Tag Archives: family

Husbandry

He talks to chickens
Sometimes with their own sounds
Otherwise in English
Discussing the state of the hen house
The undesirability of chickens entering the house
And pooping on our elderly carpet

They themselves have their own opinions
Apparently
The availability of fresh greens in their diet
The joy of scratching about on the shingle path
The delightful crunchiness of dried meal worms
When I suggest that the girls take part in family decisions
In order to address the gender imbalance
I am rejected
They have their own forum
Talking with my husband each day
True husbandry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

 

The letter

His last letter home
is now 120 years old
frail, wafer thin paper
copperplate writing in blue ink
words faded and lost at the creases
tear drops have blurred others

His last letter home
was written from Africa
tells of the fury and terror of local thunderstorms
talks of photos and chocolate received
dreams of trips to the seaside
when he gets back
for he will board ship in three weeks

His last letter home
says how he reckons
that the Boers have no fight left
but it seems they did
a few days later they attacked his column
shot him from his horse
killed him

His last letter home
ended with fifteen kisses

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The letter is in my possession, and was from Charles Stephen Coughtry Wellsted, my Great Grandfather.   Charles was killed on 10th May 1900 at Vredes Verdag in South Africa, three months before his only daughter (my maternal Grandmother) was born. He was 34 years old, a Private in the Royal Scots Greys 2nd Dragoons. The photo is of a Royal Scots Greys  dragoon in Boer War kit.

I do not, as yet, know Charles’ birthday, but he was christened at Snargate Church in Romney Marsh on 17th February 1866.

The letter

His last letter home
is now 120 years old
frail, wafer thin paper
copperplate writing in blue ink
words faded and lost at the creases
tear drops have blurred others

His last letter home
was written from Africa
tells of the fury and terror of local thunderstorms
talks of photos and chocolate received
dreams of trips to the seaside
when he gets back
for he will board ship in three weeks

His last letter home
says how he reckons
that the Boers have no fight left
but it seems they did
a few days later they attacked his column
shot him from his horse
killed him

His last letter home
ended with fifteen kisses

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The letter is in my possession, and was from Charles Stephen Coughtry Wellsted, my Great Grandfather.   Charles was killed on 10th May 1900 at Vredes Verdag in South Africa, three months before his only daughter (my maternal Grandmother) was born. He was 34 years old, a Private in the Royal Scots Greys 2nd Dragoons. The photo is of a Royal Scots Greys  dragoon in Boer War kit.

I do not, as yet, know Charles’ birthday, but he was christened at Snargate Church in Romney Marsh on 17th February 1866.

It’s all geek to you

Sixty six thousand miles an hour she spins us around her
yet a layer of grey moistness
stops the Sun’s nuclear furnace from warming my bones
as I lie here on the garden deck
wrapped old lady like in fleece blanket
and suburban birdsong

Five hundred thousand miles an hour we all turn around
the black maw at galactic central
that swallows worlds and never enough
lunching on stellar archipelagoes
leading me to think of  Schwartzchild radii
and equations I once manipulated.

Faster than both, you fall through the front door
laughing over the factorisation error you made
in today’s school test.
Functionally innumerate, mathematically gifted,
golden, green eyed geek son of mine.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For my youngest son, 19 today, still a geek, soon to be an aerospace engineer.

This poem was written when he was still at school.

Father And Son

Another wonderful poem from Glenys about family life. Do go and check out her poetry, she tells such great stories so well….

lifecameos

On Christmas Day after
the excitement of presents
Dad lies on the living room floor
on his side, head on hand as
baby brother leans backwards
and forwards rocking to and fro
on his chubby bottom against
Dad’s stomach, absorbed in his
new playskool toy with a
rolling barrel, levers to push.

He thumps on one lever, laughs
at its loud ringing noise, stares
in fascination as the barrel rolls
and rings, thumps the lever again,
murmurs excitedly to himself.

Dad watches as baby brother
plays, grinning broadly at this
intent little fellow, so engrossed
in his fabulous new toy.

Previously posted March 2017

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Going to school

We are all three children
ready for school at last.
But who can go this morning?
Mum sits on the stairs crying
railing against our tardy ways.
She complains of our constant
losing of gloves and hats
not to mention sports kit
and of how hard it is to get us all ready.
My little brothers stand open-mouthed
frightened by this collapse of motherhood.
Older, I am far more worried about not
getting to school on time.
I’m still not allowed to walk there on my own
although the neighbour’s girl my age can,
and I’m wary of shepherding two
wayward little boys across the road to the school.
But, as Mum raises her voice in yet another wailing moan
I decide this must be done.

I pat her on the hand, and tell her
that I’ll do it today, then
I open the door.
Suddenly, I’m slapped, shouted at
called a little madam.
Suddenly, it’s fine for Mum to take us.
Crying, I hop from foot to foot
impatiently as she gets ready,
her ‘face’ needs to be put on which
always takes forever.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Rain on the Roof

He sleeps on while I awake
to hear rain on the roof
lie snug listening to a
long familiar sound
pattering, gathering strength
and force until
it pounds
and the roof resounds.

Gasping with sudden
shattering realisation
I grab for the breathers,
the suits,
scream for the children.
It does not rain
here on Mars.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was published as ‘Rain’  Star*Line Volume 42, Issue 2 –the in-house print  journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

http://sfpoetry.com/sl/issues/starline42.2.html

My sons tower over me

My sons tower over me
making me feel like I have shrunk
the eldest shares stories  of University
some I’d rather not hear

Spontaneous hugs envelop  me
protective and loving
we smile over stories of their boyhood
adventures while walking to school
playing at Orcs  in the woods
chasing waves on a North Sea beach
then travelling home soaked through
that time in the fountain…

I  am grateful for the gifts of love and joy
that they bring me
many times unknowingly
am happy when the house
fills with the deep laughter of young men

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond