Tag Archives: prehistory

Fosbury Fort

Skylarks sing and soar
We walk encircling ramparts
Gazing at the still deep ditch
Imploring the grassy interior
Unyielding of its secrets
Bluebell woods encompass almost two quadrants
Storms have tipped mossy trees into the line of defence
Making us clamber and slip
Amid the fragrant blue

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

….we went walking in Jane Austen country this lunchtime (on Doctors orders), and explored the hill fort on Haydown Hill……….

The little folk

Folk tales of little people abound
Retreating to the deep Earth
Now and then to emerge and engage
Ensnare or enslave
With trickery or with passion

Peripatetic you may have been
Leaving small trace of your lives
But deep in an African cave
We have found you
Naledi, little stars

We term the women who reclaimed you to the light
Underground astronauts
Yet you carried your beloved dead here
Through narrow clefts, over parlous depths
To lay them tenderly down to rest

As we stare into our deep past
And find you, Homo naledi
Those of us who wonder
Those of us who marvel
Are ensnared and enamoured

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The discovery of fossils of a new human species  (Homo Naledi) is, in itself, a fascinating story. But why they are so ‘cool’ is very well explained by our fellow blogger on Fossil History at https://fossilhistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/homo-naledi-why-these-fossils-are-so-friggen-cool/

 National Geographic describes them as “A fully modern hand sported wackily curved fingers, fit for a creature climbing trees. The shoulders were apish too, and the widely flaring blades of the pelvis were as primitive as Lucy’s—but the bottom of the same pelvis looked like a modern human’s. The leg bones started out shaped like an australopithecine’s but gathered modernity as they descended toward the ground. The feet were virtually indistinguishable from our own.”

14_homo_naledi_cr_john hawks

The “underground astronauts” (left to right): Becca Peixotto, Alia Gurtov, Elen Feuerriegel, Marina Elliott, K. Lindsay (Eaves) Hunter and Hannah Morris.

Chalklands

Chalklands

Chalk undulates across Southern England
Hills, gentle yet steep
Can be overtopped by clay peppered with flints
So treasured by the old folk

As old as the hills is true here
The chalk is a two hundred million year ocean
Stiffened and folded over time
By our living planet

Several human species
Have hunted  in these valleys
Have dug into and sculpted these hills
Have left their ghosts for us to trace

The ancient monuments we treasure
Hill forts, stone circles, long barrows
Are but modern remnants
Compared to the first folk

My hills have deep roots

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Crystals of intent

Crystals of intent

Full, filling my hand
Carved to mould into a palm
This one is left handed,  another fits the right
Killer edges, fatal intent
A hand axe from a million years ago haunts my eyes

Small symmetrical perfect arrowhead
To be thrust by a bow through a torso
Rests on my fingertips
Tiny chips creating the edges
Beauty and death

Both objects of beauty
Stones selected for a purpose
Worked on for many hours
Made to please in many ways
Crystals of intent

Copyright © 2017  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

loom-weight

We live on the High Ground

I’m very pleased to have a poem in the latest issue of the excellent “Three Drops from a Cauldron”. My poem was inspired by a hut circle above a tiny valley on Exmoor.

Three Drops from a Cauldron

Welcome to Issue 11, the first one of 2017, and the changeover issue to our now-monthly, new-format web journal.

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Circles

Circles

Dance a long dance at dawning
Dance a slow dance at end of day
Sing loudly together in the morning
Shout our names to the Sun as she goes away

These islands are littered with circles
Stone, earthen, timber , large and small
Little stones hidden in moorland heather
Megalith giants standing tall

We are the people of the circles
We are the people of the dawn
You will never understand us
Your link to your ancestors is torn

Dance a long dance at dawning
Dance a slow dance at end of day
Sing loudly together in the morning
Shout our names to the Sun as she goes away

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Illium

Illium

Upon the ancient plain the army sits in perpetual siege
Waiting for Achilles to unsulk
To leave his tent and re-enter the fray
What goes through their minds?
Those who have forsaken lives and families
To spend years on this foreign beachfront
Waiting for final bloody action
What of those who look down from the city walls?
Watching the byplay
The dramas of those who
Have come to slaughter or enslave them
What of Helen?
So much older now
Than when those thousand ships were launched
Does she look at her face in the mirror
Bronze is more flattering than our glass
Can she still see the beauty that brought her to this pass?
Is that defeat in her eyes?

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem is for Alice at Coffee and a blank page

Crafty eyes see the deer

Crafty eyes see the deer

Crafty eyes see the deer
Sunlit spotted still as death
An inward breath, a soft thanksgiving
And the arrow flies true
The sudden crash to the ground
Startles birds and woman
The berrying children cry out in joy
At the treat to come

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

I am fascinated by the lives of those who lived here in the Mesolithic –the early Stone Age. Here I describe a mother hunting meat for her children. Bows would have been a female weapon as well as a male one.

The Picture is a drawing from a cave in Spain.