They looked and turned away

They looked and turned away
Londoners afraid to interact
With the girl sitting, weeping
On a stinkingly hot day in the city
Exclaiming that she had gone blind
Oversized suitcase abandoned near her feet
My feet
Someone pushed a cold drink into my hand
A woman’s voice comforted me
A stranger joined me on the step, asked where I was going
Told me that a long hot walk carrying a load
Had affected my sight
Sat until, miraculously, my sight returned
Then left
Pulling myself to my feet
I retrieved the offending suitcase
Slowly made my way to the Tube station
Continued my journey, moving from London to Oxford
Changing university, leaving friends and home city
Aiming for a Doctorate, I should have noted the omen
For I found loneliness and failure

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

This poem first appeared in September 2016 on Silver Birch Press.  It describes the actions of a unique person in London — a kind stranger. I’m a Londoner and I love my home city, but it can be a brutal place. I was moving a suitcase full of books from London to Oxford, where I hoped to earn a Doctorate in the “Angular momentum of the Earth.”

I didn’t.

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.

 

Dawn creeps across the land

Dawn creeps across the land
Shining her pale light into nests
Causing baby birds to call for food
Dormice to rub their eyes and blink
Ants to speed up their hurrying and scurrying
She reaches up to wash the sky with pale blue
And a hint of rose at the east
And , as a special treat today, the west
Smiling  to herself as the world awakes
She feels a certain self satisfaction as the Sun
With a near audible plop
Detaches itself from the horizon
Then like any other woman
Readies herself for a busy day

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

First published on In Between Hangovers: https://inbetweenhangovers.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/dawn-creeps-across-the-land-by-kim-whysall-hammond/

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

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.

Gecko

Each siesta, my gecko came
Skittering across the mottled ceiling
Dancing over paint flakes
Lengthening his neck to peer down
At me

He would not leave his hiding hole
Until I laid me down to rest
In the Sicilian noonday heat
Then two sparkling gleaming eyes
Held vigil

Halfway between stick and snake
Sandy spiky little friend
Padded feet gripping to defy gravity
My curious Gecko watched over me
Literally

Once his powers failed him
And he plopped down onto my chest
I woke to see him face to face
And  find in those eyes
Understanding

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

gecko

Legal Poetic Parody

I just found this tale of legal poetry, and wanted to share it with you.

Karen Lowe hit and damaged a tree in Michigan belonging to William Fisher. The tree was successfully repaired which cost Lowe’s insurer $550. However, Fisher was not satisfied and he claimed $15,000 of damages for the pain his “beautiful oak tree” suffered.

A trial court dismissed the case but an appeal was filed. Unfortunately for Fisher, the Court of Appeals of Michigan, composed of a three-judge panel, agreed with the lower court’s ruling in poetry!

We thought that we would never see
A suit to compensate a tree,

A suit whose claim in tort is prest
Upon a mangled tree’s behest;

A tree whose battered trunk was prest
Against a Chevy’s crumpled crest;

A tree that faces each new day
With bark and limb in disarray;

A tree that may forever bear
A lasting need for tender care.

Flora lovers though we three,
We must uphold the court’s decree.

Affirmed.

Source: Legal Poetic Parody