Tag Archives: love

Friday Poem: The Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

by Amy Lowell, 1874 – 1925  

This is the first of a Friday series of poems selected from my poetry shelf

 

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Because I Liked You by A.E. Housman

Because I liked you better
Than suits a man to say,
It irked you, and I promised
To throw the thought away.

To put the world between us
We parted, stiff and dry;
‘Good-bye,’ said you, ‘forget me.’
‘I will, no fear’, said I.

If here, where clover whitens
The dead man’s knoll, you pass,
And no tall flower to meet you
Starts in the trefoiled grass,

Halt by the headstone naming
The heart no longer stirred,
And say the lad that loved you
Was one that kept his word.

by A.E. Housman

Photographs by Ivor Gurney

Lying in dug-outs, joking idly, wearily;
   Watching the candle guttering in the draught;
Hearing the great shells go high over us, eerily
   Singing; how often have I turned over, and laughed
With pity and pride, photographs of all colours,
   All sizes, subjects: khaki brothers in France;
Or mother’s faces worn with countless dolours;
   Or girls whose eyes were challenging and must dance,
Though in a picture only, a common cheap
   Ill-taken card; and children—frozen, some
(Babies) waiting on Dicky-bird to peep
   Out of the handkerchief that is his home
(But he’s so shy!). And some with bright looks, calling
   Delight across the miles of land and sea,
That not the dread of barrage suddenly falling
   Could quite blot out—not mud nor lethargy.
Smiles and triumphant careless laughter. O
   The pain of them, wide Earth’s most sacred things!
Lying in dug-outs, hearing the great shells slow
   Sailing mile-high, the heart mounts higher and sings.
But once—O why did he keep that bitter token
   Of a dead Love?—that boy, who, suddenly moved,
Showed me, his eyes wet, his low talk broken,
   A girl who better had not been beloved.
       one of my favourite poets.

Being English

Show no emotion, hold everything back
Say ’I think we need a bit of support’ when you are under fatal attack
Go about your business as the world falls apart
Hiding the fear deep in your heart
Delight in the odd, the strange and the weird
Live beside the newcomer, even if they are feared
Chicken Tikka Marsala is our national dish,
An island nation that rarely eats fish,
Throw flowers under a princesses hearse
Life may be difficult but it could always be worse
Marry the outsider, swallow them whole
Quiet, loving and different is the English soul

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First blogged in 2015 and it seems a bit appropriate this week. I admit that both people in the photo not actually English….but its a great photo!

Recluse

People drain, push through
boundaries, demand attention.
Childhood reclused with book after book
reading to the exclusion of most else,
an interior life but for the
vibrancy of a sunset, the thrill
of abstraction in flowing water
and then, at seventeen,
the bright blue art of your eyes.
The world and you, my love, stimulate
refresh, make me whole
give me myself once more.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Coal

He told me of how coal can be split
to reveal the hoof prints of long buried deer
if you get the angle and the grain right

Of how, in the deepest mines
Darwin was proved each day
by the strike of a miners hammer

And how opening the coal opened him
drove him to library and Miners Institute
to learn, wonder and argue

His gentle voice, with its natural grace
led me into his world
to the child opening trap doors in constant dark

To the young man, passionate for justice
filled up with the joy of learning
all forged in dark coal.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Wilfred Whysall, my paternal Grandfather (1909 – 1979), on his birthday.

 

The things you have said

At seventeen you said,
You know I really think a lot of you
Well, you haven’t hit me yet
Dear Miss Whysall, but we’ll soon out a stop to that
Do you know how to call a waiter to the table?

At twenty one you said,
I sleep with a woman who sleepwalks Mars
Will you marry me?
I think you should go away to Oxford to realise your dream
Can we see the poverty stricken student line of engagement rings?

And so it has continued
and so I love you

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A soppy love poem for my Cheese seller. It’s his birthday today!

Global

She flies in to a land below the sluice gates
under leaden  wintry skies
braving bone chilling, joint stiffening cold
to regain a lover and husband,
surprising family and friends
with a festive presence.
He cossets her adoringly
treasuring the time they are together
sharing memories of a hot Penang wedding  a world away
that celebrated a fealty lasting across oceans and years.
Tenderness and  connubiality,
happiness built on avocations and contrasts.
Cherishing time together with all those they love
partaking companionably
endearing us all to them.
Soon, she will travel back
to the other side of the planet
to summer heat and extended family
that now stretches globally
to a tall Dutchman.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Nesa and Edgar

 

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 blues 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