Category Archives: poem

Friday Poem: The names of the Hare

‘The Names of the Hare’ is a poem written in the late thirteenth century, originally in Middle English, that is attributed to a Shropshire family on the Welsh borders. The poem is said to be a ritual to be recited by a hunter on his first encounter with a hare, and the seventy seven different names given to the hare in the poem were supposed, on recital, to deliver it to the hunter’s power.

The man the hare has met
will never be the better of it
except he lay down on the land
what he carries in his hand—
be it staff or be it bow—
and bless him with his elbow
and come out with this litany
with devotion and sincerity
to speak the praises of the hare.
Then the man will better fare.
‘The hare, call him scotart,
big-fellow, bouchart,
the O’Hare, the jumper,
the rascal, the racer.
Beat-the-pad, white-face,
funk-the-ditch, shit-ass.
The wimount, the messer,
the skidaddler, the nibbler,
the ill-met, the slabber.
The quick-scut, the dew-flirt,
the grass-biter, the goibert,
the home-late, the do-the-dirt.
The starer, the wood-cat,
the purblind, the furze cat,
the skulker, the bleary-eyed,
the wall-eyed, the glance-aside
and also the hedge-springer.
The stubble-stag, the long lugs,
the stook-deer, the frisky legs,
the wild one, the skipper,
the hug-the-ground, the lurker,
the race-the-wind, the skiver,
the shag-the-hare, the hedge-squatter,
the dew-hammer, the dew-hoppper,
the sit-tight, the grass-bounder,
the jig-foot, the earth-sitter,
the light-foot, the fern-sitter,
the kail-stag, the herb-cropper.
The creep-along, the sitter-still,
the pintail, the ring-the-hill,
the sudden start,
the shake-the-heart,
the belly-white,
the lambs-in-flight.
The gobshite, the gum-sucker,
the scare-the-man, the faith-breaker,
the snuff-the-ground, the baldy skull,
(his chief name is scoundrel.)
The stag sprouting a suede horn,
the creature living in the corn,
the creature bearing all men’s scorn,
the creature no one dares to name.’
When you have got all this said
then the hare’s strength has been laid.
Then you might go faring forth—
east and west and south and north,
wherever you incline to go—
but only if you’re skilful too.
And now, Sir Hare, good-day to you.
God guide you to a how-d’ye-do
with me: come to me dead
in either onion broth or bread.

Translation from the Middle English by Seamus Heaney

Time washes all clean

Washed ashore
bathed in pouring light
dissolving into sky
swashing across mud flats
in an infinity of loss
I am many and alone.
Vampire clouds gather above
come to subsume my part
into the whole.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Time washes all clean’ was first published in Issue 39 of the Irish poetry magazine ‘ The Blue Nib’ in September 2019

Summer’s loss

Heart broken she withdraws
as every winter
into dark soil
as every winter

The promise of the stars nightly turning
the sinking and turning of constellations
the track of planets wandering  across the sky
say that she will return

Time past she was encouraged
by midwinter fires
now we trust to orbital mechanics

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Storage issues

Images of distant snowmen
long melted and gone
haunt my eyes.
The heat of other summers
warms my skin
as my feet try to kick through
thirty year old fallen leaves.
It seems my memories are filling my senses.
Is this what is means to grow old?
I have many years yet to go
much more time to forge more memories.
This storage crisis needs to end.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Winding Road


The winding road I walk
wanders through country hedges
stuffed full of brambles and bomb-weed
across hay meadows to where
gauze mist veils distant hills.
Rust red cows huddle by a gate
tails swishing away flies
and rooks shout from their rookery
hurling bird banter from tall tree to tall tree.
Later the Sun will lower down to the west
shadows will merge and meld
owls will hunt. But now
rabbits nibble in golden light
and a peace settles deep inside.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The weird font is due to my struggles with the new block editor. 

Friday Poem: From Another Hill by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı

I look at you from another hill, dear Istanbul!
I know you like back of my hand, and love you dearly.
Come, come sit on my heart’s throne as long as I live
Just to love a district of yours is worth a whole life.

There are many flourishing cities in the world.
But you’re the only one who creates enchanting beauty.
I say, he who has lived happily, in the longest dream,
Is he who spent his life in you, died in you, and was buried in you.

by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı

translated on the site All Poetry

..another Istanbul poem from Leonard Durso’s glorious website leonarddurso.com

Mountains of the Moon

Their high mass tears at
pierces a pale sky
pulls at the high oranges
stealing it for their icy peaks.
As the mother planet rises,
methane snows glint
like golden  crowns.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Mountains of the Moon’ was first published by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Associations print journal Star*Line, October 2019

Poem published by Allegro poetry magazine

I’m delighted to tell you that my poem ‘Foundlings’  has been published by Allegro in their September 2020 issue: https://www.allegropoetry.org/p/issue-25-september-2020.html

Allegro Poetry Magazine is a UK based online magazine which is published twice a year, edited by the poet Sally Long.

Thank you Sally for accepting this little poem for your excellent History themed issue.

Under Dover

Father and sons knew their worth
objected to their place in the ladder of profit
and so were sent to where southern mines
took men deep under the English channel
no sparkling mornings for them, but toil in darkness
too far for safety, too damp for peace of mind
off-shift, nightmares of death by water
haunted villages across the weald
on-shift the family built farther out
tunnel men all, determined to live
to fight for justice back up top
 
Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond
Wilfred Whysall, my Grandfather, one of the sons in this poem