Tag Archives: London

The Colour of Dragons

The colour of dragons
Depends

Sweet green for new hatchlings
To hide in high grasses

Black and red for an Emperor
Or a burner of crops
Many turn as gold as their treasure
Perhaps part of ageing

What colour a city dragon
Lurking on rooftops?

In Paris, creamy white as the buildings
In Berlin and London
Perhaps a glassy hue
Criss-crossed

In Amsterdam?
Turquoise and purple
With scarlet undertones………

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

I’m trying to paint a dragon in Amsterdam……….what colour???

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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

 

This poem first appeared in September 2016 on Silver Birch Press.  It describes the actions of a unique person in London — a kind stranger. I’m a Londoner and I love my home city, but it can be a brutal place. I was moving a suitcase full of books from London to Oxford, where I hoped to earn a Doctorate in the “Angular momentum of the Earth.”

I didn’t.

Flying

Flying over cities is glorious
London’s furnace reaching for the sky
The nested curving of Amsterdam canals

England on Guy Fawkes Night
Firework chrysanthemums blooming upwards
Colouring the belly of the plane

Shimmering ice dazzling in the cockpit
So many planes alongside
Taking the polar route

Diverting around a war zone
Noting shell bursts far to portside
Glamorously frightening

Heading out across the Atlantic
Passing over container shipping
Waiting for Azorean volcanoes on the horizon

The miracle of heavy flight
Watching Jumbos lumber into the air
Carrying hopes and dreams

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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