Tag Archives: Wild life

Storm

The storm shouts through tree limbs
Cracks and breaks
Whips branches to  frenzied tossing
Blows and whistles
Hammers  against windows and doors
Shrieks and groans
Pries open roofs, flings tiles to the sky
Never lessens to a moan
But instead increases its relentless noise
Until, astonishingly, we are forced to cover our ears
In our shelter at the buildings centre
Huddling

A barrage of artillery scatalogically fires
Bangs resound around
Items sharply spatter  the window
Cracking and splintering
Words struggle to encompass what we now hear
Howling winds crescendo
Tortured wood explodes into fragments
Breaking glass like sugar
The Nissan hut shudders creaks shifts
Exhales sobs sighs
Would weep we feel as we weep
Fearing the storms ferocity

Staccato thrumming is in fact the rain
Finally gentling
Light begins to filter between thrashing trees
The loud dark recedes
Easing ourselves from our shelter at the huts centre
To the shattered doors
To the belated soggy dawn
To the ruin without
Scrambling through huge debris
Living trees churned to matchsticks
English Oaks cut off at two foot high
By the mighty hand of the storm

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Written about my experience during the Great Storm of 1987. Thirty years ago, this storm hit Southern England like a hurricane — felling millions of trees.

Ironically, I was training to be a Weather Forecaster at the time (the storm was not forecast correctly), and I was living through the storm during the night of October 15th in a Nissan Hut at the UK Meteorological Office College.

Poem previously published on In Between Hangovers

Advertisements

Exmoor Soundscape

Wild ponies snorting in the shade of a thorn tree
The kee of a buzzard soaring overhead
A ragged baa from a startled ewe
All underlaid by the irregular rumble of falling tumbling water

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A note to readers from America: An English buzzard is not a vulture, but catches live prey.

Fellow Traveller

Drowsing on the wayside
Halfway through our walk
We are stopped
Something rustles and I open my eyes
Raise my head
There in the red tipped grasses of the moor
Stands a doe, ears twitching
Black liquid eyes gazing into mine
Two creatures on the uplands
We exchange something in that moment
Before the nearby bleat of a sheep
Startles us each
And the moment and doe are both gone

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Dawn creeps across the land

Dawn creeps across the land
Shining her pale light into nests
Causing baby birds to call for food
Dormice to rub their eyes and blink
Ants to speed up their hurrying and scurrying
She reaches up to wash the sky with pale blue
And a hint of rose at the east
And , as a special treat today, the west
Smiling  to herself as the world awakes
She feels a certain self satisfaction as the Sun
With a near audible plop
Detaches itself from the horizon
Then like any other woman
Readies herself for a busy day

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

First published on In Between Hangovers: https://inbetweenhangovers.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/dawn-creeps-across-the-land-by-kim-whysall-hammond/

Gecko

Each siesta, my gecko came
Skittering across the mottled ceiling
Dancing over paint flakes
Lengthening his neck to peer down
At me

He would not leave his hiding hole
Until I laid me down to rest
In the Sicilian noonday heat
Then two sparkling gleaming eyes
Held vigil

Halfway between stick and snake
Sandy spiky little friend
Padded feet gripping to defy gravity
My curious Gecko watched over me
Literally

Once his powers failed him
And he plopped down onto my chest
I woke to see him face to face
And  find in those eyes
Understanding

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

gecko

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.

The other nations of this Earth

The other nations of this Earth

The other nations of this Earth live along side us
Misunderstood, undervalued, used and abused
So many of us not longer see them
We fortunate few may wilfully misunderstand
But many see the truth, see the power and strength
Even in a hen, blackbird or crow
Animals are the other nations of this Earth
Caught in the net of time
Travellers with us on this one green globe

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

“….the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
~ Henry Beston