June evening
After a day of rain
The scent of new mown grass says
Summer

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

There are never enough photos of Pico

There are never enough photos of Pico
Says he, as he takes yet one more
The light has changed again
And the mountain looks about to roar
We’ve flown over and around her
Driven along her lower slopes
But the best view is away from her
From little Horta’s shore

The mountain slumbers on
Fuji slopes gracefully curving down
She glows rose in the dawns light
By midday she can glower and frown
Clouds drape her and embrace her
Shadowing scree and walled-in grapevine
However far we travel away from her
Somehow that volcano is always mine

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

And so we end our Virtual Holiday in the Azores with a poem about my favourite volcano.  The first line is a quote from my  Cheeseseller, as the mountain changed once more and he took yet another photo!

I hope you enjoyed your trip. The photo below was taken  just after dawn, from our hotel balcony on the isaland of Faial, as we prepared to return to England.

Mum_P1140851_

Lava Tunnel

In a simple field, no different from any other
Is a clump of small trees with a dark secret
Amongst their roots, we tiptoe down a rocky slope
Into blackness.
Torchlight reveals a dry tunnel, strange shelf on the walls
Chattering, we walk until daylight is extinguished by distance
We stop, simmer to quietude, and turn off the torches
Into silence
Liquid rock once ran where we now stand in black silence
The rock around us the scum that floated on that river
The apocalypse that created our tunnel has disappeared
Into history

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

More on our virtual Azores Holiday……This poem is set on Terceira, all the islands are volcanic and there is plenty to explore.

Terceira is also known as the party island. The locals certainly know how to have a good time.

 We will be in the Azores all week — a poem a day to fly you away……

Graciosa

Where fishermen once hauled nets
Shared gossip, landed fish
Dug long tunnels in the russet cliffs
To shelter their bright boats
We now stand
Pondering the blue Atlantic rollers
As they part around the sentinel stone in the bay
We delight in the spray
Run laughing from rogue waves
Our pleasure replaces their hard toil

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Day 5 of our virtual Azores Holiday, we are now on Graciosa, a small gentle island.

 We will be there all week — a poem a day to fly you away……

Magma Cave

Shards of rock lie  silent
As ferns lean toward the sun
Along the sides of the great vent
Cut into a perfect dome above
Sulphur from a tepid celadon lake
fills the air

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

From a visit to Furna do Enxofre, an empty magma chamber in the Azores. Empty of magma, not fumes….

…the painting is my own, and one of several of the vent….

 

Day 4 of our virtual Azores Holiday………… We will be there all week — a poem a day to fly you away……