Tag Archives: children


We worry about you, our dear boy,
as if, by worrying, we can affect
your journey through life.
It is a parent’s lot to be apprehensive.
But we must take pleasure, bury  fears,
lift our fledgling to the sky
and laugh delightedly as you fly away.
We need to grow
to trust your endurance
to give you to the universe.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond


Memory 1

Slumping in hot Mediterranean shade
hatless, baked,
contemplating vast sandy ruins,

Walking across hot Gozitan salt pans
sun dazzled,
waves crashing beneath.

Plunging into an oasis
in a brick red  desert,
surprising the locals.

Kayaking on ocean waves
cooling wind in my hair
reaching forward.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The plant place

Today we visited the plant place
Delighted in sturdy trees and shrubs
And many small flowers nurtured to full brightness
In a long slow chill spring
By a couple who could be us in fifteen years time
We took time to linger, to chat and choose
Brought home Lavender, rooted stems of Blackthorn
Several small domes of Thyme
“We bought some Thyme” I said to our teen-aged son
Who contested that time cannot be bought
But is spent often heedlessly
Slipping away unnoticed
We bought time in his younger days with reduced incomes
Time spent with him and his brother
Not wasted, but well-used and treasured
I delight in this sturdy young man
Tended and taught, growing to the light
Both plants and children need tender care
Nurseries are a well spring of civilisation

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond


The”Plant place” is Wolverton Plants. I wrote this a couple of months ago after a visit on my birthday, and have just found it again on a stray piece of paper. I publish it today in honour of ‘Where are the Chickens’ new baby son….




About a boy……

He turned 20 years old yesterday, off to France today…………and it seems only a little while since his first trip away without us, nine years ago.

       The School Trip

Long limbs, freckled cheeks
He slips between us in the bed
It’s nearly time to go
We hold him, all nervous and excited
The week long trip looms
Kiss in the hallway at home
Dash to the coach in a gaggle of friends
Pulling faces at the window
I put ‘ears’ on Dad and little brother
The coach goes, and so, nearly, do our tears
They grow – you let them go
Nerves, sadness, excitement and pride

Copyright © 2015  Kim Whysall-Hammond


… poem originally published 2015…..

The teenage years

The teenage years

All bets are off in the teenage years
You still share your child’s hopes and fears
But they are a child no more –Can you hear that slammed door?
It’s a bumpy ride–Sometimes Jekyll, sometimes Hyde
You love them to bits, you can’t stand them any more
And there again is that slamming door
You glimpse a young woman, you glimpse a young man –Try to catch them if you can
Sometimes it seems they’re a toddler again –Needing to share some of the pain
Do you remember when this was you?
Now you know what your parents went through……

                 Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond


Re-blogged from 2015….



You cuddle up to me in your sleep, comforted by mother warmth
What do you dream little man, my child full of wonder
You exhaust  me by day and then enthral me at your time of sleeping
Always asking for more, lifting my soul and life
Every day is an  adventure for us
As I discover the world in and through your eyes

  Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

I wrote this poem when my sons were much much younger….

Lava Tunnel

Lava Tunnel

In a simple field, no different from any other
Is a clump of small trees with a dark secret
Amongst their roots, we tiptoe down a rocky slope
Into blackness.
Torchlight reveals a dry tunnel, strange shelf on the walls
Chattering, we walk until daylight is extinguished by distance
We stop, simmer to quietude, and turn off the torches
Into silence
Liquid rock once ran where we now stand in black silence
The rock around us the scum that floated on that river
The apocalypse that created our tunnel has disappeared
Into history

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond


Once more, re-blogged from last year…



Sorting through a box of family photos………..

Moments set in the aspic of a photo
Smiles captured in chemical emulsions
Or the many pixels of light sensitive electronics
Laughter lost in time and space
Monochrome images or faded colours
Glossy rectangles with a sharp chemical scent
Hasty inkjet prints on inadequate paper
Rumpled by the moisture of the ink
Boxes full of mixed random images
From a life now lived and gone
Sometimes scribbled names on the back
Unknown unknowable faces
Odd ones where scissors have edited someone out
There is no order to this
To the memories evoked
The surprise findings
The glimpses into the undiscovered country

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Boy Migrant

Boy Migrant

He haunts me
A young boy
Mid teens
A lad like mine
Seen on the news bulletin
Scrambling over razor wire
Raised to protect Fortress Europe
From the migrant tide
From him and his like
But these were children, boys
Far from home, searching for safety
Fleeing from disaster


Other ghosts have returned
Living skeletons
Toddlers the size of newborns
Eight year olds that look like toddlers
Flies settled on their blank eyes
Pot bellies distended with death
Once more I weep
As the news plays on
Once more I am ashamed
To live in paradise
While the majority suffers
Watching their children die
Or sending  them on a perilous journey


I don’t have to send my son away
Across a continent
To avoid death
To avoid being forced to be a soldier
To avoid starvation, disease
To escape that ultimate killer
But if I believed that his safety
Is to leave home
Go through immense danger
To reach the promised land
I would surely send my son away
To take that journey


Hope will take you through hell and back
These are children
Those travelling boys need a home
Need  mother and  father
Need to be children
These children have been surely stripped of it all
I weep for the starving, denied a life
I give money for aid and comfort
Is that aid and comfort to me as well?
Am I a Good Samaritan?
Or just trying to salve a conscience as I continue with my life?


Each night I wake thinking of that boy hiding in the bushes in Hungary
I pray to a God I no longer believe in
Look after that boy, to keep him safe
I want to give him a home
I want to hold him and tell him it’s alright
That we will look after him
I need so much to treat him as my own
We are all family in the end
All human beings on the road
Between birth and an ending
We are each but a moment way
A moments bombing from displacement and death
I feel helpless in the face of an unfolding situation that is inhumane

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond


Written and posted in response to  Peter Notehelfers ‘A Voice for the Voiceless poetry Challenge’.

Written for a boy I  saw on the news many months ago and for the starving children in Yemen today.

Making lunch on a sunny afternoon

Making lunch on a sunny afternoon

Making lunch on a sunny afternoon
Melting cheese and toasting bread
Jostling gently around the kitchen
Ruffling the hair on your head
Knowing that you will leave us soon
The stairs will miss your heavy tread
Thinking how the years have passed
How your growing up has sped


Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond