Category Archives: Science

Seal

Liquid eyes looking through time,  staring out from the wood
Lost possession,  unregarded litter, draft for a larger work?
It is treasure now
Seal eloquently sealed into timber
Sparse lines, rich artistry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

seal carving

I’ve just discovered an interibfng wordpress arceological site amd was moved to write the above poem after looking long at a seal carving they have found.

https://nunalleq.wordpress.com/

https://nunalleq.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/artefact-of-the-day-july-25th/

Nunalleq is the name of an archaeological site in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region of Southwestern Alaska. The University of Aberdeen Department of Archaeology, in partnership with the village corporation Qanirtuuq, Inc. and the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Quinhagak, Alaska, is working to record archaeological sites threatened by rising sea levels along the Bering Sea.

Nunalleq means ‘the OldVillage’ in Yup’ik. Previous years excavations (2009 & 2010) reveal that this ‘old village’ dates back at least 700 years. It is a multi-period prehistoric (or precontact) Yup’ik winter village site.

 

Terminator Line

It is always dawn and dusk
Time moves on geographically
The terminator line marches inexorably
Round and round the planet
Smoothed across the sparkling Pacific
Cut to shreds by jagged mountains
Rippled across desert dunes
Unnoticed in the mega-cities
Each second brings a thousand tiny awakenings
A thousand tiny refugees from sleep
A thousand predatory opportunities
A thousand closings

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Previously published on  In Between Hangovers

Corona

Deep in the time of eclipse
As birds bed down and dusk creeps up
We see the Suns halo and crown
Reaching out to her children
Light in the darkness

Sunlight scatters from escaping electrons
Bounces off minute dust particles
While stripped atoms glow as crown jewels
Incandescently hot
Ethereal furnace

The act of seeing makes real
The fact of knowing sees beauty
The inner joyousness of the Universe
Lifts me
Up to the light

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

 

 

Desert sky

Driving in a roast red desert
Headlights staring into primeval dark
The untrammeled sky glorious

Above us a bridge of stars
Rivering between rocky horizons
At once near and so very far

Cricking my neck to see
I bounced around the back of the open jeep
Absorbing, amid the shudders, splendor

Star birth and death, worlds hidden by distance
Great glowing nebulae
Fat in the centre, a devouring black hole

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Glory

astronomy-picture-of-the-weekend-8And we stand upon this globe
Asking of the Universe
What?
Recognition?
Salvation?
Whatever you please
In it’s glory
(Shown by our ingenuity and craft
As we build orbital telescopes)
The Universe does not need us
Unless as an observer
Are we here simply to watch?
Look up, look up
Glory awaits

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The little folk

Folk tales of little people abound
Retreating to the deep Earth
Now and then to emerge and engage
Ensnare or enslave
With trickery or with passion

Peripatetic you may have been
Leaving small trace of your lives
But deep in an African cave
We have found you
Naledi, little stars

We term the women who reclaimed you to the light
Underground astronauts
Yet you carried your beloved dead here
Through narrow clefts, over parlous depths
To lay them tenderly down to rest

As we stare into our deep past
And find you, Homo naledi
Those of us who wonder
Those of us who marvel
Are ensnared and enamoured

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The discovery of fossils of a new human species  (Homo Naledi) is, in itself, a fascinating story. But why they are so ‘cool’ is very well explained by our fellow blogger on Fossil History at https://fossilhistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/homo-naledi-why-these-fossils-are-so-friggen-cool/

 National Geographic describes them as “A fully modern hand sported wackily curved fingers, fit for a creature climbing trees. The shoulders were apish too, and the widely flaring blades of the pelvis were as primitive as Lucy’s—but the bottom of the same pelvis looked like a modern human’s. The leg bones started out shaped like an australopithecine’s but gathered modernity as they descended toward the ground. The feet were virtually indistinguishable from our own.”

14_homo_naledi_cr_john hawks

The “underground astronauts” (left to right): Becca Peixotto, Alia Gurtov, Elen Feuerriegel, Marina Elliott, K. Lindsay (Eaves) Hunter and Hannah Morris.

Chalklands

Chalklands

Chalk undulates across Southern England
Hills, gentle yet steep
Can be overtopped by clay peppered with flints
So treasured by the old folk

As old as the hills is true here
The chalk is a two hundred million year ocean
Stiffened and folded over time
By our living planet

Several human species
Have hunted  in these valleys
Have dug into and sculpted these hills
Have left their ghosts for us to trace

The ancient monuments we treasure
Hill forts, stone circles, long barrows
Are but modern remnants
Compared to the first folk

My hills have deep roots

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The Smell of bees

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”
― Ray Bradbury

The Smell of bees

I saw my first bee today, hearing buzzing while weeding
I searched for the little fellow and found him
Bumbling around the Lungwort
Buzzing with glee in the surprise warmth
Black, gold with a red bum
Furry and indomitable
He also harvests my garden
And mine depends on his

Its relief to see a bee today, with all the talk of their demise
Poisoned by chemicals that may yet kill us
Directly, as doses build, or indirectly
As my garden companions cease to pollinate
And harvests drop
The smell of small dusty bees
Will no longer tantalise my nostrils
Nor will the fragrance of food

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond