Shadow of our love.

You wore silk

A delicate shade


Gold brocade

Your veil feigning innocence

You captured my heart.


Nylon shift

Hides your sagging form

Rings forlorn

Scars are worn

On old withered hands laid bare

Our love lingers on.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for MTB at d’Verse where we are using the form Shadorma.

To me the form suggested shadow and I thought about how as we age we still keep our shadow of youth.




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

In the arms of an angel.

Her graceful gesture

Now complete

He held her hand close-by.


She gave with love

Her life complete

His lifeless slumber nigh.


The slightest smile

That settled faintly on his face

The truth of love descried.


She caressed his hand

And kissed his lips

Before his final sigh.


©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse poetics where we are contemplating grace.


December 8th- Happy birthday mum.

Snow-capped mountains
Memories frozen in time
Sun melts through the pain.

I wrote the Haiku on Friday- mum’s birthday and what surprised me most is that this is the first year that I haven’t spent the day in tears, in fact I didn’t cry at all. I am not sure if this is some miraculous part of healing or because we are now at least home. All the other years I had to cope with both the feelings of loss and the separation by distance.

The snowy theme continued throughout the weekend and we set off on Saturday to visit Hays Garden Centre and in search of snow for Emily. We killed a few ghosts in Hays, it was a place I visited with mum one summer. We then drove up through Ambleside and snaked off to go up Kirkstone Pass to the third highest Pub in England, the highest inhabited building in Cumbria. As we drove past the chocolate box houses, with the gentle snowflakes falling, Mull of Kintyre was playing on the radio, and I was transported instantly back to Christmas past, as a youngster at Christmas celebrations with mum and dad and their friends and drunken antics and singing and I could hear mum’s laughter echoing through my head. The memory was so strong and this was when the tears were shed. The sense of both happiness and loss was overwhelming.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Mum passed away 9 years ago in 2008, today was her birthday. XXX

This is my offering for d’Verse haibun.

The Visit

He hung his cloak upon the hook

And snook into her room

He gave a welcome smile and then

His love lit up the room.


The visitor sat beside her as she slept

He smoothed her pain away

He gently mopped her fevered brow

And for her soul did pray.


The sunset glowing in the west

The day drew to a close

He took her tortured soul in hand

And exchanged it for a rose.


As morning sun lit up the room

Her family finally gathered

Her soul had passed across by now

Shared memories were all that mattered.


©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse poetics.


Days of loss.

Some days there are no happy ever afters

No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Inside the cloud- no silver linings


Some days the tears we weep fill the reservoirs of our soul

The magnitude of our pain and suffering is beyond remedy

Inside our heart is bereft and broken beyond repair.


Some days suffering sadness and shades of sorrow are all there is

And we must carve a new understanding of the world we know

Find a new way to find a glimmer of hope.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

I have decided to link this up to d’verse for open link night. I wrote it at a very key low point last year just as I discovered I had once again become ill with a flare of Ulcerative Colitis, the first since 2012. Last week I think I hit an even lower point in my life, the disease refusing to go into remission and being forced to give in and go back on to high dose steroids. I am climbing back out of the hole. I have managed to keep working, and that in itself is an achievement and we take our crumbs where we can find them.

I wrote this early November when despair was at times overwhelming. I still believe in happy ever after- it is in my nature.

Much love. XXX


Shades of 50.

It is done, my fiftieth birthday year finally gone

Kicked the ass out of that, had a bit of fun

Moved house and home,

And now it is done.

Heartaches and happiness all in one.

What a year, glad to move on to 51.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

this is a bit cheesy but all I could muster for this week’s Quadrille at d’Verse. I celebrated my fiftieth birthday in hospital and it has been a roller-coaster of a year and I think some of the biggest dips were in the last week, so I was a bit quiet….So tomorrow I start a new day, and a new year… and I will be 51.

I miss my Ellen though and would love to have her home with me. XXXX