Tag Archives: Life

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 silver 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…..”

Old

When you are old you
don’t understand
the plot of any Avengers film
but do understand
personal comfort is important
hence the clothes you are wearing

Gladly point out that nobody
really knows what a blockchain is
start to ask things like
“Who needs that many tattoos?”
find you are saving everything
and wasting nothing
particularly stale leftovers
expect to have at least one ache or pain at all times.

Being old is a state of mind
when you are old
you don’t have to pretend anymore.

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Friday Poem: Mr Nobody

I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house.
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr., Nobody

‘Tis he who always tears our books,
who leaves our doors ajar;
he pulls the buttons from our shirts,
and scatters pins afar,
that squeaking door will always squeak,
because of this you see:
we leave the oiling to be done
by Mr Nobody.

He puts damp wood upon the fire,
So kettles cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud
And all the carpets soil.
The papers always are mislaid,
Who had them last but he?
There’s no one tosses them about
But Mr. Nobody

by Walter de la Mare

All in the Family

Raging against the rest of us
she calls us feeble sheep
doltards, retards, connivers in
our own imprisonment
bitter enemies of freedom

Freedom being, apparently
the right to party
to go down the pub
drink yourself insensible
and to then post photos of your creative craziness
as you throw up in the gutter

My freedoms are different
yes, I long to see and hug
but I need more to stay alive
to walk in fresh air, to read, to think
in peace and in health

Freedom , as always, is mutable

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Heavy

The heavy bones of my life
scrape past yellow lichens
to sink in verdant moss

These bones, they cast long shadows
that smother sunlit joys
weigh me down when I yearn to
dance with the birds

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A poem inspired by the line from ‘Spring Azures’ from the poetry collection Wild Geese by Mary Oliver: ‘Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy’.

Surround yourself with beauty

Surround yourself with beauty
Look at what you own
Is it beautiful or loved?
Does it give you pleasure?
Does it embody a memory?
Keep it
Possessions need to work for you
Need to lift you
Need to remind you who you are
Designer labels? Latest high tech? Do you need to follow the herd?
I sit in a room with books I love and want
With photos of those I love
With objects and art that say something to me
All bought on a shoestring
Possessions do not define me, they cannot say who I am
My poetry attempts that
But my possessions comfort me

my attempt to surround myself in beauty.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond