Category Archives: speculative poetry

Something Follows

We walk in winterbare sunbright woods
a winding path that skirts fallen trees
sprawling bramble thickets
and forms its own linear ponds
where frogs protest our passage

I hear a clinking
high pitched, sharp, intermittent
and somewhere behind

Nothing in our gear is metallic and loose
I hear the noise, but he doesn’t
when I stop to listen, he is confused
stumbles into me
our path follows a millennium-old ditch
and I begin to suspect the noise comes from there
but the ditch contains only brown beech leaves

When we stop, the clinks stop
When we walk once more
clink clink clink after a small wait

Sun shafts through clawing branches
strange rustles lurk under leafdrifts
our pleasant walk reforms
mutates
into else and other

The clinks are always there
as long as we are beside the ditch
always
something follows

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A real-life ghost story, shared for the open link weeked at Earthweal.

Poem published in Star*Line

I’m delighted to be able to tell you that my poem The Fading of Yellow has been published in the Science Fiction Poetry Association house magazine, Star*Line.

Star*Line is a print magazine, but several poems from each issue are also shared online, and today one of them is mine!

You can read my poem by clicking on the link below, looking down the Table of Contents for my poem (highlighted in green), then clicking on the poem title:

https://www.sfpoetry.com/sl/issues/starline45.1.html

My edible home has no gingerbread

Its colours are cold and serious
and the clocks stopped a long time ago

Being alone for a long time
I have started to listen differently

Everything turns outward
but I turn up in all the wrong places

The witch is never dead
just sitting lonely in her edible home

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

My Cheese seller challenged me to write a poem with this title…….

My poem ‘Or by Inaction’ published by Granfalloon

I’m delighted to announce that my Science Fiction poem ‘Or by Inaction’ has been published by Granfalloon:

𝗢𝗿 𝗯𝘆 𝗜𝗻𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻… (granfalloon.org)

First Law of Robotics: A robot shall not harm a human being, or, by inaction, allow a human being come to harm

My thanks to Albert Mamet and Fiona Chew-Mcleod for accepting this poem which sees the First Law of Robotics from the robots point of view.

Dribbleberry

The dribbleberry was aptly named
its juces do not easily wash off
and stain your cheeks and chin for days

Long orange dribbles adorn the face of my toddler
as he skips around the settlement
in that warm misty sunshine that is too pink

Rainy days soothe my longing for home
for then I do not see our double suns
can try to forget a faraway Earth

Where I once picked blackberries
rasberries, apples and pears

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Writtten in response to the prompt over at Dverse:

Poem in Sciencefictionery Magazine

I’m delighted to tell you that the first ever issue of Sciencefictionery Magazine is published today, and my poem ‘Falling’ is part of this great issue. My poem tells a story about troubles on a voyage to Mars.

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Graveyard Shift

In old Malay, draped in forest
lies heat swamped George Town
along tree lined avenues
abandoned colonial mansions
forsaken, cracked, diminished
irrelevant to today
they rot in new technological haze
yet from shattered empty windows
evening jazz drifts across warm night air
inside, lights flicker
shadows dance over damp walls
slim couples flirt and smoke
your exploratory visit
brings silence
reveals vacant rooms
missing floors instead of lively dancers
they were the old tenants
hantu partying on the graveyard shift

Old hotel, four square and white
now with modern pool and spa
and the original private beach
golden, secluded, sunlit
it’s a long walk
but a short drive
a bus plies the mountain road
past green country and
decaying tombs behind
collapsing walls
the last ride of the day
is often full
today extra guests board
quiet individuals
some tall and lanky
a woman in a green qipao
halfway back, the bus empties
although the feverish driver
can’t remember stopping
his new passengers have
truly started their graveyard shift

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

‘Graveyard shift’ was first published at The Insignia Series: https://insigniastories.com/2019/11/21/instincts-2-graveyard-shift-by-kim-whysall-hammond/

In loving memory of Nesa who told me the stories in this poem. We miss you Nesa.

Who lives here?

Smoke rises from a broad stout chimney
set in a scorched tiled roof
pushing past tall grasses
and gone to seed poppies

I find a large casement and
look through to see a small pantry
lined with deep wooden shelves
each full of meat joints blown with flies

From a smaller dirty window I see
a mound of glittering coins
dotted with golden torcs and platters
a clue to danger

Time to run!

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Midsummer White

The ancient one, birthed in another age
beak mouthed, strangely skeletal
peels away from her verdant slope
stutters stonily on tiny hooves
shakes dust from ethereal flanks
nuzzles her impalpable foal

She who once pulled the chariot of the Sun
wakes on this eve of dreams
gallops over hill and vale
bone stone cold creature
looming, outsized, lumpy
she sails over hedgerows
scatters cattle and chickens
sets farm dogs barking
pet dogs to cower

She will break over you like an ocean wave
roll you over and under in your midsummer dreaming
refreshing or drowning, you make your choice, take your chance

Rosy fingered dawn will return her
stiffening to the high slopes
she settles creaking into green
back to the land

For now

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

If you stand in the valley near the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire and look up at the high curve of chalk grassland above, you can see an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut into the grass. She has a sweeping body, a round eye set in a square head, a beak. and an invisible foal (you’ll have to trust me on that last one).

This is the Uffington White Horse, a 3,000-year-old pictogram visible from 20 miles away.

Once every hundred years the Uffington horse gallops across the sky to be reshod by Wayland in his smithy, just along the Ridgeway track. This is said to have last happened in around 1920. Maybe Wayland waits for her tonight……

This poem was written for the Earthweal Weekly Challenge.

My poem ‘She Lingers’ has been published

I’m very pleased to tell you that I have another poem published!

My poem ‘She Lingers’ has been published in the summer 2021 poetry issue of American Diversity Report

Thank you to John C. Mannone for taking this poem — which was written after a walk on Ham Hill in Berkshire this last January.