Tag Archives: travel

Alpine River

Even in the allegedly flat valley
The river ran boiling over its rocky bed
Looking out of our cabin window
I could see white electric splashes of water
Gashing along in evening gloom
Boisterously noisy in Alpine stillness
Laughing around boulders
Burbling drunkenly against its banks
Massive ice its head waters
The river was attempting an escape
Scrambling over obstacles
Scudding away from the mountains
To lazy riverine days on plains below

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

They looked and turned away

They looked and turned away
Londoners afraid to interact
With the girl sitting, weeping
On a stinkingly hot day in the city
Exclaiming that she had gone blind
Oversized suitcase abandoned near her feet
My feet
Someone pushed a cold drink into my hand
A woman’s voice comforted me
A stranger joined me on the step, asked where I was going
Told me that a long hot walk carrying a load
Had affected my sight
Sat until, miraculously, my sight returned
Then left
Pulling myself to my feet
I retrieved the offending suitcase
Slowly made my way to the Tube station
Continued my journey, moving from London to Oxford
Changing university, leaving friends and home city
Aiming for a Doctorate, I should have noted the omen
For I found loneliness and failure

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

This poem first appeared in September 2016 on Silver Birch Press.  It describes the actions of a unique person in London — a kind stranger. I’m a Londoner and I love my home city, but it can be a brutal place. I was moving a suitcase full of books from London to Oxford, where I hoped to earn a Doctorate in the “Angular momentum of the Earth.”

I didn’t.

Shallowford

Hard round folds of green billow down to a cleft
A  valley in the high moor
Ahead, a quilt of brighter hue lies piecemeal
Where wild moor has been tamed
As we walk, a second valley reveals itself
A child of fields not moor, sweet and wooded
At the meeting of the valleys we will turn to leave
The quiet high places, these hard round folds of green

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

We are walking on Exmoor this week

Only Exmoor

Only Exmoor stretches out to embrace the whole sky in its immensity
Reflects its moods and colours, its nurture and destruction
Only the moor is as fickle as the sky

Today the moor is swallowed as clouds subsume the uplands
Yesterday it shed water like the clouds themselves
Tomorrow it will shimmer with heat, dry and unforgiving

Trees hide in hollows, afraid to stand in the open
Sheep bones litter the spring hillsides
Peaty silty bogs nestle with gorse , bracken and heather

Only Exmoor reaches out to bleed the very rain from the sky
To lie seeming gentle with its folds and billows, green fields abutting the heather
Then to gladly accept the gifts of deadly snow, killing floods, baking heat

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem first appeared in Peacock Journal earlier this year.

Harbour Masters

Small Cornish harbour end of day
Tacking in from a choppy sea
Call the Master for a berth
Tie up, safe home
Steering through the Channel lanes
Ferries slam past, container vessels loom
Into Cherbourg calling with school French
Master chuckles, welcomes us in
Sliding slantwise into Plymouth
Fighting the wind all the way
Naval Frigate spinturns to miss us
Master reproachful to us each

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Flying

Flying over cities is glorious
London’s furnace reaching for the sky
The nested curving of Amsterdam canals

England on Guy Fawkes Night
Firework chrysanthemums blooming upwards
Colouring the belly of the plane

Shimmering ice dazzling in the cockpit
So many planes alongside
Taking the polar route

Diverting around a war zone
Noting shell bursts far to portside
Glamorously frightening

Heading out across the Atlantic
Passing over container shipping
Waiting for Azorean volcanoes on the horizon

The miracle of heavy flight
Watching Jumbos lumber into the air
Carrying hopes and dreams

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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Graveyard shift

Graveyard shift

In old Malay, draped in forest, lies heat swamped George Town
Where abandoned colonial mansions rot in new technological haze
Forsaken, cracked, diminished, atrophied
Yet evening jazz drifts from broken windows, lights flicker, shadows dance
New tenants, just for the graveyard shift

Old hotel, four square and white, now has modern facilities, pools, spa
The private beach, golden, secluded, is a long walk but a short drive
Courtesy coaches ply the mountain road past decaying  tombs
Extra guests take the last ride of the day, leaving the driver fevered
New passengers, starting the graveyard shift

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

….retold from anecdotes told to me by Nesa………. thank you……….

Voting for poem of the month

My poem Broken Cable has been shortlisted for Ink, Sweat and Tears  Poem of the month for March 2017! Public voting is at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7V5XFKP

Voting will close at 9pm on Thursday 13th April. The shortlist is at http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?cat=72

I’m going to be cheeky and ask that you vote for my poem. Here it is once more:

Broken cable

In the middle of the bright Atlantic
Floating on the swell between island volcanoes
Looking past reflective surface tension
To silvered gas bubbles beneath catching the light

And across the issuing rift

A long snake of data cable
Broken sheared twisted.

As the gas breaks the surface
We hear voices
Blogs bubbling to the top
Instructions to buy or sell
A thousand tiny voices
Sparkling in the sunshine
Several parrot fish swim by
Next day when snorkelling
I fancy I hear fish blogging

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond