Tag Archives: Life

Seed Guardian

I joke that he is now a bean counter
as, indeed, he kneels to count his beans
small white capsules of DNA
strung up on life giving proteins

He needs to send a minimum of two hundred
to a seed bank upcountry, for these beans are rare
a variety that may die out soon if not cherished
grown, saved, stored

A variety that may feed us when times are hard
but only if we keep it, saving for a rainy day

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Tony, who is a Seed Guardian for the UK Heritage Seed Library. The crops we rely on for food need to be diverse so that diseases cannot totally wipe out our food supplies , but agrobusiness concentrates on only a few varieties.

For Earthweal

Homer and his ilk

The teachers pets sat at the front, had all her attention
the boys and I languished at the back
where three long bookshelves were stuffed full
with books not intended for a primary school
here poetry and myth seeped into my being
as I dodged paper airplanes

Here I met Achilles, Agamemnon, grew up in Sparta
saw the first marathon run
lived deep in primeval forests
loved slightly dippy Thor, discovered Loki
Kokopelli and Coyote
wanted a trickster god of my own

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Wardrobes

Wardrobes of tailored jackets
packed tight with empty pockets
still scented with her perfume

Silver spoons and Indian brassware
tablecloths, hand embroidered
saved for a time that never came

Teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl
enwrapped with gaudy Chinese dragons
given to her by a friend

All her rings, except for
Dad’s engagement ring
which we buried her with

a huge box of jumbled photos
full of memories, undiscovered history
and her, lithe and young

Those eyebrows I see in the mirror
the laugh that is also mine
her legacy pulses within me

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Otzi the Iceman

He wore warm boots and cloak
had many tattoos grouped
around wherever his joints hurt
to show where acupuncture should be done
carried a complex firelighting kit
containing many dried plants
with flint and pyrtite to make sparks

Consider his hide quiver of arrows with dogwood shafts
and an antler stub for sharpening arrow points
a rare copper axe with a yew handle
a stone bladed knife
various berries for snacks, and two sorts
of dried mushrooms strung with leather
one of them is antibiotic

When he died he was carrying an
unfinished yew Longbow taller than him
with a bowstring and the tools to complete it

Say Hello to our ancient brother

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Evenings

After Tom Clark

I am not a mornings person so
my pristine time is after sunset
as lights come on in the street
and in the many houses
as twilight surrenders its fragile claim to day

I walk looking up to consider
the bright cones of light
that fall from the municipal bulbs
onto intervening leaves, then the road
where cars and cats are illuminated equally

Another day has ended
And we are still here

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond