Category Archives: poem

Friday poem: How like a winter

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.
Advertisements

The Shape of Rain

I am a rain drop.
Imagine raindrops
you see tears
but clouds do not cry.
Over England they excrete
ice crystals that melt
drop and tumble
balling, falling.
Surface tension
marries colliding drops
yet divorce is common.
Plummeting, flattening
rain discs hit the London pavement
lose their identity
in puddles and pools.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Published at Fourth and Sycamore in July 2018.

 

 

 

 

Friday poem: Harp Song of the Dane Women

What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?
She has no house to lay a guest in—
But one chill bed for all to rest in,
That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in.
She has no strong white arms to fold you,
But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you—
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.
Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken—
Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.
You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables—
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.
Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.
Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker ?

Cross country skiing

Glad voices ring out in the chill air from the sledding slope
As we circle unsteadily on a frozen lake, finding our feet
Long new six foot wooden feet
Then we begin to glide, relaxing into the flow
Betrayed by speed on the first slope
The ground crashes up to us
We kiss hard snow several times as we ski through the forest
Mainly laughing at our woes
Eschewing the tracks, our (mostly) parallel woods slice into fresh powdered snow
Until the next topple

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Written after we had just tried to (cross country) ski for the very first time  — in the middle of a Norwegian forest.

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

Re-blogged from 2017

 

Friday Poem: Auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

 

By Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)

Merry Christmas Everybody (lyrics)

The ultimate song  about a British Christmas:

 

 

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball
Does he ride a red nosed reindeer?
Does a ton-up on his sleigh?
Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?
Does your granny always tell ya
That the old songs are the best
Then she’s up and rock and rollin’ with the rest?

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

What will your daddy do when he sees
Your mama kissin’ Santa Claus
Ah ah

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall
Do you ride on down the hillside
In a buggy you have made?
When you land upon your head
Then you bin slayed.

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

 

IT’S CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITSMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!!!
With love to Noddy Holder and Slade, for my favourite Christmas song (although for my sons, The Beach Boys Christmas Album reigns supreme, and we always play it when decorating the tree).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

re-blogged from 2016…… a sort of Christmassy poem……

Friday poem: Apples

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole.

by Laurie Lee (1914 to 1997)

If you have never read Laurie Lee, I very much encourage you to do so, especially ‘Cider with Rosie’  –a prose-poem of an autobigraphy.