Tag Archives: garden

‘Seed Guardian’ at Silver Birch Press

I’m very pleased to point out that my poem Seed Guardian is now up at Silver Birch Press.

The poem is about my husband, who not only sells Cheese but is also a Seed Guardian for the National Heritage Seed Library, helping to save rare vegetable varieties for the future.

Seed Guardian by Kim Whysall-Hammond (HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH Series) | Silver Birch Press (wordpress.com)

Washing Away

Cool wind moves soft across my skin
evening flowers, dimmed now by twilight,
scent air that tastes fresh and new
dissolving heat and work into night.

One more job to do
unpegging laundry from a swaying line
towels roughened with use
pillow cases and sheets worn thin by time.

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Friday Poem: The Mower Against Gardens

Luxurious man, to bring his vice in use,
Did after him the world seduce,
And from the fields the flowers and plants allure,
Where nature was most plain and pure.
He first enclosed within the garden’s square
A dead and standing pool of air,
And a more luscious earth for them did knead,
Which stupefied them while it fed.
The pink grew then as double as his mind:
The nutriment did change the kind.
With strange perfumes he did the roses taint,
And flowers themselves were taught to paint.
The tulip, white, did for complexion seek,
And learned to interline its cheek;
Its onion root they then so high did hold,
That one was for a meadow sold.
Another world was searched, through oceans new,
To find the marvel of Peru.
And yet these rarities might be allowed,
To man, that sovereign thing, and proud,
Had he not dealt between the bark and tree,
Forbidden mixtures there to see.
No plant now knew the stock from which it came;
He grafts upon the wild the tame,
That the uncertain and adulterate fruit
Might put the palate in dispute.
His green seraglio has its eunuchs too,
Lest any tyrant him outdo,
And in the cherry he does nature vex,
To procreate without a sex.
‘Tis all enforced—the fountain and the grot—
While the sweet fields do lie forgot,
Where willing nature does to all dispense
A wild and fragrant innocence,
And fauns and fairies do the meadows till
More by their presence than their skill.
Their statues, polished by some ancient hand,
May to adorn the gardens stand,
But how so’er the figures do excel,
The gods themselves with us do dwell.

by Andrew Marvell – 1621-1678

This will be the last Friday poem for a while — it’s becoming a chore choosing them…..

Dandelions

A great poem from Sarah Russell. Here, in an English winter, the Dandelions are still strutting their stuff across my back lawn.

Sarah Russell Poetry

“A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place.”
                            George Washington Carver

Spike-haired, brass-blonde,
they invade the bluegrass suburbs
where blades form a passive sameness
if tended as intended.  They strut
across the green of everyday —
strumpets in tattered leafy skirts,
stiletto roots — bestowing downy favors
on the summer breeze.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Your Daily Poem
Photo Source

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The girls

They comment as they watch me weed
and as I go, they start to plead
for freedom from their boring pen
restrictive to a busy hen.

Now free, they root, scratch and dig
As efficient as any pig
Rustling through every flower
I watch to while away the hours

Later, the washing that I carry
Commands attention, so they tarry
Weaving about by my feet
Hoping it’s something they can eat

Finally it is time to end their roam
I need to get these chickens home
A line of treats upon the grass
Leads them back to the pen at last.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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Fireworks over England (Penny for the Guy)

Flying across England on Fawkes night,
peering down onto fiery blooms
sending light into the night,
bright chrysanthemums burnt to celebrate failed terrorism.
Fireworks and neighbourhood bonfires spark and glow each November
in long and splendid tradition, now organised and commercial.

But where is my Guy Fawkes?
Built each childhood year from old clothes stuffed with straw,
wheeled around the street, “Penny for the Guy please?”,
burnt on the family bonfire amid fireworks bought with the proceeds of my begging.
Tradition lost in a land that wants to go back on itself once more.

We also used to play in the Trafalgar Square fountains,
splashing in icy midwinter,
kissing Policemen at the stroke of midnight,
fraternity with authority on the turn of the year.
Now crowds buy tickets to watch fireworks over the Thames, passively.
We no longer make our own festivals, they are arranged for us.

We need to take back the small anarchies,
set off Fireworks in our own gardens in November,
burn the Guy as effigy of all we are told to be frightened of,
embrace the neighbours, we are all in this together.
Whatever colour or creed.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This weekend, the British celebrate Bonfire Night  with fireworks and large bonfires.  The tradition of burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes on the bonfire has all but disappeared.  We also don’t tend to set off our own fireworks in our gardens anymore, but go to large neighbourhood displays.

Of course, the classic poem, that we all learnt when very young, is:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!