Tag Archives: exmoor

Exmoor Spring

Sheep gnaw at clumps of grass
Buttercups shine as yellow cut-glass
Bluebells haze and blue a bare hill bereft of a wood
And I laze where struggling shepherds once stood.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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Stone in the water

Deep plunge pool in the heart of the moor
Centred in spring time unfurling of bracken
Shadowed by a twisted thorn tree
Water pours in over a mossy lip
Large pebbles line the sloping
Glowing colours in crystal water

Something falls
Breaks the surface
Circles upon circles radiate
Contours ripple to a point of disappearance
Sparkle in the dawn light
Stone in the water

 

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Re-blogged from 2016.

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

Herepath

Wide as ten men abreast
The old road cuts between farms
Dips down to the river
Rises up over the moor
Rabbits lollop, lambs bleat
Rosebay glows at sunset
Where were the wars that you marched to?
Where were the victories that you won?
Here on the old Herepath
The road truly goes ever on

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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.

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