Tag Archives: archeology

Hill forts

Sitting on high tumbled ramparts,
grassy domed crater summiting an English hill
where long forgotten battle dead
lie in deep encircling ditches
strange many curled seedpods of Loosestrife
boil up from long grasses.

My mind drifts to mid-Atlantic and volcanic Faial
where people scattered in panic
as deep lake waters drained swirling into the volcano below
afraid that, with magma heating,
the waters would roil back out
destroying all.

Here, in England, emotions roil.
This fort’s tall palisade was
built to defend against the outsider, the other.
Now my country retreats within other palisades
toppling the first domino
to consequence unknown.

Hot gas bubbles seeth up
and through Maria Laach,
the forgotten Rhineland Supervolcano,
bubbling, boiling, at Europe’s heart
unheeded.

Whilst America has elected an arrogant fool
Europe tipple topples into fractions.
Generations have avoided war
yet the great project of Europe
is cracking apart
and the fool given dreadful power
may burn us all.

Hill forts cannot help us now.

The other name for Loosestrife
is Bomb-Weed.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond  –a rewrite of an older poem

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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 © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Cochi

Deep ploughed grooves
reveal treasures between vines
broken pots, beads, loom weights,
amphora base inscribed with a name.
Burnt edges speak of conflagration,
terror, loss, pain.
Archeology of human fear.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Cochi was the term for pot sherds when we were Archeological Field-Walking in Sicily several years ago.

We live on the high ground

We live on the high ground
Below us the water tumbles and falls, jumping over buried rocks
Water criss-crosses the land  eventually falling to the sea
Life is good here on the high, fresh soil and clear water
Healthy children, full bellies, long lives
Yesterday we sowed seed, laughing and singing
Today the sun is warm and the birds are singing for me
I try to put the birdsong into speech
As we knap flints from the coast
Mother is drawing a circle on the turf near the Family stones
A circle stones of to encompass Grandmother who closes in to death
We will cover her in the soil of home to keep her with us
Here on the high ground

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Originally published in Three Drops from a Cauldron: Issue 11

Neanderthal

Was it the red hair
that so entranced us?
The strong nose
on a strong young man?
Or that capable stocky young woman
who didn’t moan at first frost?
Where did we get our blues eyes from after all?
In the snows of almost perpetual winter
and at the warm shores of the middle sea
we met them, loved them,
raised their children.
And left them behind.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Winter Hill

Steep green turfed pudding
summit ringing terraces
slopes carved by sheepen hooves,
local springs, winter born, fill a surrounding pool.

Built near ancestral dead, venerable springs,
the great stone circles
and an ancient way once trodden by mammoth.
The largest winter hill and the last,
Silbury still haunts and surprises.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This great last monument of the Stone Age in England is not far from where I live, and continually fascinates me. Image from and further information at heritageaction

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