Tag Archives: Life

High Hilled Moor

Fog rose out of the valley
Where Hoar Oak Water runs
Swarmed up onto our hill path
Rose further to blot the sun

Encompassed within minutes
We faltered on our way
Scrambled up a steep slope
To see hills afloat on a vast sea

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Advertisements

Bones

Slender bones, delicately traced
staring grinning skulls.
No skin, no muscle,
no eyes, no heart or other parts.
Yet they tell a knowing eye many tales
of wounds healed, muscle strengths,
diseases and battles fought.
Indications of the life lived
and sometimes the death faced.

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

He Is Gone

A sad story from Glenys that has moved me greatly this morning:

lifecameos

She rang me from her home
at the far end of the country.

“He is not here,” she said.

“Is he in the hospice ?” I asked.

“They take me to see him
at the hospice every day.”

She said no  more
did not answer me
hung up.

I wrote to her instead.

_______________________

She rang me from her home
at the far end of the country.

“He is …. he is …. ” she said.

“I am so sorry  he is gone,”
I replied.

I persuaded her to tell me
who stayed with her
who cared for her.

The small private funeral
he requested spared her
much distress.

They are helping her
supporting her at home.

But he is gone.

View original post

Husbandry

He talks to chickens
Sometimes with their own sounds
Otherwise in English
Discussing the state of the hen house
The undesirability of chickens entering the house
And pooping on our elderly carpet

They themselves have their own opinions
Apparently
The availability of fresh greens in their diet
The joy of scratching about on the shingle path
The delightful crunchiness of dried meal worms
When I suggest that the girls take part in family decisions
In order to address the gender imbalance
I am rejected
They have their own forum
Talking with my husband each day
True husbandry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Tony….

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!

Burning

English summers, often damp, can invoke long stifling twilights
Nothing landbound needlessly moves
Contrails crayon across the sky
So many, this close to London’s hub
Distantly, the buzz of a low plane, pleasure rider reaching up
Into the realm of the starlings as they susurrate
A car comes past in the lane droning away round the curves
Here the runway cross remains
The old tower still stands intact
As ponies munch and cattle chew
Larks lurk in the grass where bombers once turned
Occasional ironwork testament to hydrants and gun emplacements
War and weapons layered over by Nature and time
But, as the dark deepens, the lost come home
Tearing blazing incandescent screams rustle up drowsy birds
Look up and the dazzling burning blurs past
Metal screeches as it tears apart, each time the same
One last attempt at landing whole, at bringing the crate home
So wanting to see sweethearts and Blighty again
Then gone, back to oblivion
The burning pilot saluted you as he passed

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem first appeared in Peacock Journal earlier this year.