Windchime

I hear your voice in the morning as you call me

Beckons me to follow you home.

Where your voice lingers.

 

I gather trinkets that are reminders of you,

A windchime, a plant pot, a word unspoken

A feather, a seashell, a stray thought.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for Day23 of  napowrimo18

The first line is loosely taken from Country Roads, a song I hear in my head often that makes me think of my mum and dad. It will be 10 years this summer since mum passed but I still gather things that she would have liked, and I still don’t know if I gather them for her or for me. Love my family. XXXX

This is also for d’Verse quadrille and the challenge word/thought was gather.

Thank you Jo and Ray…..If you’re stationary, you’re not moving.

I always believed in the ripple effect, it is just that sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to acknowledge the impact that things have on us, and sometimes relatively, seemingly small things have the biggest impact. This is the story of Jo, and Ray and the meaning of life. The link to Ray’s little ride is at the bottom of the page.

In 2014 I had an operation, the risks of the surgery were classed as incalculable and I made my very skilled and wonderful surgeon promise not to let me die on the table…He kept his word but had to fight a little to keep his promise. I got better but lost a few little bits of me in the process. It was just a part of my life that was fraught with struggles and relative suffering, and during this time Jo, an old family friend from my school days had sent me several messages of encouragement and support and she sent me a link to a blog article called The meaning of Life in a blog- Ray’s Little Ride. 

I read the story and the message I took on board most was the one that I used in the title- it was the message he wanted to share-If you’re stationary, you’re not moving. The truth is that when things are difficult, and life is problematic this kind of pragmatic way of being is the most useful. Sometimes there is no way of things getting better at this particular point in time and sometimes the only thing you can do is just keep moving and know that however difficult you will adjust as best you can to the new circumstances. Ray had ALS, many of you might know it as Lou Gehrigs’s disease, he went from being perfectly fit and able in 2014 to being very dependent by 2015. He completed his amazing bike challenge of cycling across America between October and November 19th 2015 and it was an amazing feat of physical, emotional and spiritual endurance and he passed away in August 2016. I read the blog and took the message on board and continued to follow the blog, and learned so much from this amazing man in the last few months of his life.

It was this blog post and this blog story that in a sense inspired me to begin my own blogging journey, I felt that if there was anything that I could say or speak or tell that might act as a ripple for someone else then it was something that was okay to do. It also gave me an insight into new things that I could do that would give me a new me. It represented new challenges, new growth and new meaning. It represented moving forwards and not being stationary.

I just wanted to say thank you to Jo and Ray for the ripples they set in motion that day that have continued to contribute to my own journey. And Jo you are right, we have friends and family, and a roof over our heads and can still live our lives well. We have much to be grateful for. XXXXXXX

© Alison Jean Hankinson

Ray’s Little Ride- The Meaning of Life.

Man in the doorway…

Deadbeat

Bereft- bile rising on a tide of crimson tears

Soul surrendered.

 

Forget the humdrum faces of the faithful

Languish in the liminality of loss that lengthens the hours of every day since.

Bury your head. Bury your heart.

 

That which hath gone and cannot be gathered

For the past is passed, and whilst not to be forgotten cannot pulse again with life

Dust beckons.

 

Hooded, labelled, lost on the fringe

Of a world that ceased to care, no compassion.

Deadbeat.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This isn’t my usual style and it is a poem for the man in the doorway many months ago, perhaps it is his back-story. It is for Napowrimo day 13.

This is for open link night with d’Verse.

Beneath the skin- The raw.

Haemorraghing hatred and fear

Poison oozing out through every microscopic pore

Spilling forth with septic spores of mistrust and malevolence.

I know not this place where I find myself.

 

I wish I had a rose for every time you spoke my name

The world would be a mesmerising memorial to you.

I catch my image in the mirror and see you have left all the hallmarks of your own life and loves upon my face, they are etched deep beneath the skin.

Sometimes I lose myself and see only you.

And I am faceless and forlorn.

I know not this place where I find myself.

 

There was a summer, a sea breeze,

A silent longing for a solitary moment of the life that was before.

These shores have weathered fierce and tumultuous tides

And now the pain recedes

And I am left awash with grief.

The hollow dreams, the futile hopes, the empty promises.

And I know not this place where I find myself.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

This is my offering for d’Verse open link night. The photo is my own, the white rose symbolises new beginnings and also remembrance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester-moments and musings on the Lancashire cotton mills and the cotton famine. 1862.

These red bricks, these tall chimneys,

Coloured by their blood, shaped by the hands of their children

Carried on their rugged shoulders and working class calves.

We don’t look up enough, we don’t marvel at what they gave us.

These edifices echo with their pain and suffering

Voices of our forefathers, sinewed souls of our ancestors

They built their empires in cotton and coal so that we could enjoy

The fruits of their labours and be forever known as the workshop of the world.

 

Salford, Stalybridge, Manchester, Blackburn, Wigan-working that weft

Darwen, Accrington, Chorley, Preston, winding that bobbin up.

And the roll call falters, unemployment, hunger, desperation, and impoverishment

They stood together arm in arm, hand in hand, through protest and starvation,

To demonstrate their love and pride for another brother in another place.

We should stand tall for we stand on the shoulders of giants

They gave us humility, compassion, work ethic and pride.

True northern spirit and true northern soul.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Featured image from the public domain labelled for reuse. Horrockses Cotton Mill Preston.

Other images are my own.

This journey into the cotton famine was a soulful journey and I am very proud of the stance taken by the Lancashire millworkers and the sacrifices they made. We were encouraged to look at soul for poetics at d’Verse. 

I have edited this and made some changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum’s last letter.

Handwriting didn’t come easily to me, my words tumbled out across the page as fast as my thoughts would carry them but with no time for neatness clarity or punctuation. Laborious lessons trying to perfect a precise clear-cut style between the lines, the endless lines, my sister’s handwriting remains the same as it was in those joined up lessons at school. Mine still resembles ducklings charging towards some azure blue lake with all the joy of momentum, joy and not a care in the world for how it looks to the rest of the world.

Her last letter, heaven only knows why she posted the parcels so early for Christmas, perhaps she knew. Her last act of love. She died on the Sunday half a world away and by Friday I held her last letter in my hand. Her writing cut through the void, the years the tears, the fears.

Precision and care

Her words carefully planted.

Snowdrops cut through snow.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Memories of a beautiful woman.

She was our Fairytale princess

Miles of ivory silk taffeta trimmed with lace

10,000 pearls and mother of pearl sequins

Giving a touch of grace.

Amidst the majesty of a royal wedding,

 

A beautiful woman

With a compassionate heart

Touching untouchables was her special art

At a time when HIV heartbreak

Brought devastating deaths in its wake.

 

The Indian summer of her life

Holidaying in Greece a rose still in bloom

Later in Paris a life taken too soon

In the Alma tunnel broken dreams

Smashed senselessly into smithereens.

 

We still have our memories and we still shed our tears

For your loss is immeasurable even after all these years

We have watched your sons grow into fine young men

They have carried your love forward time and again.

Rest in Peace and God bless,

You were a beautiful woman, our fairy tale princess.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

On 31st August it will be twenty years since Princess Diana passed away, my mum passed away 11 years later on the same day, we both loved Princess Diana.

One of my first blog posts was about her. This is the link:

Portrait of a Princess- Our Diana- The People’s Princess.

The image was in the public domain and able to be reproduced it came from:

058792: Visit by Diana Princess of Wales 1992
Diana Princess of Wales visiting Interconnection Systems (Plessey) in South Shields 1992. South Shields/Visits/Princess Diana Collection. Newcastle Libraries.