Tag Archives: prehistory

Capture

We have captured the stones in their circles
first with maps and sketches
now with our many photographs.
They would otherwise move
dance in moonlight’s shadows,
shuffle away to the devils lair,
creep up on a King or a witch.
 
We have opened the barrow graves to sunlight
pinned them to history with interpretive notices
collected the many bones within.
Lurking on ridges, smothered with grass,
besieged by fields and fences,
children now play in dark chambers
where once ancestors dreamed.
  
Do the stones protest at their confinement?
Do barrow wights still lurk after dark?
Have we chased away the Gods-smith?
Do we care?

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published at London Grip https://londongrip.co.uk/

Every book

All those half written, half finished, half-remembered
tales, myths, superstitions
every unedited, mistyped version
still cannot tell of those long ago
who placed stones in lines and rings
who left solitary huge monoliths scattered
who carved ditches and lines
over landscapes which had different meanings then.

All is lost to time

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Loom Weight

A loom weight lost these many millennia
sits proud on heavy soil
held in my hand, it speaks of loving toil
the spinning of fabric
to clothe a family
and a connection is made
she spoke ancient Greek
a colonist deep in Sicily’s heartland
I stroke the fingerprint left in once moist clay
and say Hello

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Dverse

This loom weight was fund in Western Sicily, whilst I was working on an archeological survey many many years ago. It came home with me and I still look at her fingerprint and say hello……

Great Orme

On the north Wales shore a fat rock serpent
coils out to sea clasping copper tightly
within as a Dragon clasps gold

Deep in his gut lie human bones
children who delved into the dark
hunting the shine with hard flint

In tunnels too small for adults
troglodyte children crawled and twisted
lived and died alone in darkness

Bats explode from a cave entrance
sprawling tourists like scattered chaff
the dead come for their vengeance
three thousand years they have lain here
the daylight is theirs at last

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Otzi the Iceman

He wore warm boots and cloak
had many tattoos grouped
around wherever his joints hurt
to show where acupuncture should be done
carried a complex firelighting kit
containing many dried plants
with flint and pyrtite to make sparks

Consider his hide quiver of arrows with dogwood shafts
and an antler stub for sharpening arrow points
a rare copper axe with a yew handle
a stone bladed knife
various berries for snacks, and two sorts
of dried mushrooms strung with leather
one of them is antibiotic

When he died he was carrying an
unfinished yew Longbow taller than him
with a bowstring and the tools to complete it

Say Hello to our ancient brother

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Winter Dance

The long dance of winter
starts slow as starlight
children stamping hard cold ground
cracking ice over peat

Slipping through fog’s silence
the women have donned heavy antlers
to creep around the trees
circle the swamp
clasp hands and spin
as the sun spins and turns
so do they

Men spurt from the longhouse
Pelts moist with sweat
Leap and cry out

Songs build to a crescendo again and again
until the true sun reveals herself
and we put out our puny fires
sit
eat
laugh

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

I haven’t written a poem imagining our pre-historic ancestors for a long while. Others on this blog can be found at:

https://thecheesesellerswife.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/crafty-eyes-see-the-deer-2/

https://thecheesesellerswife.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/the-aurochs-and-the-pink/

https://thecheesesellerswife.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/we-live-on-the-high-ground-2/

 

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 blue 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

 

First blogged in 2018…..

Poems up at ‘Mediterranean Poetry’

I’m very happy to tell you that several of my poems are up on the website  ‘Mediterranean Poetry  (an odyssey through the mediterranean world)‘  , at https://www.odyssey.pm/contributors/kim-whysall-hammond/

Here is the description of this eclectic and very interesting site:

Our idea with this site is to be able to share our fascination of this world with others and let it be a place where one may read poems/short texts created by poets/authors that live (have lived/traveled) around these waters and, through their literary efforts, have captured the very essence of the Mediterranean world!

 

Do wander over there for a good read…….

Friday Poem: The River’s Tale

TWENTY bridges from Tower to Kew –
Wanted to know what the River knew,
Twenty Bridges or twenty-two,
For they were young, and the Thames was old
And this is the tale that River told:-

“I walk my beat before London Town,
Five hours up and seven down.
Up I go till I end my run
At Tide-end-town, which is Teddington.
Down I come with the mud in my hands
And plaster it over the Maplin Sands.
But I’d have you know that these waters of mine
Were once a branch of the River Rhine,
When hundreds of miles to the East I went
And England was joined to the Continent.

“I remember the bat-winged lizard-birds,
The Age of Ice and the mammoth herds,
And the giant tigers that stalked them down
Through Regent’s Park into Camden Town.
And I remember like yesterday
The earliest Cockney who came my way,
When he pushed through the forest that lined the Strand,
With paint on his face and a club in his hand.
He was death to feather and fin and fur.
He trapped my beavers at Westminster.
He netted my salmon, he hunted my deer,
He killed my heron off Lambeth Pier.
He fought his neighbour with axes and swords,
Flint or bronze, at my upper fords,
While down at Greenwich, for slaves and tin,
The tall Phoenician ships stole in,
And North Sea war-boats, painted and gay,
Flashed like dragon-flies, Erith way;
And Norseman and Negro and Gaul and Greek
Drank with the Britons in Barking Creek,
And life was gay, and the world was new,
And I was a mile across at Kew!
But the Roman came with a heavy hand,
And bridged and roaded and ruled the land,
And the Roman left and the Danes blew in –
And that’s where your history-books begin!”

by Rudyard Kipling