Tag Archives: Life

What do I remember first?

Is it the blackboard where I learnt my ABCs?
The way I tripped over my own feet, scarring my knees?
Waking up from sleeping next to my Nan in her great bed?
How it hurt when plaits were pulled tight to my head?
My gnarled, grumpy, loving Grampee
Telling me stories as I sat on his knee
Of Susan the Officer-kicking Mule
Or perhaps my first day at school
One seat left, next to John Searle
Happy to be friends with a lonely girl
The teacher who was angry that I could already read
My joy at being there, suddenly free
To learn everything and to love books
In which no one cared about a girl’s looks
My heroes were always boys and men
Not many strong women in stories then
My friends the boys  were rough and poor
Never cared what dress I wore or tore
Quiet, pretty and sweet seemed to be the rule
But I learnt another way at my first school

 

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

……I was trying (at the suggestion of a friend) to write a short account of my girlhood for my sons, and this poem came bubbling out…….

Bosworth Field

A gentle breeze billows the green barley
Sending waves shimmering from hedge to hedge
Elder and Herb Robert sparkle the field edge
Above the oak leaves do not stir

Near here a crown once hung on a thorn bush
Men struggled for cause, battle cries rang out
A King died alone fighting amid the foe
Violated in death, lost
Naked and broken the victors took him to town for display
Traitor they called him, an anointed King of England
Hunchback, wicked, perfidious
Name calling by the new regime
Murderer of children they whispered into the stream of history

A gentle breeze billows the green barley
Above the oak leaves do not stir

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Neanderthal

Was it the red hair
that so entranced us?
The strong nose
on a strong young man?
Or that capable stocky young woman
who didn’t moan at first frost?
Where did we get our blue eyes from after all?
In the snows of almost perpetual winter
and at the warm shores of the middle sea
we met them, loved them,
raised their children.
And left them behind.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

First blogged in 2018…..

Our strange stay here on Earth

We did not ask for this
we cannot control what we must
we can only rise to the times
and do what we see as right.
There is no one there to listen
no parent in the sky
we are the author of our souls
the believer in our faith
children of the universe.
Intellect and compassion?
Built solely from an interplay of atomic particles
our strange stay here on Earth
the true miracle of chance and physics

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was inspired by reading:

I have not asked for life.
But I try to accept whatever
life brings without surprise.
And I shall depart again without having
questioned anyone about my strange
stay here on earth.

Omar Khayyam

Advertisements

Occasionally, some of your visitors

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

 

Tonight, we 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,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Rain on the moor

Here on the moor
Rain closes you down
Takes away the horizon
Soaks and settles
Creates hazards
Can flood and kill

Rain lashes at the face
Stinging like needles
Sends cold tendrils down the neck
Seeps into all things
Deepens bogs and fords
Hides the path from view

A rainy day on the moor
Be it drizzle or a squall
Leaves you slipping and tumbling
Heading for shelter
Dripping at the pub or tearoom door
Grateful for the warm and dry

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Glory

And we stand upon this globe
Asking of the Universe
What?
Recognition?
Salvation?
Whatever you please
In it’s glory
(Shown by our ingenuity and craft
As we build orbital telescopes)
The Universe does not need us
Unless as an observer
Are we here simply to watch?
Look up, look up
Glory awaits

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The thief of joy

Something rises within, a washing clean of care
a pleasuring in the day, the view, the loved one
simple feeling, untramelled
yet this joy is stolen so easily

You steal it from yourself as you watch
the seeming perfect lives of others
compare our lives and families
I watch you do this and weep

 

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Inspired by The Total Abundance Project