Category Archives: Poetry

Woodland path

Puddles and pools of sunlight slide between the tree trunks
While shadows stripe the root strutted path
Somewhere above in the blue
A Kite swoops and scans for prey
Its forlorn cry cutting across the Blackbirds chatter

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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Rat Trap

I tasted aviation fuel in your air today
Laundry flies in the dirty breeze
Overflying jets deafen your children
I still cannot hear at that pitch
Your rainbows are black, lacking imagination
Hillingdon
Rat trap, small town lost in a mega city
So glad to leave you at eighteen
So reluctant now to re-visit

Except perhaps to fly away….

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Note: Hillingdon is where Heathrow airport is located. And where I grew up in the huge suburbs of West London.

The best writing about such a dirty little place is Paul Simon’s, in the song “My Little Town”:

And after it rains
There’s a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It’s not that the colors aren’t there
It’s just imagination they lack
Everything’s the same
Back in my little town

Bones

Slender bones, delicately traced
staring grinning skulls.
No skin, no muscle,
no eyes, no heart or other parts.
Yet they tell a knowing eye many tales
of wounds healed, muscle strengths,
diseases and battles fought.
Indications of the life lived
and sometimes the death faced.

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Deceiving hills

These hills deceive.
Apparent summits slide off away
as the slope goes farther up again.
Their hollows and ridges
cosset then expose.
Any level walking is above the spring line
so the ignorant go thirsty.
In their interior,
direction is lost with the clouds.
The oldest ways stay close
to the stiff steep slopes down to water
and someone to tell you the way.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

He Is Gone

A sad story from Glenys that has moved me greatly this morning:

lifecameos

She rang me from her home
at the far end of the country.

“He is not here,” she said.

“Is he in the hospice ?” I asked.

“They take me to see him
at the hospice every day.”

She said no  more
did not answer me
hung up.

I wrote to her instead.

_______________________

She rang me from her home
at the far end of the country.

“He is …. he is …. ” she said.

“I am so sorry  he is gone,”
I replied.

I persuaded her to tell me
who stayed with her
who cared for her.

The small private funeral
he requested spared her
much distress.

They are helping her
supporting her at home.

But he is gone.

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‘I shall not wholly die’

On this date in 8 BC a great poet died. We know him as Horace. Much of his work is still relevant 2,025 years later.

I feel his best translator is Dryden, and I give you this little snippet from The Odes, Book One, IX:

Tomorrow and its works defy;
Lay hold upon the present hour,
And snatch the pleasures passing by
To put them out of Fortune’s power;
Nor love nor love’s delights disdain –
Whate’er thou getts’t today, is gain.

I am very grateful to the Muddy Archeologist for reminding me  of the date and getting me to re-read some Horace. And for giving us a brace of pertinent Horace quotes at the link below:

https://muddyarchaeologistcouk.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/radio-4-presented-by-horace-i-shall-not-wholly-die-horace-lives-on-on-the-anniversary-of-his-death-in-8-bc/#like-4740