Tag Archives: hill fort

Hill forts

Sitting on high tumbled ramparts,
grassy domed crater summiting an English hill
where long forgotten battle dead
lie in deep encircling ditches
strange many curled seedpods of Loosestrife
boil up from long grasses.

My mind drifts to mid-Atlantic and volcanic Faial
where people scattered in panic
as deep lake waters drained swirling into the volcano below
afraid that, with magma heating,
the waters would roil back out
destroying all.

Here, in England, emotions roil.
This fort’s tall palisade was
built to defend against the outsider, the other.
Now my country retreats within other palisades
toppling the first domino
to consequence unknown.

Hot gas bubbles seeth up
and through Maria Laach,
the forgotten Rhineland Supervolcano,
bubbling, boiling, at Europe’s heart
unheeded.

Whilst America has elected an arrogant fool
Europe tipple topples into fractions.
Generations have avoided war
yet the great project of Europe
is cracking apart
and the fool given dreadful power
may burn us all.

Hill forts cannot help us now.

The other name for Loosestrife
is Bomb-Weed.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond  –a rewrite of an older poem

Winter at the hill fort

Bright winter pools lean against the
steep grassy ramparts
and trees are doubled by reflection.
Our path is not so much muddy
as at swimming depth
so we clamber up to where
large cloven hoofprints
embroider the rim.
A fat old oak
moss green, porcine, thick with time
blocks our way,
it’s toes scrabbling
pushing into slushy mud.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Fosbury Fort

Skylarks sing and soar
We walk encircling ramparts
Gazing at the still deep ditch
Imploring the grassy interior
Unyielding of its secrets
Bluebell woods encompass almost two quadrants
Storms have tipped mossy trees into the line of defence
Making us clamber and slip
Amid the fragrant blue

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

….we went walking in Jane Austen country this lunchtime (on Doctors orders), and explored the hill fort on Haydown Hill……….

Chalklands

Chalklands

Chalk undulates across Southern England
Hills, gentle yet steep
Can be overtopped by clay peppered with flints
So treasured by the old folk

As old as the hills is true here
The chalk is a two hundred million year ocean
Stiffened and folded over time
By our living planet

Several human species
Have hunted  in these valleys
Have dug into and sculpted these hills
Have left their ghosts for us to trace

The ancient monuments we treasure
Hill forts, stone circles, long barrows
Are but modern remnants
Compared to the first folk

My hills have deep roots

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Hill Forts

Hill forts

This grassy crater
With a domed centre
Lies peacefully in the bright sun
Where once violence played
I sit on the rim and stare
Down ten feet or so
To where the strange
Many curled seedpods of Loosestrife
Boil up from the long grass
And think of other craters
The deep circle of Faial’s Caldera
Where once, I am told
People ran away in panic
Having seen the deep lake waters
Drain like a bath down a plughole
Into the volcano below
Afraid that
With magma heating
The waters would boil back out
And envelope them and their families
Here on this English hill
Only emotions boil
We sit on the inner palisade
Of an Iron Age hill fort
Built to defend against the outsider
The other
Just as racist fears have built up
In this  summer of discontent
Driving a country to retreat within its palisades
Toppling the first domino
If I cock my ear
I hear the hot gas bubbles
Breaking the surface of great Maria Laach
Her waters covering
The forgotten Rhineland supervolcano
She is bubbling, boiling, within Germany
As America toys with electing a fool
Europe tipple topples into the usual fractions
Generations have avoided war
Now the great project of Europe
Is cracking apart
Hill forts cannot help us now

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond