Tag Archives: exmoor

Exmoor Hedge


Exmoor hedge

The Exmoor hedge is wildly strange
Who would plant trees on the top of a dry stone wall?
All across the  moorlands and bogs
Overgrown hedgerows clamber and sprawl

Lambs and foals owe to the hedge
Winds are faltered by the sheltering trees
In a pitiless landscape
Animals and birds look for the leaves


Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond



On Blue Anchor Beach

Crevasses hide slidden trees
while cliff tops have shed huge rocks
now littered out down below
unstrung Brobdingnagian beads

On this mis-sized jewellers of a beach
quartz and pearled fossils glitter and shine
we scamper over curled dark pools
fish for a sense of perspective

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Stone in 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

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 2017

Standing on Dunkery

Any hill will do
They all are sacred, but
Dunkery at twilight
As mist seeps up from
Purple heather
Horizons broaden out
And valleys settle into shadow

Sheep bleat, asking for their land back
But we walk the broad path
To a scattered mound of stone
Skirting nervous wild ponies
As the sun paints them golden

Ponies never ask, it is always theirs
As it belonged to the mound builders
Five thousand years ago
As it belongs
And doesn’t belong
To us all
But especially tonight
To me and mine

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond


Written in response to this weeks EarthWeal challenge “Sacred Landscapes“. Exmoor is very special and it’s highest point, Dunkery Beacon, even more so.