Tag Archives: Fantasy

My poem “The Ancient of Days” published in The Fantastic Other

I am delighted to announce that my poem “The Ancient of Days” has been published in Issue 4 of The Fantastic Other magazine.

The issue can be read here:

the-fantastic-other-issue-04-1.pdf (wordpress.com)

Many thanks to the editor, G. E. Butler, and his team for publishing my poem.

Summer Queen

She makes grass into golden wheat
adorned in a stiff gold collarcape
walking, stroking,tending, sleeping with the crop
her brethren and children both
Her folk unforgiving of failure
poor cropping is catastrophe, starvation
Queens become then offerings
death awaits down that path

This summer is cold and wet
Wind flattened swollen heads remain green as harvest nears
she spends chill sodden desperate nights deep
in the fields, pleading the damp away
long days on the high hills
beseeching the sun for warmth to no avail
throat slitting awaits

The crop rustles, a manikin appears, barely wheat-high
Declares that he can help
can transmute wet straw to golden corn
at a price

She offers him her glistening arm-restricting collarcape
and the pleasures of her flesh
but he wants what she is loath to tender
any future child

She is doubly afraid, for herself
and for any child so forfeited
but dread convinces
of seeing her fathers eyes
as she is sacrificed
throat slit, body desecrated

So an agreement is made
and an unknowing village delights in late summer heat
glad harvesters sing of their queen
Autumnal marriage brings further abundance
made manifest in a swelling belly

Come a new spring, early skylarks soar
woodland paths are girded by fragrant blue
blossom bodes new abundance
yet the Queen is strangely reluctant to venture forth
to succour her new tilled fields
to leave her infant boy
with a village to raise him joyfully
this seems curious, inexplicable
yet she walks the encircling ramparts
staring out
waiting

He comes one night to her sleeping place
stares avidly at the child clasped close
she, however, has been considering
pondering the significance
of bargains well made
of names that control and command
of gifts freely given and so power won

What is the child that he so wants him,
what may he become?
What power will this child convey?

And she bargains once more
knowing that faery folk love so to do
and can be held to new deals made
the hobgoblin is silent impassive
until asked his own name
angry and proud he knows she can’t guess it
so the inbuilt weakness takes hold
“Tell me my name and you keep the child”
and he is gone

Long nights does she try
to divine the unknowable
the language of sprites and gods
is the language of the world around
shared with trees and rivers
rustling, thumping, creaking
a nonsense to human ears

Then the King tells her a story
whilst taking leave of his woodlands
his ice bearing hills
he spied on a little man dancing on mosses
singing a song of an ignorant woman
who will lose a child
to Rompanruoja the hobgoblin

So the father saves his son
from an uncanny fostering
for the Summer Queen she laughs
and at their next meeting
tells the old fellow his name
in pique and anger he leaves
not to be seen again

Here our tale ends with customary joy
The destiny of our Queen, her lovely boy
We cannot know
Lost in another story long ago

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was first published by Milk and Cake Press in  the  anthology  ‘Dead of Winter’, February 2021, available here.

The Colours of the Night

Not blackpurple or midnight blue
but rose from Betelgeuse
and the diamndsharp blue of Sirius

Ruby taillights on the move
those bright green leaves
lit up by streetlights, headlights

Nights colours are many and varied
as are those of its special creatures
now behind you, ready to feed

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Something Follows

We walk in winterbare sunbright woods
a winding path that skirts fallen trees
sprawling bramble thickets
and forms its own linear ponds
where frogs protest our passage

I hear a clinking
high pitched, sharp, intermittent
and somewhere behind

Nothing in our gear is metallic and loose
I hear the noise, but he doesn’t
when I stop to listen, he is confused
stumbles into me
our path follows a millennium-old ditch
and I begin to suspect the noise comes from there
but the ditch contains only brown beech leaves

When we stop, the clinks stop
When we walk once more
clink clink clink after a small wait

Sun shafts through clawing branches
strange rustles lurk under leafdrifts
our pleasant walk reforms
mutates
into else and other

The clinks are always there
as long as we are beside the ditch
always
something follows

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A real-life ghost story, shared for the open link weeked at Earthweal.

My edible home has no gingerbread

Its colours are cold and serious
and the clocks stopped a long time ago

Being alone for a long time
I have started to listen differently

Everything turns outward
but I turn up in all the wrong places

The witch is never dead
just sitting lonely in her edible home

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

My Cheese seller challenged me to write a poem with this title…….

Midsummer White

The ancient one, birthed in another age
beak mouthed, strangely skeletal
peels away from her verdant slope
stutters stonily on tiny hooves
shakes dust from ethereal flanks
nuzzles her impalpable foal

She who once pulled the chariot of the Sun
wakes on this eve of dreams
gallops over hill and vale
bone stone cold creature
looming, outsized, lumpy
she sails over hedgerows
scatters cattle and chickens
sets farm dogs barking
pet dogs to cower

She will break over you like an ocean wave
roll you over and under in your midsummer dreaming
refreshing or drowning, you make your choice, take your chance

Rosy fingered dawn will return her
stiffening to the high slopes
she settles creaking into green
back to the land

For now

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

If you stand in the valley near the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire and look up at the high curve of chalk grassland above, you can see an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut into the grass. She has a sweeping body, a round eye set in a square head, a beak. and an invisible foal (you’ll have to trust me on that last one).

This is the Uffington White Horse, a 3,000-year-old pictogram visible from 20 miles away.

Once every hundred years the Uffington horse gallops across the sky to be reshod by Wayland in his smithy, just along the Ridgeway track. This is said to have last happened in around 1920. Maybe Wayland waits for her tonight……

This poem was written for the Earthweal Weekly Challenge.

My poem ‘She Lingers’ has been published

I’m very pleased to tell you that I have another poem published!

My poem ‘She Lingers’ has been published in the summer 2021 poetry issue of American Diversity Report

Thank you to John C. Mannone for taking this poem — which was written after a walk on Ham Hill in Berkshire this last January.

Dark Land

Night has come
the land is dark
waiting for moonrise

Owl trembles in her branches
rabbit watches from her hole
vixen eyes the shape before her

Something moves brokenly
twists and turns
into a new form

Screams in anguish
agony and terror
as moonlight strikes

 

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

There is an English tradition for ghost and spooky stories at Christmas and New Year.