Tag Archives: exmoor

Exmoor Soundscape

Wild ponies snorting in the shade of a thorn tree
The kee of a buzzard soaring overhead
A ragged baa from a startled ewe
All underlaid by the irregular rumble of falling tumbling water

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A note to readers from America: An English buzzard is not a vulture, but catches live prey.

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The Overwhelming Sky

The overwhelming sky enthralls me
Shows me its magic, fills me with glory
Layers of stratus, piles of towering cumulus
Cirrus lacing glazes overtop
Neon pink icy scribbling on an evening horizon
Fireworks sunsets, pale sleepy dawns
Reds, yellows, purples, greens overwrite the blue and black
Gauguin, Picasso, Rothko must have felt this
The Starry Night is truth, no wonder Vincent suffered so
Genghis rode under this dome that encompasses all of our lives
Did its pressure drive him to the cities for refuge rather than plunder?

The overwhelming sky appears to have no end
Although I know that it is but the skin on the planet apple
It bears down on me, it conquers me
Filling me up with its immensity
Until I spill this burden of  words
To offer them as sacrificial token
To try to explain this hold
To bid to exorcise it
To seek release
But
It is the master of me

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published on Your One Phone Call earlier this year . Part of a series of poems about the sky, others are Open Sky and Evening Star.

Fellow Traveller

Drowsing on the wayside
Halfway through our walk
We are stopped
Something rustles and I open my eyes
Raise my head
There in the red tipped grasses of the moor
Stands a doe, ears twitching
Black liquid eyes gazing into mine
Two creatures on the uplands
We exchange something in that moment
Before the nearby bleat of a sheep
Startles us each
And the moment and doe are both gone

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Dunkery

P1190008.JPGLording over the moors and valleys, visible out to sea
Bold Dunkery, crowned with cairns ancient and modern
Your summit cairn is in summer twilight crowned by larking lads
Come to watch the sunset, yet cheated by horizon hugging cloud
They revel in unexpected solitude at a well trodden spot

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

It was lovely up at Dunkery Beacon in the twilight.

Shallowford

Hard round folds of green billow down to a cleft
A  valley in the high moor
Ahead, a quilt of brighter hue lies piecemeal
Where wild moor has been tamed
As we walk, a second valley reveals itself
A child of fields not moor, sweet and wooded
At the meeting of the valleys we will turn to leave
The quiet high places, these hard round folds of green

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

We are walking on Exmoor this week

Only Exmoor

Only Exmoor stretches out to embrace the whole sky in its immensity
Reflects its moods and colours, its nurture and destruction
Only the moor is as fickle as the sky

Today the moor is swallowed as clouds subsume the uplands
Yesterday it shed water like the clouds themselves
Tomorrow it will shimmer with heat, dry and unforgiving

Trees hide in hollows, afraid to stand in the open
Sheep bones litter the spring hillsides
Peaty silty bogs nestle with gorse , bracken and heather

Only Exmoor reaches out to bleed the very rain from the sky
To lie seeming gentle with its folds and billows, green fields abutting the heather
Then to gladly accept the gifts of deadly snow, killing floods, baking heat

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem first appeared in Peacock Journal earlier this year.