Category Archives: Technology

Desperate

We send robots to roam
neighbouring planets and moons
decades in the dark
searching, sensing, tasting
looking for life traces

Could it be Enceladus
where molecules spurt from
hidden ocean-slush
or indeed Mars, so dry
so near, so tantalising?

Will they succeed before
we destroy our lives
here on precious blue green Earth?
Before there is no one
to receive the news?

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Pt Off. John Gillespie Magee, Jr, RCAF, 1941

 

John Magee was a Canadian Spitfire pilot in England in World War 2. He died in 1941. This poem is just wonderful and has been quoted again and again —I remember Ronald Reagan quoting it after the Challenger crash.

I wish I could write like this.

Stone Circle

Stone Circle

Consider the stone circle
Do the stones collect impressions?
Perhaps imprinted like old photographs
Perhaps locked in their silicon crystals
Perhaps they link into the earth beneath
Using ants and their nest structures
To record the thoughts of those who visit

Maybe  it’s my sense of place that deludes me
Makes me feel that the stones are listening
My need to bring some mystery to this circle
When it is already full of real mystery and strangeness
Why and how being the biggest
But I want to hear the builders, eavesdrop on long ago visitors
And so stretch fingertips to the stone to download the recording

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

aveburycropped

Ocean of Storms

Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms is a large area on the Moon. It forms part of the  Man in the Moon that you see at full Moon.  One day the name just kept on rolling around my tongue, until this poem arrived.

 

Ocean of Storms

No storm ever played across your surface
No rain ever fell
Dust lays where water would otherwise
No fish here can dwell
Misnamed lunar ‘ocean’
That two men have bounced around
The child of massive impact
Lava flooded ground

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Flint

Flint

Clinking flint on flint
They sat, cross legged
Sculpting the desired form
From the larger rock
Before going on the hunt.
Children clambered in cramped tunnels
Hewing the flints from the solid chalk
In the lonely dark
To allow these few to craft killing tools
And to eat.

 

Clicking screen to screen
We sit, hunched
Sifting the information stream
Shaping the data
To draw our salaries.
Children spend their lives in cramped factories
Working on small assemblies
In the lonely light
To allow us few to play
In the western world

 

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond