I shiver in the shadows of your unvoiced fears
My fingers icily tracing the outline of your unspoken anxieties like lace
As my whispers leave their memory on your wizened face.
You give me life,
I am the invisible force that keeps you on the straight and narrow
When others clamour and chide and try to pull you towards a doom and gloom and sorrow
That would drown us all.
In silence I stumble forward
And see the smile appear like sunshine after storms
As the dreams and yearnings of those earlier years come flooding back
And rekindle faith and hope and love.
Some may see me as the invisible worm
The memory keeper and in a moment I can change the mood and alter the meaning
Of all of your past and how you perceive your future.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
This is for Tuesday’s poetics at d’verse. With love.
It has been a time of renewal, a time of shifts and loss and mourning, a time of giving and holding others, a time of allowing self to be swept aside. My father in law passed away on Dec 1st, one short week earlier we had finally moved house, the nights were long and cold, I packed and unpacked, we haemorraghed money- my husband was a selfless soul endlessly on the road caring for his father and mother, answering endless telephone calls- moments lost, tablets forgotten, repeated conversations, fragments of life recurring then receding, we collected groceries, cooked meals, later we watched as he listlessly slept and shouted and screamed in some other life, some other world crying through pain for help and searching for security and struggling for each long laboured breath until he was gone.
Each day I have gone to work, in my new job, loving the company of my new colleagues, welcoming the benign banter of everyday life, desperate for a smidging of something that resembled a slower pace, a calmer moment, welcoming the newfound calm of our homely little house, genuinely craving the solitude that I know will energise and bring renewal. The moments where the sky in all its splendour is the most treasured and important thing, when the cold chill biting at my fingers and toes reminds me of the joy of life, longing for the frozen earth to yield to spirited snowdrops and there to be enough space for me to savour the solitude that I love so much.
January brings snow
and frozen slivers of ice
Witch Hazel shivers.
© Alison Jean Hankinson.
This is for D’verse. Love to all and Happy New Year.
In Japan they have a word Kintsugi and it relates to keeping something and continuing to use it even when it has become damaged and care-worn. I am finding that as I age in our very materialistic and modern world that this idea resonates greatly with me. I feel that I myself am almost Kintsugi as I have been broken and fixed so many times.
I no longer feel the need to have everything shiny and new and in the latest style, it is as if I feel now more than ever that there was a time where it was the meaning that gave the value and this was more important than the monetary value of the “thing”. On my wall I have a clock that my mother got for me many years ago and its monetary value is meaningless but it still adorns my wall, she got it for me because she thought it would appeal to me and it still holds that value and the love that came with it deep within.
Sunday afternoon was very cold and wintery and in an attempt to stave off the cold we ventured into Bruccianis for a hot chocolate. Bruccianis is on the promenade at Morecambe and it opened in 1939 and still occupies the same building and much of the interior design and decor is still untouched and it is now a grade 2 listed building.
For me the comfort is in its menu. It takes me back to days gone by when I would warm my hands on a mug of Horlicks in the Bus Station cafe in Rawtenstall after shopping with mum, Terry Jacks and “Seasons in the sun” playing on the radio. The menu here boasts Horlicks, Vimto, Bovril and the ultimate decadence of the Knickerbocker Glory. It isn’t shabby chic, or modern art nouveau but simply still the same as it was many years ago.
Its wealth and beauty is that it is what it is. No charlatan here. A place to warm up with a hot chocolate in the winter-time and chat with family and friends or a special ice-cream treat at the beach in a red-hot summer when the sand feels like it is on fire. Sometimes we don’t need perfection what we really need is congruence and familiarity.
Morecambe by the sea
Icy cold toes, winter sun
Horlicks comforts me.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
I am submitting this for Haibun Monday at d’Verse, it breaks the rules a tad, but I think it reflects change and perhaps it is also indicative of a change yet to come, a return to a different set of values.
Once upon a yucky time lived a grubbly gringly monster groo
He jiggled in the midnight sun
and feasted on wibbly bungaroos
He gribbled beyond the wobbly fronds and bumbled in the forest froo
He wimbled with the flowersong
and with the frimbles flew.
Once upon an ugly time when gringle monsters knew
That clovely bubbly mischief makers
Made life worth living true.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
For d’Verse poetics.
At d’Verse this Monday we were discussing translation and poetry.
My daughter Ellen’s favourite poem as a young teen was the translated version of Past One O Clock by Vladimir Mayakovsky and it has also become one of my favourites. Mayakovsky was a playwright as well as a poet, he often satirised aspects of “the state” and found himself in conflict with the authorities. He reportedly took his own life in 1930 aged 36 although there had always been some doubt cast over the timing and nature of his demise. Both he and Lilya Brik had affairs but even after the relationship ended they remained close.
I have no idea if it is a good translation but feel that it is most beautiful. Having lived in NZ I realise that often it is not possible to create perfect translations, so for example some phrases in Maori are more than just translatable words, a poem is a Taonga, which literally means a treasure or something that is highly valued, but the word Taonga is a much more accurate description it carries a sense of the sacrosanct.
Anyway I have to let you read the poem to understand its poignant beauty. It was left as part of his suicide note.
©Alison Jean Hankinson.
Past One O clock
Past one o’clock. You must have gone to bed.
The Milky Way streams silver through the night.
I’m in no hurry; with lightning telegrams
I have no cause to wake or trouble you.
And, as they say, the incident is closed.
Love’s boat has smashed against the daily grind.
Now you and I are quits. Why bother then
To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.
Behold what quiet settles on the world.
Night wraps the sky in tribute from the stars.
In hours like these, one rises to address
The ages, history, and all creation.
With love to you all. XXXX
Lulls to sleep
Creeps through seams in crisp new linen.
Smell of the orient in Nanna’s drawers.
Nivea and talc
Clean fresh towels.
Lily of the valley handcream and cheap eau de cologne.
Sparks and crackles
Burned embers, toffee and smoke galore
Pine needles and frost
Gingerbread parkin, mince pie aromas
And freshly fallen snow.
©Alison Jean Hankinson
This is for d’verse poetics, bit rusty have been out of the loop for a while.
Her hand frail against the withered fronds as she rearranged the flowers
For time had sold them short.
Her youthful stance and gaze, as glorious bride in the gaily painted photo-frame
Captured in the stillness of time framed by the care-home mantle-piece.
Forgetting fettered fragile moments of family-time,
Lost forever in the timelessness of a fretful mind.
Her pain receding as the hands of time hold her soul
Serene against the backdrop of a moonlit sky.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
This for poetics at d’verse. We were asked to explore something we couldn’t touch. It is coming up for the 10th anniversary of my mum passing away and she never got to be old so she never experienced losing her memories.