Time passes.


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.


Clumsy — awkward steps across the hall — Childlike stomps beyond the wall.

My heart skips a beat.

Is it you? Are you home?


Stealth — I meld with the shadows — I limber lithely behind the arch.

Eager to surprise you with my smile.

Are you near? Is it your footsteps I hear?


Shouts — call out your name — voice cracks through the silence.

We melt into each other’s arms.

My child is home.


©Alison Jean Hankinson


This is for d’Verse mtb.

If only …….

Missing in action.

Still silent seamless sorrow as the shadows of the day recede

My loss and longing washes over me

And it feels like my heart might bleed.

To carry both of you with me across the seas of need

I long to have your hands to hold

And from this endless ache be freed.

Love sets us free to chase our dreams

Make no mistaking there

But the hollow place inside of me, still wishes you were here.

© Alison Jean Hankinson

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.

For my girls. Whom I love, every day and more. For my Ellen across the seas. Some days leave a gaping chasm of loss. Hold your children tight when they are small if you are going to give them wings to fly. XXXXX

I am sharing this for open link night on d’Verse and of course the hand holding is part of the theme. For my beautiful girls. XXXX


The car is at the garage

The engine is Kaput

Another worry in the bag

And now it won’t stay shut.


We appear to haemorrhage money

There’ll soon be nothing left

It isn’t remotely funny

Friends family fortitude bereft.


Pakaru and redundant

For all my story’s worth

Broken beyond replacement

Nothing left but mirth.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

Pakaru- broken for Mental Health Awareness week 2018.





Fifteen years on…

Fifteen years ago we were at a child’s birthday party in the Church hall at Bride with our girls, when Dave revealed that he had received in the post that morning compulsory call- out papers to serve in Iraq. It was completely unexpected, he was a serving member of the Territorial Army but we had always been assured that they would never serve in an active Theatre of War, and yet here we were and my then 41-year-old husband was given less than a month to sort his affairs out before being whisked away at the end of May to Basra Palace.

We had only just moved to the Isle of Man with our girls and the whole situation was like some complete nightmare and it was a day full of sadness and grief, and as the children played party games I spent most of my time crying quietly in the corner. In so many ways that moment, that letter, that situation changed our lives forever, and in a sense, I think even at that moment we knew that things would never really be the same.

In fact it almost feels like fifteen years on, we are only just beginning to put it all behind us, the path it sent us down was not an unhappy path but it was a path that was less travelled and it is only now that we find ourselves walking back to the crossroads in an attempt to rediscover some of the life and lives we left behind.

This weekend the sun shines. We have taken a road trip to Harrogate to spend a night at the Old Swan Hotel. A beautiful place that used to be called the  Harrogate Hydropathic and is infamous for providing Agatha Christie with a safe haven during a troubled part of her life in 1926. Unbelievably we have been given the room she stayed in as our room for the evening and I feel very privileged.

We stopped off in Skipton on the way through and enjoyed watching the Tour De Yorkshire. They were also celebrating down on the canal and the Accrington pipe band put on a splendid performance and they must have been sweltering in their uniforms. The canal barges looked inviting and the post-industrial landscape told a story of reinvention and rejuvenation.

We came to Skipton quite a few times before the girls were born, we even used it as a stepping stone and caught the train to Leeds a few times when I was having my IVF treatment there in 1998. So it is a place of memories, the last visit the girls were about 2 and in the double buggy, we stopped at what was Woolworths and bought Ellen a toy Jake from the Tweenies and Emily a Mopatop. I think she still has Mopatop, but Jake got lost in the Mcdonalds at Llandudno junction in about 2001.

After Skipton, we drove on to Harrogate where we are staying at The Old Swan Hotel. What a joy, it has its own character and sense of self and here we find ourselves in room 253 which was the room that Agatha Christie stayed in for 11 days in December 1926 when she went missing. It feels a little like serendipity, it has been a dark and deep week and the cracks have been showing and I could happily have disappeared myself on Wednesday and if I had found myself here I am sure it would have been a positive and healing thing to have done. I  would like to think that she may have found this too. She divorced the following year and rumours about her mental state at the time of the missing 11 days vary from the concept that she was suicidal, or in a fugue state, to the fact that she was making it difficult for her husband to continue with his affair and he claimed she had amnesia following a car accident. I guess no one really knows. I hope she found peace here. The room doesn’t feel tormented so perhaps she did.

©Alison Jean Hankinson





Shades of Betty.

It was damask and silk with woven flowers,

Azure, ruby and evergreen on a backdrop of black velveteen.

Her favourite scarf.


She wore it like a shawl

skittered, off-centre a-kilter

slightly syncopated in the spirit of her slightly singular eccentricity.


Shades of sublime serendipity

Shades of anguish unfurling

Shades of Betty.


© Alison Jean Hankinson.

The image is my own. ©Alison Jean Hankinson


The Last Winter recedes…

We walked to heal our hearts and minds. The wind cut through like glass but the sunset set the ripples alight on the water. It was spring and a time of birth and regeneration. New life blossoming all around. But we walked with heavy eyes.

We walk often, it gives us chance to talk, or not as the moment requires. We walk to fill our souls with the soothing spectacle of the distant mountains and listen to the gentle lap-lap and let it wash over us. We are losing a loved one who is between the autumn and winter of his life and the knowledge that he is slipping away is becoming more than a whisper on the wind.

Spring blossoms slowly

Sunset cuts through the anguish

Life melts like glacier.


©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse.