Tag Archives: England

High on the Downs

Long grasses sift the evening wind
scent it with pollens
stars prickle through high cloud

somewhere, Skylark still sings
finishing the day shift
elsewhere, Owl calls
announcing night

dusk empties the land
of humanity
all close together
in their dim shelters

here on the ridge
Hare comes close
closer
black tipped ears erect

we return her stare
for what seems
forever

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Written for this weeks  earthweal weekly challenge: SPIRITS OF PLACE

To Ham Hill and Beyond

The lanes are lined with lace
Cow Parsley that sways and dances as we pass
our prayer wheel tyres turn and
charge our journey with significance

We dive deep into low green tree tunnels
where gnarled heat-seeking branches
reach out, over and above

Rise to a downland sea of many grasses
arrayed with sheep and bleating lambs
where the horizon is calling
to take us away

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Again on Ham Hill

Above a Red Kite slides the wind
alert for who knows what
her searing glance burns

Here on the escarpment wind is all
trees continually rustle in its grip
bend to its command

A Hare runs onto our rutted path
stops and turns to look us over
dismisses us with a leap and a bound

Grass grows tall and wild here
dips and flows, always in motion
always alive

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

https://earthweal.com/2021/04/30/earthweal-open-link-weekend-67/

Twenty Twenty Cricket

Crowded into the bowl, excitement mounts
Shouting as the brightly coloured teams come on
Every ball bowled greeted by an intaken breath
Every shot acclaimed by cheers

The bowler waits restlessly
As a batsman gardens at the wicket
Fielders circle to the boundary edge
Keen to take a catch

The Wicket Keeper nonchalantly sledges
Then, a crack and the ball lofts high
Leather on willow performing the longed for magic
The Great Game is on

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Outdoor sport is allowed once more in England….yay!

Farm

My rolling road smooths over the hills
reveals a distant farm house
hazy gray, huddled in trees
we roll on and the farm folds away
gone into green.
As it did
when Vikings rode past
hunting for spoils, women and food
when the Revenue came later
searching for tax payers.

This land is ancient
holdings forged millennia ago
only when warfare encompassed the air
was this farms safety broached.
Yet bombers passed over to pit and hole
to blast and burn
the farm house remained
snuggled into the land.


Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Chalklands

Chalk undulates across Southern England
Hills, gentle yet steep
Can be overtopped by clay peppered with flints
So treasured by the old folk

As old as the hills is true here
The chalk is a two hundred million year ocean
Stiffened and folded over time
By our living planet

Several human species
Have hunted  in these valleys
Have dug into and sculpted these hills
Have left their ghosts for us to trace

The ancient monuments we treasure
Hill forts, stone circles, long barrows
Are but modern remnants
Compared to the first folk

My hills have deep roots

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Friday Poem: Puck’s Song

See you the ferny ride that steals
Into the oak-woods far?
Oh that was whence they hewed the keels
That rolled to Trafalgar.

And mark you where the ivy clings
To Bayharn’s mouldering walls?
Oh there we cast the stout railings
That stand around St. Paul’s.

See you the dimpled track that runs
All hollow through the wheat?
Oh that was where they hauled the guns
That smote King Philip’s fleet.

(Out of the Weald, the secret Weald,
Men sent in ancient years,
The horse-shoes red at Flodden Field,
The arrows at Poitiers!)

See you our little mill that clacks,
So busy by the brook?
She has ground her corn and paid her tax
Ever since Domesday Book.

See you our stilly woods of oak,
And the dread ditch beside?
Oh that was where the Saxons broke
On the day that Harold died.

See you the windy levels spread
About the gates of Rye?
Oh that was where the Northmen fled,
When Alfred’s ships came by.

See you our pastures wide and lone,
Where the red oxen browse?
Oh there was a City thronged and known,
Ere London boasted a house.

And see you, after rain, the trace
Of mound and ditch and wall?
Oh that was a Legion’s camping-place,
When Caesar sailed from Gaul.

And see you marks that show and fade,
Like shadows on the Downs?
Oh they are the lines the Flint Men made,
To guard their wondrous towns.

Trackway and Camp and City lost,
Salt Marsh where now is corn-
Old Wars, old Peace, old Arts that cease,
And so was England born.

She is not any common Earth,
Water or wood or air,
But Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye,
Where you and I will fare.

By Rudyard Kipling