Tag Archives: family


One grandmother is a monochrome photograph
other people’s eloquent stories
even the only grandchild she lived to see
cannot now remember her

She was
tall, stylish and elegant on my grandad’s arm
smiling enigmatically at the camera
the wife he still mourned deeply
twenty years after her untimely death

She is
the reason I can write this
for she saved her premature baby sons lives by
determination and ingenuity when the midwife
left them for dead

So maybe she is not absent at all

Copyright © 2023 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem is published for Dverse, where the theme is Grandmothers. My paternal grandmother died a year before I was born, but she still had a great impact on my life…..

I am the Featured poet at Green Lion Journal!

The wonderful Renwick Berchild has chosen a suite of my poems to be part of her ongoing ROAR Showcase at Green Lion Journal.

Please head over to Green Lion to read my poetry, and also a Q&A where I answer various questions about my poems and poetry.

A soup of memories

Heinz Cream of Tomato, served piping hot with grated Cheddar cheese on top and dry toast to tear up and float in it. My Grampee would not eat it any other way, and neither would I. The delightful bright green soup we were served in a hotel in Germany’s Black Forest, which my broccoli hating young sons scoffed up quickly. Yes, it was Broccoli, we had bribed the waiter not to tell them. My homemade chicken soup, made to a recipe originally from Malta (Grampee’s homeland). One of our now adult sons, realising he was not recovering well from a bad bout of Covid drove for 2 hours to get home and have some. Apparently it’s a magical cure for all ills. On a cold day I love Miso Soup with seaweed – so warming! A find in recent years has been Jamaican Chickpea and Squash soup which is very tasty and filling. Soup is not a huge part of our family diet, but it is important to us and to me .

steaming hot bowl
spoon slides in
magic happens

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This Haibun was written in response to the Prompt over at Dverse tonight. Come and join in!

Language lost to Night

You still had it in old age, I heard you speak it to a fellow patient
in your new home so far way from your

Mother Tongue

A remaining trace of an island locked in the Middle Sea
when I visit I am recognised as native but I have not the

Mother Tongue

How was it to build a life away from home and sunshine
at home in Bagdad, alien in Brighton, and no

Mother Tongue

I wish I could sit with you once more
take your hand, hear more stories of Malta, hear your

Mother Tongue

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Grampee….

Alphred Dominic Brown 1897 – 1979

Comfort Food

We drove back exhausted
you resting that nearly blind eye
me trying to focus on the road ahead
clinging to my steering wheel

This morning the optician had taken one look and
sent us hell for leather to a local hospital
where the consultant quailed, sent us
even faster to a top specialist

Several hours driving from town to town
then to the big port city
hurry up and wait, and again
Like at an airport, but worse

Finally, a laser welded your eye together
and we made the last call home
to our anxious schoolboy son
who fretfully asked how long we would be

Finally at home, we opened the front door
to the smell of baking breads
sizzling Halloumi, grilled Aubergines
fresh made hummous

A dining table laid with the best plates and cutlery
crystal glasses and

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond


Merry eyes, wicked smile, teller of tales.
Grandfather mine, I would sit on your knee
hear of Susan, the Mule that liked to kick officers
and saved you on a mountain pass.
How you were called the
Prince of Baghdad by your comrades
and of meeting real Princes in India.
Self taught, you bought me
Maths books to read with you
taught me poetry
squeezed me into your
invalid carriage and drove to
expensive French restaurants for lunch.
Your love of life and learning
and food
is mine, forever.

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem is linkes back to Open link night at Dverse

Rattling the Drawers

I was spoon fed them
accepting passively the gift
yet another small burden to carry down the years
plastic bag of large sliver spoons all tarnished
a bit like me

Left in a cupboard
rediscovered when decorating
polished laboriously
put experimentally in a drawer

Now each meal uses one or two
dolloping pasta or curry onto family plates
use keeps them shiny, blessed fact
and their surfaces reflect laughter and love

I regret not asking my mother
back in her living time
where they came from
within a small working class family

Already I see the ones I will give this summer
to my eldest son and the woman he loves
as they start their lives together

I hope she will not see them as a burden

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was first published by An Ink Slingers Observance in their June 2020 print edition.

Peering into the Kitchen

It’s Christmas Eve and the kitchen is a mess
everything crusted with flour as more pastry is made
because someone has eaten all the mince pies already.

The jelly stuffed full of Rum soaked sponges has finally set
providing a foundation for our Christmas Trifle
and the Christmas Cake has been iced
with red rocketships rather than holly.

Meanwhile someone is melting dark chocolate
to make a Yule Log the way Grandad used to
and not looking guilty at all.

I smile and close the door on my adult sons as
their chocolate fuelled laughter resounds in my ears.
Christmas is finally here!

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem appeared here last year, but I want to share it again! It describes our own little Christmas Eve tradition.

Many years ago, I would leave the bulk of the Christmas baking until Christmas Eve, and have an all day marathon with my two little boys. By the time Daddy came home from work, they were happy and above all tired. Not over excited at all, so sleep came easy to them and Father Christmas could drink his Calvados, eat his mince pie and fill those stockings.

The mess is a family joke –when they were young, somehow the house on Christmas Eve was littered with floury handprints…

Alas, last year and this year someone is elsewhere and baby bro (all 6 foot of him) is baking alone……