Tag Archives: pandemic

Welcome, stranger…

Bjorns words on our pandemic deserve a wider audience than the staff, students and parents of the school where he is Headteacher. As he says,
As the road stretches out ahead I encourage us all to straighten our helmets, polish our shields, and look out for one another as if wights were circling the barrow. The day will come when we look back on this adventure and raise a glass with the friends we made through the strife, reminiscing about the dragons we overcame along the way.”

bjornpaige

I’ve read more than my fair share of fantasy during this pandemic, Tolkien of course, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and A Song of Fire and Ice (even though I’m the one person on the planet who hasn’t seen the TV show). I zipped through Three Hearts and Three Lions, a book I hadn’t ever read but had heard about from more than a few people; The Eaters of the Dead, inspiration to pick up Heaney’s translation of Beowulf; and most recently The Dragonbone Chair, which begins with a line that felt written for our present uncertain times: “Welcome, stranger. The paths are treacherous today.”

Around us all are opinions and realities, too often competing with each other and frequently piling wood on the fire of concern (about a host of topics including the pandemic, social justice, and mental health) that has been blazing now for more than…

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Fragments

Dark clouds lurk at the horizon
Promising

I was hungry and you gave me food
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink

We are each but a moment away
From displacement and death

I was a stranger and you welcomed me
I was naked and you gave me clothing

A Fuel Tanker slides over the middle line
Edging to disaster

I was sick and you took care of me
I was in prison and you visited me

We are a greater whole
Diminished when others suffer

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Written in response to the Earthweal challenge this week, where I learnt about the concept of Ubuntu. I had not realised that one of my heroes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was influenced by Ubuntu in his work on reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa. A definition is below:

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

Of course some of the lines in this poem are from one of this planets great socialist thinkers.  ;)

Where are my Coyotes?

Other feet now tread the streets
Hooves, pads and claws
Wildness leaks into urban
But
Where are my Coyotes?

Blackbirds loudly call and cry
Rabbits hop on lawns and lanes
No jets disturb the birds of prey
Yet
Where are my Coyotes?

Sheep loiter at McDonalds
Goats skip on empty roads
Britain sees her wildlife play
But
Where are my Coyotes?

 
I’ve seen the pictures on the news
Coyotes in SF and LA
I’ve been good in lockdown
Haven’t I?
WHERE ARE MY COYOTES?

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond
 

Poem: “Front Doors” is now up at Silver Birch Press

My poem, “Front Doors” is now up at the wonderful Silver Birch Press:

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2020/04/06/front-doors-by-kim-whysall-hammond-my-front-door-series/

This poem was writen three weeks ago when we were very worried that our eldest son was suffering from Corona Virus. He is well now!

Apart

To be so many miles away
unable to travel
no breakfast  hug for me
no cards sent
(you said you would not use your mailbox
in case of infection)
no gifts given as yet
you are where you want
and need to be
loved and loving

My tall dark haired
generously bearded
kind thoughtful son
clever and daft in a single
wonderful package
you have  laughed and talked your way
through life
garnered so many friends
loved learning, but not school
blossomed at university
now deeply in love

Happy Birthday

and
keep washing those hands……..

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

One of my sons is away for his birthday. Not so awful, but we woud have usually got the family and his beloved Dutch Godfather together for a celebration — which cannot happen in lockdown. And I miss my hugs…..