Tag Archives: poetry

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’.

Friday Poem: Climbing My Grandfather

I decide to do it free, without a rope or net.
First, the old brogues, dusty and cracked;
an easy scramble onto his trousers,
pushing into the weave, trying to get a grip.
By the overhanging shirt I change
direction, traverse along his belt
to an earth-stained hand. The nails
are splintered and give good purchase,
the skin of his finger is smooth and thick
like warm ice. On his arm I discover
the glassy ridge of a scar, place my feet
gently in the old stitches and move on.
At his still firm shoulder, I rest for a while
in the shade, not looking down,
for climbing has its dangers, then pull
myself up the loose skin of his neck
to a smiling mouth to drink among teeth.
Refreshed, I cross the screed cheek,
to stare into his brown eyes, watch a pupil
slowly open and close. Then up over
the forehead, the wrinkles well-spaced
and easy, to his thick hair (soft and white
at this altitude), reaching for the summit,
where gasping for breath I can only lie
watching clouds and birds circle,
feeling his heat, knowing
the slow pulse of his good heart.

By Andrew Waterhouse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Waterhouse

The Rescue Chicken

She’s a rescue chicken
no rest for her
half her feathers missing
she’s one tough bird

Small, brown, determined
she plans to sneak back in
wirecutters in beak
to cut free the other chickens

Who says a rescue chicken
needs tender care?
This one’s for the liberation
of battery hens everywhere

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem sprung into my head upon reading Jim Feeneys wonderful poem Oprah Among the Chickens, where he asks:

Is a rescue chicken
a chicken that has been rescued by people
or is it a chicken that rescues people?

Well, I had a different idea………

The photo comes from the excellent British Hens Welfare Trust.

Friday Poem: Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

by William Shakespeare

This sonnet needs to read out loud. It is addressed to a younger lover….