Tag Archives: Life

When?

When this all settles
I will walk along a stony beach
Stepping across rock pools
Looking for fossils
Life has been here before and will be after

Nothing was ever certain
Life was always frail
A bubble has burst
But we will float again
Life is all we have, treasure its small joys

When this all settles
We must mourn the dead
Unpick our mistakes
Grieve for lost chances
Life for us should never be the same

We have another danger
That may take us all
This is a rehearsal
Now we must save our world
Our grandchildren must live and thrive

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Present Future

The machine just doesn’t stop
but clambers across and smothers real life

capturing privacies, swapping
small unregarded freedoms

for dopamine flash rewards
and a watered down electronic

recognition of sorts.
The screen’s constant siren call

replacing small intimacies
for others not yet evaluated.

Interconnected yet further apart,
we stumble on into the present future.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published at https://www.thesunlightpress.com/…/20…/10/30/present-future/

Uncle

Waking up with Nanny in her soft double bed
the room white and pink with swans and roses
Sunday morning and you would bring milky tea
Hot in her best rose gold china cup and saucers
we would sip, little fingers raised as you left
Before we too rose

Later, your Saturday visits to our house
bringing a bounty of colourful comics to read
And a secret pocket of sweets, for Mum not to see
How my brothers and I took you for granted
Never noticed the shining love in your eyes

Your hand grasping mine in supplication
As they wheeled you, protesting to surgery
from which you did not return, your
faltering loving heart finally stopping
Under the anaesthetists care

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Dreaming of seeing you again

You tread on the tail of my eye
carving crosswise through the crowd
that flows into the station
we greet with hugs, kiss cheeks
talk of our priceless opportunity
of a week together
after so long apart

Later, rinsing sorrow away
we linger out
a hundred glasses of wine
the clarity of close friends filling small talk
a lucid moon keeping us awake
and after we’re drunk, we’ll sleep
all heaven our blanket, earth our pillow

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Inspired by Chinese poetry, this one is for our best friend, away in Amsterdam. Our first trip abroad will be to see him, but we do not know when that can be….

They looked and turned away

They looked and turned away
Londoners afraid to interact
With the girl sitting, weeping
On a stinkingly hot day in the city
Exclaiming that she had gone blind
Oversized suitcase abandoned near her feet
My feet
Someone pushed a cold drink into my hand
A woman’s voice comforted me
A stranger joined me on the step, asked where I was going
Told me that a long hot walk carrying a load
Had affected my sight
Sat until, miraculously, my sight returned
Then left
Pulling myself to my feet
I retrieved the offending suitcase
Slowly made my way to the Tube station
Continued my journey, moving from London to Oxford
Changing university, leaving friends and home city
Aiming for a Doctorate, I should have noted the omen
For I found loneliness and failure

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Fist published by Silver Birch Press:

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/they-looked-and-turned-away-poem-by-kim-whysall-hammond-when-i-moved-poetry-and-prose-series/

Friday Poem: Not Waving but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

by Stevie Smith

And I do not remember her name….

She was older that all of us, she
had her own office, her audience chamber, she
could spot your coding error from a great distance.
Clever, charming and funny, she
had programmed the first computer
when it was over a Lyons Corner Shop and
bugs were real and flew. She
was our hero and we worshipped her. She
never married despite numerous proposals
as marriage meant the end of a womans career back then.
I remember her smile, her joy in teaching, her lack of regret and
oh, so much, her knowledge that we all used to
build computer code to model and understand climate.
I remember so well
long to tell you who she was.

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Shared at the EARTHWEAL Open link weekend:

https://earthweal.com/2021/05/07/earthweal-open-link-weekend-68/

White China

It glints in the sun
pure unalloyed
breakfast in the garden
with a sliver spoon

Our unexpected stay
with an unexpected aristocrat
who served us food and stories
Wedgewood and old England

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A poem prompted by Twiglets, telling of a weekend long ago when we drove west on a whim and, at dusk, found Bed and Breakfast in a Thatched cottage. Our hostess was very grand, very friendly and completely charming.

Breakfast was served with old Wedgewood crockery and solid silver cutlery that we will never be able to afford to buy. “Oh it came from GrandMama” she said, “from the big house. Don’t worry if you break anything my dears, I have thirty of each. There used to be more…..”